- 8:06 p.m. Seeing Leading Man #1 in 2 days… Hate CT, but secretly excited to spend time with my son, even just a few hours.
- BJ’s Breakfast Blend K-Cup Coffee. I love coffee.
- Lori McKenna: ‘…Even when she’s laughin’ … Part of her is worryin’ ’bout somethin’ she didn’t do…’
The Duck House, Littleton, MA
I wish my son could hear this lyric:
Here’s what I know
Even when I’m sleepin’
I’m still dreamin’ all about you
Sadly, as it’s not Disturbed, I don’t know that my son would listen. Leading Man #1 grants me a listen of Sweet Child o’ Mine before switching to NYC’s 95.5PLJ when he’s in Baby Blue. I suppose that’s the best I get.
Countdown to New Jersey. Day trip this time. Wasn’t I just there for 2 weeks? My body is begging me to come off the road for at least a month. The Mom in me won’t allow it. If I’m called, I go.
Even when I’m not called, I go. I love exactly two things about NJ in order:
- Leading Man #1
- Pumpernickel Bagels with Low Fat Cream Cheese from Bagel Nosh in Waldwick.
Sorry Mom & Dad.
Try as I might, I can’t actually stay off the road for more than six weeks. My heart gets itchy. I stop being satisfied with FaceTime chats. I am compelled, almost involuntarily, down the Merritt Parkway.
There’s just no other way to describe it.
I’m not entirely without impulse control. I do have the ability to stop myself from hitting the ‘Mother Road’ as I call it: the interconnecting interstate highways that take me from Boston Metro to NYC Metro.
I very often don’t because the moment I’m across the Tappan Zee – ahem, Mario Cuomo – Bridge, a part of myself I always forget is missing falls into place. I love my husband, my job, and Massachusetts. Still, as soon as I hit the exit for the Palisades Mall, a part of my life I always forget is missing falls into place like the last piece of a puzzle.
That’s the “mom” in me. Despite the fact that I often look at my Facebook posts when I’m in New Jersey and this Meme comes to mind:
I know better about myself. I am Mom. I could no more deny that aspect of myself than I could deny that my lungs near air.
I view a 250 mile distance and non-residential custody as ‘minor obstacles’ in full-time motherhood. If someone says “It’s such a long distance!” my instantaneous response is, “I signed up for this. It’s not a big deal.”
It truly isn’t.
I refuse be anything less than a proactive, involved parent (non-residential custodians that do stymie me completely, but that’s a story for another blog). I’m not there for the day to day, but I am there. I never stop trying to find ways to be involved in my kid’s life. I’m told it would be okay if I did, but I never let myself forget that nearly 18 years ago, I agreed to put another being first, no matter the cost or inconvenience to me.
To me, parenting is a commitment you make when you decide to allow a child to enter this world. At that moment, you agree to do what’s best for that little human, for their entire life. Sometimes that means adoption. Sometimes that means other things. If you decide to raise that child yourself, that means you commit to:
- Put that child first until they can put themselves first.
- Take the best care of yourself you can so you can be at your best for them.
- Always take the higher ground, no matter how old that child gets, or you do.
- Protect that child to the best of your ability when they cannot protect themselves.
- Fight for that child to reach their full potential.
- Never get in the way of and give that child all the tools they need to achieve their dreams.
- Support those dreams, even if those dreams aren’t the dreams you had for them.
- Love that child unconditionally, even when they are being the worst possible child they can be (and like parents, children are human and are sometimes hard to deal with)
- Listen to that child and consider what they say, even when their views are diametrically opposed to your own.
- Recognize that children grow up, and apart, and build lives and ideas separate from you.
- Accept and love that child for what they become, even if it isn’t what you would have wanted for them, or what you believe they should be.
- Never, ever, stop fighting for them until – if – they finally say: “Mom, I got this. I can fight for myself.”
Just over 18 years ago I flushed my birth control pills down the drain. From that moment, it was no longer just me.
I’m human. I’ve made my mistakes. I’ll make tons more before LM#1 hits my age to be sure. Still, that is my kid, and I love him more than anything else in the world. Forever and always, he comes first. Divorce, custody, miles… those are not excuses. I will not let them stand in my way.
So off I go to New Jersey, even though my bones are weary and my Camry could stand a few extra miles.
See you soon, albeit briefly this time, kiddo.
Can’t wait. I love you…