Posts

Do You Need Permission?

So here we are.

September has arrived.

Classroom bells are ringing.

Summer is in the rearview mirror.

Many college-aged kids have flown the nest.

And how does all of this leave you feeling?

The other day I was sitting out in the backyard Adirondack chair, catching up on the phone with a friend.

She brought up a difficulty she was having.

“I feel angry and upset,” she had said. “But I know I should be feeling fortunate and grateful.”

I sat for a moment and watched the clouds slowly drifting by.

When I responded, the words came from my mouth, but they didn’t feel like they’d really come from me.

“What if you just allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling?” I asked.

We were both quiet for a few moments.

Feel what I’m feeling? she tentatively asked.

“Yeah,” I said with growing confidence, “Give yourself permission to feel exactly what you’re feeling, rather than what you think you should be feeling.”

I could feel a charge through the phone line as we both absorbed this concept.

In the following days, my friend would report how liberating it felt to truly allow herself to feel the actual, real feelings that emerged within her.

I too put this new method into practice.

I had the perfect opportunity, as suitcases were pulled down from the attic, and our girl prepared to leave for her Gap Year travels.

At first, I was doing exactly what my friend had done. Feeling one way, but dismissing those feelings for the feelings I thought I should be feeling.

When I thought of the airport departure, when I thought of the empty bedroom and breakfast table, I felt sad. But I told myself I should be feeling excited for my daughter. I should be feeling grateful that she has this amazing opportunity.

But I caught myself and gave myself permission to feel what I was really feeling…sad.

And I noticed an amazing thing started to happen.

When I really allowed myself to feel that sadness, it seemed to move through me, as if it had been heard, acknowledged and didn’t need to take up so much residence within my body anymore.

And I noticed that beneath the sadness, there was excitement, gratitude, and joy.

Later, when the sadness reemerged, I welcomed it. I felt what I was feeling.

I welcomed Sadness and offered to pour her a cup of tea. To sit together and wrap ourselves in a blanket and chat about how much we were going to miss our girl.

And later, when she said goodbye, I was free to welcome whatever other emotions arrived at my door.

Please, come in Gratitude…

Welcome, Appreciation…

Let us sit together and discover what brings you here today.

And let’s imagine all the amazing tales our girl will have to share when she returns from her travels!


(The morning of her departure – airport goodbye kiss)

Plain and simple…

if you feel it, feel it.

Give yourself permission.

With love and blessings,

Kasey

The Magic and Messiness of Motherhood

Hello Friend!

This weekend I’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom and my daughter, as we travel up to Syracuse, NY for a couple of book events!

On Thursday, I’ll be speaking at an event for a local hospital that’s doing a huge NICU expansion to better meet the needs of families throughout the greater central New York area!

Friday evening, I’ll be at the local Barnes and Noble, reading and signing from A Mom’s Guide to Creating a Magical Life.

Both events feel so timely with the arrival of Mother’s Day weekend!

As I plan for travel, making sure I’m packing all I need, while at the same time ensuring all is taken care of at home, I got thinking about the role of Mom and all that entails.

In particular, the way we need to be so flexible, especially in times when all our planning doesn’t exactly go the way we intended!

I thought back to the time when Preemie was about to be published, and my publisher suggested I make a promo video for the book.

A videographer was arranged, a date was picked, and a basic concept for the video was created.

Lee, myself and the kids on the lake, just being us, just being together.

At ten o’clock the night before we were due to film, the letter I read to my daughter in the video came pouring through, and I knew it was meant to be a part of the video.

I was delighted to have received such a gift and felt it would really enhance the video.

Then at ten thirty, that same night, just as I’d finished writing that letter, the front door opened, bringing in a warm summer breeze, along with Lee and Tucker, who’d been spray painting boat parts in the garage…

And they were both BLUE – like Papa Smurf and Baby Smurf!

I had to hold on to the door frame to keep myself from falling over!

I had to unclench my fists before running over and punching Lee!

I had to take several deep breaths to keep myself from screaming!

And then I had to figure out how we were going to get out of this mess!

Every surface they touched on the way the shower turned blue. The shower curtain had to be thrown out.

An hour later, they were both wrapped in towels, shriveled and shaking – the hot water long gone, but they were mostly not blue.

Then the laughter began. Laughter that could not be stopped.

And I knew in that moment that much of the magic of motherhood comes from those unpredictable, unforgettable, messy moments!

To this day there’s still a blue handprint on the towel rack in the bathroom. For a while, I tried to scrub it off, but it wasn’t going anywhere. Now I look at it and just smile.

And remember. And rest assure, that it’s all perfect.

Messy and perfect.

And here’s the video to prove it!

A Letter to My Daughter

May your Mother’s Day be full of memories, Magic, and maybe even a little messiness!

With love and blessings,

Kasey

 

On Mother’s Day

As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about my role as Mom and wondering what childhood memories will really stand out for my kids as they grow older.

I assumed it would be those really extraordinary times, the ones that take lots of planning and big effort…

The trips into Boston to the Museum of Science, the Aquarium, Faneuil Hall, Fenway Park… that Mother’s Day when we all dressed up and went to the Museum of Fine Arts and then that pricey South End restaurant…

All those holidays where I shopped, cooked, baked and decorated to make it all just perfect and special and unforgettable…

Or the birthday parties… the one when Andie invited every single kid in her class and quite a few from Tucker’s, the bowling alleys, the moonwalks, the gigantic cakes…

Or the vacations we saved for, the gifts, the fancy outfits, the expensive restaurants…

I brought up some of those special occasions with the kids the other day and was met with mostly blank stares. After jogging their memories with key details about each event, they both said variations of Yeah, I kind of remember that, offering me sympathy pats on the shoulder and saying That was fun, Mom.

So, I started thinking back on what I remember most from my own childhood. I closed my eyes and allowed memories to wash over me…

Sitting on our front flagstone steps next to my mother’s tanned legs while she flipped through that day’s mail and turned the pages of the evening newspaper. 

Mom and I stretched out on the camel back sofa in our den drinking rainbow sherbet-ginger ale floats, watching the 1970’s game show To Tell the Truth. 

A Friday night, I was really young, but we stayed up late and ate a steak dinner with garlic bread and sat around the table so long that the mushroom shaped candle burned right down to a pile of wax. 

Mom’s pink and white striped collapsible lounge chair, the kind that made the click, click, click noise when it was opened or folded up, and the smell of her Hawaiian tanning oil floating in the air.

My backyard birthday party when Mom joined in the relay race and had to sit on a big balloon to make it pop…

As memories continued to flood in, I couldn’t help but notice just how ordinary they all seemed. They were just everyday moments I spent hanging out with Mom.

And then I got it; maybe it’s not about creating memories, it’s about just being with my children and allowing memories to happen.

mom

My Mom!

So in honor of my mom and just in case the kids want a delightful memory to store away for someday, I made root beer floats and we all curled up on the couch to watch Jeopardy!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  Thanks for the memories.

May your Mother’s Day be a day full of wonderful memories and if you’re looking for a gift that will touch every mom’s heart, my story of unexpected motherhood can be found here – Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood 

With love and blessings,