Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Holidays!

The SMC blog is taking a vacation for the holidays and will return in the new year. Best wishes to all, and a happy new year!



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Love (While Being an SMC of Two)

I've been a SMC for almost 10 years now. Here is my story.

When my daughter (via DI) was a baby I had little time or interest in dating. I was loving motherhood, but motherhood and working full time took all my energy. There were many times that I was grateful that I didn't have to put any energy into a relationship because I didn't think I could have managed.

When she got to be a toddler and I began to get out of the house occasionally without her I began to think about dating and had a profile up on The first thing I noticed is that I got hardly any interest compared to the profile I had up before becoming an SMC. I was now 37-38 yrs old.

About that same time I had a few dates with a HS classmate and we really liked each other but he lived long distance and was not interested in a long distance relationship. The dry spell continued...

When my daughter was 5.5 yrs I moved from NYC to suburban NJ. Later that year a friend set me up on a date with a widower who had a 9 year old daughter. We e-mailed and talked awhile and eventually met for dinner. I was the first person he had really liked since his wife died and he wasn't ready to do anything.

Now I was in my 40's... More dry spell... not really even trying to date. I had pretty much given up. I was in the process of adopting my 2nd daughter. I figured that my prospects were dim anyway so why not go ahead and grow my family.

Last summer when my youngest had been with me almost a year we made a trip out to the mid-west to see her birth parents and the cousin that introduced us. While there I met my college sweetheart for dinner with the kids. It was the first time we'd seen each other in 22 years. We were trying to catch up on the last 20+ years but as you might imagine it was nearly impossible with the kids interrupting every few minutes. As I was leaving he told me that he was going through a divorce. I asked him to call me after the kids were in bed so that I could talk uninterrupted. When we talked we discovered that we both still cared about each other and began dating long distance and it is going well.

I remember telling him that I was no prize because I had 2 kids, 2 parents (living next door), 2 dogs, 2 cats and an old house to care for. I said, "what man wants all that!" His reply was that "a good man would want all that."

So I went from having no hope that I would ever marry (or even date regularly) to a relationship with the one man I regretted not marrying 20+ years ago. I feel really lucky and somewhat foolish that I had ever lost my hope in the first place. But I'm glad that I found it again.

Julia Crislip

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Losing the First Tooth

Samuel got his first loose tooth last night. It is wiggly and it hurts a bit and Samuel is thrilled and I am sad. OK, I know it is ridiculous. The timing is actually on the late end to lose his first tooth --he will be seven next month. He has a couple of friends who lost their first tooth at age four and many at age five and six so it is about time (in his mind anyway)!

Nevertheless, I feel like the last vestige of Samuel's babyhood is going. It really seems like he has changed more in the last year (age 6 to 7) than any other single year since infancy. In fact, in many ways, he was remarkably stable in his personality, traits, play and interests between about age three and six. Now he has left those things behind. No more pretend games, no more playmobil, no more fantasy, little tolerance for his younger sister, a rigidity about gender when before there was a fluidity....

Of course he has gained some things as well. He has new interests: legos, sports, hexbugs, his friends, the violin/piano, technology. He can read (and at least he reads to his sister!)! He is more mature both emotionally and cognitively. Where there was once a sweet soft babyness in his face and body, he is now all muscles, angles and lean. Generally, he has been a pretty easy reasonable child, but he has grown mostly easier and more reasonable or at least better at avoiding getting caught in mischief.

A few things remain the same. I still see Samuel (empathic, verbal, thoughtful, curious, funny) when I look at him. But he is growing away from me in leaps and bounds. I am a welcome respite at the end of the day, but during daylight hours, his friends are mostly more important to him than his mother and sister. What happened to the four year old Samuel who said very seriously to me, "Mommy, YOU are my best friend"??? The kid who constantly made cards with hearts above my name, and whose first written chicken scratch at age 3 was "I love you Mama"? The small child with the pink socks and the huge smile?

Not so long ago, I had a baby and a toddler. Then for a long time, it seemed like I had two preschoolers --one younger and one older. Now suddenly, I have a four year old and a boy who is nearly seven. They rush in and out of the house in a brilliant whirlwind of school, lessons and friends. "Hi Mama, bye Mama. Hi Mommy, Bye Mommy. Hi Mom, Bye." And I am so busy and scattered and frantic that I barely noticed the time slipping away.