Dear Society, Kylee is NEVER Going to Fit in Your Round Hole and It’s OK!

difficult child, parenting, advanced child, school difficulties

Dear school teachers, dear school admins, dear society, I get it. She drives me crazy too. But Kylee, my Bug, is never going to fit in your round holes. Don’t force her to conform. She can’t. Although it pains me, I won’t make her. She’s not built like everyone else and that’s what makes her unique. She’s clever, she’s cunning, but she’s not cut from the same cloth that you are. Don’t make her think that she’s anything less because she’s different. She’s not less. She’s different.

Don’t get me wrong, when she’s awake, when she’s making me doubt my parenting skills, I get frustrated too. But then I step back and really look at her. I look deeply into those big blue, knowing, defiant eyes, and I see the spark. When I watch her peacefully sleep, I see her “normal”. And it’s in those moments that I know that my square peg is anything but less. She’s more. More than you’ll ever know because you don’t give her a chance. Give her rote activities and she won’t do well. Challenge her creative side and you’ll surely see her shine. No, she’ll never fit your round hole, but her square peg of a self might just make a difference in this world if you’ll just let her never-easy-to-deal-with self shine. Let my baby shine. Let her be the difficult little thing that she is now because there is amazement in those defiant eyes. They defy the world because the world doesn’t accept the square pegs. Many a square peg has created light, the telephone, and flight. Embrace the square pegs.

Stop worrying about your state’s scores and start worrying about our children. For the first 3 years of her school career, she was in advanced classes. I pulled her. She started to struggle. You know why she struggled? Because she was bored with your state standards. She was bored with your lessons. She was bored with your tests. She was tired of being a square peg that was being shoved into your round holes. I grew tired of it too.

I get it. You’re doing your job. You’re very kind. You want my daughter to conform, to be round. But if you sit down and talk to her, I mean really talk, you’ll understand that you’re making a grievous error. She’s difficult, I know, and I apologize for that. I do mandate that she conforms on a behavioral basis and you’ve all confirmed that she does. But I will not force her to conform just for the sake of testing. I embrace her square personality and I defy you to shove her in your round hole.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say, with this ridiculously long rant, is that although she frustrates me too, I “get” her. I once was that square peg being shoved in that round hole. I didn’t fit. I probably never will. In fact, I don’t want to. I love my rough, square edges, and I love hers. Leave her alone. Let her be different. Different is good. Different is not less. Different is more. She’s more than you acknowledge. She’s more. She’ll always be more. Different. Be frustrated, be annoyed, be angry even, it’s OK. But remember that “different” leads to great things. She’ll be great if we just foster her right to be different. She’s not hurting you, don’t hurt her. Don’t shove her in that round hole. Just don’t.

My Baby, My Bubby…He’s 6 Today!

my baby is 6, letter to my 6 year old son, happy 6th birthday, son turns 6
Today, my baby turns 6. SIX. This little miracle of mine kind of completes me. He completes my whole family and the world is a better place because he’s in it. His light and his aura can melt the coldest of hearts, and one look into those kind, thoughtful, big blue eyes with those incredibly long lashes can convince the hardest soul that there is hope for this world. He’s sharp as a tack, he’s funny (my goodness this kid is hysterical without even trying), he’s handsome, and he’s just a great all around human being. The day he was born, I truly heard angels sing and the world became a little brighter for all that come in contact with him.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my kids, very much. They are all amazing and they all possess beautiful qualities. But this little boy holds the key to all of our hearts and today, his day, we celebrate his greatness. We revel in his quirky behavior. We giggle at that crooked little smile. We just celebrate the fact that some higher power decided to grace us with his presence in our lives, in this world. To know Bubby is to love him. If you’re having a bad day, talk to Bubby. A horrible week can be washed away with just one “huggy time” from this little prince. People gravitate to him, as they should, and he’s happy to entertain and enrich their lives, if only for a moment.

happy 6th birthday to my son, bubby, my baby is 6

Happy birthday little man. Today I celebrate you and thank you for sharing your wit, your charm, and your light with me for the past 6 years. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you, because it will obviously be filled with greatness. But today, just let me hold on to my baby for a little while longer. I love watching you grow into such an amazing person, I just wish it wasn’t all happening so fast. I love you, Bub, we all do! Happy 6th birthday to the kindest soul I’ve ever met. Never let anyone change you, no matter what, and keep being amazing. You’re wiser at 6 than most adults and I honestly think you, and people like you, will be the change that this world needs. Stay humble, stay awesome, stay YOU, and know that you are loved…always and forever!

On Being a Mom of “Advanced Maternal Age”

this is advanced maternal age

People often ask me what it’s like to be an “old” mom. They don’t say it like that, but that’s what they mean. They say things like, “How does it feel to have young children in your forties?” or “How do you deal with little kids at YOUR age?”. Those kinds of things.

I say I feel blessed. Let me explain.

You see, I’ve seen both sides of the coin. I was a young parent (not as young as a lot of my southern cohorts, but young by my standards). I was barely 22 when I had my first minion. She was gorgeous. She was perfect. I wasn’t ready for her, financially or emotionally. I loved her with all of my heart and soul, but we struggled and I wasn’t in a strong relationship. I was a kid. Then number two came along, not planned, and I wasn’t ready, at the age of 27.

Note the absence of a Daddy in this family photo. They had one, the same one, but he was never present.

1994: Note the absence of a Daddy in this family photo. They had one, the same one, but he was never present.

We muddled through. We were happy. We survived 2 marriages (my fault, not theirs) and a lot of macaroni and cheese…together. It wasn’t always fun. But I wasn’t ready for them. Financially, as most young parents (not all, and I won’t generalize, plus kudos to those of you who are) aren’t. I just wasn’t ready. Putting food on the table was my focus. We didn’t do a lot of fun stuff. When we did, I sacrificed healthy meals for macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. It was a trade off.

Luckily for me (us), their birthdays were both in the summer. That meant they got clothes for their birthdays from relatives, then clothes for Christmas from their relatives. Yes, I had their wardrobes covered. And their toys. I guess I planned that part well at least. Although, none of that was the plan. But my goodness, I loved those girls, obviously I still do, and wanted more for them. I wanted to provide them with more. But I couldn’t. I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t ready.

Gossett Family 2008

And then I was presented with the opportunity, when I was ready, to have children at an “advanced maternal age” with my current husband. I wondered, I worried. Would I be here for them when they were grown? Would I see them grow? Could I, would I, be able to do this at 39, and then 41? You bet your ass I was ready this time, and it’s so much easier this go round. I actually highly recommend being a parent of “advanced maternal age”. I was ready. And you know what? My babies don’t want for crap. They have all they need and then some.

I’m here. I’m present. And I don’t have to stress the small stuff anymore. Well, other than them, because they’re still small, and I stress their little happiness. It’s awesome being a mom of “advanced maternal age”. It’s great being financially stable and knowing that when I want to take them on an adventure, I can, without worrying about the unhealthy meals I’ll have to feed them for a MONTH to make up for the financial sacrifice of fun.

So, if you ask me what it’s like to be an “old mom”, I have to say, it’s AWESOME. I was ready for these babies. And I’m still young enough to handle the daily life of parenthood. Parenting in your 40s is like grandparenting on steroids. You get to spoil them, you can afford it, and you get to keep them full time. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like this in the whole world!

If you’re of “advanced maternal age” and wondering if you should take the plunge, DO IT! There’s nothing quite like this. I’m just amazed by the beauty of my world every day. Although I still worry if I’ll be around to see their milestones, I’m thankful that these babies have graced my life, and that I’m at a point in my life where they don’t have to need, or want, for anything.

So, yes, I’m happy to be an “old mom”, just in case you wanted to ask!