Our first official Mother’s Day was pretty dope, I have to admit! I say “official” because last year we had Mary with us for Mother’s Day, and even though it was special in a completely different way, it was beautiful and special this time around because of our adorable little boys! Knowing what Callie’s body has gone through, and all these sleepless nights and dirty diapers, feedings, first smiles and giggles, and all of that, made this Mother’s day more real.
On Friday night, my best friend Tee and her partner J, who both work in the Hospitality field, booked us a suite at the Hyatt near where we live. They came over and ushered us out the door so we could really celebrate each other uninterrupted. We decided to exchange gifts that day, so as my gift to Callie for all her hard work raising our 3 wonderful kids (and to myself for being a hardworking Mama holding the fort down financially), I booked us a one hour couples massage. Let me say, I didn’t know how much we needed it, until it was over and we were devastated that it didn’t last all night! Afterwards, we went and had a quick bite to eat at Smash Burger (which we absolutely LOVE) and then went to take a walk around The Romantic Depot (boom chicka wow wow!) before heading to our favorite little local gay bar for some karaoke (which actually didn’t happen because one of their drag performers was celebrating his birthday-ugh!). We ended up having a beer and just heading back to the hotel. I must say, there is something about being able to sleep completely naked, on cold sheets, uninterrupted, in a pitch black room thanks to those blackout curtains. We haven’t done that in over a year! And it was really nice to give my wife my undivided attention and receive the same in return. Since Callie’s mom had to work all day on Sunday, we spent the day with her Saturday, so after returning home from our night away, we got all three kids ready and ourselves and went up north to visit with Callie’s Grandmother. She was so shocked to see us since Callie’s mom hadn’t mentioned to her that we were ALL coming. The saying of the day was, “Great grandma’s as happy as a pig in shit!” And every picture she has of her holding her two great grandson’s or her playing and reading and drawing with Mary, show just that. Her health has been declining, and because she lives with Callie’s aunt about a 45min-1hour drive from us, it makes it really difficult to get up there to see her. She also has an L-VAD, and requires 24 hour care, so trying to schedule something around her therapies, and rest times and medications, and feedings is quite hard. But we got up there, and boy was she ever happy. They finally got to take their “4 Generations” picture, and even Callie got a little bit emotional about that. After about an hour and a half, we went to Callie’s parents to exchange gifts and eat some dinner.
Sunday, we get woken up by Mary who is WAY too excited about getting us to open our gifts. Like 6:45am, way too excited! But I remember being the same way with my mom when I was younger. So we got up, made coffee (because that HAD to come first) and let her give us our gifts. We each got a beautiful plant (mine was Pink!), and two really beautiful cards that expressed what it was that she loved about us so much. Apparently, she loves when I make taco’s because I make them “the best ever”! Callie had the kids make me a really amazing little book with a bunch of saying and cute pictures. There were footprint Jalapeños, finger print flowers, and a super cute puzzle that Mary made with each piece representing a different family member and showing me how perfectly they fit together. They also got me a Pandora Charm bracelet with my very own “Heart Mom” charm. The morning was great! I made everyone breakfast, and then we got ready to go to church.
After church, we went straight to my parents house to spend time with my mom and my sisters and aunt. It was really nice to be able to lay out in the grass under the shade of my dad’s Maple Tree, and it made me really sad that after almost 20 years, this would be one of the last times that we would all be congregating under the shade of this tree. My parents have sold the house, and are waiting for the lawyer to let them know when the closing is. So it was a really bittersweet feeling laying our kids on the blanket, under a tree where we had spent so much of our young lives playing, fighting, pretending, sleeping, and being kids. We spent the rest of the day eating, exchanging gifts, cuddling with our mom, and laughing at my dad’s ridiculous jokes. We were even surprised that Mary didn’t ask for her mother once. She wasn’t even sad. If anything, she seemed really excited to be able to celebrate with us. Maybe, it’s really starting to sink in that we are her moms…it made the day even that much more special…
MY SISTER, AUNT, MOM, CALLIE AND MYSELF ON MOTHER’S DAY 2015
Day 17-Something you’re looking forward to
I’ve never been the type of person to really look forward to things. I learned early on that if you don’t really expect much, then you won’t be disappointed. But the older I get, the more and more I realize that I spend a lot of time looking forward to SOMETHING, whether it be the weekend, or cuddling my kids at the end of the day, or for 5pm to roll around so I get the hell up out of this office! Lately, there are 2 things that I have really been looking forward to, and those two things are something that I CAN’T WAIT to happen. The first would be, well, being pregnant. I never really was crazy about the idea of carrying, but now, more than ever, especially after seeing Callie carry the boys, I have this urge and this NEED to get pregnant. We told my parents that we planned on having more kids, although we didn’t say when, but when I saw my mom light up at the idea of me being pregnant, I think I may have given her one of the greatest Mother’s Day gift ever. I’ve been looking forward to that very much.
The second thing that I have been looking forward to is Mary’s adoption. Initially, we weren’t sure whether we would adopt her or not. There are a lot of reasons that I won’t get into, but it took a lot of soul searching and a lot of questions, and a lot of going over the same information over and over and over again to make our final decision. When we spoke to her worker K a few days ago (to get permission for a family trip at the end of June) she still hadn’t heard from Mary’s mom (a little over two months now) and she turned the paperwork in to her lawyer, so that the TPR is officially filed. Mary’s mom will have some time to appeal (if she ever shows up!) and then Mary will be freed for adoption and we can start the paperwork. Every few days we touch base wit her worker and see if there has been any word. We’re kind of hoping that Mary’s mom won’t show for another 3 months so that we can speed up the TPR for “abandonment” and Mary will be freed quicker. We are still deciding whether we want Mary to be able to contact her mother in the future or vice versa. It’s difficult to try and figure out what’s best for your child in a situation like this. We know that Mary is very attached to her mom, so maybe seeing her after adoption would really hinder her and her progress, but we also wonder what NOT seeing her would do. We’re still letting this play out, as it’s been almost 3 months, and if anything, her behavior has significantly improved. We look forward to the day, where we can call her Mary Mendez (and she was very enthusiastic about the possibility of a name change when we asked her what she would want to do if we adopted her. “IF we adopt you do you want to stay Mary D. or Mary Mendez?” She shook her head vigorously and said, “Mendez!!! Yeah, MENDEZ!!!”
Day 18-Something you regret
I’m not the type of person to ever regret anything. I don’t believe in coincidence mainly because I believe everything happens for a reasons and that would be contradicting. So to me, regretting something would mean hoping to take it back, and in turn changing the outcome of the rest of your life. Where would my life be today, if I had done something completely different and hadn’t returned Callie’s email, or hadn’t broken up with my ex, or hadn’t put my self out there and worked that open mic night that led me to my amazing friends? That is what I always ask myself when I think about my regret of not going away to college. I was in love, and I was scared, and I was sheltered and unprepared. I had gotta accepted to several universities and colleges (some with scholarships for sports and music) and I didn’t go because I was totally smitten and I didn’t want to leave my first love. I think of my siblings and how they traveled the world, and studied abroad and had the full college experience, with dorms, and fraternities/sororities, and late night partying and early morning cramming. I didn’t go to school for another 6 years after graduating High School. In that time, I learned so much. So many things that I never would have learned unless I actually lived it, like how to stretch $20 for the whole week, or how to give back to the communities that gave to me that whole while. Alls I know, is that 30-40 years from now, I don’t want to wake up and realize that I have been sleeping through life, taking my socks off to finish counting the regrets that no longer can be counted on my fingers. I want to live my life now, without looking back, and pressing forward no matter how crappy some of my decisions might be. When you live a life free of regrets, it’s fair to say, you really lived…