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Happy Birthday

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Yesterday was my mother’s birthday.  And with all the craziness of the past couple of days (you know, what with the break-in and all), I failed to mention it when I dropped the monkeys off at her house yesterday morning.  Not exactly a stellar moment. I was well on my way to work when I remembered and gave her a quick call to send birthday greetings.  She was in the car, on her way back to her house after taking the Girl Child to school to then pick up Monkey #1 to then take him to school.

You see, that’s what she does. She ferries the monkeys for me on my days with them. Well, that’s just one of the things she does. She does ever so much more for me – for all the monkeys – and I am afraid I don’t let her know how much we all appreciate it.

Among the many things she does, she:

Is a chauffeur for the monkeys. She takes them to school.  She picks them up from school. She takes them to the doctor and to the orthodontist. She takes the Girl Child to dance three days a week. She puts miles and miles on her car every week – and never asks for gas money.

She is the homework manager.  She keeps track of missing assignments and project due dates and science fairs and…and…and…well, everything.

She is a teacher. When it was decided that the Middle Monkey had not transitioned well to middle school and perhaps needed to try on-line learning,  she has stepped out of her retirement and is serving as his learning coach. She spends all day cajoling an at times quite reticent (and quite loud about it) 12 year-old to complete his tasks. She is having to relearn high school algebra (yes, he was placed in a math class 2 grade levels above his own), just so she can assist him. I know it hasn’t been fun, but she’s doing it – for him. Because he needed it.

She is my errand runner. Dropping off prescriptions, dropping off the dry cleaning, picking up things I might need from the store but forgot to get.

She is a Dance Nonna. She takes care of all things dance related for the Girl Child. Other than ferrying her to class, she makes sure there are tights and shoes and costumes and rehearsal schedules.

She’ll bring us dinners and does the laundry and sometimes even surprise me by cleaning my kitchen.

Why, you might ask, does she do these things?  Well, because she wants to help and to feel the she matters.

And, yes. I repaid her by forgetting her birthday.


So, my sweet Momma. Our sweet Nonna Monkey. Thank you for all you do for me. Thank you for all you do for us. I know there are times when I don’t express how very much I appreciate you. I know there are times when I seem annoyed. But, I could not manage my life or the lives of The Monkeys without you. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Happy birthday.

I love you.

Try to See it My Way…

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Daily Prompt: Perspective.

Write about the last disagreement you had with a friend or family member — from their perspective.

“Mom.  You just have to accept that I am their mother and while I appreciate everything you do for us, you HAVE to learn the boundaries!  You had no right to interfere!”

I cannot believe what daughter just said to me.  My child.  It doesn’t matter how old she is, or that she has children of her own, how could she say such things to me?  I am hurt beyond belief.  She and her children are all that I have up here.  I can’t abide with the thought that she might be so angry that she will distance herself and the children from me.

I do not understand why she thinks I have crossed a line.  She is so very busy.  I know she has been under a lot of stress.  I only contacted Monkey #1’s teacher about his grade because I know she doesn’t have the time to do it herself.  I could find out the answers and then help him improve his grade.  She doesn’t have the time to!  Besides, she has been feeling so down in the past few months, I don’t want to add any more to her plate.  And I didn’t tell her in advance because I didn’t want to burden her.  I was just trying to get it done.  I was just trying to help.

Monkey #1 and I have always had a close bond.  After all, he is “special.”  He is my first grandchild!  He needs guidance and protection because of his Asperger’s.  And it’s not that I don’t think she isn’t a good mother.  She IS!  But, I have so much experience dealing with the Special Ed process.  I can HELP her.

If only she’d understand.  I didn’t mean to hurt her.  I didn’t mean to interfere.  I didn’t mean to make her feel like a bad mother.

I was only trying to help.

If only she’d let me.