Category Archives: Thoughts

Detached Love

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At least once a day, but usually many times, while watching Isaiah, I find my breath taken away. (Queue the eye rolls, I know I know! Keep reading…)

“Did I really create this little piece of perfection?”

I can’t believe that he really came from me. That this isn’t just a dream. Or a babysitting gig. I feel surreally removed from him, yet inexplicably tied to every inch of him.

It’s the strangest thing. I love him deeper than I ever knew existed within me, yet I’ll feel so detached at these moments.

I didn’t grow up having that yearning to be a Mama, so is this why I feel this way? Do others know what I’m talking about? Have they felt this too?

It’s the seemingly contradictory feelings – the deepest love, and detachment – occupying the same space that confuses me. In those moments, I’m not only feeling the feelings, but also contemplating what they mean. Especially the detachment.

What does that say about me?

Does it mean that I’m a bad Mama? Well no, because here I am smiling in awe with such joy. Surely I wouldn’t be feeling this intense pressure in my heart if I were a bad Mama.

Does it mean that I’m not connected? Absolutely not, I feel every feeling and emotion he shows, from the joy to the hurt to the heartache.

Maybe it means I need a break.

That’s the only possibility I’ve come up with. That I’m just SO filled up with love, and joy, and stress, and frustration and sharing every second of my day with him, that my body simply can’t process even one more emotion. Much less the insanely intense ones I feel at these moments.

Have any of y’all experienced this?

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15 Months

15 months.

My little man is 15 months old, and I have to say, this has been my favorite age thus far! It hasn’t been the easiest of transitions into parenthood, and for a long time I just didn’t enjoy anything about it. These past couple weeks however, I’m loving watching Isaiah grow.

While he seriously keeps me on my toes, I love observing him climb something new. The joy on his face as he reaches the top, then claps his hands for himself, is infectious. I’m a big proponent of letting him explore his surroundings and his body’s capabilities while I look on, as I can then be there to help guide him to the safe way of getting down. This way when he bolts behind my back to scale the wooden chest (as all kids will do!) I don’t have to panic, because I can trust that he knows how to get down on his own. (This doesn’t mean that he has free reign to climb anything and everything in sight, boundaries are a necessity. It does mean that I can move to enforcing those boundaries with a calm demeanor, rather than panicking that he’s about to fall because he hasn’t had experience with it yet.)

He has also started to test boundaries, which while frustrating many times, I can’t help but also enjoy it. He gets the MOST adorable look on his face as he’s inching closer to testing, with his eyes trained on me for a reaction. I do my best to stay calm and not react while also making the boundaries clear, but it’s definitely a work in progress. My newest challenge is to figure out how to discipline without punishing, and do so in an age appropriate way.

Emotions. He is working on figuring out how to use emotions to get what he wants. At times (much of the time) this looks like whining and screaming and crying. Other times though, this looks like hugs and snuggling and the sweetest little man ever. The other day it was diaper change time. Diaper changing can be a huge struggle, and for a while there, you’d have thought the poor kid was being hurt with how fiercely he screamed. We’re working through it though, and the other day, in an attempt to sway me, when I asked him to sit down so I could change his diaper, he instead wrapped his arms around me and snuggled his head down into one of the sweetest hugs ever. I mean seriously!?! Talk about hard to resist! He did this about 3 times in a row, and when he realized it wasn’t working, started crying.

I’m sure as time goes on “my favorite age” will change, so for now, I’m doing my best to enjoy where we are.

If you have children, what has been your favorite age thus far?

Meandering Backwards

Do y’all ever look back on a time in your life, where you felt like that was the closest you’ve felt to yourself? You were exactly where you not only were meant to be, but you were happy, feeling your best, enjoying life to it’s fullest?

For me that was when I moved to Orlando, FL just after college for an internship at Disney World.

You know how we all have that one relationship, where when looking back, we just hang our head, because there are just no words? I was in that at the time, nearing the end of college, having no idea what my next step was going to be. We were “engaged” (yes, parenthesis are beyond appropriate) and I was looking not only for what I was going to do next, but also a way out.

I randomly heard that recruiters for the Walt Disney Co. were going to be at my school, and they had a photography internship available they were going to be talking about. Out of curiosity I walked my happy ass there to hear what they had to say. I had a few free hours so why not?

They sold me. So I applied, went through a couple phone interviews, then come graduation I said PEACE! Off to Florida I went!

I was nervous, but excited. I knew not a soul, would be hundreds of miles from family and friends, but it was exactly what I needed.

I shared an apartment with 3 other girls, in a complex full of other Disney Interns for 7 months.

During that time I almost died from heat stroke (ok, slight exaggeration, but taking a Midwest native and planting her outside for 8 hours in the Central Florida June sun? Holy Hell. It was a brutal adjustment.), learned how to country line dance, explored on my own, wore a bikini for the first time in my life, made some great friends, learned what I was and wasn’t made of, and met my future husband.

Some of my favorite memories from that time are both social and professional. Care to take a momentary trip with me?

At the time, Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney was still a thing. There were dance “clubs” and free cast-member nights. Some of my friends went weekly, and I’d tag along at times. Pleasure Island no longer exists, and Downtown Disney is now Disney Springs, and I’m so glad I was able to experience it as it had been.

The internship I had was for a new department at Disney World, and being at the *almost* beginning was such a great learning experience. I had the opportunity to be on multiple opening teams, watching how a business changes as it grows and transitions, learning what worked and what didn’t. One of my biggest takeaways was Customer Service. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of jobs I’ve had, but the training I got was invaluable, and changed how I view the customer relationship. It’s because of the training I had and my time with Disney that I love providing great customer service!

Thursday and Saturday nights at Cowboys, “Orlando’s best Country Nightclub.” Oh-ma-lord, the times had there! My roommate first introduced me, as I’d never been line dancing or to a Country bar before, and I’m SO glad she did! The dancing blew me away. I had been expecting boring old people dancing to lame country music, but not only was it full of people my age, they danced to both country AND hip hop at times! Then there were the contest nights, where they had the girls in bikinis, and the guys in boxers. Those were fun nights, haha!

Of course, there were the trips to the beach. Both Cocoa Beach and Clearwater Beach were roughly the same distance from where I lived, so I’d go to both. Clearwater Beach though, on the Gulf side, was much more enjoyable to me. I remember one time heading there with friends, I’m not sure why but we ended up in Ybor City driving around. On this one street there were a lot of busted looking homes real close together, and all of a sudden we come upon a house with a bunch of chickens! I was shocked as shit, as that was definitely not something I would have expected.

Then there were the nights when I didn’t feel like going out, but I didn’t want to just sit around in my room. I’d head upstairs to the neighbor guys’ place. They were my go-to for a fun chill night.

Orlando is best known for Disney, but one of my most favorite places ever is in the often overlooked downtown Orlando: Lake Eola. I spent more evenings than I can count walking around that lake. Watching the colors change on the fountain, the ducks and swans swimming with their babies. As the evening turned darker and darker, jumping as the huge outlines of Palmetto Bugs dashed across the pavement at my feet. They always made me jump like a damn girl!

Of course, meeting Oscar, who would become my husband, takes the cake! The days spent working with him and others in that area of the park were SO much fun, it almost didn’t feel like work at times.

I write all this because I’m finding that past experiences tend to get lost these days in my mind. I’m fairly focused on the present and the future, and while it’s not a good thing to get stuck in the past, I find I really enjoy letting my mind wander to the past. It gives me a chance to relive fun events, experience some of the feelings again that I’d had, reflect on what I did successfully, what I didn’t do so well, and helps influence how I move forward. Sometimes I find there are things I’ve done that are still weighing on me that I need to rectify. Sometimes I’m reminded of an activity that made me feel alive.

Many times it reminds me of how quickly time is passing, and how important it is to enjoy the present.

Every time it reminds me of people who will always leave an imprint on my heart, who I could never forget, and were such an important part of my life.