If you know me personally, you may know that I believe in signs. Signs from the universe, signs from God, signs from angels, signs from our passed loved ones… I believe they show up to guide us. We just aren’t always looking.

Cardinals are often associated with signs from loved ones. They also like pine trees. Since we are surrounded by a hundred or so, we see a pair of cardinals every year. This year, they decided to nest right in the tree/bush right by our front window (I’m not sure what it is- it’s either a cedar or an arborvitae). I noticed them flying back and forth and when I looked last week, there were 4 eggs. This week, two have hatched. I like to listen to the momma bird as she chirps and chatters. New baby birds are pretty ugly, but it will be interesting to see these little ones turn into beautiful red birds.

What a blessing to be a host to 4 more “signs” to guide someone else. This week has been busy with work, gardening and track meets. I started three different blog posts and never got around to publishing. Then these little ones started hatching. I took it as a sign that they wanted the attention and to be a vehicle to remind others to look. Look for the signs. When you start paying attention, you will see more than you realize. Every trip we go on, we find pennies or dimes (my grandparents and aunt) and even quarters (my mother-in-law wanted to be unique so we’d know it’s from her). A friend used to see eagles, which were a sign from her husband. She has passed on now too and her friends will see eagles and think of her. Some people find feathers or other animals. One friend gets skunks as a sign (I think I’d request a new one!!)

My point is, be aware. Be looking. What can it hurt? Noticing a sign can give hope, encouragement or help you remember someone you love. Maybe they remind us to slow down. To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you pause to look for signs as we go into the weekend and the new moon. You are enough, and your loved ones and guides are here to cheer you on and help you realize it.

(Side note, our school mascot is also a Cardinal!)

They’re looking for you…

That’s our son, Myles, on the 40 yard line waving to us in the stands. We had a home track meet last week, so we went to cheer them on. He ran the mile (his fastest time this season), and the 4×400 relay. We weren’t there for the whole meet, but we did get to see both of his events. Even though it was a home meet, the stands were not full. The parking lot was – there were ball games and soccer at the same time.

He spotted us in the stands and grinned or nodded. This time he saw me taking pics and gave a wave. He looks for us to be there. I’m not sure if he’d admit that he likes having us there or not, but we try to go to the events. Each time, he scans the stands to see if we are there. We sit through rain, wind, heat and cold… if he is running, we try to be there. We aren’t perfect parents. Nobody is. We try to show up because it’s important to him. He’s looking for us.

I saw a quote recently that said, “Your job won’t remember the nights you worked late, but your kids will.” I know sometimes it seems necessary to work late, and sometimes it is. Often times though, things could wait until tomorrow. If family is important to you, try your best to be there for them. They’re looking for you in the stands. They are also looking to us as examples. They look at how we spend our time. Do our priorities match with our allocation of time? Could we rearrange something to make it work?

Time slips through our fingers, and before we know it, there won’t be track meets to cheer at. We may not remember the score of an event or the time he ran a certain race, but we will remember being there. Hopefully he will too. My older sisters still remember my dad being at the track meet in a snowmobile suit (snow flurries!) I remember the hot cocoa. That was many years ago.

Go to the meet, the game, the match, the run, the concert, the performance, the musical, the play… all of the things. If you cannot go, let them know why and ask questions about it later. Kids don’t always want to let their parents know what’s important to them. They might not want to say the words, “I’m looking for you,” or “I’d like you to be there.” They may not even acknowledge your presence….but I’m willing to bet they smile a little when they see you (even if it’s just in their head).

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Don’t “mom guilt” yourself if you cannot be there – I just want you to be aware that they might be looking for you.

(Last choir concert was tonight, since he’s not in it next year and tomorrow is the last track meet of the year. I’ll be there!)

May’s basket is full…

May is a full month! It was difficult to fit all of the things in the basket. These are just a few of the events and things for May. It will go by quickly. Nurse and teacher appreciation weeks hit home for me – I have several of both in my family. These people care for/about and nurture others. They are often taken for granted and tend to put others before themselves. Thank you, nurses and teachers!

May brings us the winding down of the school year, and graduation prep for some. For those moms/parents of graduates, I understand how quickly this month will go. I understand how much you want to soak up these “lasts” with your child. Hang in there. Everyone is looking forward to the nicer weather. We often forget that not everyone is looking forward to summer break. For some, this means food insecurity, lack of a loving/stable/safe home and a lot of uncertainty. I’m fortunate that my summers growing up were spent at the pool or working. I looked forward to the break.

I skipped writing last week due to some personal issues. Since May is also Mental Health month, I’ll share a little of what is going on. I wasn’t doing well last week. My son was struggling and I couldn’t do anything to help/fix it. My work status was in limbo and it was out of my control. I felt sad and frustrated and scared. I wasn’t ready to write about that. We tend to share the shiny /happy moments with others and this wasn’t either of those. This week, I realized that we need to share these “not so shiny” moments also. I’m not alone in my struggles. While I tend to minimize these things in my mind, I listened to a podcast where someone talked about trauma being trauma, regardless of the size of it. That really hit home for me. It’s really what sparked the name of my blog… I felt like my cancer wasn’t bad enough and I frequently felt not good enough. It’s not a competition and it shouldn’t be a comparison. It’s OK to not be OK and this last week, I really wasn’t.

May also has Mother’s Day. I vividly recall a pastor who gave a sermon about Mother’s Day not being a happy day for everyone. I couldn’t understand why when I was young. As I grew older, I realized not everyone has a great mom, not everyone has a mom who is still here, and not everyone who wants to be a mom is able to be. I spent several Mother’s Days in tears… wondering why it wasn’t working for me. Why wasn’t I a mom yet. Since then, I have two wonderful boys who are now young men. I’m grateful and thankful to be their mom. I really am #blessed. For this Mother’s Day, I’ll be missing my oldest son. My other son had me on his podcast, which was cool. It will be coming out soon under the “Be Unspecified” Podcast. One thing I forgot to mention in the interview is how proud I am of him. He has come so far in the last year and I know he will continue to do great things.

So whatever your May brings you, I hope you take some time to take a breath…a deep, cleansing breath. (Hopefully the pollen won’t make you sneeze!) Peace be with you on your journey of enough. You are enough, just as you are.