Day 13: My Parents

I have to tell you that my family is dysfunctional. My parents were kids when I was born. They didn’t know what they hell they were doing. They made many mistakes. I hated them both at different points in my life.

But, I’m thankful for them. I’m thankful for their DNA and for their ability to raise happy and healthy children despite a whole host of issues. Even though I struggle with my feelings towards my dad, I know that I wouldn’t exist without him. I see parts of him in my attitude and behavior. I am thankful for him.

I have a lot of my mom in me. I am my mother’s child. I realized that the things that I was telling my son she had said to me. Words and phrases that were interspersed into teachable moments. She really has grown on me and her and Munch are super close now. I am thankful for her.

I am thankful for the struggles and strength of my parents. It is never easy raising children. You do the best you can and hope that you don’t mess them up. They did. Individually. I understand that now.

It’s not about being a perfect parent. That’s impossible. Just be there. That’s half the job of parenting. Love and be there for your children. No matter how messed up you think your life is, your children need you. The real you.  It is Day 13 and I’m thankful for my parents in my #23daysofthankfulness.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Letter to My Son

Dear Munch,

Today is Mother’s Day. It’s one of the happiest days of my life. Much like your birthday, I’m reminded that God chose me to be your mom. It is an amazing opportunity and I couldn’t be happier. I thank Him each day for you.

Life is an adventure. I never imagined all the things I’ve been through could have happened, but my life is destined by God. I try to teach you the importance of prayer and faith and how we are called to lay it in the Master’s hands and I hope you remember. Remember that God always hears.

Some days in life will be good and some not so good, but I promise you that I will never stop loving or believing in you. I will always be there for you. If you feel like you need me or want to hear my voice, please call. No matter what. Our bond is unbreakable.

You continue to amaze me each day with your strength and love for yourself and others. You are both kind and sensitive to the needs of others. That’s one of the many things that I love about you. Never stop caring for others. It is your gift.

I watch you grow and adapt to the things that have happened in your life and I am in awe. You take the good and bad and keep on moving. You worry so much about others that I fear that you will be consumed with the problems of others and lack the ability to care for yourself. Please don’t. Remember to save time for you.

You inspire me to continue to strive for greater opportunities that allow me to mother and mentor you in a way I never saw possible. To work in your classroom or volunteer in your school while holding down a full-time job. You make me want to show the world that I am blessed to be able to have it all. And I do…because I have you.

Munch, each day is Mother’s Day for me because I get to say that I’m raising this incredible little boy who feels me with so much joy. I love you more than you could ever imagine and I want you to remember what I tell you “There is no greater bond baby because my heartbeat was the first sound you ever heard.”

Love Mommy

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mother’s out there. This day is about you. You who love and labor without recognition. You who kiss and cuddle and make boo boos okay. You who help on homework, cook meals and give baths without ever having taken a break. You who clean messes, care for your sick and bake cookies. You who do none of those things but are a mother figure regardless – know that you are loved and appreciated.

This Mother’s Day, Munch and I will go to church and then grab a bite to eat. Nothing fancy. I don’t want to cook and my mom is out of town celebrating with her mother. Munch and I will cuddle on my bed and watch Disney movies and laugh. It is this memory that I will remember. He’ll make me a beautiful card and I will hang it in my office to remind me that I have the greatest son ever.

Whatever you’re doing today, I wish you peace and happiness. Whether you spend it with your families or doing what you want to do, know that it is about you today. We honor you and your commitment to your children. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Reblog: Mutterings of a Four Year Old

Here’s another great post about things Munch used to do and say when he was 4. He is still a hilarious kid, probably not as pushy. But, he’s mine.

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It’s been a full three weeks since we took Munch’s binky away.  Can you believe that he hasn’t asked for it at all?  I was so shocked that when I told my mom, she couldn’t believe it.  She had me convinced that Munch would need a “binky patch” similar to a nicotine patch to break his addiction for his binky.  But, thankfully he didn’t.

I attribute this success to the fact that I didn’t succumb to the pressure of other folks (doctors, dentists and people who don’t know my son) by telling me to take it away now.  Munch wasn’t ready.  I prepared this take-away by announcing it on a regular basis, that you’re going to be four and when you’re four, you can’t suck a binky because binky’s are for babies.  I think more than anything, that he finally figured it out and accepted that he was too old for his binky and that he really didn’t need it.

So, since it’s been almost a month since he turned four, I decided to share some of his mutterings, stories and sayings.  Munch has always been a child who knows what he wants, but sometimes it can stress even the most sane parent when he goes on and on.  You will see.  Here are a few of our stories:

When getting Munch ready for bed…

“Mommy, look at my wee-wee.”  I replied, “It’s a penis Munch, not a wee-wee.” He restated, “No, it’s a wee-wee.”  I looked at him and said again “It’s a penis Munch, not a wee-wee.” He said “No, it’s a wee-wee.” Not willing to engage in a back and forth, I asked “What’s wrong with it Munch?”  He replied, “It looks like a brown crayon.”

When learning to share…

“Munch, you need to learn to share your stuff.  Don’t make people ask you for something.  You need to offer to share first.” Munch looked at me and said, “But, Mommy I don’t want to share. It’s mine and why can’t they get their own.”

When asking me where I’m going…

“Mommy, where are you going?” “No where Munch”  I replied. Five minutes pass and he asks, “Mommy, where are you going?” “No where Munch” I replied again. Five more minutes pass and he asks again, “Mommy, where are you going?” Frustrated I respond “No where Munch and you better not ask me again where I’m going or I will leave.” He looks at me and then turns to his dad and asks, “Daddy, where is Mommy going?”

Munch and the gift

Munch is now at the point where he loves how you react to him when he makes something for you.  Well, for Mother’s Day, he painted the most beautiful picture at day care.  I told him  how much I loved the picture and I was going to get it framed.  I told him thank you so much and he started to cry because I loved it so much.

The next day, he went to church school.  They had his class create Mother’s Day cards for their moms.  Munch handed me the card when I came to pick him up.  I smiled and said, “It was the most beautiful card I had ever received and thank you.”  He said, “Mommy, it’s a present for you.  I made a present for you.”  I said, “Thank you love.”  Over the next four days, Munch would repeatedly say, “Mommy, it’s a present for you.  I made a present for you.”  He said it a total of 35 times.  I would reply, “I know sweetheart.  It’s beautiful.  Thank you.”  Well, when he said it for the 36th time, I said, “Munch, I know you made the beautiful card for me.  I love it.  But, if you tell me one more time that you made a present for me, I’m going to scream.”  He looked at me and then turned to his dad and said, “Daddy look!  I made a present for Mommy.”  My husband laughed and said, “Son, it’s beautiful.”

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Reblog: Munch Meets Magnolia Street Photography

Another memory about Munch. He was 2 and had his first professional photography session.  She’s still our photographer 6 years later.  Check it out…

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Munch and I had an incredible session today with Erin of Magnolia Street Photography. She lives in Maryland. She was absolutely wonderful. She did a terrific job and I was so impressed with the photos she took of Munch. She made both Munch and I feel relaxed as we went through the session. She is truly a great photographer. Munch gave her a hug and kiss good-bye which is a big deal for a kid who doesn’t like strangers. Here are some of the prints.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Reblog: Any Questions?

As I’m gearing up for Mother’s Day on Sunday, I wanted to share a series of posts about my experiences being a mother. First up is this one when I was pregnant with Munch. This post was originally shared on January 25, 2008.  I was about 20 weeks pregnant and having complications. We had to go and see a specialist after I spent the weekend in the hospital.  I was married to Munch’s dad and this was our first child, so we were both quite nervous. Some more than others…

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LT and I went to see a Maternal and Fetal Medicine Specialist regarding the shortening of my cervix and the development of the baby’s brain. The doctor said everything was fine with the baby and the brain stem and flap looked normal.  I thanked God. We got the cutest pictures of the baby in my stomach.

The hospital had told us last week the sex of the baby. We knew we were having a boy, I was right all along, but LT decided to question the sonographer. LT: “Are you sure it’s a boy because I heard that sometimes sonograms can be wrong”. Sonographer: “Here’s the penis and here’s the scrotum, any questions”.

LT was truly annoying the sonographer yesterday. She would say, “The fluid levels in the sac look normal” and LT would then ask “So, the fluid levels in the sac look normal?”. I asked him “Why are you repeating everything she says and then asking it like you just didn’t hear her? He said, “I just want to be sure of what I am hearing.” It frustrated the hell out of me.  I told him to bring a video camera next time so we can record it and he can play it back later. Without a doubt I am married to the craziest man in the world.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Motherhood: What Matters Most?

What matters most to me when it comes to raising Munch? That’s simple. I want Munch to be a man of good character. I think about it constantly as he is 9 and I just hope that I’m doing right by him.  I want him to be a man of good character.

It’s hard today to really think about things that we take for granted. Be of good character or as my momma used to say to me “Don’t embarrass me”. I think that’s one of the fundamental lessons we have to teach our children. That your character matters because you matter.

We should never take for granted the things that we are called to do and we should always look at serving others as one our greatest priorities. No matter what. We can’t get too busy going through life that we are unable to see that there are others that are less fortunate than we are. Those that are struggling just to make ends meet. We must help.

Volunteering our time and sharing our talents are very important things to me. I also believe in charitable contributions. However, since Munch is an only child, I tend to do a lot of volunteering with him because I really want him to see the importance of serving others. I want him to see the benefits of service. But, sometimes he gets frustrated and doesn’t want to do it.

I get it. He’s 9. He doesn’t understand the importance of doing for others. Yet. He sees what he wants when he wants. Last year in December we participated in Wreaths Across America and even though I didn’t tell him about it until we got there he actually enjoyed it. I thought he would be scared, but he loved putting the wreaths on the soldier’s graves and he wished every headstone a Merry Christmas as he placed the wreath.

But, he’s fickle with his service as I experienced last month. I was assembling toiletries that my sorority sisters and I had collected for the homeless. We received an outpouring of support from people all over the community, including one local blogger Egypt who saw my flyer on Instagram and wanted to help. Well, all those toiletries had to be counted and sorted and assembled with like items to donate to the facility.

I asked Munch to help me with the sorting and he pitched a fit. He wanted to go back to playing in his room so he stomped, gave attitude and huffed and puffed while sorting. Feeling my patience running thin, I told him to forget it and I would do it on my own. He started to walk away. I then said “Munch, I teach you all the time that we are called to serve. Jesus came to serve at God’s request and are we to believe that we are too good to serve?” He looked at me. I then told him “I’m disappointed that you don’t want to help. I don’t want you to be selfish, but I want you to see the value in helping the homeless. These men and women don’t have a place to lay their head at night. No home means that they can’t go open the refrigerator and get food out. They need these supplies. We are helping them. I need you to understand how helping me helps them.”

He walked away and I continued to sort through the items on my own. Ten minutes later he comes down stairs with a tear streaked face asking to help. I smiled and said okay. He handed me a picture. I started to cry too.

He got it. He got the point of what I was saying. That fact made me smile. Even though we weren’t helping people with blood cancers as he stated in his drawing, it comforted me to know that my little boy was choosing to be of good character and the lesson that I was trying to teach was not going on deaf ears.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.