• better-by-rebecca-masterson

    Better

    I have sucked as a parent lately. Truth. ‘Tis the season for holiday lights and wrapping paper and for mom to be a stressed out asshole. That should be a Christmas carol. “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the waaayyyyy. My mom’s annoyed at everyone, please bring her a spa day.”  I don’t know, you guys, sometimes it’s a lot. That’s all I’ve got for you. This month has been a lot. Last month was a lot. Sometimes I look at this shit show I signed up for and say damn girl, this is a lot.  This too shall pass…

  • The Opposite of Yelling

    I was sick this week. Throwing up throughout the night, curled up in fetal position at the base of the toilet, not sure how clean the bath mat is, I do not even care, I will never eat blue cheese in a salad again, SICK. Being sick as an adult is lousy. Being sick as a mom is just not fair. Usually, with a head cold or slight fever, we moms power through by tossing the child-wolves some technology, pouring some cereal in a bowl and calling it dinner, and announcing bedtime at 7pm. Not this go-round. Leaving my bed was…

  • Out of the Way, Mom.

    I had a moment recently. My son, Jax, and I had been in the car running errands for a few hours. I was singing along to the Beatles channel when Jax said, “Mom, I’m hungry.” Well, yeah, breakfast was a hurried cup of yogurt three hours ago so that’s reasonable. There is no shortage of food options in the strip-malled mecca of Scottsdale, and we chose Chipotle. We ordered, we got our food, we sat. We were finishing up and Jax got up to refill his soda. He took the lid off, said excuse me to me the man who was…

  • The Santa Exit Plan

    It was late-September of 2008 when we brought my son home from China, just two months before December and our sparkly, over-the-top, American-style Christmas season. My little boy had no idea what Christmas was. He had no idea who Santa was. Hell, he had no idea what protein was. Time, as it does, marched on and my son acclimated to Christmas quickly. The tree, the lights, the presents, the added traffic, the fact that I will not step foot in a Costco or Target during the month of December. I added in some religious overtones, some lessons about giving, and gave myself a pat on…

  • I Gotcha, Kiddo.

    Jax’s eighth Gotcha Day is coming up. “Gotcha Day” is the anniversary of Jax’s adoption from China. It’s the day Jax became our son, and like good adoptive parents, we celebrate. Jax gets a few presents, we decorate, we eat pizza and cake, we participate in general adoption merriment. Gotcha Day has been easy the last seven years. Jax hasn’t had much interest in his adoption story. He didn’t seem to care, or really understand, that there was a woman in China who gave birth to him and chose not to keep him. Jax knows he was in an orphanage for…

  • I Didn’t Take A Picture

    This past Friday, my son, Jax, and I went to the park. It was early, around 9am, and we were the only ones there. It was quiet and calm, a complete contrast to our typical park visits. Jax was free to run up and down the play structure that, in his head, was now an aircraft, parachute-jump off the swings, and yell to the control tower. He was laughing, smiling, singing made-up songs about Han Solo. His joy was palpable. I could see it, I could feel it. My kid was back. How did I miss this? Of course, I knew that…

  • To Jax, the Bravest Kid I Know.

    Jax, It’s National Adoption Month, and my newsfeed is full of adoption stories like ours. Stories about the decision to adopt, the complicated process, the financing, the trip to China or Korea or the group home in the next town over. There’s a theme in all the stories. Parents, parents, parents. What it was like for us parents. Jax, I want you to know that I remember what it was like for you, too. This is what I’m talking about this National Adoption Month – not my story, but yours. Your dad and I planned your arrival for years. We…

  • He’s So Lucky.

      “He is soooooo lucky!” If I had a dollar for every time someone looked at my internationally-adopted son and said that to me, I would be living large, y’all. I’d own a fancy horse and a yacht and some serious acreage, all owned by my corporation, MyLuckyKid, LLC. Sadly, I don’t get a dollar, and that is really unfortunate because my Chinese kid and I hear how lucky he is all the time and just about everywhere we go. It makes me uncomfortable. Even though it is always coupled with the best of intentions, big smiles and friendly arm…

  • What a Birthday Should Look Like

    We just celebrated my son’s ninth birthday. If you had asked me ten years ago what my future son’s ninth birthday would look like, I might have described the perfect summer pool party. Something rambunctious and loud and perfectly planned. Water balloons and canon ball contests and twenty sun-kissed kids clamoring around a cake shaped like a surfboard. Hot dogs and music and grown up drinks in red plastic cups for the adults. Guess whose ninth birthday looked absolutely nothing like that. This is what we do, we special needs parents. We compare what we think a childhood should look…

  • In Search of a Comfortable Barcalounger

    I have been putting this post off for weeks. I’ve told myself that I have writer’s block, that I’m too busy, that life, you guys. Really, I am just hiding out. From myself and from you and from this blinking cursor who knows that I won’t write another thing until and unless this comes first. Deep breath. Today, I am meeting an estates and trusts lawyer. In 33 minutes, I will put on some nicer shoes, hopefully remember some earrings, and get in my car to meet my parents at the office of their lawyer and discuss my son’s future.…