The Magic Lady Bug

My little lady bug...

My little lady bug…

When I first joined the Navy and moved to Virginia, I would drive home to Cincinnati on the weekends to see my oldest daughter and my mother.  One weekend my mother gave me a stuffed lady bug.  I’m not sure what the significance of the lady bug was.  I just took the lady bug because she wanted me to have it and when I left to go back to Virginia, I threw the lady bug in the back of my car and brought it home.  I didn’t give the lady bug much thought.  I just took care of it because my mother gave it to me.

On one of the very rare occasions that my mother came to Virginia, she saw the lady bug in my room and was shocked that I still had it.  I did.  I wasn’t sure why I was holding on to it but I knew I couldn’t throw it away.

This little lady bug has seen a lot of action, traveled various places, and been on a deployment or two.  The lady bug lived with me in Korea and when I was a little sad, I slept with it.  When I came back from Korea my mother had a heart attack, as I laid on the floor crying trying to figure out what to do, my trusty lady bug was with me. Helping me sort through my thoughts and providing comfort.

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Before I was to leave on Friday, my son was very wound up and he didn’t want to go to sleep because he knew when he woke up in the morning that I would be gone.  After several hours of him fighting sleep, I asked him, if he wanted to borrow my lady bug while I was gone.  He immediately wanted the lady bug.  He hugged it and as he was hugging the lady bug I told him to take really good care of the lady bug because my mommy had given it to me.  He said, “I know”, “I will”, and then he squeezed it tighter.  He laid down with the lady bug and he seemed a lot calmer and was okay.  He said he would take the lady bug for show and tell.  Then he kept rubbing the lady bug and saying, I love you mommy.  On Friday, I got an email with a picture of my son and his lady bug sleep.

Somehow, the lady bug was making him brave.  He wasn’t so upset and it’s like the lady bug is whispering to him that he’s okay.  Your not alone!  I’m with you!  After I saw the picture, I decided it was finally time to find out if there was a meaning to my mother giving me the lady bug.  I went to google and typed “lady bug” and I was kind of shocked what I learned.

Lady bugs are linked to luck, protection, the fulfillment of dreams, and joy.

In my mind the lady bug is magical and I know that my little lady bug is being a good friend to my son just like it was for me and that’s all that matters.

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Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence,

You did good today!  I was especially proud of you when you tried hard not to cry when your baby boy was upset because he thought you had already left and got underway.  No one knows how you cried at the daycare yesterday when the teacher asked when you were leaving.  No one knows that you had to fight tears in the car, at your desk, or any place that you were alone.  No one knows your secrets but me.

I’m glad that when your held back tears became anger because you honestly and truly didn’t want to hear another person tell you, that you joined the Navy and why are you surprised to be going to sea.  I’m just glad that you held your ground and didn’t let your anger overcome you.  The last thing you need at this point is to start pissing people off with that smart ass mouth of yours.

Trust me, I understand that you want to fall to pieces and that your heart is tearing up inside with the thought of being away.  Put your shell on, no one is going to judge you and if they do, FUCK them.  No one walks in your shoes but you.  No one can tell you how to feel, what to feel, or even how you respond to how you feel.

I know, I know…they say kids are very resilient.  That’s cool when it pertains to other people’s children.  You know that you can’t shield your children from pain in life and it’s hard when you, yourself are the one inflicting pain on them.

I do have a bit of advice for you…remember that the kids are going through something right now also.  They have to say goodbye too.  They also have to endure a separation, not just you.  No matter how hard it is for you, don’t forget to give them their moment to express themselves.  It’s easier to push them away, however, in the next few weeks you are going to have to do better at giving them comfort.  Your a badass, I know it but no more leaving them out in the cold emotionally.

You can’t stop now…17 years is a long time.  Your almost at the finish line.  Don’t be sad, you won’t be gone for long.  You can get through this, you once loved the life of a Sailor, enjoy it while you can because once 20 gets here you will look back and wonder where the time went so fast.

As always, I love you…
Sailor, Wife, Mom
Me

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep???

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Beauty is a bad word that should be categorized to be as bad as saying “fuck”.  Every where you look there’s some kind of advertising to make you look younger, feel sexier, look thinner, etc.  The women on these reality shows on TV have had so much plastic surgery that their faces will not turn to dust when they leave this earth.  The thought of cosmetic surgery has crossed my mind more and more lately.  Especially when I realize that the peak of my cuteness has passed. Ok, I’m lying.  I’m still cute.  I’m just having a hard time with my breasts.  I needed a boob job when I was 16 and now that I’m 29+, I really need some assistance.  Okay, fuck it…I’m 38 and cosmetic surgery scares the hell out of me, honestly.  My boobs aren’t the point.

As I was being selfish thinking about my ever changing body I started to realize how much beauty plays a role on my girls and it’s quite disturbing to me.  Where my daughters go to school, they are probably the only little black girls in their classroom and when they were younger, they always wanted their hair to be flat. “Mommy, can you make my hair flat?” It didn’t resonate with me why they always wanted to get a relaxer and have straight hair until one of the girls said that the kids would make fun of their pony tails or braids (w/beads) that I would put into their hair.  When I wouldn’t concede to their requests, they started changing the hairstyles once I left for work.  Not realizing how much damage they were doing to their hair each day.

About a month ago, my daughter decided to use a razor to cut her eyebrows.  I didn’t notice it at first until I really got a chance to get a good look at her.  I think honestly, I was the last person to notice it.  She had mascara on and her eyes were definitely looking different and that’s what made me realize what she had done.  I didn’t even argue with her about telling me “no” that she didn’t have make up on when I know definitely that she did.  I wear make up and make up is my side business so I already knew.  I was more concerned with the why?  Why did she harm herself by cutting her eyebrows with a razor?  I know it had to hurt and yet she continued.  I’m trying to comprehend the thought process.  I know that it hurts like hell if you cut yourself shaving your legs or arm pits.  Even as I write this, I feel sad for her because she felt she had no other choice.

She said that her friends told her that her eyebrows were bushy.  I mean, she’s only 12 and yes she has thick eyebrows and more than likely we wouldn’t have let her get her eyebrows waxed yet but she didn’t give us any choices.  She cut her eyes up pretty bad but yet the pain she went through was worth it to her.

I realize that I have been a 12 year old girl before and I think that my two biggest issues in junior high school was my period and when was I getting boobs.  I just learned about a “sympathy bra” from my oldest.  I had to go pick up a few in order to get a grade back up in gym class.  I love beauty.  I’m all for it.  I considered myself an ugly duckling in high school and there were even a few times when I may have stuffed my bra a time or two but I wonder.

As a parent, I have to wonder how do I convey:

She’s a beautiful girl just the way she is.
Her personality can literally light up a room.
She’s very intelligent.
She shouldn’t care what other people think about her, it only matters what she thinks about her.

Are the kids today too far gone for them to realize their own self worth?  Our values that we have taught her aren’t just values that we taught her today.  This is what we’ve discussed since they were young enough to understand.  I just have to figure out how I can get her to remember that beauty is only skin deep when she’s knee deep in being judged and ridiculed.

Will it get better or will she want cosmetic surgery before she’s 18?  As much as I think I would want some work done on my body, I can’t.  What kind of example would I set for her?

My Everything

He is not my dream guy.

You know the type…tall, dark, and handsome,

With rock hard abs and a smooth silky speech.

You know the type.

Apparently, I don’t even know my type.

He’s my height, a little round, a loud talker, with a big booty.

He probably can win a burger eating contest.

He is a guy’s guy.

Who spends less time in the mirror than me.image

He’s not a prima Donna, cause that’s normally what I like.

But he smells good and always wears that cologne I like.

His snoring chops down the entire forest nightly.

He gets on my nerves.

We never agree on anything.

Plus, he’s a Cowboys fan.

Yet he’s my everything.

They say opposites attract and I love him so…

That’s why he’s my everything…

Stuff My Three Year Old Says #2

Stuff my Three Year Old Says…#2

It was one of those rare occasions that mom and dad go pick up the boy from daycare together.  As Dad was putting the little one in his car seat, Dad is all in my son’s face kissing on him and asking him how his day went.  My son was laughing and wiggling with glee in his seat when he suddenly stops.  He says,

Son: “Stop”…

Son: “Wait”…

Son: “What’s that smell?”
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Dad says, “I don’t know.”

Then Dad starts talking again…

Son: “Dad? Dad?…what’s that smell?”

Dad says, “Are you trying to tell me that my breath stinks?”

Son, “Yes.”

Then he giggles.  Kids…I tell you.  I’m just glad that he said it about daddy and not mommy.

The Helpful One: From the Eyes of the Helper

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My freshly folded clothes thrown all over the floor. “Mama, I helped!” How did you help? His reply was that he sorted the clothes. I couldn’t help but laugh because I had just told him that I was going to into the laundry room to sort clothes and start the washer. I’m glad he listens but now I get to re-fold all the clothes.

Kids are funny and it’s amazing how they really see things. I could have been hasty and overreacted. I’m just glad that I have a sense of humor.

She thinks…

She thinks I don’t love her…but I do.

She thinks I don’t pay attention to her…but I do.

She thinks I don’t care…but I do.

She thinks that all I do is fuss…yes, I do.

She thinks I’m not proud of the things she does…but I am.

She thinks I’m an ATM…well…I guess I am.

I just want to let everyone and all three “She’s” know that I do…

Love Her

Care for Her

Will Move Hell and High Water for Her

Pay attention to Her

Be There Always for Her

I’m so proud of all my “She’s”…They complete me and trust me there’s never a dull moment.  I’m so blessed that God placed my “She’s” in my life.  I would be lost without them.

How Long Before I Steal My Son’s Innocence

I keep wondering how long it will be before I steal my son’s innocence. It’s happened twice already now. The first time I stole my oldest daughters innocence she was three. See, I’m not talking about some perverted or sexual thing. When a parent leaves a child for any reason a little bit of their child like qualities disappear.

My oldest daughter was three when I joined the Navy. To be honest, I really didn’t think I would make it past boot camp but I did. She however had to grow up almost instantly. Some nights I lay awake and wonder what it felt like for her mom to leave her. Did she cry a lot? Did she miss me? I think for the most part, I know how she felt. No words could even begin to describe her pain. I know how I felt when I saw her for the first time after I left. She thought I was coming back home. She not knowing, asked me to read her a book that night “when we got home.” When I told her I wasn’t coming home, she burst into tears. Those sounds, 16 years later still ring true in my head today.

Sadly, I wish that I could say that I didn’t have to put any more of my children through that nightmare again but I had to do it again with my next child. Akayla was about the same age that Mayme was when I had to leave her for the first time. I received unaccompanied orders to Seoul, South Korea for an entire year. I could have taken her with me and did a two year tour over there but the trade off would have been that I wouldn’t get to see Mayme for two years. Plus, with these orders, it would cut down my sea time on a ship which would have caused me to be away from them both for longer than a year. In my heart, I thought I was doing the right thing. I just didn’t know the fall out that I would have by making this choice.

Akayla was uprooted from everything she knew. Her house, her family, and most of all me. Unlike Mayme, who had her dad and the only thing missing from her life at the time was me. Akayla had the care taker that I left her with. Akayla is so apprehensive to change. She doesn’t sleep well and her anxiety goes through the roof every time I even mention leaving and at 9 years old she gets so emotional almost daily. It doesn’t take much for her to break down and cry. I have been very lucky that her teachers and sitters know that she is a military child who sometimes has problems working through her emotions/problems. She recently went through a program for children of military families and slowly she’s able to put words to her emotions. She tells me often that she hates the Navy because it takes her family away from her.

Now my youngest child is possibly about to experience the same thing. He will be 3 in April and it seems like 3 is the magical number for when Mommy has to leave. My anxiety is through the roof this time because I’ve seen the carnage from me leaving the other two. I watch him sleep at night and I just hate how I feel knowing that at some point, his childhood is going to change forever soon.

Sometimes the guilt gets the best of me but I love being in the Navy. I have an honorable career serving my country. I know that the sacrifices that I make for my family are for a greater good and that I indirectly help people. I have four children and the Navy allows me to provide for them all. I can only hope that when I am home I give them all the love and affection I can and that it’s enough love stored within them to use as a reserve when I’m away.

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How Long Before I Steal My Son’s Innocence

I keep wondering how long it will be before I steal my son’s innocence. It’s happened twice already now. The first time I stole my oldest daughters innocence she was three. See, I’m not talking about some perverted or sexual thing. When a parent leaves a child for any reason a little bit of their child like qualities disappear.

My oldest daughter was three when I joined the Navy. To be honest, I really didn’t think I would make it past boot camp but I did. She however had to grow up almost instantly. Some nights I lay awake and wonder what it felt like for her mom to leave her. Did she cry a lot? Did she miss me? I think for the most part, I know how she felt. No words could even begin to describe her pain. I know how I felt when I saw her for the first time after I left. She thought I was coming back home. She not knowing, asked me to read her a book that night “when we got home.” When I told her I wasn’t coming home, she burst into tears. Those sounds, 16 years later still ring true in my head today.

Sadly, I wish that I could say that I didn’t have to put any more of my children through that nightmare again but I had to do it again with my next child. Akayla was about the same age that Mayme was when I had to leave her for the first time. I received unaccompanied orders to Seoul, South Korea for an entire year. I could have taken her with me and did a two year tour over there but the trade off would have been that I wouldn’t get to see Mayme for two years. Plus, with these orders, it would cut down my sea time on a ship which would have caused me to be away from them both for longer than a year. In my heart, I thought I was doing the right thing. I just didn’t know the fall out that I would have by making this choice.

Akayla was uprooted from everything she knew. Her house, her family, and most of all me. Unlike Mayme, who had her dad and the only thing missing from her life at the time was me. Akayla had the care taker that I left her with. Akayla is so apprehensive to change. She doesn’t sleep well and her anxiety goes through the roof every time I even mention leaving and at 9 years old she gets so emotional almost daily. It doesn’t take much for her to break down and cry. I have been very lucky that her teachers and sitters know that she is a military child who sometimes has problems working through her emotions/problems. She recently went through a program for children of military families and slowly she’s able to put words to her emotions. She tells me often that she hates the Navy because it takes her family away from her.

Now my youngest child is possibly about to experience the same thing. He will be 3 in April and it seems like 3 is the magical number for when Mommy has to leave. My anxiety is through the roof this time because I’ve seen the carnage from me leaving the other two. I watch him sleep at night and I just hate how I feel knowing that at some point, his childhood is going to change forever soon.

Sometimes the guilt gets the best of me but I love being in the Navy. I have an honorable career serving my country. I know that the sacrifices that I make for my family are for a greater good and that I indirectly help people. I have four children and the Navy allows me to provide for them all. I can only hope that when I am home I give them all the love and affection I can and that it’s enough love stored within them to use as a reserve when I’m away.

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