Sunday, May 14, 2017

Motherhood is never feeling just one thing

"You're supposed to be sleeping in."

My day began with an admonishment as I tip-toed past my husband (sleeping on the couch with the baby monitor so I wouldn't be woken early) to grab my laptop.

"I know," I said, because it was easier then again trying to explain why I love the early morning hours to the consummate night owl that I married. The man who generally communicates via unintelligible grunts because his first cup of coffee will never truly understand  how much I delight in the rare calm I find in the stillness before everyone wakes up.

It's Mother's Day, and my one promise to myself was to make some time to write. This was a necessary to-do, as I've been lately feeling the haze off too many thoughts unwritten crowding my mind. So here I sit, pre-dawn, on the day when I am supposed to be lounging in bed, happily typing away.

And yet, I keep glancing at the time and feel an increasing anxiousness for my son to wake up. Less than twelve hours ago, I was willing the time to move faster and hasten him to bed so I could just sit for a while. I never truly understood how glorious sitting still can be until my son learned to walk.

But now, I am missing him. I can't wait to say good morning, to see him proudly yell "hi" while he gives me his deliberate, chubby-handed wave. I love the mornings, when he is still groggy, because he wants to be held and to rest with his head on my shoulder. I know every day that the last moments of my stillness will evaporate when he declares "done," hands me his cup, and races off to whatever the most interesting thing is that moment in toddler world. I love to watch him play, but always feel a moment of sadness when he climbs down from my lap.

I thought of this last week when a coworker told me her son was about to get his driver's license. She was excited to give up her chauffeur's hat, but also nervous at the prospect of all the worry his knew mobility would bring her.

"Isn't that just motherhood?" I asked, holding my hands up to mirror a scale. "It seems that it is never feeling just one thing."

She nodded with a smile, and we chatted more, having already covered the simple truth that unites moms, no matter the age of their kids.

Motherhood is never feeling just one thing.

Last year, I remember being elated that my baby was no longer a newborn and I was suddenly able to sleep again. At the same time, I missed having my kid at arm's reach all night after moving him to the crib to allow said sleeping.

Now, I am in awe of all the new things he seems to learn every single day. I love his newfound independence, of how much easier it is get some time to myself, but wish I got more than those first few minutes every day when all he wants is to sit on my lap and rest his head on my shoulder.

Motherhood is feeling so happy that, more and more, he can tell me what he wants instead of crying for it but wishing he didn't suddenly delight in offering a hard "no" when asked to give me kisses or hugs.

Motherhood was being embarrassed by his jealousy yesterday when we had a friend's son over for a few hours, but being excited by his first utterance of a two word phrase (which was "Mommy MINE").

Motherhood is greedily typing away and being so thankful for the few minutes I got to write this morning, but missing my kid and hoping he wakes up soon. Motherhood is knowing that, within an hour, I will be wishing he would just sit down but feeling guilty over not having all the energy I would need to keep up with him.

It's Mother's Day, which likely kicked the haze of the unspoken into high gear for me today. Like so many things about motherhood, I will never feel one thing about today.

Already, this year's Mother's Day brought me an awesome hand and foot painting from day care. Already I got to go to Mother's Day tea and giggle inwardly as I spent the entire time trying to stop my little klepto from stealing the other kids' cookies. Later, we're heading out for brunch, my favorite meal, and then I am pretty much guaranteed a nap. I have a sneaking suspicion that the earrings I've been eyeing for months are probably somewhere in this house (at least I hope that was the result of me sending by husband a link for them along with the words "Mother's Day is coming"). And I got to write. Oh, man did I need this!

At the same time, Mother's Day will also never stop being a little sad. I still mourn my mother's loss every single day. I miss her in every moment that my kiddo does something amazing or awful and I feel, like an itch in my head, my inability to share it with her.

I find myself saying things to him and hearing her voice echo through. Some I fight ("it's wakey-uppy time!" Shudder). Others, I embrace ("tell me all about what's wrong"). I feel like she would be proud of me and the job I am doing, even on those frequent days when I am just sure I am getting it all wrong. I take joy in that assumed pride even when it makes me miss her so damn much.

He's stirring now. I hear a tiny voice echoing down the hall as he talks to his stuffed animals. I am both relieved and a bit panicked- I am sure I had more to say. But I will go get him ready, get frustrated when he fights a diaper while finding his futile protest adorable.

I will go celebrate my day and keep feeling two things all together today, and for the rest of my life.

Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome Moms out there. And for those of you who are Motherless today, you're in my thoughts as well.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Seer's Lover by Kat de Falla Review

Calise has spend much of her life trying to ignore her ability to sense the demons and angels who walk among us. However, when the man who comes to her aid against a particularly awful demon is murdered, uttering a name and place with his last breaths, she begins a voyage to understand what she is capable of.

This voyage takes her to Costa Rica where she meets Lucas, a pure blood seer in the midst of an epic battle with the forces of evil.

This a really unique, exciting novel. Sexy, exciting,and engrossing, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do feel that the writing could have used some more editing and finesse. There were many cliched descriptions, strange word choices, and poor use of adjectives. However, despite a few annoying parts in the writing, I really liked this book and can't wait to read more from this author.

Recommended.

Purchase on Amazon here. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Giant Slayers
by 
Jeff Altabef & Ken Altabef
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: September 20th 2016

It doesn't seem fair to call this a retelling of David and Goliath, because the book is so much more than that. However, at it's base, that's what we have here. Filling in gaps and expanding on details, the authors introduce you to young David, brave and restless and more than a little Luke Skywalker around the edges. Far away, a young princess explores the world around her. Fierce despite her sex, and savvy beyond her age, Michal is every bit a heroine. When these two meet as David is called to use music to save the king from nightmares, their story is a bittersweet one. 

This one has it all, witches, heroes and heroines, kings, princesses, and even a giant. 

What I loved: Sure, we all know the story of David and Goliath, but this book is an exciting, fresh look at the tale. Though I knew where the story was heading, I found myself desperately reading to see what happened next. 

What I didn't love: There are spots, especially at the beginning, where this book took up more space than it needed to. While I appreciated the attention to building strong characters, the result was a very slow, windy start. 

All in all, a good read. Recommended. 

About the Authors
Jeff Altabef lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of "telling stories," he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, is his debut novel. Jeff has a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories. You can find his blog, The Accidental Writers Workshop, on The Patch. Jeff also rights a column for The Examiner under the byline - The Accidental Writer.
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Ken Altabef- As a Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America member, my short fiction has frequently appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I also had stories in Interzone, Buzzymag, Abyss & Apex, Unsettling Wonder and Ominous Realities. 
ALAANA'S WAY, my 5-part series of epic fantasy novels is published by Cat's Cradle Press. Described as "cutting-edge fantasy from the top of the world" the arctic setting and unique characters will bring something new to even the most jaded fantasy enthusiast. You can preview this work and others at my website 
www.KenAltabef.com
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