Sweet P

This has been a tough week for my daughter. MotherAndBabyGiraffe1

When we moved here almost 2 years ago we didn’t know very many people. She was enrolled in a summer day camp program but didn’t specifically make any friends. When she started in her new school she came home saying she made a friend! I was bursting with joy. The road for my daughter had been bumpy the last few years and it was great that school started on a high note.

When I met this little girl I was surprised my daughter hadn’t mentioned she was in a wheelchair. But it was JUST LIKE her to look past something as silly as this, and focus on the person sitting in the chair. That is one of my daughter’s special talents. Every day I would hear more funny stories about the two kids pal-ing around.

But just as suddenly as the friendship started—it ended. My daughter’s friend was born with MD (muscular dystrophy). It can affect arms and leg muscles, and it can also affect heart and lungs. This little girl passed away one weekend quite suddenly.

Having to break this news to my little girl was devastating. The following events (wake, funeral, school assemblies) were almost too much for her to bear. She did a pretty good job at trying to forget it ever happened. Until she would see another child in a wheelchair, or until another group would have a memorial for her, or something planted in her name. The community outpouring of love for this girl was beautiful.

This week was the anniversary of her birthday and the school was going to ask kids to wear her favorite color and create a poem to be read during the school announcements. My daughter said she wanted to skip school that day. I didn’t blame her. But I also told her I would think about it.

Over the course of the week, I had her talk to her teacher, her psychologist, and me. Her school was so supportive about my daughter’s feelings they offered a variety of ways to help her through the school day. In the end she spent much of her morning with the Kindergarten teacher, helping with the little kids. This teacher was also very close to the family and was in need of support. The two of them helped each other that morning. Later on I got a wonderful phone call from that teacher, telling me how great it was to have my daughter in class due to her own sorrow.

As her mother my knee-jerk reaction to my children’s pain is to try to do everything to get rid of it. I have to fix them, to make them happy again. But I do them a disservice when I intrude sometimes. What a beautiful teaching moment this was for my daughter. I wasn’t suppose to have the answers for her. It was God’s plan to have her learn this lesson from another. Therefore 2 lives were made better.

In loving memory of ♥

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Head vs. Heart—Welcome to the Tractor Pull

I can just hear it now—Competition

SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY—the main event! The “Head” takes on the “Heart.” Be there, be there, be there! We’ll give you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge!

Was that too dramatic? That’s kind of how I feel sometimes—my heart wants to do this, while my brain knows better. It always knows better. Stupid brain.

As a single mother, taking care of yourself, well it rarely happens. But it should. Don’t flight attendants always tell you to put your oxygen mask on first, then your child’s? But for years it’s been my sole responsibility to make sure those kids had everything they needed. Now they know that I will give up doing something for myself in order to provide for them. But I wonder if that’s healthy for anyone?

Case in point:

I have a meeting I have to go to this week. At the same time as a school event being held at McDonald’s. Not any McD’s—the one with the Play Place. Once my son heard he wasn’t going to be able to go, he broke down. Side note: my son doesn’t throw tantrums any more. He might get mad but he won’t break down. What a relief right? So this is how I know he was really upset.

Boy did my heart strings get pulled! I overcompensate for them due to the challenges they have had to face already in their short lives. I do all that I can to see that they are happy. But then my brain kicks in. It says he will be just fine if he is disappointed. So I let him cry.

And he cried and cried. Then he lost it in his room and began screaming. I let it blow over. Once he calmed himself down I took him aside and reminded him that the whole school was invited to ONE McD’s and if his goal was the play in the Play Place, then we really should go on another day. The light bulb went off in his head and he smiled.

In this case it was easier because he IS getting what he wants, he just has to wait. But it’s not always so cut and dry. I am always letting go of my things because of Girl/Cub Scouts, birthday parties, when one is sick, when one is in trouble…and I don’t always have the money for a babysitter or a reliable backup. Their father lives in a different state, my fiance takes his own classes, and my friends are often in the same boat as me.

It’s frustrating. I don’t have any answers. But I know if I don’t stay healthy and put my mask on first—the whole plane is goin’ down!

Scared

Once again, it’s that time: the time I drive my kids to see their father. He lives quite far so we meet up at a halfway point. The kids get to see him only 2-3 times a year. For me, that’s more than enough.

Since our divorce I feel like we have become strangers to each other. I barely know or understand him anymore. So, why wouldn’t I be scared about letting a stranger watch my kids for a week?

Last night I went out and bought the girl a pre-paid phone. She is aware of the chronic issues her father deals with, even if she doesn’t fully understand them. She knows what he ISN’T suppose to consume while they are with him. She knows to call for help if she ever needs it. And it completely saddens me that she has to deal with this at such a young age.

I haven’t always been a religious person. Now I’d say I was more spiritual. I believe in a higher power. I have seen my HP work wonders I cannot ever explain. I know is sounds hokey, but when I pray to my HP, I actually see results. No shit. So I am praying for my children’s safety and happiness for the next week. I am also praying I will relax a little and enjoy the much needed break.

Heaven Help Me

Can I Bitch?

Well I’m going to anyway.

So, I’ve been a mother for what feels like forever a long time. I have been single-mothering-it for a few years now. Not as long as some, but more than enough for me.

I am getting married in October. Yeah! To this amazing, awesome guy who says to me, “You should really try to spend more time by yourself. Get out of the house and do something for YOU.” And he really means it. I know, awesome.

However, finding something to do for me, that fits around the rest of the family’s schedules is like threading a pool noodle through a needle. But I did my part and thought of something I’d LIKE to do for myself. Tai Chi.

Not only does it get me out of the house, it’s great for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis who need to stay active without hurting themselves. Bonus! Problem is…scheduling. There are 3 places that teach Tai Chi here. ALL THREE of them have their beginner classes on the same days, at the same time. Really people? Seriously? Of the 2 offered nights, only 1 is good for me. But it coincides with the fiancés martial arts class. So now I have to hire a babysitter.

I didn’t really have the money for the class, much less the money for a weekly babysitter. But this will be GOOD for me, right? Today’s the first class. And youuuuu guessed it. I have a sick kid. Luckily she isn’t all that sick (tummy ache, no vomiting.) So it’s still a go.

Then the babysitter calls and says she is puking. OK. Now I text another babysitter. And wait. She says yes. But I have to pick this one up. OK.

I call the pediatrician and schedule an appointment for the girl on the couch to make sure her tummy ache (which really has been coming and going for 3 weeks) isn’t something more serious. But it’s at 4:00 pm.

So, I will grab the boy off the bus at 3:40 and pack the sickie and the boy in the van to go to the appointment. Hopefully I don’t have to hit the pharmacy after. We should be home 4:45? 5:00? Just enough time to get everyone home and settled on the couch. Then I need to cook something for dinner. Something for dinner…dinner…I forgot I needed more oodles of noodles for the girl for dinner. So I have to add a trip to the store. Also need cat litter.

OK, dinner is cooking, noodles have been purchased…now to pack everyone BACK into the van to get the babysitter by 5:30. Get back home and instruct sitter to feed everyone the dinner(s) I cooked. Then RUN out the door to go to my new, stress-reducing, calming, soal-centering class without getting a speeding ticket by 6:00.

Isn’t it great to do something for myself?

The Power of The Simpson’s Compels You

I have been trying to get out to get my custom shoe inserts for a while now. My feet hurt again, even though the cortizone shots were suppose to work for 6 months. But I haven’t had a free lunch hour in weeks. It’s either this appt for the girl, or that appt for the boy, or grocery shopping. Today was suppose to be the day.
Then work happened.
{{I’m not 100% sure I can grip about work here}}

So I square everything away only to realize I still cannot go! I won’t be back in time to get the kids from the bus. So now I have to get the kids FROM school and bring them with me. Then the boy drops a toy under the back seat, into some floor vent and is hysterical. It’s a part of his Ninjago set.
REALLY!?

Now I am dismantling the car, in the cold, and my ARRGGG meter has already blown up. How do I stop myself from throttling the boy like Homer does to Bart? I think back to 20 minutes before, when we were riding in the car and the kids were quoting lines from “The Simpson Movie.” Yes, yes. It’s PG-13 and inappropriate for kids. Much of it goes over their head. But you know it’s funny…really funny…

“We have a great life here in Alaska, and we’re never going back to America again!”

___________

Marge: Homer, you have to go out there, face that mob, and apologize for what you did.
Homer: I would, but I’m afraid if I open the door, they’ll take all of you!
Carl: No we won’t. We just want Homer!
Homer: Well, maybe not you, but they’ll kill Grandpa!
Grandpa: I’m part of the mob!

______________

[Bart claps]
Lisa: What are you doing, Bart?
Bart: Eh, just passing the time.
[Bart claps, snow repeatedly falls on Homer]
Homer: Aw, my boy loves Alaska so much, he’s applauding it. Lisa, why aren’t you clapping?
Lisa: But Dad!
Homer: [sternly] Clap for Alaska!
[Lisa claps along with Bart]
Homer: [Homer is buried under an avalanche]

__________

…and then I smile again.

Splintered

As a mom of 2 kids I am constantly feeling splintered. What does that mean?

For me it’s when I have so many things going on at home and at work that I have trouble focusing on what I should be doing RIGHT NOW. It’s a problem!

Because I am divorced and the kids Dad lives 2 states away I feel I have to overcompensate for the lack of a father, a lot. So when the girl’s girl scout troop needs a new leader—I said yes. Same with the boy’s tiger scout troop.

So Monday morning rolls around and I sit at my desk and think: I have that project due, and those 2 meetings to prepare for, plus I need to hit JoAnn’s to get Girl Scout supplies for the meeting tomorrow and write up the agenda and call back that lady, oh and I need to read over what the tiger’s need to do this week and schedule an outing…plus what are we going to eat for dinner, the boy has no more underwear, and we have no food in the house.

Am I alone or do other people feel this way?