Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ten Years In the Game


Aiden turned ten the other day and my mind is blown at the fact that I actually have a ten-year-old. That I've actually been responsible for the growth and development and well-being of another person for ten whole years. That I've actually survived -- and thrived -- at this thing called Motherhood.

Whew!




That kid.

He makes me laugh, smile, think critically, contemplate, cry, go back to the drawing board, think some more, parent the hell out of him, and repeat.

Aiden and I... we've been through some things together. Even though I've been raising him, he's seen me grow up and glow up. He's seen me through many stages and phases. He's seen me through ups and downs, highs and lows. He's seen me fail over and over again, buckle down, grind through, and crawl towards success.

Aiden knows what it's like to watch his mother grind.
Apple picking in NJ 
Disney World
He knows what it's like to wake up at 5am and get dropped off at the babysitter's house because mommy's gotta get to work. Then fall back asleep for an hour or two and get dropped off at school at 8:30am by the babysitter, not your mom. Then get picked up from school by the babysitter and not see your mommy until well into the evening.

Because we've been there.

He knows what it's like to nap under the desk in my office because, even though he was tired from waking up at 5am, we couldn't go home until the work got done.

Because we've been there.



Modeling Uggs at Kids Fashion Week aka PetiteParade

Ballet-ing it up!
Columbia University, my alma mater

He knows what it's like to be displaced and still have to wake up the next morning at 5am to get mommy to work on time and himself to school on time. Because momma don't play that.

And yes... we've been there too.

He's seen me go from a stressed and stretched-too-thin graduate student to a stressed and stretched-too-thin single mom to a broke recent grad to a busy employee. He's seen me figure out how to make it all work in order to become the Vice Principal that I am today.

He's been right in the thick of things when we were a family of three, then a family of two, then a family of three again, and now a family of four. (No, I'm not pregnant -- yes, I'm including HEB in our little family.)

He's seen me struggle financially and borrow from Peter to pay Paul and make a dollar out of fifteen cents. But he's also seen me sacrifice and save and pay for some pretty epic adventures and vacations. From the beaches on the Jersey Shore to museums in Philly to ice skating and sight-seeing in Chi-Town to Puerto Rico to Costa Rica to cruising all over the Caribbean... we've had a crap load of fun. Together.

Philly

NYC

Chicago

Costa Rica
Jersey Shore



Puerto Rico
He's seen me learn -- the hard way -- that I've gotta take care of myself first. Especially if I'm gonna be the kick-ass mom that he deserves.

Speaking of kick-ass, he's seen me advocate for him and cheer him on and fight like hell to get him what he needs to be successful. He's seen me be thoughtful in the parenting game and get him what he needs -- be it counseling, a psychiatric evaluation, participation in sports, or supervised visits with his other parent. One thing Aiden knows for sure is that I will never not fight like hell for him.

Because we've been there.

And I'll always find more fight inside of me when it comes to that little boy.





He's seen me lose my cool and get it back again. He's seen me lose my way, get stuck, get unstuck, and try to find my way back to myself again. Another again.

And yet, raising him has taught me that I don't have to be defined by my worst decisions. I can learn and grow and move forward. Gracefully. I can bow out of toxic situations and toxic relationships. Safely. And gracefully. I can show up for myself and put on my oxygen mask first.. before taking care of him.




Ten years.

Of ups and downs and losses and lessons learned.






Ten years.

We made it. We're making it.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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