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Filtering by Tag: Mother

Warning: Heavy Heart and Swollen Eye

LeAnn Stephenson



It is with a heavy heart and a swollen eye that I tell you that after almost 16 years of being a parent, I am now unemployed - at least for the next 3 weeks. Yesterday, we took our two children, Olivia and Noah, to camp. Empty-nest is a word that I thought I wouldn't use in a sentence for at least a few more years, but, there it is. I'm not mourning the passing of having to pick up wet towels, or shuttle this one here and that one there, or even having to wash an article of clothing that was worn for approximately 5 minutes and placed on the floor. What I am missing are their laughs, their stories, their faces, their interaction with each other, and just their presence! We really like our kids, as well as love them. The Hubbs and I often stand in awe of the fact that together we produced someone so kind, funny, smart, talented, and beautiful, not once but twice. We don't take any of the credit, they pretty much came from the factory that way - and I'm only slightly biased, of course!

We are pretty tragic creatures during this 3 weeks each summer. We sit and stare at each other and try to remember what we did before we had children. We usually both end up saying something to the effect of, "I got nothin' - you?" Generally, we just acquiesce to ordering in and and choosing a dvd worth every cent of $1.08 at The Redbox. Sometimes, if we are feeling especially crazy, we add in a little adult beverage intake into the plan.

This morning I awoke to a "gi-normous" stye in my right eye. I was a lovely sight, my eye is completely swollen shut - think Quasimoto, a bee sting victim, or Rocky Balboa after a fight. The dehydration from swilling down too many Shiner Bocks, the toxic puffy eye and the half eaten remnants of Chinese take-out, screams "Pity Party" and makes me the portrait of excess. This leaves me in need of several things; a shower, a salad, and a treadmill. And, as soon as I locate my equilibrium, a new eye ball, and my "Happy Place", I will seek out those things immediately!

Oh . . . .wait - I just took out the right side of my body running into the door jam. Must lie down first.

Mom's the Word

LeAnn Stephenson


A photo of my beautiful Mother in her 30s

One of my roles, as a suburban mother, is to deliver my children "here," "there," and then "here" again, because we forgot where "there" was. When I delivered my daughter and son obstetrically, I had counted on those being the last times I would have to be as anxious about getting my children safely to their desired destination (my loving arms in this instance). But, if my 15-year career as a mother has taught me anything, it is that that would not be the first time I would be sorely mistaken! And today, I'm fully aware that "Deliverance," is not just a movie title!

My darling Mother taught me, by example, that being a mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in the world, since the payment is pure love. Growing up in a single parent household for much of my life, I had an unusually unique perspective on this business of "mothering." My Mom is the type of person who upon seeing that there were only four pieces of fried chicken for five people, would promptly announce that she never did care much for poultry, just so there would be enough for her four children. My Mom is and was, all about making her kids feel safe and loved. The stresses of resolving the housing, clothing, and medical issues that arose on an already burdened teacher's salary, was her own private burden. That task was complete only when her babes were emotionally and physically fed, bathed, read-to, firmly snuggled and lovingly tucked into bed, and asleep!

Although I have never had to endure the hardships of being solely responsible for clothing, feeding, nurturing, and educating my children, I am SO my mother's daughter. At first glance you would never guess it! My Mother looks nothing like you might expect an Amazon High Priestess' Mom to look like. I'm 6'1" and my Mother hovers somewhere around 5'6" or 5'7"(at her tallest). When we pose together for a photograph, it looks much like I've invaded Middle Earth and have taken the Shire's matriarch hobbit hostage - she's intimately familiar with my arm pits and I with the cowlick she has at her crown. Yet, another place where we vastly differ, is in our culinary skills. My Mom is a repository for all things delicious and knows how to cook everything to perfection. I, on the other hand, get Christmas cards from all the take out joints within a 5-mile radius of our house and am the proud godmother to more than one of our pizza delivery guy's children. But my sarcastic sense of humor, now THAT, you can thank her for! My Mom can take any scenario and make it a worst-case in about five seconds flat (although most of her concerns typically do materialize). I, on the other hand, tend to be a little too trusting of the universe and get blind-sided by some unforeseen glitch in my plans.

She always has crossed the way-too-much-information-threshold, but, has graciously given me the privilege of returning the favor. That has resulted in my feeling at ease to let her know everything that I have done, said, was thinking of doing or saying, etc. I feel sure, however, that there have been times when she wished I were not so forthcoming with the intimate details of, let's say, an evening out with "Mr. Jack Daniels", and the Mexican food "brooch" that I affixed to her nightgown that promptly followed. (You've simply not lived until you have thrown up on your Mother!)

Even when I felt the need to drop the "F-bomb" throughout all of my speech in high school, my Mom was patient, and requested that I only use that word when I really meant it. Well, Mommy, you will be glad to know that I've grown, and matured and don't feel the need to use that particular expletive to tell you - I'm the luckiest "Mother-******" on the planet!

...And I really meant that!!!
Happy Mother's day Mommy, I love you all the molecules!