I always win. Even when she’s a jerk and mouthy and makes me want to punch her in the gut. I always win.

May 29, 2014 in The Very Few Times I'll Admit to Having a Soul

My girl had her 16th birthday back in mid-May.

She’s a teenager, so as you can imagine, we experience a bit of drama-queen crap every now and then.

More ‘now’ than ‘then’.

This was one of those ‘now’ and also one of those ‘then’ times.  A double-dose of the drivel.

In a very authoritative voice I hear, “And I do not want some store-bought stupid card.  It better be home-made and it better be good.”

Well, allow me to inform you…I do not lose.  I am extremely competitive and if put to the test, I will sacrifice my soul to win.

I always win.

(Not a race or anything sweaty like that.  Hell-to-the-NO.)

(I didn’t say I was athletic…I said “competitive”.)

(Big difference.)

When she first spewed out those teenagery “I’m-a-spoilt-jerkass-and-I’m-gonna-milk-this-birthday-crap-for-as-long-as-I-can-milk-it” words…I got a little pissy.

And then I said to myself:  “Self, how about we shut her mouth and put her in her sweet little place?”

I always win.

She’s totally different from me.

She seldom cries.  I get weepy choosing a new lip gloss color.

She seldom shows much emotion and passion.  My emotions are all over the place and I can’t keep them leashed to save my soul and I get very passionate about random things daily.

She can be very middle-of-the-road and not give a rats ass one way or the other.  I own the road and my rats ass is always given.

So, I set out to do exactly what she wanted.  I wrote her a home-made card.

When I gave it to her, she got a little cocky and giggly and started in with some baby-talk saying, “Ooohhh…looky here!  Did you make me a card??  Awww…isn’t that just so sweeeeet.”

All mock-y and jerk-ish.

I always win.

I simply smiled and said, “I hope you like it.”

She thought she’d be cute and start reading it out loud.  In a baby-fied voice.  In front of the family and her best friend.

(And just so you’re not left in the dark…here it is:)

***********************************************************************************************************************

“Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us.

By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.”

Ephesians 3:20

Cayla,

The night I met your daddy, he asked me to tell him one important thing I would like to have in a man.

My reply: “To have a man who will sit with me in church and hold my hand.”

Because God can do more than I can ask or imagine, I not only have a husband who sits with me in church and holds one hand, I have a daughter who sits with me and holds the other. Something I never felt worthy of praying for.

God knows how much my heart needs you.

From the very beginning, you have given me more joy than I knew possible. I strive every day to make sure you are aware of my love for you. I can only hope I give you enough so on the days I fail, there is plenty of love from the days before to carry you through to the next.

I’ve always just assumed you would be “My husband’s daughter.” But in such a short time, to my heart you have become my daughter, as well. You are more than I’ve ever felt I deserve. You have taught me patience, you have taught me resilience, and you have taught me grace. Life hasn’t always been easy for you and I admire how you strive for the best, you never give up and you continue to succeed. You graciously spread God’s love and grace and I see your faith strengthen with each day.

I know the day is coming when you will spread your wings and begin making a life for yourself. The days are coming I will no longer ask if you’ve fed the dog and chickens. I will no longer see a messy room with clothes piled to the ceiling. I will no longer worry about not having hot water for a bath.

But I also know the days are coming when I will hear no one singing throughout the house. I will have no one asking for advice on heels. I will have no one holding my hand in church.

Cayla, for as much happiness as I have in seeing you grow and become so independent and strong, there is as much sadness because a part of my world will be forever changed once you begin your own life.

God knows how much my heart needs you.

It is my prayer you see the love I have for your daddy and it is my prayer you are one day blessed with a husband who loves you, who encourages you, and who lifts your spirit with a friendship like no other. Your daddy has blessed me with a life and a love and a family I’ve never felt worthy of before. You deserve no less.

I pray for the woman who birthed you. I pray she finds God’s peace and His will for her life. I thank Him that she loved you enough to suffer through the pain of giving you life. However, I thank Him for choosing ‘me’ to be your mother. It is a task I will never take lightly. Of all the women in the world, He found me worthy of you.

God knows how much my heart needs you.

Be assured, no matter how old you get, no matter how far away you may go, no matter where life may take you…I will always be there. I will continue to be your biggest fan and cheer you through life with pride in my heart only a mother can feel.

That is a gift you have given me.

As you grow, remember you have been chosen by God. His love and faith in you is like no other and you are on His path to the most perfect life He has planned for you. Always lean on Him and allow Him to shine through you. If you look, you will find Him with you in every day.

His power is at work in you.

Always be grateful. Always appreciate the smallest of gestures. Always find the good in others. For this will help keep your soul fresh and your heart pure.

Happy 16th birthday, my beautiful and sweet girl.

Because of you, I now know God can do more than I can ask or imagine.

May we forever laugh, fuss, roll our eyes at your daddy and then go shopping for shoes.

I love you more…

***********************************************************************************************************************

When she got to the part of “I pray for the woman who birthed you,” she started sobbing and couldn’t read out loud anymore.

You see, the woman who birthed her, left.

She left Cayla and Keith when Cayla was 18 months old.  She chose a life of addiction over her family.  She disappeared.  Literally.  Never heard from for years.

Until about 2 years ago.

Never wrote a birthday card.  Never sent a Christmas gift.  Never attended a school field trip.  Never pony-tailed her hair.  Never sent a dime to ensure her little girl had a meal.  Or a pretty dress for Easter.

Never.

About two years ago, she surfaced with a phone call to Keith.  Cayla has nothing to do with her.  She doesn’t speak to her and wants to know nothing about her.

To Cayla, this woman is not her mother.

She’s still buried deep in a life of addiction.  Living in the epitome of poverty.  Has no concept of time.  Has no common decency.  Has no job.  Has no ambition.  Has no faith.  Has no hope.

She periodically calls to see how Cayla is doing.  She has no idea how old Cayla is.

I always win.

Cayla can be moody and she can be back-talk-y and she can be a full-on jerk.  And there are times I want to run at her at full speed and tackle her mouth to the ground.

But.

She’s 16.

And.

“I” wrote Cayla a birthday card.  “I” give her gifts weekly.  “I” attend her softball games and her choir concerts.  “I’ve” pony-tailed her hair.  God knows “I” spend well over a dime on her.  “I’ve” bought her many pretty dresses and heels and tubes of lipgloss.

Because she’s my girl.

Therefore…

I always win.

Me and Cayla

 

Cayla

Peggy Scarborough May 29, 2014 at 9:46 am

I’m tbe biggest winner! I got you both!

Carrie May 29, 2014 at 9:51 am

Aww…love you for that.

Lisa Hewitt May 29, 2014 at 10:20 am

I’m just sitting here, in awe.
Love, love.

Carrie May 29, 2014 at 10:49 am

Love, love, love you back.

Thank you, Lisa.

Caroline McLaughlin May 29, 2014 at 10:25 am

I’m sobbing terribly. What a sweet, loving letter. Thank God for you showing her that she’s worthy of love when her mom didn’t.
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Carrie May 29, 2014 at 11:06 am

Aww…thank you Caroline!

It baffles me every day the life that woman chose to lead, but I can’t focus on that. I am too busy trying to make up a little lost time and at least show her that not every one “leaves”.

There are unanswered mysteries in life…and for me, this is one.

Lisa Guedry May 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I hope this doesn’t sound condescending but, I’m so, so proud of you. This made me cry. You amaze me!

Carrie May 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Condescending?? From YOU? My other conscience?!?

Heck no, sister!

Thank you for that…you’re a rock and I’m lucky to have you.

Barbara May 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

So glad you found Keith and Cayla. You make one fantastic little family unit!

Carrie May 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Thank you…they are my salvation.

And my pains in the butt…but there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t thank the good Lord for them.

Not one day.

Even when I’m blowing a gasket over them. =)

Adelyn May 29, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Sobbing. Sobbing. Sobbing. So beautiful

“From the very beginning, you have given me more joy than I knew possible. I strive every day to make sure you are aware of my love for you. I can only hope I give you enough so on the days I fail, there is plenty of love from the days before to carry you through to the next.”

This. Above. EXACTLY what being a mother is. My daughter asked me the other day why I tell her i love her all the time. I said “in case the day ever comes that you wonder…I want you to KNOW that I do.”

You are such an amazing person. I am so glad to know the 2% or so that is possible through the Internet. ;-)

And the lady who birthed her?!? An example of how horrible and powerful addiction is. It destroys… So glad you and her dad are building.

Carrie May 29, 2014 at 7:14 pm

My goodness, Adelyn. THIS makes me sob.

You have such a kind heart. Thank you for those words. I have to remind myself frequently that she has been through more at her young age than I have at my old age. And she’s handled it all with such grace and humility.

I do what I can with the short time I’ve loved her. But it’s her daddy. He’s the one. He has carried a big load for many years on his own.

You’re precious to me. Thank you.

Joy Christi May 30, 2014 at 1:26 pm

OH MY STARS AND GARDENS, that just made me burst out crying like I’m picking a lip gloss with you. Except I don’t usually cry easily. You got me … right in the pencils (clutching my heart/chest area where a pocket full of pencils might be.)
I’m sure she knows, teenage jerk or not, how lucky she is that you are in her life. Tears are literally streaming down my face blurring my vision right now….please excuse type-o’s.
That is THEE best, and to a teenager possibly the worst to have to read out loud, card EVER made by anyone ever, for anything. You win. I am not even playin, you just WIN!

Carrie May 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Oh, Joy…thank you for that!

I don’t normally go sappy-ishy, but sometimes I gotta show I have a heart. It ain’t easy, but you know…we gotta do what we gotta do. =)

Thank you for the sweet note…I’m so glad I found you!!

Bobbi June 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm

This hits me hard. At a time where I had to make a tough choice and choose myself, my sanity, and my family recently. I wish my mama would seek the help that she needs, she is not an addict, don’t think that. She and I both suffer from mental illness, I choose to move forward seek help and accept it. She on the other hand denies anything is wrong and is always on the attack. So thank you for loving her.
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Carrie June 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm

You keep moving forward. Your moving forward is the best thing you can do for you and for your family.

The woman who birthed Cayla is so far gone, it’s past the point of there ever being help for her. She has called 3 times in 3 days with the very same question/conversation. Keith continues to ask her not to call, but she apparently can’t remember and calls the next day.

It’s not harassing, just irritating. She’s never been ugly or mean and is always kind, so it’s difficult to get mad at her.

Cayla and I just spoke about her yesterday. She said she used to think about maybe one day meeting her all the time, but now…she never thinks about it. So, maybe in some small way…I’ve filled a void she’s had all these years.

She sure has filled one for me. =)

Hang in there and keep on keeping on. Your choices may be tough…but the right ones usually are.

Lots of love to you, Bobbi. Lots.

Amber June 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Aw! This made me tear up.

She’s so lucky to have you in her life!
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Carrie June 2, 2014 at 2:25 pm

You’re too sweet. I’m the lucky one.

Most of the time. Not the times I’m pulling out patches of red hair from my head…but the other times? Yes.

=)

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