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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Patenting Without Parents

I am parenting without parents. Are any of you?

People ask me about Lucas' grandparents all the time. They know my husband's parents live a two hour plane ride away and that we see them every month, but they don't always know where my parents are. When I tell them, it always brings the conversation to a screeching halt. I hate it when that happens.

It's always on my mind... my parents aren't here.

My parents will never meet my son.

For those of you that don't know, they both died almost three years ago of carbon monoxide poisoning. You can read details here.

A lot can happen in 32 months and every now and then, a little more than usual, (cue Lucas' recent birthday, Father's Day tomorrow and my birthday next week) I can't stop thinking about, not only what they are missing, but what I am missing too. Can there be a statue of limitations on needing a mother even if you are a mother? I don't think so.

It's stupid really, I'm almost 38 and I have no one to call with my silly parenting questions. There’s no one to ask. Sure, I have a wonderful (much younger) sister, a loving aunt and uncle, a very smart mother-in-law, a supportive sister-in-law, who is also a mother of two and tons of amazing friends in the blog world and real life, but sometimes it feels like I’m flying solo on something I shouldn't be.

To me, having a baby brings you closer to your own parents. You finally realize all the pain, suffering and worry they went through with you. Once you have a child of your own, you know just how much your mom and dad love you.

They should be here.

I should be having conversations about Lucas' milestones, poop, food, toys and TV watching habits with my mom. I should be getting choked up over seeing my dad play with his grandson and rolling my eyes at them both when they try to put, yet another visit on the calendar. I should be asking them, "when did I do this, that or the other when I was his age?".
All it's only been one year!! How am I going to do this for the rest of my life?

They would have been terrific grandparents.

Aside from two incredible people who built their lives around educating children, so much else was lost when my parents died; family traditions, history and a whole set of memories that I don't share with anyone else but them. Whenever something crosses my mind that I think Lucas might be interested in or should know, I jot it down and more than once, I have poured my heart here. It helps, but I still miss them every day.

The best is yet to be.

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Blogger Liz said...

Oh, Tonya. I'm so very, very sorry! I can't imagine how hard that is for you. And it's so natural to want your parents to be a part of all that.

June 19, 2010 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger JuliN said...

I am SO sorry too. It breaks my heart to think about this. I can only relate on the father part. My dad is NO WHERE TO BE FOUND, hence my not understanding ANYTHING about men or boys AT ALL! But as you know, my mom is a phone call {and walk} away and it helps so much. Sometimes my sister {be thankful you have her, some don't have siblings at all} is actually a better ear, in fact. But my mom thinks the STUPID stuff nobody {friends, co-workers, aunties} cares about is funny or important. That is what I'm sad about for you! I really am. I hope you know that I THINK Lucas is adorable and all the things you want to share, you can share with me because I actually do think he's a special guy.

Anyways, you have every right to feel ANGRY about this and ESP sad! I think we choose our parents to some degree and whatever it is you're going through is going to make you the person/wife/parent you are today. You have gone through something NOT MANY have gone through/go through.

{if it makes you feel ANY better, my mom doesn't remember ONE THING about when I was a baby - my milestones, that is - totally useless in that arena :) }

You can call my mom at any point in time. She'd probably be as good of a mom to you as she is to me - because her best nanna traits are just being around for what she likes to call "ulcer hour" {or as some people call happy hour}. She is great to go shopping with, too. As far as the nanny part goes, forget about it, she isn't into that part. haha :)

But you are a strong lady and are only going to be stronger. I never had my dad growing up and I think it has helped make me who I am today. {that might be good or bad depending on who you ask, I guess}

Your parents are watching from above and are obviously as PROUD as can be! You are only going to be a BETTER parent to Lucas and baby #2 {if you have one that is} than maybe you ever would have been. Who knows.

Neighbor Juli

June 19, 2010 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger gingerbreadmama said...

Tonya, I know you miss your mommy and daddy and always will, but I hope you know you are doing an excellent job raising Lucas, sharing him with your other family and letting him know who his grandparents (and namesake) are. He will appreciate that so much when he is older. Enjoy and embrace the memories and tradtions you had but also the new ones you and Todd make together with your family. xo, cmk

June 19, 2010 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

You may be parenting without parents but you are doing splendidly and I am sure that mom and dad would be so proud of you. It certainly breaks my heart that you are having to go through motherhood without our mom and dad. They should be here for all of this. I feel so sorry for our children. Lucas and all of them are going to miss out on so much. I do my best to be there for you guys and be an aunt, a sister as well as a set of grandparents. I know I'll never be able to say all the things that mom and dad would say.
Wow, that image of Lucas playing with Daddy certainly would choke me up too. We were robbed Tonya.. there's really nothing more to say about it. I love you very much and will continue to be there for you all. XOXOOX

June 19, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Ms. Understood said...

I kinda know how you feel. I still have my dad, but my mom is gone. I don't have any children yet, but I sit and cry to myself sometimes knowing that I will never share those new parent/veteran parent moments with her. Best wishes to you as you parent.

June 19, 2010 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Tonya...I can totally relate to what you are feeling. I lost my mom almost 9 years ago and my husband lost his father 8 years ago. My father tries to be involved but he is not the greatest at that. Lew's mom is in Chicago so again she is not always around. I miss that connection with my mom and to call, like you said.
But you are right. I think it does make us feel more connected to our parents in some way.

June 21, 2010 at 7:54 AM  

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