Sunday, July 25, 2010


Some of you may think this is mean, but it's not. Really. It's for her own safety so she doesn't roll herself down the stairs or tries to eat the little spiders I've been catching from time to time. Yes, we invested in a baby cage. It expands from 19 square feet to however large your living room is and how much of it you're willing to let your crawler take over...

My greatest teacher...

My greatest teacher with crazy peoples hair and two teef...

I'm a believer that babies are born, not for you to teach them the way of this world, but for them to teach you the lessons you've either long forgotten or live too far busy a life for. I've learned and achieved quite a bit of things I never would have thought to before my daughter. I am/was that person on the road, that if you cut me off on my bad day, I will floor it to get ahead of you to slam down on my brakes right to the last millisecond (before) you smack into the butt of my car. If you should hit me, well, most of the blame legally lands on you because YOU hit ME. Or on a good day, I'll flip you a bird instead just to make a point. Me no do that anymore. In fact, most of the time, I'm the right lane driver going at speed limit that everyone passes because really, in New York, a sign marking the speed limit is there for show. How quickly do I need to get to Babies R Us, ya know? I am/was that person that is on a checkout line rolling the eyes at people who have even just ONE more item than they're supposed to in the express checkout lane. Now? I just wait. I don't force myself to be patient. I'm just too busy playing with my daughter to care if the line is moving too slow. I also need to have toilet paper facing out so I fix everyone's toilet paper to face the same way. I need to have all frames on walls straight. Even if it isn't my wall and maybe the people who live there wanted that frame on its side. No, I have to fix it. If there are two doors on either side of a wall, my dresser needs to be in the middle. Not off to the right or left, smack perfectly evenly in the middle. I will push and pull and tug until it is where I want it to be. I can't stand rings on the table, desk or floor. Coasters/napkins anyone? I hate seeing hair on the floor so I am always staring down at the floor to pick them up as I walk from point A to point B. Now, between my husband, the baby who sheds like a german shepard and myself, it humanly is not possible to pick up every piece of hair and dust on every surface, but I do try. I have quirks. Many of them. BUT having a baby definitely brings out in you, a better you or so you try. There is so much to learn from such a small being. She teaches me every day that there's always something to laugh about, to have something to be grateful for, to have something to look forward to, to put aside that dirty bowl because the world is not going to end if I don't clean it right this minute, to do what feels good and right to you at the moment. When did you start worrying so much about what other people thought than what felt right to you? Am I the perfect person now because I'm a mother? HA! Far far from it, but I am definitely a better person today than I was before my daughter. Not just because of the things that have changed, but really because of all the things I strive to continuously change. You are so much more aware of your shortcomings and you start to see clearly the things you want/need to fix in you to become a better figure and example in her life. My husband's mother believes that if you are a practicing Catholic who goes to church weekly, are a nurse, and live every step of your life as she has lived hers, that all would be right in this world. This makes for any disagreement very dramatic or loud and with lots of tears on her end because she firmly believes that everyone should live the life she believes is right for you. My mother, on the other hand, can appear to be (very) aloof and disinterested because she's always believed that only you know what is best for you. As a child, I don't remember it being so much that way, but as I got older, she became more part of the background and this I had some trouble understanding because she wouldn't know certain things that I think she should have known about me or wouldn't be involved in things I wanted her involved in. What I've learned from both sides is that while I may not agree with every decision my daughter will make in her life, while I will try to guide her as to what is "best" or "good", I will never put her down for wanting something different and for wanting to learn that on her own terms. On the flip side, I want to allow her to see that I am/will be her greatest supporter. Not just from behind her, but from beside her. What works for one person doesn't always work for another. What life you chose to live may not be the life someone else chooses for themselves. You also want to know that a parent would be proud to see and share the life their son/daughter built. Don't misunderstand this as criticism of either parenting. They did what they felt was best for their children. My mother did what she could on her own to raise me and I will forever admire her strength and determination. My husband's mother also did what she felt were best for her sons when I'm sure times were rough between language and cultural differences. Between the life of our two families, I want to fall somewhere in the middle. Not because either was wrong or bad, but because I have a different view on how I wish to grow as a parent. I don't want to be the parent who tries to control every aspect of my kids' lives. At the same time, I don't want my kids ever having to wonder if I am their supporter. As for my little Squirmy, I would like for her to know that I am and will always be her #1 fan; with and without disagreements. She has taught me things I would never have learned on my own. What I did know? No two lives are exactly alike. Everyone's lives have stumbled across different paths, have come across different people, believing different things, learning different lessons, to mold you into you. What I didn't know? It can all come intertwined - the extremes, the in-betweens and the oh-so-same can come together and work (well) together. You don't have to be just like or even anything like the other person to be a friend, confidante, spouse, what have you. Of the lessons, the two biggest are: a) life really isn't all black and white. There are so, so many different colors that can create a shade that fits you and your world best. My husband spent most of our marriage trying to get me to see this, and it took having a whole other human that doesn't even know how to speak for me to reach this understanding and b) life is never according to plan no matter what you think it will be or think it should be. There needs flexibility to take it as it comes. And sometimes, it is not at all a bad thing for things to happen without plan. In fact, it can be the greatest thing of all.


  1. Val, that was such a beautifully written entry. I'm not gonna lie...made me a little teary...haha I definitely agree with everything you said, and now, I really want to be a mom hehe. It's interesting because the two lessons you learned are lessons that I learned on my trip this summer...

    I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but I'm really happy for really happy. And, I'm so proud of you. Leah is very lucky to have you as a mom.

    I miss you. I know I always say this, but I really do. It always makes me sad that we don't live in the same state. I hope that one day we will, and our families can grow together (IF I ever get married...haha).

    I love you very very much.

  2. You're a sap, Jen Jen ;) many kisses from NY to Romania!