5/9/16, Not Perfect But Wonderful!

Hi Everyone,

I hope that where appropriate, you had a lovely Mother’s Day. I realize every year, that after Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday!!! I really enjoy it with my kids. I spent it between two cities, and two countries, in my “double life”. For many, many years, with 9 children, I was rooted and planted in one spot, we went away in the summer for vacation, but the rest of the time, I was solidly planted in one place, driving kids to school, ballet classes, baseball, lacrosse and soccer games, organizing birthday parties, sleep overs, play dates, buying school supplies, and dropping off forgotten lunches. My life revolved totally around my kids, their school vacations, school plays, dance recitals, track meets, etc. multiplied by 9. It was a super busy life, beyond busy, I was always running to pick someone up, drop someone off, get their sick dogs to the vet, get baseball uniforms, all the things that fill and rule one’s life when you have kids, and I have a lot of them!!! I hardly traveled at all, never in fact, except in the summer with the kids And then one day the kids grew up, several moved to other cities to pursue their careers (for my 3 in fashion, they had to be in the cities where fashion is made, one went to LA to produce movies,) the chicks flew away, the husband left, and I found myself in an almost empty house, looking into empty bedrooms, and waiting for them to come home for holidays. I still have one child at home, fortunately, but she’s always busy, work, gym, concerts, friends. They all have their own lives now. So I flew away too, and began living in 2 cities, in 2 countries, flying back and forth between the 2, every few weeks, to my two home bases, and to visit my kids along the way in their cities. It has evolved into a nomadic life of constant travel, I see new movies on planes, work in both places, I have a typewriter in both houses, and fly away, land, unpack that night, and start work the next day (sometimes I wake up in the morning, and in the first few minutes, wonder which city I’m in). It’s a very different life than I used to lead when my kids were little, but with grown kids busy with their own lives, and unmarried myself now, it’s a wonderful way to live life, and not feel the absence of my old life quite so much!!! And on special days, like holidays, I realize what a gypsy I’ve become. I’m always packing and unpacking, flying, visiting kids, or working/writing in my 2 cities. It’s a crazy life, but I love it.

So Mother’s Day was a 4 day event for me, I flew to one city, and celebrated an early mother’s day with 3 of my kids, had a wonderful time with them, we had an early Mother’s Day dinner, and the next day I flew to my other city, unpacked, attacked my desk, worked on a re-write, and then celebrated Mother’s Day on Sunday with the others. Mother’s Day spanned 2 dinners and a brunch, 6,000 miles apart. And I managed to finish a re-write of a book between meals and seeing my kids (and stayed up very late to write). My kids were very thoughtful with me and always are. I got wonderful gifts, some really pretty bracelets, one with big black beads and a green stone, a vintage 1940’s bracelet that says “U R My Love” (which I will wear forever with others they have given me). I got a T shirt that says “Mom Knows Best” (YESSS!!! Finally they admit it!!), a towel that says “Home is where Mom is”, some vintage red leather earrings I’ve always wanted, a beach bag, some cushions with hearts on them, a hot water bottle (always useful), some really cute dog photographs, and a water color of my 2 dogs, and a sign that says “You’re the Mom Everyone Wishes they had” (Who can resist that??!!!) And since they know I love sayings, my youngest son gave me a little plate that says “Life Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Wonderful”—–Now that is a powerful message, and the crux of it all. How often we forget that, or I forget it, and think that if this or that would just happen, life would be wonderful. But that saying is true; Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. It’s never perfect, but in spite of that, it sure can be wonderful.

The night after I reached my destination for Mother’s Day Round 2, I couldn’t sleep. I was wide awake, probably on some other time zone. I don’t usually get jet lag (I sleep on the plane), I lay awake worrying about a thousand things—-and I can really worry when I put my mind to it, about my kids, or my work, or life, or something someone did, and I suddenly realized how lucky I am, and how grateful I am for the good things in my life, the good people, good children, the work I do that I love, the books that I enjoy writing, the children I fly half way around the world to see, I suddenly realized how precious it all is, and the good moments are.

So today, instead of thinking of all the things that could go wrong, worrying about one child or another, are they happy, are they with the right people, do they like their jobs, will you like the next book, will everything or anything happen the way I want it to, will the people I love be safe, will my children find the right path in life, or the right partners…..I suddenly realize how true that saying is on the little plate, that Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. It’s never perfect, but there sure are wonderful moments sometimes, and I am so grateful for them, those little islands of joy that surprise us in a sometimes turbulent sea. I cherish those moments, and even my spread out holidays spent with my kids in several cities, in my currently Nomadic life, living in and out of suitcases and on and off planes.

This week I am doing a big project. I’ve had a big storage unit for 30 years, into which we sent anything we couldn’t figure out what to do with, furniture, old dolls, my mother’s furniture, my late son’s, cribs and strollers, and just a mountain of stuff. I’ve finally decided to go through it and get rid of what we don’t want, and will never use again. It will take me all week, but I’ve been wanting to do it for years. I’m sure memories will surface, and things we’ve forgotten that we have (old Barbie dolls, old ice skates, old furniture) —–so it’s clean up time. It will be a big job, but I’m looking forward to it!!! So that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ll let you know what I find.

And in the meantime, for this moment, I am so grateful for a far from perfect, but sometimes wonderful life. I had a wonderful Mother’s Day with my kids, I can’t ask for more than that, and I hope you are having some wonderful moments too, whatever they are. Take good care. Have a great week!!!

much love, Danielle

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6 Comments so far
  1. Janine Hewitt May 9, 2016 10:46 am

    Glad to hear of your Happy Mothers Day! Families are so awesome, as is mine for sure too! God Bless.

  2. Shannon May 9, 2016 2:42 pm

    So nice to hear how close you are to your children. My oldest is a senior in high school about to fly the coop in a couple months. I’m both excited for him and heartbroken for myself at the same time. Stories of adult children still close to their mother warms my heart. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Erika Finn May 9, 2016 2:45 pm

    It’s always so inspiring to read your blog, Danielle! I’m so glad you had a wonderful Mother’s Day… You inspire me! I’m in that stage of life with four very young children at home, writing my books in the wee hours while they’re sleeping so I can do all the running around during the day, and a husband who is hardly home. I know this time of life will pass all too quickly, so I’m savoring these days with my chicks all under one roof. I hope your storage unit clean out goes well. It will be hard to sort through Nick’s things, I’m sure… Be gentle with yourself. You have a pure mother’s heart and I admire you greatly. I will be holding you in my thoughts as you do that mentally and physically exhausting work. (((Hugs)))

  4. Lorraine May 10, 2016 6:11 am

    What a lovely article!!! Thanks for sharing your Mother’s Day! I lead a much more simple life than you do, but the sentiments of the article are the same! So glad you had such a happy time! You surely deserve it! Love, Lorraine

  5. Elaine May 10, 2016 11:40 am

    Hi Danielle,

    I just finished The Apartment, and I love it! (sad to see it end, wanted to move right in and live there myself!) Thank you again for publishing so often this year; you’ve given me something to look forward to.

    Warm regards,


  6. Shuaibu May 12, 2016 3:44 am

    Very nice of you,keep the good work going.