Let me introduce myself: I am the mother of three boys ages 17, 15 and 11 and the wife of the love of my life for 18 years. Ten years ago I had a blog that was named “Planet Boy” that I faithfully posted to several times a week for over two years. One morning as I logged in I realized that the blog host I used – disappeared. It was simply gone. Done. Defunct. All of my posts had disappeared with it. I lost two years of my stories, my words and a lot of work.
I tried to resurrect Planet Boy once more a few years later, but I was still disenheartened. I didn’t make a go of it.
Confessions of a Daughterless Mother has been a title roaming around my mind for more than a decade. I remember standing in the shower with my then five and three year old boys clamoring for juice, goldfish, my presence and I took a big deep breath and tipped my head under the water putting my hands on my swollen, pregnant belly that held my third and last baby boy. The words floated up from my heart and out of my mouth … Confessions of a Daughterless Mother. I should write a book.
Fast forward past Planet Boy, 20 broken bones (that number isn’t rounded up – it’s honest to goodness 20 broken bones – well minus a few broken ribs and fingers we didn’t count), three ambulance rides, five surgeries, three concussions, one dislocated hip, one dislocated elbow, 15 stitches, two chipped teeth, one root canal, three wisdom teeth extractions, four rounds of braces, three dogs, 17 bunnies (do not believe anyone who says they are positive that you have two female bunnies), 4 cows, two ducks, two turtles, three trampolines, two World Series appearances, two National lacrosse tournaments (all with one unwavering, awesome husband) later and I am again hearing the words “Confessions of a Daughterless Mother” from my lips. My boys are older, not as physically needy, more mentally challenging. My hands are more free to type, my mind more in need of words finding paper.
I just completed another decade long project (are you sensing a trend here?) that was also a detractor from both Planet Boy and CDM. I just self published my book “Love, Red” – a collection of my grandmother’s letters from WWII that she sent home from England and France as she worked as an American Red Cross worker. During the nearly three years she spent overseas my grandmother lost her college sweetheart and fiancee to the Nazis, and then met and fell in love with my grandfather. My gram never shared much about the time she spent overseas, The Letters were only given to me as she lay on her death bed in 2002. “Love, Red” is both her letters and my thoughts on learning who my grandmother was as a young woman – before life, love and tragedy made her the woman I knew. This book took my heart and soul to write, it was an effort of more than research and words, it was a love letter written to my mother from me – and her mom. It has been an emotional ride, so very close to my heart. Completing this journey has been like putting the last puzzle piece in a 10,000 piece puzzle, only to go searching for a new box, a new picture, a new puzzle to put together. Confessions of a Daughterless Mother is that new puzzle.
As I enter into the pre-college, high school and finish my middle school years (yes, it feels like I am doing it all over again) I find I have a different parenting voice than I did when my boys were little. When they were little my thoughts centered around doing it right, sharing with other mothers, making no mistakes, feeding them organic food (well before it was easy or cool to do so) to a place where I am more introspective. Hoping I have given them the guts to persevere. Hoping I have given them the hope to persevere when they fall down. Hoping I have taught them to be kind, to be engaged, to be patient and faithful. Hoping I did it right. Every time I look at Cooper, my 17 year old, I see a countdown clock hanging above his head. My mind runs through “Next year at this time he will be deciding where to go to college” “Next year at this time I will be planning his open house” “Next year I will be so close to losing my baby”. I have to make a strong effort to stop, breathe, and live today with him here, tucked in his bed at night, safe and sound. I haven’t lost him yet.
I read an article the other day about how hard it is to share on social media when your kids get older – they don’t want you posting pictures, they dont’ want you sharing their details. Could you really live with yourself if you posted “My kid just forgot about a social studies test today … AGAIN!” No, I can’t. I had actually begun to think that the time for CDM was past – I had missed the boat. Until I realized that I can write about me, parenting them. My blog doesn’t have to be a forum to spill their secrets or undo the trust I have earned from their teenage (and pre-teen) hearts. Much as I did with “Love, Red” where I wrote about how learning about my Gram’s life before she was even a mother let alone a grandmother challenged me and made me a better person. Likewise, I could fill pages and pages of the lessons these four (yep, including my husband there are four!) crazy, wild, funny, smart, irritating, annoying, loving, patient, aggressive, competitive beings have taught me.
So, it’s taken me a decade to come full circle, but I do believe timing is everything and I believe that the time is right for Confessions of a Daughterless Mother to be born. Thank you to my writing partner for encouraging, pushing and then insisting all in one sentence that I do this. It feels like coming home.
If you are interested in “Love, Red” you can purchase a copy at the following link:
See you soon,