The Magic Apple

ipads make me cry. I bet you can’t guess why.

Find Your Magic

An Open Letter to Steve Jobs,

Just a suburban mom from the east coast here with a dire need to thank you! See, a little over nine years ago my son Stephen was born with albinism. At the time my husband and I knew nothing at all about the genetic condition we passed on to our son. We had only the information the doctors gave us.
And what they gave us was a lot of “nevers” and “unlikelys”.
He will never drive a car because his vision is actually considered to be blind, legally speaking. He may not rise a bike or play sports of any kind. It is unlikely he will read well as access to enlarged print is very expensive and difficult to order.
We could not know, that a man with a brilliant mind, was rapidly changing the way the world would communicate, watch tv, listen to…

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The Magic Apple

An Open Letter to Steve Jobs,

Just a suburban mom from the east coast here with a dire need to thank you! See, a little over nine years ago my son Stephen was born with albinism. At the time my husband and I knew nothing at all about the genetic condition we passed on to our son. We had only the information the doctors gave us.
And what they gave us was a lot of “nevers” and “unlikelys”.
He will never drive a car because he is actually considered to be blind, legally speaking. He may not ride a bike or play sports of any kind. It is unlikely he will read well as access to enlarged print is very expensive and difficult to order.

We could not know, that a man with a brilliant mind, was rapidly changing the way the world would communicate, watch tv, listen to music, and yes, read!
When the iPod was released in June of 07 we had no clue that it would lead to a phone and a pad that would give our unborn son the ability to live and learn independently in-spite of his legal blindness.
Now I watch Stephen and his younger brother Joseph born with the same genetic condition as his brother, (albinism) as they seamlessly adventure out into the world with their peers. They use their iPad to read!!! They can actually enjoy books thanks to your incredible mind, your team, and God of course. They take their iPads around their classrooms and take photos of charts and lessons on the board tgen tbey work off of the picture. They use the camera as a vision tool on field trips as well. They have access to so much more of the world all because of that magic Apple product.
Thank you could never be enough but it is what I have got. Thank you from my soul for all that you did to help my sons and so many others around the world!

Finding Magic-Life Lesson One: Perception is Reality

Find Your Magic

Dear Stephen and Joseph,

Your third and first grade school year is coming to an end. There is a little bit more than usual going on right now, as there usually is this time of the year. We have ice cream parties and field day mixed in with birthday celebrations and spring concerts. Then there are the baseball games and track meets and don’t forget flag football playoffs.  Oh and for a little extra on top this year we are also preparing for our Spark Friends to come and visit next week. We are training our precious puppies and rearranging some of the rooms in the house. I often wonder what that feels like to you guys. Is it exciting? annoying? exhausting? Do you even notice? Is it hard to keep going to sleep at the same time even though the sun stays up so much later now?

I can tell…

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Finding Magic-Life Lesson One: Perception is Reality

Dear Stephen and Joseph,

Your third and first grade school year is coming to an end. There is a little bit more than usual going on right now, as there usually is this time of the year. We have ice cream parties and field day mixed in with birthday celebrations and spring concerts. Then there are the baseball games and track meets and don’t forget flag football playoffs.  Oh and for a little extra on top this year we are also preparing for our Spark Friends to come and visit next week. We are training our precious puppies and rearranging some of the rooms in the house. I often wonder what that feels like to you guys. Is it exciting? annoying? exhausting? Do you even notice? Is it hard to keep going to sleep at the same time even though the sun stays up so much later now?

I can tell you what it feels like for me, it’s exciting, annoying, exhausting, and rewarding all at once. I guess that means it’s a bit overwhelming. That is often how people feel when there are so many important milestones, endings, beginnings, and changes in routines happening all at once.

During times like these we have an important decision to make. That decision is about the most simple and slightest of all detail. A detail that hangs in the balance and carries with it either the weight of our happiness or our despair. The one and only thing that determines which one, is our perception.

You see, perception is reality.

It is so important that you learn this lesson!
You hold the key to the freedom of your happiness within your perception.

You can allow yourselves to be consumed by daily events and happenings, no one would fault you. It is understandable to give in to the exhaustion and throw your hands up in frustration because things are over scheduled for one reason or another.
I mean who really wants to drive to the next town over for a playgroup on the same day you have sports? So you have to leave early, eat a sandwich in the car, get dropped off at dinner time, get picked up, get home to quickly take a shower and go to bed? It makes sense to give in to the woah’s and no’s of it all.

You know what though?

It also makes sense to just have fun and enjoy it. You can focus on the fun you have with friends in that play group. We can blast our favorite songs like; Shut Up and Dance With Me or Closer and sing together with the windows down while we eat dinner in the car on the way to sports.

The point is-happiness and fun are not things you can have, they are things you do have, right there with you, all of the time. You just have to focus on them. You will find them in the smell of the fresh cut grass, in the sound of a friend’s voice, in the taste of an ice cream cone for dinner.

It’s up to you boys. See, life is never going to slow down. So you have to decide if you are going to enjoy the ride or if you’re just going to get taken for a ride.

My advice, when in doubt, close your eyes, breathe, and blast those tunes……and enjoy the ride.

I love you more than the moon, more than the stars, more than even mars….

infinity times infinity

~Mumma

This article hits so close to home. What I love most about it is that it gives concrete tasks that seem easy to implement into daily routines. I am excited to try them! To all of my fellow ADHD Mom’s out there–PLEASE read this. If you love someone with ADHD please read this to gain perspective into what their day is like.

ADHD in Women: Tips for Managing Your Home and Your Life

https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-in-women-tips-for-managing-home-and-life/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=may&utm_source=ADDitude+Master+List&utm_campaign=7b4015a64b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_12&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d9446392d6-7b4015a64b-287667925&mc_cid=7b4015a64b&mc_eid=09971fbb5d

Honor Thy Mother

A good friend of mine who is the mother of two little ones AND runs her own business just questioned if she is a bad mother- partially due to the glee she feels when dropping said kiddos off at school. (Ummm raise your hand if you’ve never shared that sentiment) Well, hearing about her internal struggle really hit home. 

I’ve been thinking about motherhood a lot these days. And here’s what I have to say about it:

There should be in-home support for new mothers and three months paid leave, covered by insurance. 
We are severely missing the mark in our current approach to addressing postpartum adjustment (why do we call it depression? Depression is a chronic chemical condition often inherited.) It is an adjustment. An adjustment to the immediate switch from being an individual to being the individual responsible for the most important thing in the world; your child. The transformation into a person who must now inform another before doing anything, even using the bathroom. 
Infancy is a precious time you can never get back, time most moms are wrought with exhaustion that feeds confusion and emotional outbursts. A time that would most definitely benefit from maternal support. It should be expected that mothers be well rested and cared for throughout their child’s infancy. 
I for one know, had I simply had the opportunity to get the proper amount of sleep, I would have been more tuned in. I would most likely remember those magical moments with detail instead of relying on pictures. 
As a society we should be ashamed of our ambivalence. The role of a mother has been completely redefined over the past few decades. We work, at first we worked because we wanted to. We deserved to. NOW-most of us NEED to, whether we want to or not. 
With this new all consuming expectation one would think other expectations would naturally adjust. Quite the contrary!!! These days moms are expected to work, cook, run the family home and all that comes with that, take professional pictures every few months, plan birthday parties- not the Betty Crocker have the aunts and uncles over for pizza type of birthday parties. Oh no! That simply will NOT do. Today’s birthday parties have professionally decorated cakes with hand made invitations, favors and decorations. And don’t forget to get those thank you notes out within 48 hours!!!! 
Wait, we should also be fashionable, up on political affairs, diet, exercise, and of course planning the activities and coverages for the children so we can actually GO to work. 
Is your head spinning? 

Now imagine you just went 24 hours without eating, 62 hours without sleeping, were in severe pain from a surgery or delivery and then, in that moment-that’s when you were expected to complete today’s “motherly responsibilities.” 
We don’t need sympathy. We don’t want compromise. We deserve change.

The Synergy of Our Brokenness

Not too long ago we were gathered at the home of my cousin when the election came up. Now, I come from a large, loud and proud Irish family. I have one aunt in particular who is extremely passionate about politics. She is smart and knows what she is talking about. She has strong opinions and is proud to share them. Sometimes we share the same opinions and sometimes we don’t. There were a number of people there with varying opinions. Things started to get heated. Everyone was talking over each other and not listening at all. People were frustrated. I’m sure my husband was thinking, “How ’bout them Yankees?” 😉

It got me thinking, isn’t it through our differences that we are able to develop understanding, empathy, and curiosity? They should be used as tools to educate and unite us. Unfortunately, more often than not they are avoided altogether. We exist in a disconnected state of overload that makes it difficult to remain open and ready to learn from each other.

That day at my cousin’s house my aunt stepped in and challenged us to try harder. Instead of sweeping the important and the messy under the rug she . She reminded us that, not only is it inevitable that we all have different opinions, it’s essential that we use them to learn from each other. She then encouraged us to discuss and debate respectfully with open minds and hearts. Thank you Auntie, you don’t know this but that moment left a lasting impression on me.

We are SO distracted and consumed by our brokenness we don’t consider that everyone is broken. We pretend we don’t have the time to engage in meaningful conversations that share the pieces of our story that have lead to our brokenness and shaped our beliefs. Instead we often just regurgitate established opinions without slowing down to listen, consider, or ask questions. Surely these types of interactions don’t need our full attention and they’re not likely to cause conflict or debate. The trouble is, they won’t fuel the soul or help us grow either.

How can we appreciate the messages we are intended to receive or learn the lessons we need to grow when we are so guarded and distracted? It takes intention and courage to resist the quick judgement of another.

I believe making the time to understand the story of another human being is the missing ingredient to finding the synergy of our brokenness. In the end we are all broken in one way or another. Some believe it is our brokenness that sets us apart. I encourage you to entertain the notion that it is our brokenness that is meant to bring us together.

 

 

  

 

Sixty and Sunny….

Being from New England means you get to enjoy the change of seasons. It means that you witness the trees transform from green to a beautiful mix of reds, oranges, and yellows. It means you watch football with the windows open while you cook a hearty pot roast and and bake an apple pie.  It means that you grow thick skin and endure a cold, grey wet and slushy winter that inevitably lasts too long, like approximately 180 days below 50 long. It also means that you are gifted with the most glorious of all experiences. An experience that is lost on people living in the rest of the country.  That experience being “The First Warm Day”. That first day when the barometer breaks 60 degrees. Let me set the scene for those of you who can not appreciate what I am saying.

Football season has been over for almost two months. Baseball season hasn’t quite started just yet. The earth is soft and wet, heavy with melting snow and rain. You’re butterfly-1929228__340vitamin D levels are at an all time low, leaving you tired, achy, moody, and unable to get a good night’s sleep. Even still you head off to bed at the end of yet another raw day with a sky full of grey. Then the most magical thing happens…as you are waking up you hear the birds chirping. They’ve returned from their stint down south. Oh and wow! the sun is shining, really bright! You immediately feel a bit better. Suddenly you are not dreading the laundry list of errands you need to run. You’re voice is a bit lighter, your mind a little less stressed.

As you leave the house to start your day you actually stop, look up, take a deep breath–the air has taken on an entirely new scent. The planes are somehow louder even through the blasting music in your car.

Its the first warm day……

ooohhh the memories of these days from my adolescence stop me in my tracks. My friends and I would skip out of school and walk uphill to a friend’s house a little less than a half mile away. We had to sneak past two other friends’ houses to get there. See it may be helpful to share that I grew up in a sleepy New England town where the librarian knew your name and the clerk at CVS did too. So, getting away with something like skipping school was not as easy as it may be in other towns. That didn’t stop us though! We got ourselves to that blue house and
then we jumped into our bikinis, lathered on the baby oil, and climbed out the second floor bathroom window to “lay out” on the black top of the roof.

Sometimes we raided the freezer and brought all of the ever present bon-bons with us. Sometimes, when we were feeling particularly ballsy, and the older guys were around to hook us up- we brought super sugary wine coolers with us.  One thing wpurple-boomboxe never went on that roof without was the lite purple boombox.
We spent hours creating mixed tapes filled with everything from Bon-Jovi, and Madonna to Led Zeppelin and Billy Joel. And on that roof, with the Spring sun beaming down on us we blasted those songs! Most of the time we also froze our asses off. We didn’t care. We felt our world expanding with every bud that blossomed. Once again we could spend our nights “walking around” town. (That’s literally what we did. We walked around. “What are you up to tonight?” “Oh we’re just gonna walk around.” I mean-REALLY!?! I would like to see how that would play out in today’s world.)

Now as a 40 year old (YIKES!!! when did that happen?!) These first days of warmth not only bring me back to that rooftop, carefree, silly, and daring with the world at our fingertips. They also serve as a time to recognize and embrace the simple joys of each day. It is there and only there we will find our magic.

 

The True Colors of Unanswered Prayers

Unanswered Prayers

 

If I have learned anything over the past eight years it is that expectations hinder growth. We create these ideas of who we are supposed to be and what our families and lives are supposed to be like. Our decisions and choices are then catered to match those expectations. The problem is, there’s no room for the magic of our dreams in that scenario.

I grew up with plenty of expectations. Be a good girl, have fun, but not too much. Kiss the boys, but not too much. I followed the rules. Weeeeeell, I guess that really matters who you talk to! Look- I followed the ones that mattered to my blueprint anyway. I went to college. I got a job with my degree right out of school. I got married. We bought a house, had a baby, and another 2 years later.

It was during these years when we got knocked down by a one-two-three-four punch. We were left dazed, numb, gasping for air, and confused- I refer to it as our being “battered brave”. See, it was only as a result of these unexpected events that my husband and I found the chutzpah, nerve, balls-however you want to say it- to throw out the very detailed blueprint of our lives and, in 2010, quit our jobs and sell our home. We packed up our beautiful life on Long Island to take the risk we had been too afraid to take for years. We took our family to our other home, my home, Boston.

This is a decision that was met with much scrutiny and to be honest, we understood. The economy was still a mess from the global financial crisis of 2008. In order to relocate we had to sell our first home at a loss and leave the careers we had just spent 15 years busting our tails for, nevermind the family traditions and friendships we had to redefine along the way. Most people though we were CRAZY.

It was, in these moments that my husband and I changed from friends, lovers, and spouses to family. It was, by far, the best decision that has ever made for our family. (For that we Thank God daily for our unanswered prayers….Clearly, our plan was not                                                                                                 our own……)

Look, life is going to throw you curveballs. Your Dad could die in the middle of the night. Your children may be born with needs you were not expecting. Your best friend may die of cancer…..When life’s tragedies come crashing down, that blueprint turns into a source of pain and loss. It holds back the healing and growth that needs to take place in order to move on.

My hope and intention for us all is that, in those moments, when we begin to feel despair settle in, we are able to allow the power of the universe (whether you define that power as Allah, God, Jesus, Mother, or Dr. Bill) to take over and trust that,
“Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” 

 

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