Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mama Strong

 There are a lot of organizations, communities, and people claiming the title of "strong"...Live Strong, Army Strong, etc...but I'm proud to belong to the "MamaStrong" club.  Nothing has made me grow more, open more, live more, see more, kick my butt more, humble more, or love more than becoming a mama.  These two gifts that made me a mama are all that I needed to celebrate this Mother's Day.  Granted I was jolted awake by 612am, then puked on, stinky pooped on, and had a train track thrown at my head by 730 (promptly followed by a time out complete with wild animal noises serenading me from Xavi's room).  Oh and did I mention the dog has fleas?  Like I said.  MamaStrong.
 Today though I also think of my mama, my beautiful, tough, strong, fighting, never give up mama, who taught me to never give up, to always give it all, and to laugh like a lady (Tee hee).  Thank you mom.  I love you and miss you every day...every day.

I think of my amazing Gramma Mimi...who was strong enough to be gramma and grampa times two for me and my sisters.  Strong, body, soul, and mind, she epitomizes what I hope to be like when I'm a senior citizen.  Gardening, going to the Y for "silver streakers" (i mean sneakers), road tripping, camping, and loving her grand kids and her great grandkids...I love you Gramma to the moon and back.  Wish I could drop in for some cookies, yummy soup, and a hug.  Nico sure loved you in March and Xavi can pick "mimi" out of any line up.

Gramma Mimi and her great grand kids...Xavi Xavi...always one right?

Two of your grandkids:  Both of us were your roommates for a time before becoming mamas...fond memories

 I think of my beautiful, incomparable sisters.  Strong, committed, loving, funny, and the best friends I could ever hope for.  Rachel balances working as a teacher, just a few hobbies, an active church life, OH and three kids.  She is an example of a quiet strength that runs very deep. She gets my stupid jokes and makes me laugh.  If only I could put Minnesota next to an ocean...and lose the 8 month winter...we could be neighbors AND coffee buddies!  I love you!

 Lori...what can I say?  We've been close forever...fighting like the dickens then laughing til we pee.  There is no one like you and you will be an amazing mama. I can't wait to go on this journey with you. You have the strength already, you're already rocking the maternity power suit and heels...MamaStrong welcomes you.  I love you.

 My big sister, Julie.  Strong as in jumping down mountains, on boards and bikes, without pause or fear.  Strong as in taking on motherhood like no one has before...I mean Elodie already skis AND bikes better than I can. Julie's another from the never give up, never give in club...and when she is on your team, breath deep and relax...she's got your back.  Love you Jewels!

My friend and substitute Mama, Debbie.  Our angel whom God sent just when we needed both a friend and family to help.  Beautiful inside and out...Strong and kind, loving and firm...she has the strength that gives, that is flexible, that loves me and my boys like only family can.  We love you and adore you. 

Mama Mary (Gramma Nina) who gave birth to my husband and my children's father.  Thank you for loving him and for being the kind, patient, and loving gramma that you are. We love you and miss you and hope it isn't long until we see you again.  Happy Mother's day!

Mama Doctor Jen who encouraged us to have the birth experience we both wanted and who has since then, been a rock and backbone (pun intended) that I rely on for my family's healthcare..and my sanity.  

Mama midwife Karen who guided us during both births.  She gave us the gift of gentle strength and wisdom that made our memories, and births amazing.  It wouldn't have been the same without her and I am eternally grateful to her for being there.

Mama doula/helper Susan who came almost whenever I needed her in the early days after Nico's birth and when Mario was gone.  I didn't realize how much I'd come to depend on her being there until she had to get a "real" job. She'd back me up when I doubted myself and she held me up when I thought I just couldn't do it.

And my beautiful friend, Jackie...strong mama of four who's been through more than her share of storms and dark days.  She's shown me what beauty looks like...what true strength is made of...and continues to be a living example of grace, love, and authenticity.  
"I didn't lose my mind...I put it some place safe!"  

 Today I celebrate my boys and the mamas that have made my life different because of who they are.  There are many more and maybe even a few that I forgot to mention here...but
 Mama strong doesn't mean you have all the answers...
 Or even get it right half the time (even if you aren't sleep deprived).
 MamaStrong is being in the arena and never giving up, never giving in...
 MamaStrong is giving all you have in every moment, every day...
Only to wake up and do it all over again the next.
And most of the times, we do it without cards, flowers, or fanfare.  So on the special day like today a little appreciation goes a long way...but for me, I'm happy to have the blessings of two boys who love their mama, a husband who supports me even when I'm crazy, and a stinky little dog named Diego...who i practiced on for many years.  Happy Mama's day to all the mamas!  MamaStrong.


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