So here we are- the first Monday in December. After four days with Dave not working, I am saddened to be back to my usual routine (but also a bit relieved)- and looking forward to finishing our holiday decorations, completing craft projects and patiently awaiting the first real snow fall. BUT, before I jump into December, I want to give thanks for two very important things in my life that have defined the woman I am today (a little diversion from my usual MM posts, but bear with me).
I am thankful to be here. I am thankful that my Mom and Dad worked so hard for me- that they pushed to give me the best education and that my Mom battled my years of depression by my side. That all the nights I was up, numbed from the inside out and unable to sleep, she was up too. Feeling every bit of pain I was trying to get out. I am thankful that my Mom is perfect. She’s not God (at least I don’t think so), but she is perfect for me, and here is my proof that she’s done at least a dozen things right in life (in no particular order):
1. Addie, Mark and “Maverick”
2. Jessica (Worth) Schmidt
3. Nick Worth
4. Geoff Worth
6. Jonathan Worth
7. Mark Worth
8. Alfred LaManna
9. Her own private practice
10. My childhood home
11. Her children have men and women who love them dearly.
12. We can all live on our own even if we choose not to (yep… you made it, Ma!)
Of course she’s done countless things that have kept us safe, happy, fed (and over-fed), well dressed, teeming with smiles, boiled over with tears, on the best teams, at the schools we chose, in the cars we wanted… but more than that- none of us (us being anyone in her life) has ever been thought of behind herself. She’s not the Savior, or a Saint, but she selfless, incredibly loving and one of the most determined women in the world. My favorite Mom Facts:
* I honestly cannot remember one time that my mother complained about her body- and she still doesn’t- she is my best role model for how to love myself. I can remember seeing her c-section scar as a child. She would say, “isn’t it beautiful?”
* She’s incredibly strong, emotionally and physically- having a VBAC birth with me in ’84 being one of the most physically powerful things a woman can do! Sadly, she’s also had to be the rock for our family. Holding us all together after my brother’s passing, her own father and my Dad’s deaths and a few other Earth shattering experiences and losses. While we all needed the hugs she was giving, I still wonder who was holding her when she needed it the most.
* She had children in three different decades!
* She asked my Dad out first… they met, engaged, and married in less than 6 months, fought for their marriage and survived a lot together- always together. I know that a marriage is work- some of the best, most rewarding and painful and taxing work two people can endure. I also know it is worth every minute, from the happiest to the saddest of tears.
* She ran for office as a democrat in a republican community and had a lot of support. She also never said a negative word about anyone, and always had a smile. She still does, as she plans and participates in community clean ups and fights to preserve historic parts of Upper Moreland (PA).
* She gets involved in what her kids hold dear to them and makes it dear to herself- even in our adulthood. She gave Addie her first year of LPA membership before we were even home from the hospital after her diagnosis. She’s learned to Skype to keep us all as close as she can. She leads an AL-ANON group and is always there for members who need support.
* She never forgets to forgive.
Another thing I’m thankful for is my dear husband, Dave. Every now and then I see him grow as a parent right before my eyes. He comes out of his shell and transforms into Super Man, reminding my subconscious why I knew he was the one for me. This past weekend was a true reminder.
Before I jump into this, Dave is like many fathers out there: He was excited for his first child, doing all he could to ready the house, make sure I had all the strange foods I wanted and held me up during my 36 hours of labor. He didn’t paint my toenails or offer me some fancy “you did it!” jewelry, but he was the best gift of all: There. After Addie was born he did everything he could do, helping me prep myself for late feedings, cleaned my pump and all the dishes, and he took over diaper duty (no pun intended) on more than one night… but he wasn’t always sure how to interact with her and that made me nervous. Would they ever have a relationship?
Soon, they got close- Addie learned “dada” first and would often ask for him. He began to be the only one to get up in the middle of the night and they started a breakfast routine of just the two of them every day.
Then Friday night happened. At around 3am there was a cry, loud and clear. “WAAAHWAAAAH!” she belted from her half-slumber. Dave sprinted from his sleep down the stairs, filling her water bottle and rushing it back to her. I opened one eye and glanced at the monitor. I could hear her chugging as Dave cooed to her and tucked a wild curl behind her ear. Out of breath, she handed the bottle back to him, fell back onto her pillow and popped up to her feet almost as fast. “Up!” she demanded. Feeling the heat coming from her face, he lifted her from her bed and carried her into our bedroom.
The next few hours were a blur. She was up and down with a fever of 100.7 and her bulging gums the culprit. More requests of water and rolls all over the bed kept him up for hours, but he never once asked for help and encouraged me to get some sleep. At one point, when I felt her stop moving, I myself rolled over to see her diaper clad body hugged closely into Dave. Her nest of hair battling the edges of my pillow as they shared one of his, both of them more peaceful than sleeping angels.
At 9:30am I woke up to the smell of coffee, lively chatter about nanas and mamas and dadas and puppies and a few “no-s”. A breakfast of fresh cranberries and white chocolate pancakes, in the shape of Christmas trees and snowflakes, topped with powdered sugar, with bacon and two eggs was delivered to me in bed by a happy lady and smiling daddy.
Oddly, this isn’t the first night of teething that Dave has battled himself. Most nights she does awake, he takes over, going into Dad Survival Mode and making sure she is dry, watered and fed before starting the coos, rocking and often needed snuggles. He takes pride in providing for us, but he also loves taking care of us, nurturing his ladies with cuddles (Addie) and coffee (me) and delicious breakfast for all. I may not get fancy jewels or trips to Paradise, but I get adored and cared for and thought of at all hours of the day (even ones where thought seems impossible). And for that, I am thankful.
Of course Addie has made me a Mom and my in-laws have given me support and courage, my friends have been the rocks I’ve so needed in life to anchor me to something better than myself and my family the ties that bind who I am as a person… but I am newly defined since marriage. I am ever-changing and have a support system that does not abandon me with time and difference, but learns and grows with me. This first year of Marvelous Mondays is coming to a close and I embark on a new year, and new challenges with all the promise and hope of a child wishing on a star and the determination of a champion.
I’m thankful you stuck with me through all of these Mondays, Reader. Thank you.