Mothers Over 50

Adoption’s Teachable Moment #27

Melanie's baby's photo

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know that my family is a transracial adoptive family. My husband and I brought our son home with us from Ethiopia nearly 5 years ago when he was a little over a year old.

Since bringing him home, when we are with The Littlest E and sometimes without him, we’ve experienced those awkward and/or uncomfortable moments when someone says something inappropriate (but well meaning at times) about adoption.

They may say something that’s meant to be a joke, but comes off completely off color. Or, they may do something outright rude. When that happens, and it does, I use that as an opportunity for an “Adoption Teaching Moment” as I like to call it. [Read More…]

Feeling Very Mortal – The Tale Of a Weekend Warrior

Lydia and her bikeSprawled in the middle of the road, my son kneeling beside me, I asked, “Why are you home from college?” Not sure if I had said this out loud or merely thought it, I watched his face for signs of understanding.  It hurt to keep my eyes open.  But in those short seconds I saw the fright in his eyes.

“Mom, I graduated two years ago. I’m home for the 4th of July. Remember?”

Fuzzy- headed and aching in every joint, I replayed what might have happened. How strange not to be in charge. It was a reversal to be on the receiving end of my son’s concern.  He had never seen me in such a weakened state. I prided myself on being invincible, at least in his eyes.   [Read More…]

Creating Warriors

Cindy Weaver joyI move through the world as a warrior now – stronger and more courageous than I ever knew possible, but also deeply wounded.

Sometimes, I stop and address my wounds. Other times, I have to keep moving or I know I will die.  A warrior has to be strong, courageous and brave in the face of deep challenge.  A warrior does not know how it’s going to play out, but pushes forward in the face of uncertainty.

The warrior hurts but continues to fight in order to get to a better place.  The alternative to not being a warrior is to be consumed by the challenge.

Today, I received a picture from my daughter, Hope, taking a bath in the river, pouring water over her head.  As the frigid water splashed over hair, her head was thrown back, her face shining with exuberant joy.  One can only understand the depth of this joy by seeing the journey that she has faced, the rugged terrain traversed. [Read More…]

Spreading Mom’s Ashes

Part I

Lydia_cemetery“Go eat dinner while it’s hot.” These were Mom’s last words thirty minutes before she died. Ever a mother until the end, she never wanted or intended to be a burden. Nor did Mom want us missing a meal, even if I was the one now preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My father, sister and I ate at the dining room table, not far from their first floor bedroom. I had set the table with the silver and china, just the way she had done for the past 60 years of their marriage. Gracious dining was the highest art form for my mother. There was no take-out in her world.

She must have known that death was imminent, but she kept it at a safe distance by refusing to go to the hospital and maintaining normalcy. Ironically, this took more effort for us, her two daughters. [Read More…]

Cyma Shapiro Interviews Ellie Stoneley, Author of Milky Moments

Milky MomentsDear Readers: In her first US interview, we are so pleased to welcome Mothering writer, mother, author, breastfeeding advocate, UK-based Ellie Stoneley, featuring her newly-released book, Milky Moments (published worldwide by Pinter & Martin Publishers) – a children’s book about breastfeeding.

Welcome Ellie!

Thank you Cyma … a very exciting and busy time for this mother of one (and I’m talking about my daughter as opposed to my first book!)

Q: Milky Moments features a variety of different mothers breastfeeding in a variety of social situations. It’s not only a beautiful book, but it stresses the importance of individuality and of making such a natural occurrence….well, natural! Was that your intent?

A: Absolutely that was my aim! When my daughter was first born, for her baptism, and for her first birthday, she was given a great many books. Often they depicted babies being fed … and all of those babies were being fed by either mother or father, sibling or grandparent, using a bottle, or feeding was simply signified via the image of a bottle. Not one of the books depicted the act, the normal, instinctive, natural act that is breastfeeding. [Read More…]

From Death to Life (A Mother’s Circle)

Laura Jane Murphy's ashes IIMy sister and I were recently able to return my precious mother’s ashes to her birthplace.

Honoring her life, we traveled back to her hometown. This little dot on the map, reminiscent of “Mayberry,” N.C , was established in the eighteenth century by her ancestors.

Mom died almost four years ago.  At the time of her passing, my sweet daughter was only ten.  Losing her grandmother led to a profound questioning of her own heritage. I will never forget the moment when she spilled her guts out in pain. Grief unleashed the deep sorrow of loss and awareness that she was not of my blood.

In that rare moment of emotional release, crying and in between gasp for air, she asked, “Why?  Why wasn’t I wanted?”  And, added the sentence, “You don’t know MY PAIN.”  [Read More…]

Who Teaches Us How to Love? Mom

i love mom IIWhen I was a child, I remember my mother getting on the floor and playing Barbies with my sister and me. I admired the way she colored in coloring books – outlining the drawing and lightly coloring the inside. I appreciated how she comforted me (and got angry in my defense) numerous times when I came home from elementary school, crying after being bullied.

I miss the way she rubbed my head as I laid on her lap, how she braided my hair at night and how small I felt when she gave me a big bear hug.

As humans, none of us are perfect but there’s something about mothers. As little kids, we fall in love with our mothers – they are our superwomen. There’s an element of our mothers that will always feel just right – perfect – for us. It resides at our core. [Read More…]

The School of Transracial Motherhood

Being on the cusp of turning 44 and trying to learn a new language has made me question my sanity. Being in school, again, I remember wishing I could do better, realizing I never understood what I thought I did and ultimately being disappointed in myself. My desire to do well was constantly chased with the overwhelming possibility I never would.

For me, school was a place to be social, learn my love of singing and fight with my anxiety for the first two weeks of every school year.

[Read More…]

A Girl’s Best Friend(s)

friendsI was observing a group of college friends over lunch the other day and it brought me back to my own college days.

I adored my university experience; it is where I met my lifelines, my Rat Pack. Nine of us met freshman year and eventually all lived together, crammed into a five bedroom house on North Henry Street. We ruled the world back then with our Discmans and fake ID’s. We had youth and hairspray on our side. We were unstoppable.

We have experienced so much since those beer soaked days of college 20 years ago. We have rallied around each other through divorce, miscarriage, infertility, and aging. There have been cancer scares, pregnancy scares (back when all of us combined couldn’t have changed a diaper), and a million everyday dramas. [Read More…]

Haiku for Midlife Mothers – Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Reader: Please enjoy some haikus from BoomerHaiku that celebrate the special challenges – and rewards – of midlife motherhood.

What’s Boomer Haiku? Well, a haiku is a 17-syllable poem in three lines of 5, 7 and 5 that traditionally evokes images of the natural world. Boomer Haiku (a blog by Roxanne Jones) takes a mostly light-hearted, often irreverent look at life as a baby boomer as we move through midlife and beyond. After all, what could be more natural than looking (and laughing) at our lives at this juncture?

Having a baby practically guarantees you never get enough sleep. Plus, you’re likely dealing with the sleeplessness that often accompanies perimenopause or menopause:

Sleep deprived. Whether
from hormones or new baby,
it’s my new normal. [Read More…]

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