Today is my middle child's birthday, and it feels more like Mother's Day to me than any card-and-flower-filled, packed-restaurant weekend romp. My little Kasper turns 8 years old today (the others are now 4 and almost 10), and she continues to jolt me on a daily basis (really, she can do that) with her, well... unconventional ways.
[We never post personal details or pictures of our children... call it Parent-noia, if you will. So allow me just call her J. for today's purposes.]
Picture an impish round face, deep hazel eyes that twinkle, and long, wild honey-brown hair...
J. is the kid who, at 4 years old, came out of the playroom with her nipples painted red and proceeded to ask me: "Mooomm, can you get these pierced?"
Also at 4 years old, before she could read, she demanded a crayon one day and my help. "Mom, can you write down here, 'I'm sorry, God'?" "Honey, why do you want to write that?" "'Cause sometimes I get so mad at God" (!)
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This is also the kid who, on a beach vacation last summer, suddenly jumped up into my arms, got her nose right up to mine, and demanded: "WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?!"
And this, at high volume in front of the TV: "Hey, they have a Marin Luther King Day, right? So why don't they have a J. Tenderich Day?!"
About six months ago, she came up with the concept of her very own land, which we'll call J-Land. In J-Land, lots of little Clone J's apparently do all the work, money grows on trees, and it rains cotton candy. Last week at breakfast she announced that in J-Land, it now snows credit cards. "And sometimes when it snows really hard, we get credit-carded in!"
I could go on... she's now experimenting with reading everything under the sun: "Business Repleee Mail," "No Pohhstage Necessary," "Must be 18 or older to caaaalll...," "And what does dot-com mean, anyway?"
As if just loving them ferociously weren't enough, by now you must recognize my personal Mommy Imperative -- with this stupid chronic condition. I simply MUST live -- and stay healthy -- long enough to see what becomes of them. Who will Miss J. turn out to be? A CEO? An Internet wiz-kid entrepreneur? The next BjÃ¶rk? Anything could happen. And I will fight to be here to witness it live.
Did you know, btw, that there's a whole enormous community of Mommy Bloggers out there on the web? A good roster can be found HERE. My personal favorite is finslippy (prepare to laugh till your sides hurt). [See also, the Cafe Mom groups for diabetic mommies, and for mothers of children with Type 1]
I have tried, with little luck, to engage with the Mommy Bloggers -- but happily, breast pumps and burp cloths are things of the past for me now. I could, however, really use a Mommy Makeover -- 'cause between the field trips, carpools, California mission models, multiplication tables, packed lunches, dance recitals and preschool pageants... AND the glucose checks, carb
guessing counting, endo appointments, laboratory blood letting tests, the learning curve for my new insulin pump, the book promotions, training for the ADA Tour de Cure, writing for D-newsletters and blogging, I'm feeling pretty run-ragged most of the time. My mom gave me a set of mani-pedi vouchers for my birthday last month, but do you think I have used them? Not a one!
So here it is, my Mommy Imperative: right after just-enough-diabetes-care to stay afloat, my family comes first on my list of priorities. Always. (Meaning primping has sunk down to some lowly rung. When was the last time I actually styled my hair?)
Happy Birthday to You, little J., priority girl!
[Post-Postscript: Yeah, that's how glamorous my evenings are. So do you think I'll win, or what?]