Brooklyn and I have been spending a lot more time together, and it’s truly been wonderful. Brooke is intelligent, witty she’s probably one of my favorite humans on the planet to interact with.
Brooke is my ace. Brooke is turning 13 in February and it’s something I have a hard time coming to grips with. You hear horror stories of when children turn 13.. Especially girls, so I’ve been afraid. Will I lose my bestie as she ages? I know you hear people say “Don’t be friends with your child.” I grew her.. I’m her friend, blanket, at one time I was her food source! Whatever she needs til the day I die.. that what I am. When Brooke needs a friend, that’s what I am.
We’ve always been a gruesome twosome, after I had Christy and got engaged well Brooke and I some strain in our relationship. I thought keeping Christy’s dad separate and secret from Brooke was a good idea..then he moved in.. so it was a lot of adjustment for us. It was tough. Through a lot of communication we discovered what was missing..
Mommy and Me Time!
Back when Brooke was younger I used to work 16 and 17 hour days in plastic surgery. However the weekends were OURS. We lived in a little trailer in the wineries of Temecula at one point and we were fine! Professional bachelorettes. Spending our days watching chick flicks, eating strangely concocted desserts! brownies covered with caramel.. FOR BREAKFAST! Brunch whenever we wanted. Shopping, movies, concerts. We did it all!
As soon as the baby came.. we just didn’t have the time or the finances like we used to. I was breastfeeding, working, trying to raise to newborn, building the foundation of a healthy relationship and trying to hold on to whatever sense of normalcy Brooke and I had of our former life.
Brooke began acting. For Brooke acting out meant withdrawing to near complete silence and staying at her Nana’s. I was hurting because I wasn’t used to not feeling that closeness. Brooke and I were inseparable.
For 10 years it was just us. As much as I wanted a relationship and bond with another human.. Brooke was content with it just being us. We had been through so much. It was nice for it to be just us for a change and then I got pregnant.
I remember one day I believe the baby was about 5 months old and Brooke just broke down and said “I miss mommy and me days.. it’s like you only care about Christy and Chris now and you don’t have anytime for me anymore!” My heart shattered. That wasn’t the case at all, but how do you explain that to a 10 year old that was an only child.. for TEN YEARS!
It was hard to see my child hurting so badly. I thought I was doing it right. I was providing for my family. Giving what time I could to everyone but I had to nurture my time with Brooke. She needed me. She didn’t ask for this whole new family that I created right under her nose. She didn’t ask for a sibling. She didn’t ask for a father figure. These were the things I wanted. Brooke needed time to adjust to her new life and it was difficult at first.
It was not easy blending my family. What really helped was Chris being so understanding of Brooke and I and our delicate relationship. He could see that the lack of “Mommy and Me time” was really bothering Brooke. He told me “you gotta bring back the mommy and me days. I’ll take the baby you just take Brooke and do whatever you want.”
That was all we needed! We have mommy and me time often now!
Boy has it changed… we’ve gone from singing Justin Bieber to Ariana Grande and mumble rappers. She loves memes, gossip and wants to pierce every part of her body😅 which is ironic.. she hated when I had facial piercings when she was a kid.
This past week was her holiday break and we had sometime to do things together and we had deep conversations.. some of which I was ready for.. some not so much.
Our mommy and me time was a bit impromptu. We were supposed to go see the movie “Green Book” with my nana but on the way from Thanksgiving dinner Brooke said “Let’s go see Bohemian Rhapsody! Chris is taking the baby to San Diego we will finally have to see it!”
We are huge Queen fans and had been dying to see the film however the movie runs long and 2 hours and 14 minutes long and my soul can’t sit still that long.. but we were dying to see this movie.. we don’t agree on much these days as the teenage years are approaching and I’m “not cool..” but one thing we do agree on is Rami Malek is FINE! we giggled with delight as we discovered we were going to have time to see the movie!
Since it was the holiday, Chris and the bonus babies (his handsome son Donovan and beautiful daughter Novalee) had made a fort in the living room. Brooke slid into bed with me and plotted smuggling food from the .99 cent store into the theater.. I told her we didn’t have to do that she replied
“You trained me this way.. we can’t just abandon it now.. plus why pay $8 for twizzlers.. when you can .99”
She had a point. We made our plans and fell off to sleep.
I woke in the night to just look at her. 5’4 big brown curls, long lashes and just stunning. I still can’t believe I gave birth to such an amazing young woman. Her sense of humor is second to none. She’s really mature for her age. Always has been. I enjoy her point of view and I respect her feelings and opinion. She grew under my heart, I’m always going to listen to what she has to say.
Lately she’s been filling me on The 7th grade. It makes me laugh and forces me to be nostalgic. She ask me what it was like 20 years ago when I was 12/13. It’s nice… normally these conversations take place in the car.
We spend a lot of time in the car, driving to work, school, friends houses, business trips, when we’re in the car it’s just us. We’re sealed off to the world and in our box of awesomeness. We don’t care about the eyes looking in.. we didn’t ask them to turn their eyes in our direction.. since Brooke was about 2 we’ve sang our hearts out. One memory I have is performing Bohemian Rhapsody in the car with Brooke and my friend Joanie pulled up near us at the stop light and Brooke was headbanging with all her night screaming “MAMA MIA LET ME GO!”
Joan laughed so hard and we continued our concert.. we love Queen!
We woke up excited and true to Brooke’s plan.. we headed to the dollar store to smuggle in our snacks.
As we shopped I kept reminding her “we don’t have to smuggle this Brooke.. they check bags now you know.”
she continues getting her snacks in the line we talk
Brooke: mama I like old man snacks ginger ale and pork rinds.
Me: Don’t matter what you like we going to jail for smuggling snacks into the movies.
After smuggling the goods in.. we finally saw the film and it was worth it Brooke’s entire review of the film was.
“Rami Malek summoned Freddie Mercury with a ouija board.. that’s the only way that was possible”
We cried, we sang, we laughed…. we loved that film and we will own it! It was so fun looking over at her and seeing her face light up a few time she whispered “how cool would it have been to really see Queen perform.”
We left the theater buzzing with energy and needing to sing every Queen ever made at the top of lungs with the windows down! We still had mommy and me time to spend! We had to pick up new incense from Lady of the Lake. The local holistic shop.
On the ride to our next location Brooke began to open up about boys.
Brooke: mom, I understand what you mean no about guy friends being cool. They will tell you the TRUTH! I asked my one guy friend “what do the boys really think of me?” And he like “they think you pretty and funny but they won’t like you because you don’t have no chest!” They don’t want me because I’m flat… and what’s so bad mama these boy are 4 feet tall judging me!
Me: They judging bodies already!
Brooke: Oh yeah mom if you not thick.. with 2 “cc’s” you not “poppin”
Me: but you’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.
Brooke: pretty don’t count no more mom.. see you’re from the 90’s you had boobs and pretty privilege that’s why you were popular. I’m skinny and flat chested… it’s hard out here. All the boys only like 8th graders with big boobs.
Me: well big boobs are overrated be happy you have small ones. Your back has no pain! You don’t have to spend extra money on a bra! You have it made.
Brooke:…. I want some titties. I’m sick of nature and these games! Of all the features I get from you I didn’t get the boobs! It’s not fair!
Me: honestly they just sag.. you spend your whole life wishing you had smaller boobs, you know how much it cost to make large boobs into small boobs.. about 9k..be grateful.
Our finally Stop was groceries. We get out of the car and we notice these two men looking at us. It was a weird feeling. You know when people look at you too long so you have to look at them… that was the situation. We were in the parking lot pushing a cart across and these two men wouldn’t stop looking. They were younger dudes in their 20’s one had a beard like ZZ Top
The other no beard..
Brooke and I enter the store and the beardless one says “Hello.” I return the greeting smile and keep on about my business.
Brooke is laughing because Brooke is Brooke and the dude has a 3 foot beard and she is silly.
We’re in the produce section and the two dudes just materialize, look us up and down and say “you ladies are awfully giggly!”
I look around like I know they are not talking to me and my child and say “it’s a free country.. I’m a happy individual.”
Brooke just looks at the man and laughs takes off running like Usain Bolt.. I carry on about my business and Brooke returns later with tears in her eyes from laughing.
I look up and say “first of all I’m glad I didn’t get snatched up! What are you running for!”
Brooke: I feared the beard😂🤣🤣🤣 mama I think they thought we were the same age.. that’s creepy!! Also creepy.. how did that man have a long gray beard in his 20’s..
Me: you had all those thought and still ran off left me in the produce section with a young ass old man with a beard.. that’s how you do your mom🤣
We stayed in the store longer than we needed to out of sheer paranoia 😂
She sat in the passenger on the way home on Snapchat with her friends talking about the weird man with the beard and Rami Malek. I just drove and remembered talking to my friends about boys at the market. It’s a trip to me that Brooke is going to be 13.
I don’t know where the time has gone but I wish it would slow down a bit. She’s talking about college… in Europe of course. Traveling, she’s talking about moving away as soon she turns 18. Researching scholarships and studying aboard. She wants to study in Norway this week. She will be 18 in a little over 5 years. If 13 years went by this fast.. 5 years is nothing.
I used joke with Brooke “I only have to legally do this mom gig till you turn 18..then I’m living in a van down by the river… you’re on your own.”
She and I know both know that’s not the case. Brooke and Christy are my reason to live.
I’m terrified there will be a day Brooke won’t want to hang out as much. Her friends will take over mommy and me time.. I’m fine with that.. that’s natural.
The hardest part of motherhood so far has been middle school! The kids not understanding how awesome Brooke is, and Brooke not understanding how awesome she is at times. Brooke stands up for what’s right and stands up for what she believes in.. but Brooke also wants friends and to be liked and I worry about my child finding genuine friendships.
Middle school is just awkward time. You’re finding yourself and trying to build friendships. Brooke struggles with that and we talk it out. I know she will make friends.. good friends. She idolizes the friendships I made in middle school because many of them I still have to this day. I pray she finds friends like I had. I pray she doesn’t let these weird body norms dictate her happiness. Boobs are overrated.
I scared of the teen years. It’s like everything you’ve taught them is now put to the test and you just have to be there for them through it all. Life with Brooke is amazing… I just wish the time would slow down just a little.