Friday, December 01, 2006


Nate the Great

Nathan Alexander is preparing for his first holiday season. A beautiful, sweet-tempered and physically strong child, he's trying his darndest to crawl... and once he figures it out, watch out world!

Last week he and brother Brendan and Mom and Dad and Uncle George and I celebrated together, and the moment was so incredible, and seeing him and his Daddy playing together....everything I've had to do to make the shift to Ohio possible--every delay in the Atlanta airport, every dollar spent, every inconvenience and even the heat stroke that nearly wiped me out as I moved out of the Tally apartment by myself--- was far more than worth it. I spent the entire evening with my heart in my throat and tears threatening to spill over every time I looked at him. He and Brendan and Olivia own my heart.

I wasn't a fantastic mother. I screwed up a lot, frankly. I was young and stupid and scared most of the time and I made some really bad decisions. I genuinely made them for the best possible reasons... but that doesn't erase the fact that they were godawful decisions.

My own parents weren't much help.

Oh, let's be honest... my parents were part of the problem...though they would never have seen it that way. Cliff's notes version: They'd convinced me that I wasn't (and wasn't supposed to be) tough enough, smart enough, or strong enough to fight and win when it really mattered, so I let other people call the shots far too often. Of course, trying to be something other than I really was made me angry and depressed and frustrated, and a clinically-depressed pissed-off head case does not the best parent make. Although it would take years

By the time I figured that out, the damage was done.

The day Mike got married, I made him a promise. I couldn't fix the past, but I could do my best to quit perpetuating the problems. I could do everything in my power to be a better grandparent and in-law than my folks had been. I'm still stumbling around-- hard to know what to do without any functional role models. But I am doing my best to be a real and loving presence in the lives of these three little people-- and, perhaps by doing so, I can atone for some of the stupidity of my past. Posted by Picasa

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