The Clean Spot

Recently, my daughter told me something that I could have taken the wrong way. She said something to the affect of, “I’m not sure you taught me good things growing up.” Here is her example.

While she was growing up, I didn’t want to get upset over a spill, or if she dropped something on the floor, and it made a mess. I enjoyed showing her the proper way to clean up the mess. Life can get messy, and it was my job to show her what to do if it did.

I’m her Mama, not her lifetime repair woman.

To make light of the situation, I would tell her, “After you clean up that mess, it will be the cleanest spot in the house!”, and that became our motto.

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She was at a friends house helping them do laundry.

She spilled some laundry detergent on the carpet.

The detergent was blue, and the carpet was white.

She said as she was down on her hands and knees, scrubbing the carpet, she was shaking her head and laughing at my voice in her head! She said out loud, “This is going to be one heck of a clean spot!”

She had heard those words many times before.

We were newly on our own, and standing in the check out line of a grocery store. The check out line was always a stressful moment because she was hoping I had enough money to pay for the purchases. What she didn’t know was, I had already tallied them up in my head to avoid embarrassment.

She wanted to be helpful, and insisted on carrying the milk. She looked so small, holding that gallon of milk. It was gathering condensation being out of the cooler, and was slippery. She was trying to hold onto it, but it didn’t take long for it to slip from her hands, and go crashing to the floor.

She was sure everyone in the store was looking.

The gallon of spilled milk looked more like a lake.

The cashier sympathized, and called for a clean up.

I placed my arm around my daughter’s shoulders and guided her mortified body to the exit saying, “That’s gonna be one heck of a clean spot.”

Get Disturbed

It’s refreshing to look back over your life and see how far you’ve come. My daughter will be 21 in August, but when we started this adventure, she was 13. I didn’t know what our new life looked like, but I did know, there had to better.

It was one of those agonizing moments of, Which will be worse? Staying where we are, or leaving?

The first part of making a new life for yourself is making a decision to do so. Once you decide, you can act.

Are you disturbed with your life?

I was, but then I became complacent. There was the proverbial list of excuses for staying. Sometimes it’s easier to stay put, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy my darling. I had to let it disturb again. I had to let it bother me to the point of leaving.

Disturbed is not angry. Disturbed feels like a steady burden of unrest.

Is it time for a change? Get disturbed.

Believe in Yourself

I strive to be more like my daughter.

She’s been telling me, “You’re my hero”, since the age of five. Today, I still want to be that, but I watch her too, and she’s becoming mine.

Doing something new, especially learning a new skill, seems scary at first. I believe it’s important for our children, and adult children to see us continually bettering ourselves.

We expect them to believe in their abilities, but what about us? After we pass a certain age, do we stop believing in ourselves?

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No, my darling. We must continue to try new things, and keep an open mind. I’ve always told my daughter, “You won’t know unless you try.” Now, she says those words to me.

The only time we fail, is if we don’t even try.

It’s Just Beginning

I put clean sheets on my bed this morning, but not my daughter’s. It’s the little things that reveal our lives are separating. We raise them to be independent, but frown when they’re independent with Momma. Today, I smiled.

I’m happy my daughter is 20 years old.

My ‘raising her’ days are over, but she’s still watching. She watches how I live my life and listens to the words I say. I haven’t stopped striving to be the hero she saw at age five, but now I get to be both our heroes. Where some Mother’s feel their life is over once the kiddo’s are grown, I feel my life is just beginning.

Granted, it’s the second half of life. I’m 55 years old and single, but I’m happy. This new year/decade I’ll discover so many thing about myself, including who I want to be.

The possibilities are endless.

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I encourage you to live your life.

Just because they’re grown and gone doesn’t mean life stands still. No my darling, for Momma’s of adult children, it’s just beginning.

The Christmas Tree

Being a single Mom at Christmas has a little more pressure to it. There’s not a lot of gifts under the tree. The way I see it is, everyday of our life together is a gift.

There’s one thing that I’ve always done for Christmas. If you’re a single Mom, choose one thing and do it well.

Ours is a fresh-cut Christmas tree.

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This is important to my daughter and it’s become one of my favorite parts of the season. We pick it out together every year.

I cover it in lights and she’s in charge of hanging the ornaments. Our first Christmas tree together after leaving my marriage consisted of a large container of balls from a hardware store. The tree had lights and balls, but fast forward five years to today and it’s a reflection of our life together.

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She flocked it herself.

Over the years I began buying ornaments after Christmas at half price. Any little thing that resembled our life that year. You can look at our tree this year and it tells our story.

For us, it’s not about what’s under the tree. Our most treasured memory this time of year is the Christmas tree.

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Teach Them Kindness

My daughter’s Jeep got hit, but it can take it.

She was pulling into a parking lot with a car in front of us. There was plenty of parking, but the car in front decided to park at the same time as my daughter. They pulled into a space side by side. The stranger’s passenger door flung open before either car was fully parked.

It was a child in a hurry to exit.

Her car door hit my daughter’s Jeep.

My daughter was angry, but not because the Jeep was hit. It was because the little girl was in a hurry. This could have been more than a scratch.

The little girls face showed remorse and terror as soon as it happened, but the mother was a different story all together. She was prepared with anger, but I diffused with kindness.

“I didn’t even see you”, she said.

Were we hidden from view?

She had a car full of girls. Life is distracting.

It was an accident, but “I’m sorry”, was left unsaid.

This is what hurt my daughter the most.

The little girl thought we’d be mad, not sad.

The Jeep was made for this, but not the hearts.

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What You Love

When my daughter was 5 years old, our home looked picture perfect. A designer helped furnish and decorate the main rooms of the house and wanted to invite her photographer in. She thought they would win a contest.

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Our living room.

 

It was the saddest season of my life.

The room was used when we entertained guests and every item was a financial investment. You couldn’t sit and relax because there was no love in that room even when it was full of people.

Looks can be deceiving. In 2013, I left my 25 year marriage, and took my daughter with me. It was in that house my marriage hit it’s breaking point. My husband lost his job, we eventually lost that house and a few years later, each other.

We still have a few of the furnishings from that room and my daughter and I enjoy them. We’ve moved every couple of years and each home was a little bit nicer and life became more beautiful. We gave up stuff with every move, but we never gave up on each other.

Today we would be called minimalists, but I see it as only keep what you love.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Make it Beautiful

When I walked into the house, she rapidly announced, “I made a mess.” I just looked at her, smiled, and followed her gaze to the hallway floor. It was covered in chalk.

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Photo by Viktoria Goda on Pexels.com

We have a large adhesive chalkboard on the pantry door. We use it to write down our schedules for one another. My daughter reached up to retrieve the box of chalk from above the pantry door, and it fell out of her hand crashing onto the tile floor. Tile is obviously more solid than chalk.

It was an accident. Pause Mama’s. Place a hold on your immediate reaction and wait for a response.

Some of our most magical moments began as a minor disaster.

Stepping over the mess, I walked into the bathroom. After washing my hands, I noticed one piece of chalk laying right inside the doorway. Squatting down, I grabbed the chalk, and wrote a note on the tile.

My daughter loved it and followed suit.

She wrote a note on the tile in the hallway.

My daughter could have cleaned up the mess before I returned home. She didn’t because she knew we would make something fun out of it, and was waiting to see my thoughts. When she moves on with her life, and has children of her own, I imagine her home with tile floors.

She will probably skip the chalk altogether, and allow her children to finger-paint the tile floor. She will teach them that an accident is really a beautiful mess in disguise.

When life gets messy. Make it beautiful.