Tag Archive | love

Butterfly Kisses

My oldest son turned ten today. It’s the day I’ve been dreading because it’s the day he hits double digits, signifying that he’s no longer a boy, but not quite a young man.

He’s so far from being a baby and so much closer to being  an adulthood. Everyone told me to enjoy my boys while they were little because it would all go so quickly and indeed, it has. In the blink of an eye I have a ten year old! TEN! I’ve been his mom for an entire decade, which is completely unbelievable, and the sad thing is, my youngest isn’t too far behind him. They are each one year older this year which means they are another year closer to the day I have to let them go. Even though I know they will always be my babies, l dread the day they will walk away as adults. They are already changing so quickly right before my very eyes, both nearly as tall as I am and their feet almost as big as mine. My oldest has always had the cutest, sweetest, most adorable high-pitched voice. The day puberty sneaks in and steals it replacing it with an awkward, lower pitched one, I’ll probably cry my eyes out.

My children bring out the most sensitive part of me to the point that, I’ll admit it, I cry every night on the eve of their birthday. I realize that declaring this out loud may make you see me as a bit crazy, or strange, or neurotic, but I can’t help myself. Everything that has happened through out the course of my life makes me appreciate every moment I get to have with them. I know how short life is and I’m reminded of it every time I look in the mirror and am reminded that I am no longer twenty-something anymore.

Life flies by without warning at lightning speed. These moments of whimsy and unfettered happiness, every giggle and kiss they offer up reminding me that this won’t last forever. It literally breaks my heart because if I could freeze these moments, I would truly live in them forever, and I would viciously protect them from what lies ahead as they barrel head-on toward adulthood. 

I love that I get to take care of and watch over them. I love that the most difficult decisions they have to face are what to wear and which Legos to play with. I adore their innocence and irreverent sense of humor. And I am thankful that life hasn’t mucked them up, or disillusioned them, and that they still believe that I am cool, smart and beautiful. I am happy that they find joy in the simplest things and that the world hasn’t taught them yet, how to be afraid, or ashamed, or that they should change who they are or what they believe. They are still true to themselves in a way that most of us can’t believe we were ever able to be.

At their ages,  my boys aren’t jaded, hurt, angry, or bitter, their only emotions coming directly from their beautiful little hearts which are guided by truth and perfection. As I watch them grow, I know these days will continue to pass quickly, and as I hold onto them as tightly as I can, it feels futile, like sand sifting through my fingers.

It’s not that I don’t want them to grow up. I knew that having children would result in raising them into adulthood then letting them go on their own. I knew that they would get older and hopefully become functioning, responsible members of society. 

I know that raising them to be capable, strong, compassionate young men is a privilege and an honor. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss their impish little smiles and their sweet unaffected spirits. It doesn’t mean I won’t miss their impulsive hugs and bashful kisses and how they still want to be little boys as they strain unexpectedly toward young adulthood. 

Having a healthy perspective about it all often evades me but I do realize that my oldest is only ten, and there are still several years of childhood yet to come. While I mourn for a childhood that still remains, I realize that my fear for them is still unfounded and that I need to indulge in the joy of cuddling with them today. So I try to live in the moment, never wanting it to end and realizing how lucky I am to get to have these moments at all. And I remind myself to cherish every hug, giggle, and butterfly kiss that they bestow upon me. I can’t promise that I won’t cry on their birthday eves. I’ll probably always cry because I’m a sap like that, and that will probably never change. 

But I do know to be hopeful and happy for the promise of the wonderful young men I know they will someday be. Always hearing their sweet voices in my ears as I feel their butterfly kisses on my cheek.  

 

Racism-Black and White And A Little Yellow

A local news reporter said an incredibly stupid thing today on the morning broadcast, and in reading the tweets and Facebook posts, you would think she was the biggest racist on the planet. There are comments calling for her immediate termination, referring to her as a racist (or worse), and maligning her character. Maybe she is a racist, but it’s highly doubtful because by all accounts, she and her family are very good people who are not racist in any way.  Although her comment was extremely ignorant, it doesn’t appear to be malicious or intentional, yet many tweet that it doesn’t matter.

I know I may draw some negative backlash for even saying that, but this called is called “Inside Jen’s Mind” so I’ll say what I think. And what I think is that racism is a funny thing, something we are always looking for in everything. It’s not funny-haha, but funny-strange, because it’s often assumed but not always true, though it is always divisive.

First let me tell you a bit about me. I was adopted from Korea when I was around the age of two. Abandoned by my own parents, I was adopted by a Caucasian couple who couldn’t have children of their own, neither of them having a racist bone in their body. My dad taught me that racism was stupid and that people of every race could be jerks, and he was right. I remember when I would come home after someone made fun of my race and instead of getting upset, Dad would say “They make fun of you because you can take it. If they’re picking on you, then they’re leaving someone else alone.” So I made that my mantra, knowing that I was strong enough to take it, even though I was a small little girl with slanted eyes and olive skin who didn’t look like anyone else I knew.

I went to school in an era when they were integrating the schools to ensure there was diversity. It didn’t matter much to me, because I had probably met two people in my entire lifetime that even slightly resembled me. So instead of going to school five minutes from my house to go to school with kids that didn’t look like me, I was bussed thirty minutes from my house to go to school with kids who didn’t look like me. Diversity didn’t mean much to me at that time. I was as diverse as it got, neither black, white, or hispanic and there were many times when I was out-of-place and felt very alone. I would love to tell you that all of my experiences were positive ones, but they just weren’t.

People were ugly, adults and children alike. A relative who I never really knew asked my mom if I was going to have surgery to ‘have my eyes fixed,’ and most of the time people just assumed I was “Chinese.” Often-times kids would make strange ignorant noises that were supposed to resemble Asian people speaking, and the questions like “What are you?” were asked often, even into adulthood. When I was little, I used to feel my eyes beginning to slant even more when faced with those situations, unable to hide the fact that I just didn’t look like everyone else. Today they call that “bullying” but back then it was just “kids being mean” and I knew I would have to face it all of my life because there was no surgery to made my eyes ‘less slanted.’

Looking back, I think Dad saw something in me that I had yet to see in myself, because I was strong enough to take it, and I did. Aside from elementary school, those events rarely drove me to tears, and most kids chose to pick on the girl with the lisp and the unibrow instead of the girl with the slanted eyes. As I grew older, kids weren’t as mean to me, and by that time I had made enough friends that I was usually left alone.

When I was growing up my family was white, my friends were a mixture of black, white, hispanic, Asian, and my best friend from seventh grade through high school was black. My race wasn’t important and it didn’t make me special, better, or worse, than anyone else. Nobody cared that I was Korean and I found myself finally fitting in and finding my place in the world.

But the world is very different now in countless ways. It’s more hypocritical and full of hatred which I think makes it difficult for us to look beyond our outward appearance, because our differences are constantly being highlighted in the media. The social climate is uptight and unforgiving, and nobody seems to be able to laugh at themselves and we are obligated to be offended by everything that happens in the world. We assume everything is meant to be offensive, so we oblige. I realized the world was changing when it became taboo to call an Asian person ‘Oriental’ or when the term “politically correct” became gospel, rather than policy.  Instead of coming together, we push apart, expecting and waiting to be pissed off about something… anything.

So says the Asian girl.

The scars of being teased and made fun of because I was different, certainly run deep. You can’t imagine what it’s like to have someone say horrible and ugly things to you just because of how you look, unless it’s actually happened to you. As a child and even as an adult, I’ve had people of all shapes, sizes, color, race, and nationality call me names, make ignorant comments, make gestures, assumptions, and even make their eyes slanted so they would look like me. But I call that ignorance and stupidity, and I refuse to let it change my heart or make me a prisoner. If you know me, you know that I’m not above telling someone to “screw off” if the situation calls for it, and I believe racism is one of those situations that certainly calls for it.

My youngest child came home from school after being “bullied” by another child, larger and older than him. My youngest, is my mini-me and not only looks identical to me when I was younger, but is just as stubborn and just as apt stand up for himself. What really broke my heart about the situation is that the other child jumped right to calling him a “little Chinese boy” as a way to put him down and told him to “Go back to China where he came from.” It brought back flashbacks from my childhood, but it also made me incredibly angry not just because my youngest is my baby, but because this other child obviously doesn’t know my son at all. My son is laugh-out-loud funny, irreverent, inappropriate, and incredibly charming. He’s the boy who will break the girls hearts because he won’t be tied down. He loves to play games, technology, and electronics of every kind, and did I mention that he’s funny as Hell? But this other boy just saw him as that “little Chinese boy” and I thought how sad it is that the world hasn’t really changed, after all.

Instead, we live in a world where not only are we still incredibly ignorant and say stupid, stupid things. Do I think that little boy is a racist? Absolutely not. I do think he’s ignorant, and while I hope his parents set him straight, I’m also realistic and understand that he may get that from home. Yet, I’m not offended by the situation and we’ve talked about it with my son because I’m sure it’s not the last time he’ll ever hear something like that again. I’m not teaching him to be tolerant of ignorant behavior, but hopefully he’ll learn to just see things and people for what they are. Hopefully it will motivate him to be his best, regardless of the stupidity that may surround him.

I’m not naive and I know racism exists and is alive and well and toxic in our world. But I don’t believe that we live in a world where everything and everyone is racially motivated. I do believe we live in a world full of moronic, stupid, ignorant, idiots who say the most ridiculous things and I think it is important to differentiate between the two.

We are living in a world that lacks levity because we are entirely too sensitive, and all that ends up doing is dividing us and breeding contempt, and more hatred. As a society, we are always looking for a scapegoat, an answer to our problems but the easy answer isn’t always the right one. We need to stop and learn to see things for what they are. Racism isn’t always so obvious, isn’t always so black and white, and  in simplified terms I think Webster’s still gets it right.

Racism-Webster’s dictionary

noun
1.
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
2.
a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3.
hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Rodney King~”Can we all just get along?”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sONfxPCTU0

The Beatles~All You Need is Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfH7iuLR0I

Marvin Gaye~What’s Going On https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfH7iuLR0I

We’re Growing Up

I wondered when it would finally happen and I realize, it’s happening now.

My children are no longer “babies.”

They are growing into young men right before my very eyes which gives me such mixed emotions. While part of me is happy to see them thrive and grow, the other part mourns the loss of the babies I once held in my arms. I can’t believe how quickly the years have already gone, and I anticipate the ones to come will pass with equal swiftness. I am not even remotely ready to be the mother of teenagers, or to have them shun me with the contempt most boys of that age feel for their parents. I’m not ready for them to believe they have surpassed intellectually and in their knowledge of the world. I’m not prepared for them to begin blaming me for my shortcomings as a parent or resenting me for doing too much of one thing, or not enough of another.

I already find that I miss the complete and utter adoration and admiration when in their eyes, I was perfect, amazing, and could do nothing wrong.

I realize the window on my motherly perfection is beginning to close and there is nothing I can do to keep it open. My boys are becoming more savvy in the ways of the world as it becomes bigger for them, day by day. I am happy and excited for their new experiences, but at the same time, I am fearful. Perhaps, less for them and more for myself.

Being a parent was easier when I could hold them in my arms when they cried and their tears would simply disappear simply because I was near them. It was comforting to me when I could soothe their little pains or problems with kisses and hugs, or words of wisdom they would listen to with big eyes and open ears. But as they get older and their problems get bigger I realize their ears won’t always be as open, their problems will get much larger, and I will no longer appear to be as smart as I was when they were two. It’s great for your ego when you have two little people who hang on your every word and think that everything you say is the most important thing in the world. The narcissist in me will definitely miss that!

It makes me sad to anticipate the changes that are before me as a mother and them as brothers. I liked when my kids thought I was fun, smart, and cool. They still feel that way, but I can see the veil slowly starting to lift until I am revealed to be “just mom.” While being a mom to young children is exhausting, it is also incredibly wonderful for your ego. After all, is there ever another time in your life when you are ever so incredibly loved and adored as when your children are young? Sadly, I also see the slow but sure separation between brothers as they find their own friends and interests, and the loss of closeness saddens me. We’ve raised them to look out for one another and I hope they will always find their way back to one another as first friends and as brothers. As the next phase of motherhood is barreling upon me, I find that I am full of trepidation. Will I know what to do? Will I be able to help them with their bigger problems? Will I be as effective and patient? What do I know about ‘boy’ problems? Will they care what I have to say? Will I still be able to guide them into adulthood to be good men?

I know I can’t stop them from growing up and I am excited for this next phase of their lives. The independence and confidence that shines within them is amazing and incredible, and I am proud of all of us for getting them to this point. I look at them and am in awe that a decade ago, they weren’t on the planet, and now here they are bringing happiness to my life every day. While I have such hopes and dreams for them, I can’t wait to find out what theirs will be and how to help them get there.

I’m growing up with them and I can’t wait to continue growing old with them.

 

 

I Run to You

I Run to You

I Run to You is not your typical love story. It’s a story about the power of love and choice, and what happens when one young woman decides to change her life completely.

Synopsis~

Alyssa Bennet had been living life on autopilot, never taking chances or the time to figure out what she wanted in life.   A broken family and lonely childhood had failed to show her the true meaning and depth of what love can be.

 

But all that changes on her 25th birthday.  

 

Alyssa suddenly realizes that it’s up to her to take charge and choose the direction of her life.

 

Landon Daniels, Alyssa’s best guy friend is always there for her whenever she needs him. But when the unthinkable happens and life takes a drastic turn, her relationship and feelings for Landon become too complicated to face. Alyssa is forced to rely heavily on the only two people she’s ever been able to trust, her best friend Anna and her beloved Nona. As they always have, they help Alyssa sort through the mess that has become her life. 

 

At her time of deepest despair, Alyssa finally begins to learn what true love really means. But her old feelings of inadequacy quickly creep back into her life making her doubt she can ever have happiness.

 

Will Alyssa be strong enough to face her fears and run toward the only man she’s ever loved, or will she destroy her chance completely? 

Buy Links:
Amazon~http://www.amazon.com/I-Run-You-Jennifer-Sivec-ebook/dp/B00KPK5EE2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1404914080&sr=8-2&keywords=jennifer+sivec

Barnes & Noble~http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-run-to-you-jennifer-sivec/1119886694?ean=2940149786183

Also available on IBooks.

Best Selling Author?!?

I was perusing Amazon, as I occasionally will do to check my rankings. I realized that my first novel, Leaving Eva, had a number 65 next to it for some strange reason.

As I looked further, I realized that it’s ranked as a Best Seller>#65 in the Top 100 Kindle Books>Adoption! I’m excited and stunned. While the adoption category in Kindle Books isn’t huge, to be in the top 100 of anything on Amazon is pretty cool.

While Leaving Eva has a strong adoption theme, it’s also about drug abuse, abandonment, separation, abuse, kidnapping, love, and so much more. But I’ll take the words “Best Selling” next to my name, any day of the week!!

There are only 20 more days until the Cleveland Author Event and I’m so excited about it! I can’t wait to meet awesome authors and readers, and put some beautiful faces with names.

And now I can do it even if it’s only for a day, as a Best Selling Author, according to Amazon. 😊😊😊

The Most Interesting People I Know…

I’ve met a lot of interesting people in my life. Heroes, criminals, writers, college dropouts, and self-made millionaires. But by far, the most interesting people I know actually live in my house, and are under the age of ten.

I was adopted, so for all of my life, there was nobody that looked like me, sounded like me, or resembled me in any way. That is… until my two precocious little boys came a long. Suddenly, I was surrounded by two little people who mirrored my husband and I, both in appearance, personality, and behavior. It was uncanny and miraculous, and I was instantly in love.

What has truly been amazing about this journey of motherhood, has been how interesting I find them. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist or a child psychologist stalking my little experiments, watching them change and grow. Seeing them develop from tiny dependent babies to funny and intelligent little boys has been all-consuming, so much more than I ever imagined.

My oldest son, Jack, is like my husband in many ways. And because I understand him, my depth of understanding has also grown for my husband. The “baby”, Charlie, is most like me so I understand how infuriating my stubbornness can be. The beautiful pattern of our family is woven by common threads, as well our own dynamic personalities. I am often mesmerized by how truly amazing it all is.

I could listen to my children talk all day. And right now, they love to talk to me. They can’t wait to share things and tell me what is on their minds. They share every idea, hope and thought with me and I can’t get enough of it! I truly love watching their minds work, thoughts formulate, and theories about life develop.

I love how much they rely on my husband and I to help create their core beliefs. But it’s always fun to watch how they take what they’ve learned and run with it. Whether it’s the answers to the big questions or the little ones, it feels like a privilege to witness them evolve and grow.

Jack recently realized that he has the ability to “choose” the big things in his life. Up until then, he believed that his course was set by us. It never occurred to him that he could do something different than what his Dad and I decided. This revelation that he could actually decide, didn’t change much for him. But his mind opened up just a little bit more on that day. With his newfound epiphany he edged slightly away from my little boy, to a wiser one.

I read somewhere that if you listen to your children when they are small, they will come to you when they are bigger. I’ve become a better listener, and what I’ve found is that I’m actually very interested. Whether it is their plan for their world in Minecraft, or what they are doing in school, or which wrestler is making his return debut-I hang onto their every word. And I listen. Always.

They are so interesting. Their passion, reflection, thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. They are a gift wrapped up in a beautiful little package borne of innocence, goodness, and discovery. All of which are gone way too quickly. I don’t remember thinking and imagining so sweetly. Those days are long gone for me, but when I see them in my children I find so much joy and happiness.

Charlie still believes in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, even though Jack has spilled the beans on countless occasions. But Jack still thinks that his dad and I are the best people in the world, and they both still love to cuddle with us every chance they get.

I am anxious to see what they will become. I can’t wait to watch and listen to them grow, though I am not in a hurry for them to do so. And I can’t believe that I made such beautiful children and that they can mesmerize me so completely.

I hope that as a mother, this complete interest in them early in their lives will open the door to more important moments when they are older. The conversations that will be needed when they are struggling with life and with themselves.

I don’t see myself ever losing interest in them, but I’m a realist and I know that there will be times-maybe even years when it will have to be from afar. But I hope they will always know that they will remain the most interesting people in my life.

And I hope against hope, that they will feel just a smidgen of that for me. ❤

2014!

My children measure time, regularly.

They often remark on how fast the weekend has gone or how slow time goes when they are bored. They are more aware of time than I was at their age. Teaching them to “live in the moment” or “to be patient” have been every day lessons in our home, but ones worth repeating.

As 2013 is now finished, it’s the first time in many years that I can look back and feel peaceful conclusion. The year is over and with it is comes some much needed closure.

Writing two books and finishing them was a huge accomplishment and a lifelong ambition in 2013. I gained a sister-in-law, because closer to my family, and learned how to prioritize the important things in my life. I’ve watched my children grow another year older and seen my niece go another year cancer-free. I’ve grown emotionally and intellectually into a person that I finally feel proud of.

Another New Year means that I’ll be another year older also. I struggle against it like most people my age do. I want my twenty one year old body with the experienced mind that I have now. Somehow it doesn’t seem right to have wasted all of my beautiful youth on such stupidity, though I realize it was just meant to be that way. I realize that I have no choice but to accept it and age gracefully.

I’ve never been one to make NY resolutions. But this year, I am going to resolve to be healthier. It’s selfish really. I want to look better, feel better, and live longer. And while none of that guarantees that I won’t get hit by a bus tomorrow, I can just do my best.

2013 wasn’t the worst year that I’ve ever had, and it wasn’t the best. But there were a lot of beautiful moments that I’ll always treasure.

I know that I have a lot to look forward to, which is a beautiful thing. I am going into the year with a new perspective and excitement that I haven’t been able to muster for a while. Most importantly, I am counting every beautiful thing and person that I have in my life. I certainly haven’t done anything to deserve them, yet they are there.

I hope that anyone reading this has a wonderful 2014. And if life hasn’t been great, I hope that you find promise. Hope is sometimes all you need to pull you into a life that is worthwhile. Believe me, I know.

Much Love and Happy New Year!

Happy Christmas

I’m happy this Christmas.

Really, truly, and peacefully happy. Not because there is a BIG box under the tree with my name on it. And not because I’m finally done my Christmas shopping.

I’m just happy.

I’ve had horrible and sad Christmases when I’ve lost loved ones either to uncertainty, death or to themselves. And they were so difficult that I don’t even know how I made it through. But for the first time, in many years, all finally seems right with the world.

I’m not happy because everything is perfect. It’s happiness that acknowledges that it’s not, but that life remains worthwhile. It’s happiness you can only know after you’ve been through a valley. A deep, dark, endless valley.

I won’t freak out this year when things don’t happen “on time” or exactly as planned. Because I have the most wonderful people in my life and I am a fortunate person. I’ve made it through some of the valleys. So I’m going to gather my strength, count my blessings, and love my precious ones like there is no tomorrow.

Because it is certain in life, that there will be more valleys. But for now I am going to enjoy the beauty of Christmas.

I hope that you will too. And that it will be beautiful, magical, and full of love.

“Because I Love You…” Giveaway

I’m hosting my first big giveaway as a way to show appreciation for all of the wonderful people who visit me on a regular basis. ❤

A year ago, I was in a very different place in my life and wasn't even sure if I would finish my first novel. Now, I've self-published two books with a third one in process. I know that I would have never been able to complete them without family, friends, and new friends who have given me so much support and encouragement.

So please click on the link and join in on the giveaway! And Thank You for all that you have given me just from being supportive and kind!!

"When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others."
~Dalai Lama

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Life is…

Life is…
Loving, learning, hoping, hurting, wanting, dreaming…
Failing,
Reinventing,
Regrouping,
Redeeming,
Reflecting.
Life is…
Full of joy, sadness, sorrow, pain…
The quickening of the pulse,
The beating of the heart,
It’s the glory in the rise,
and the humiliation of the fall.
Life is…
asking for forgiveness,
Begging for truth,
Finding beauty in the pain.
It’s looking in the mirror,
and not liking what you see.
Life is…
about change,
about growth,
about loving who you are.
And knowing that you will
never be the same again.
Life is…
erasing Anger,
Letting go of Hatred,
Finding your compassion,
Finding yourself.
And Life is…
Beauty, sorrow, incredible, amazing, unimaginable happiness, and undeniable grief.
But through it all,
Life is a gift,
And Life is… Good.