In case you can’t tell, I am very open with my affections. I am full of passion. I love people. I love things. I hug. I cry. I laugh. I love!

My mom.. she is a bit more subdued. I get the emotions from my Italian dad, who cries at weddings, funeral,s movies, and memories. Mom reserves her emotions for her inner circle and extreme conditions.

So as I continue to fall in love with my babies, I have often stopped to wonder, ‘Can my mom possibly love me this much?’ Did she ever find real pleasure in kissing my little feet? Did she have special and ridiculous nicknames for me? Did she wonder if she’d still be able to snuggle with me in 10, 20, 30 years? Did she hope I would always find her heoric and beautiful? Does she know that I do?

Yesterday, the mom of my stepkids moved away. She has gone to South Carolina to take care of her ailing mom, to start a new chapter. The kids, for various reasons, are staying here with Rod and me. I don’t know what all the next chapters hold. I do know that when Josh and Paige walked into our kitchen after saying goodbye, both crying, I never felt more like their STEPmom. I can hug, advise, comfort, write the checks, drive the carpool, register for drivers’ ed, proofread the essays, cheer at the concerts, plead cases to Dad… but I will never be their Mom. There is only one ‘mommy love.’

Almost one year ago, my mom’s mom passed away, although she had been lost to my mom and me long before that.

There are so many examples around me, mothers lost, children lost, through death, through separation either emotional or geographical or both. This morning, in the midst of some pretty heavy guilt, I watched Miranda, right up close, as she was watching ‘Lion King,’ a movie I can hardly bear because it involves the separation of a child from his parents. I found myself again takng in the wonder that this beautiful child is MY daughter.

And a few hours later, I read this (written by Maddie’s Gramma),  and was reminded again that they aren’t really ours, just precious gifts we eventually have to give back, one way or another.

I have no connecting point for all this. I just hope my mom and my kids know how much I love them.