Monday, June 30, 2008

LETTER ABOUT MOTHERING - A PROJECT

Darling Ross,

I was invited to participate in a blogging project. With my apologies to you for falling so behind in keeping my letters to you up to date, I have decided to share this with you as I think you will find it interesting to look back on one day in your future.

It is the Summer of 2008. You have just graduated 5th Grade with straight A’s. The fact that you achieved a B- for Hebrew is phenomenal. I am so proud of you and your achievements.

In the context of the questions I have answered below, I take this opportunity to thank you for the journey you are taking me on. I learn from you every day, Ross. Your commitment to everything you do is inspiring to me and the fact that you get the most out of life because of it constantly reminds me of the natural order of things.

It is a privilege to mother you my love for you is ever expanding.

I love you, Plinga.

Mama xoxo

HERE IS THE BLOG PROJECT I RESPONDED TO:
(In short, write a post explaining when it is that you most feel like a mother and when it is that you don't. When did you first realise that you were somebody's mother?)

The second my pregnancy was confirmed I felt bonded with my child. My shift into motherhood was a simple transition for me. I was secure as a person, I was secure as a wife, and my motherhood felt like an inevitable destination – in spite of the long road getting there.

My own motherhood took my relationship with my own mother to a new level which I found interesting. I remember the moment it happened with absolute clarity. I had my son at age 37. My mother was 37 years old when she had me. When my son was a couple of weeks old, I was changing his diaper. I looked down at him on the changing table and in that moment, for no particular reason, I identified more strongly with my mother than I had ever before. I remember standing over my baby boy and thinking, "Wow, THIS is how my Mom was over me. THESE are the kinds of feelings that formed the basis of my mother's love for ME." I also realized that for the first time in my life, I had a concept of my mom as a young woman. My mom was always considerably older than my friends' parents. In some instances their moms were just a few years older than my own brother who was 14 years my senior. I walked away from that diaper change deeply in touch with the fact that I was now a mom; deeply in love with my son and my mom.

I feel most like a mother when my son goes through an experience of any kind and I can feel either his pleasure or his pain. I feel very much like a mother in the moments when his confidence and sense of self worth shine through. I feel that as an extension of our connection and it brings strong maternal emotions to the surface for me.

I think I feel least like a mother when I respond to my son in a way that leaves me feeling bad about myself. I feel disconnected from my mothering when I yell or display a lack of patience. I feel disconnected from my mothering when I realize I am limiting my son by my expectations and that upsets me deeply.

What I do know is that I can’t imagine my life’s path without you, Ross.




Sunday, October 22, 2006

LETTER ABOUT MOM'S MELT-DOWN

Darling Ross,
You have been working on a project for school which was due in this last Tuesday. It is a project about the town in which you live. Your class was given some information about the project before school closed for the summer. You were told to take photos of places of interest in the town and anything or anywhere that could be labeled a historic marker.

During the summer Daddy took you out and you took some amazing photos of the Borough. As we were putting the finishing touches to the project, you mentioned that you actually had to appear in the pics. No shorter way of saying it, I had a complete melt-down. I lost it completely.

I went crazy demanding you explain to me when exactly you had intended mentioning this rather vital piece of information. Given that this was Saturday night and that the project had to be handed in on Tuesday, I wanted to know when you planned on going out with Dad again to have him take these pics of you and then re-do the pages with pics that I had just spent hours assisting you to do.

You suggested that I crop you out of other pics and stick them on the pics that you had taken. I shouted back at you that if we were to do this, did you think I should put a note on the front of the project to your teacher saying, “Dear Mrs Moron Teacher, PLEASE grade my project kindly!”

Daddy never interferes in any discussions between you and me but this time, the ranting and raving was such that he came to me and in much the way an adult says to a child, he informed me, “It’s enough!” I stormed off and a few minutes later noticed that your bedroom door was closed. You never go to bed and close your door. Noticing that you had done this brought me back to reality. I walked into your room urged you out from under the covers. I explained to you that as angry as I might have been I do love you. I further explained that while I was not apologizing for what I was angry about, I was apologizing for yelling at you.

You were on your knees at the foot of your bed so that we were eye level with each other. Without breaking our eye contact, you called out to Daddy to come to your room. When Dad came in you directed us into a group hug at the foot of your bed.

Without looking away from me you said to Daddy, “Dad, it’s not Mom’s fault, I should have paid more attention to my things and taken responsibility for my project.” It was so heartfelt and genuine, and so bold having spontaneously come from your heart, that it reduced Daddy and I to tears.

I was so deeply touched by that fact that you, this little person went and put yourself to bed. In the quiet darkness of your room, you managed to process this experience and get to the heart of it.

My darling, darling little ingela*, when your inner beauty and strong sense of self manifests like this, I celebrate your life and feel so proud of being able to call you my son.

I love you.

Mama xoxo


* Ingela - Yiddish for ‘little boy’
ROSS WITH THE MAYOR OF OUR TOWN.
BECAUSE HE WAS REPRESENTING HIS SCHOOL -
HE CHOSE TO WEAR HIS KIPPAH. (Head covering.)

SOME OF THE PICS THAT ROSS TOOK AROUND OUR TOWN

Thursday, September 14, 2006

LETTER ABOUT HOMEWORK

My Little Plinga Man,

You have been back at school for a week now. I am writing this particular letter to you because I am feeling like the horrible, screaming, demanding mother I promised myself I would never be.

In our conversations what I really want to be saying to you is, “I also hated doing homework. I completely and totally understand what a drag it is to come home after a long day at school and still have to sit for a couple of hours and do more work.”

This is one of those challenging situations where I end up in the hardest dilemma of all – my head vs. my heart. My head says to me that I should tell you that it is your homework and if you don’t do it, you will deal with the consequences at school. My heart (and a bit of my head) says that you are my Plinga Boy and I don’t want you getting into unpleasant situations at school because you haven’t done your homework. I really don’t like laying a trip on you that I do things because I love you. This is what makes it so hard. It is because I love you, I want to see you be the best you can be and in my attempt to achieve that, I am encouraging you to get through your homework without it being a whole major production every day.

The part of me that wants to be the perfect mother panics when I think of how you will look back on these years and remember me being this monster woman making demands on you and ruining every afternoon of your life from Monday to Friday during school terms.

I have therefore written this letter so that when you are a grown man and you do look back on your early school days, you will have this insight into where I was coming from. Part of me hopes that you too will have a child who delivers you pay-back in the homework department, and more than anything, I hope I am there to stand on the sidelines with a smile on my face and say, “Revenge is so sweet Mr Plinga!” :o)

I will end this letter by saying that in as short a time as one week back at school, when I went to “BACK TO SCHOOL” night, your new teachers were saying the most wonderful things about you. I totally know that in the hours you spend at school, you give it your all. After one week they told me how enthusiastic you are, how you always want to answer every question and how much they love having you in their class.

Just so you know, every day you are in school wishing you were back at summer camp – so do I!

I love you.

Mama xoxo

'CRAZY HAIR DAY' - SUMMPER CAMP 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

LETTER ABOUT YOUR 9TH BIRTHDAY

My Darling Plinga,
This month you turned 9 years old.

Here are the first things that come to mind when I think of 9 things that I adore and admire about you:

1. HOW UNCOMPLICATED LOVING YOU IS.

2. THE WAY YOU BREAK DANCE.

3. THAT WHEN YOU FIRST NOTICED THE FRECKLES ON YOUR NOSE YOU REFERRED TO THEM AS NIPPLES.

4. THE PASSIONATE WAY IN WHICH YOU EMBRACE EVERYTHING YOU DO. THERE ARE NO HALF MEASURES WITH YOU.

5. THE HOURS THAT YOU SPEND ALONE AND HOW WELL YOU CAN OCCUPY YOURSELF AND THE FACT THAT YOU NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING BORED.

6. HOW KIND AND CONSIDERATE YOU ARE AND YOUR HUGE CAPACITY TO OFFER ASSISTANCE EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT ASKED FOR IT. YOUR WELL TUNED INSTINCT IS COMMENDABLE.

7. YOUR LOYALTY TO CUCUMBER AND KETCHUP, CORN AND SUSHI!

8. YOUR ABILITY TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF.

9. ACTUALLY, I JUST LOVE, ADORE AND ADMIRE ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT YOU.

I proudly share these comments that are from your ‘Camper Mid Summer Report.’ It is nice to hear someone else’s feedback about you. Daddy and I are so proud of this report, Darling.

It reads as follows:
Ross has consistently enjoyed many of the activities that we have taken part in here at camp. He is a very tough individual who has a hunger to succeed in everything that he does. Something that has impressed me thus far is Ross’ intellect, which I first noticed in Super Science when he just rattled off answers to some tough questions. I am confident that Ross will continue not only to use his brain, but flex some muscle on the field and improve across the board in all activities.

Highlights of the summer …
We just celebrated Ross’ birthday the other day and I could tell that he had a great day. We were already in the midst of Color War, something he really enjoyed, and he just contributed to the blue team in every way imaginable. He is a very fun individual to have around, who catches me off guard sometimes with his highly intellectual questions and facts. His outgoing personality contributes greatly to the group, and I look forward to spending the remainder of the summer with Mr Ross L.

May you be blessed with a healthy and gentle year ahead.

I love you.
Mama xoxo

YOUR INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR CHOCOLATE - EVEN UNDER

HARSH CIRCUMSTANCES IS ASTONISHING!

Monday, June 19, 2006

LETTER ABOUT FATHER'S DAY 2006

Darling Ross,

Today we celebrated Father’s Day and I saw your spirit shine. The cuteness that you generated today made my love for you expand even more.

I am recording the day here for you so that you can look back on this with pride, love and joy … in a few days, months or even years.

You are such a sweetheart and I am so proud of you, my Plinga. What made me the happiest of all was to see how easy it is for you to show your emotions and share them. That, my darling little energy ball of gorgeousness is the most wonderful thing in the world.

This is how the day went:

You started off with Dad’s fuel – coffee! With minimal input and guidance from me, you mixed him a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. Again, on your own initiative you put together a plate of cookies.




Despite a concerted effort on your part to find the bed tray your search proved unsuccessful and I was impressed with your quick thinking alternative – the lid to one of your tote boxes.

Dad got out of bed and went to the bathroom. You took off down the hall at great speed with me following behind you. I was giggling to myself because you zoom around the house like mercury and there was I almost struggling to keep up with you, but determined to capture these moments in pics.

I wasn’t sure what you were going to do while Dad was in the bathroom and it just melted my heart when I saw that you had gone to fluff his pillows and straighten the bed out so it would be nice and fresh when he returned from the bathroom. Needless to say, your faithful companion Pingy was dashing about after you, jumping on and off the bed as if in her boldest doggy attempts to assist you.


Then, you were gone again. I didn’t know where you were until you again came dashing up to me like the Road Runner to ask where your smart pants were. I told you where you would find them and followed you back down the hall. By the time I got to your bedroom you had closed the door. When I knocked, you peeped out through the door and I saw that you were getting yourself all smartly dressed for when you served Dad his coffee.

I loved how you mumbled to me through the crack in the door that, “Even though my smart shoes kill my ankles, I’m prepared to wear them for Dad.”




Moments later you emerged from the bedroom looking extremely smart.

Daddy was blown away when you walked into the room looking like a perfectly turned out butler. After reading your card and admiring the presentation of the beverage tray he thanked you for getting all dressed up and for making the bed for him. To your thrill and delight, he asked you for another cup of coffee.




Alex, Bobba and the Reubens from next door joined us for lunch.


Daddy loved the presents he got from you and Alex and it turned out to be a fantastic Father’s Day.


I thank you and Alex so much for going out of your way to make it so special for Daddy. It meant a lot to him having you and Alex here.



I love you,
Mama xoxox

Thursday, May 18, 2006

LETTER ABOUT CHILLING OUT

Dear Plinga
I love taking photo's of you when you are sleeping. I have piles of them! One day I will successfully learn how to use flickr or something similar so that I will be able to include features like "click here for more' on this blog. For now though, your technologically challenged Mom will be limited to posting one-off shots like this one.
Before going to bed, I always come to your room to check that you are ok, tucked in (although you dislike having covers on you when you sleep) and to whisper my secret sleep messages to you. When I walked into your room last night, I just burst out laughing when I saw how you were lying.
I immediately went to get the camera and to call Daddy.
There you were, face down, with your long, thin legs in the air. I looked at Dad and said, "What does it take for this dude to just chill out and relax?"
When I came to post this pic today, I asked myself why I didn't ease your legs down. I have no clue how long you held them up in that position.
Even in your sleep you amuse me and of course, I wish you restful sleep and the best of dreams, always.
I love you,
Mama xoxo


Saturday, May 13, 2006

LETTER ABOUT BEING COOL

Darling Ross,

A conversation we had during the week:

“Mom, I need your help with something.”

Sure, Pling – what’s up?

“How do you become a member of the cool group at school?”

“Who is in the cool group?”

“Well only two people really. M and N.”

“What other groups are there?”

“Ummmm, the cool group, the middle group and the not so cool group.
I’m in the middle group.”

“What makes the people in the cool group cool, anyway? Who are the judges?”

“Actually, they just, well, they play football and baseball.
But Mom, you know, when I am in the cool group, I’m just not being myself.”

You know what Pling, that is the coolest thing you could ever have said. I am not sure if you will understand this right now – but one day you will. The only way to be cool is to be yourself. If you are being yourself, then that’s the coolest you can ever wish to be. You are without a doubt the coolest kid on the planet and that’s why most of the kids are in what you call the middle group - because that is actually the coolest – the group where everyone is just being themselves.

I love you,
Mama xoxo

Mr Cool off to nursery school, 1999.
Click on all pics for larger view.

LETTER ABOUT MOTHERS DAY

Darling Ross

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. You decided to give me the card you made for me at school yesterday and I love it. I know how much you love STAR WARS and to say you love me as much as that touches me deeply.

I thought this would be a great time to tell you how amazing it is to be your Mom. I am so very grateful that I have been given this opportunity and I truly can’t imagine my life without you.

When you were born, I had told the Doctor and Midwife who helped bring you into the world from inside of me, that as soon as you were out, they were to hand you straight to me. This they did, and Daddy tells the story of how he watched you and me look into each others eyes and bond, right there and then in that moment. He describes how everyone in the room stood perfectly still, it was quiet, and apparently there was just this vibe in the room that something profound was taking place. I remember looking into your eyes but was not aware of anyone or anything else around me.

The magic of that moment is how my relationship with you has continued to grow. Nothing brings me joy like you do. No-one makes me laugh like you do. No-one can take me from calm to seriously pissed in as short a time as you do. You know what buttons to press and when, but you never take advantage of this awareness. Your clarity of vision constantly reminds me to always take a second look at things because there is always a simpler way of doing it to the way I usually choose. I try emulating the passion and joy with which you embrace life and everything you do. Every time I watch you eat your 890457th serving of cucumber and ketchup as if it were the first, I want to be as easy to please as you are.

Every time you spontaneously extend an act of kindness and compassion in my direction because that’s what your heart tells you to do in the moment, I thank God for guiding me into being who I am for you to take example from.

And when you look me straight in the eye like you did yesterday, my Plinga, and say to me, “Mom, you AREN’T fat, you’ve just kind of got too much skin really because your muscles don’t grab it,” I want to climb inside your head so I can view the world through your eyes!

I truly love you more than any words can say and I thank you again and again for making it so easy, rewarding and joyous to be your Mom. It is my honor, Ross.

I love you,
Mama xoxox