Monday, December 17, 2012

a bad send off

it was hard to send sam off to school today,
especially after everything that happened on friday in connecticut.
sam is the same age as some of the children who died.
trying to imagine what that scene would have been like with my child in the midst of it was totally unbearable.
i know i am mourning with a world of people.
i know that it hits each of us in a very unique way.
the hardest part is knowing that all the mourning in the world won't bring those children back,
and it won't ever take away the pain of those families,
and all the mourning in the world won't prevent something like this happening again,
maybe in our own community,
and maybe not.
that's not the fear i'm living with though.
i fear the most if i'm teaching my children what they need to be taught about safety, responsibility,
compassion, and sympathy.
i especially feared that this morning.
i briefly mentioned it to sam so he would be prepared or informed if it was brought up today at school.
it didn't go well on either one of our parts.
sam was very insensitive,
and i reacted with insensitivity to what his age appropriate mind can understand.
i fear that a major teaching opportunity was lost.
i didn't handle it how i imagined i would.
i could tell sam was hurt and/or confused.
as he was leaving for school he said
"the mornings around here keep getting worse."
that knocked the air out of me.
i surely didn't want to send him off feeling like that on a day that has the potential to be heavy.
of course i tried to smooth it over,
but i sobbed the whole way i watched him walk the block to his walking group.
i sobbed because i made a mistake.
i sobbed because he was hurt.
i sobbed because i couldn't send him off this morning with what he needs.
i sobbed because he will get better comfort from his teachers & peers today than i could offer.
i sobbed for those children who left for school just like sam and never came back.
i sobbed for their families who didn't know their children would never come home.
i especially sobbed for the mothers who may have sent their children off on a bad note like this and that was their last experience with their child.
i sobbed because i feel so sad even though i still have my children here,
but maybe i sobbed because i know their childhood won't last forever.
i sobbed because i have felt so good lately,
and now i just feel like sobbing.
i'm hoping the heaviness won't last around here today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

dear sam

dear sam,
you told me today that you didn't miss me one bit while you were at school.
that's ok.
i know you love school so much that maybe you really didn't miss me,
and i'm thrilled you don't still need me for every thing.
but remember how every day when you walk the block to your walking group
you turn around the whole way there to wave at me one more time?
and how as you are running across the street you scream back to me
"i love you more than space!"
perhaps you don't miss me,
but i know you love me.
and that's what means the most to me.
even when you stop waving to me the whole way to school
(i know you eventually will stop that)
please just replace it with something that still says
"i love you."

i will always love you,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ganny, this one's for you

dear ganny,
remember how we were talking today about will hiding under the kitchen sink cabinet
and how we couldn't find him even after calling for him over and over?
well, he must have something with hiding in cabinets.
i found him again today in one.
this time it happened to be in the cabinet ABOVE our oven.
he didn't cover his tracks well enough.
there was a chair left under the cabinet.
is this the look you were expecting on his face?


me & will

ps... don't you love maggie's hand reaching up? she was trying to reach the knob so she could get in. not quite tall enough, but i think she is learning a thing or 2 from her brothers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

i'm smiling on the inside

pete & i have spent the last 5 years trying to figure out how we wanted to allow media into our home.
neither one of us are opposed to tv, video games, or internet.
we actually believe that they are some of the best tools of this generation.
however, it was very clear to both of us that media is over used and not always as a tool.
that is what we had been noticing in our home too much over the last year.
we've tried a combination of lots of things...
on days/off days, time limits, etc,
but none of those combinations were working like we needed.
the kids just wanted to be plugged in ALL THE TIME!
it was turning into a huge emotional issue for me.
we were losing childhood play all day long by them wanting media on demand constantly.
we concluded that the media exposure in our home was too much too fast,
at least for our children and family.
it was not happening like the 'good ole days' when we would watch a few shows after school or on saturday mornings.
those were our only choices really because we were bound to the schedule of public programming.
with 1000s of options at our fingertips at any given time of the day with netflix it had become a constant battle,
so we canceled netflix
and have not regretted it for a day.
not even the children.
it almost seems their childhoods are thanking us.
they play ALL THE TIME now,
and when they are tired there is normally a pbs kids show on or we enjoy a good movie or play a few video games together.
once they are re-charged they are off again.
the media battle has gone away.
i couldn't be more grateful or relieved.
it has even been an improvement for pete & me.
we spend our evenings talking or reading now instead of plugged in.
i'm smiling on the inside for all of those reasons,
but i'm smiling even bigger because of the things i have witnessed over the last 2 weeks.
my top 3 things that have me smiling big time...

1. Going to the $ theater and enjoying 'the odd life of timothy green' together. that night media felt like a tool for us. we were together, we were out, and we were enjoying something touching & uplifting that has provided much conversation since and made a memory.

2. Will has been exploring a whole new world throughout his days at home. yesterday he got up from his rest and went to the freezer and pulled the ice maker tray out. he said he just needed to see how it works. i was able to show him, and he was rather impressed. then we filled up the sink with all the extra ice and hot water to see how long it would take to melt. that led us to the ice cube, salt, and string experiment. fun times. he also takes a rest almost every day now because he still needs one, and now he is not distracted from it. his favorite places to rest are on the couch with me, in a relaxing bath, or under his bed. :)

3. the other 'smile on the inside' moments are watching the games they come up with. my favorite was will setting up a carnival all over the house for maggie. it included a carousel ride, block toss, car racing, and running races; all complete with prizes.

these are the types of things that i believe that childhood is made of.
perhaps we were the only family losing these types of experiences to media,
but even if we were the only ones,
we weren't willing to keep making that sacrifice.
we did something about it,
we are getting the results we had hoped for,
and that's why i'm smiling on the inside.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

the silver lining

i'm feeling much better than yesterday,
much more like myself,
and i have remembered why having the foot i do is really not THAT big of a deal.
i particularly remembered last night when i put on my sorrel boots.
the silver lining is the quality shoes i get to wear.
they may not be high heels,
but they do always come from nordstrom.
it's not because i'm rich.
it's because when you have to buy 2 sizes of shoes every time it is cheaper (or at least equal to famous footwear, etc) to buy there because they sell you the sizes you need for the regular price of 1 pair.
there's always a silver lining if you look for it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

a break from unique

i had surgery on my left foot 1 1/2 years ago to fix a birth defect.
it was an attempt to get me off my heel and take away some of the flexibility i have in my foot,
thus, relieving heel pain.
it worked well in the beginning,
but not so much now.
every time i go to this amazing doctor he reminds me how unique i am,
reminds me how no one else on earth has a foot like mine and if there is it's only like 2 people,
reminds me how "one of kind" i am.
this has always made me feel special,
and made it easier to overlook the fact that my foot hurt or that it felt & looked so different.
i had to go back to this amazing doctor today.
my foot has gone back to its pre-surgery state.
my achilles tendon is all stretched back out.
that special party trick i have where i can bend my foot almost to my shin,
well, it's back.
i went back today hoping that he would have thought of a miracle solution to fix it for good.
i was so hopeful that he would know how to make it normal.
he reminded me again of how unique it is.
he reminded me of how he specializes in "weird" feet & has for 20 years but has never seen anything like this.
he told me he has conversed with more doctors about my foot than any other patient he has ever had.
he said he has even called his doctor friends in NYC & San Fran but they couldn't even imagine what he was saying.
they had never seen anything like it.
this poster child pep talk didn't have the same effect on me today.
i didn't want to be special,
or one of kind.
i just wanted to be NORMAL!
i wanted him to tell me that i wouldn't have to wear 2 sizes of shoes anymore once he performed this "magic" formula,
or that i would be able to wear high heels,
or learn to dance and be a ballerina because i would be able to stand on my tiptoes,
or be able to run without my foot flopping around,
or that i might actually be able to run a race and not look different or have my foot hurt afterwards,
or that no one would ask me again if i hurt myself,
or that i wouldn't be so intimidated to play sports or go to a yoga class,
or that i could have a muscle in my calf so my legs would match and when i wear skinny jeans it won't be tight on the right and baggy on the left,
or so i could wear shorts or short skirts without looking like i have one baby leg and one adult leg,
or that i wouldn't have to think so hard about balancing & the mechanics of my foot with EVERY step i take.
that's really what i wanted to hear  more than "you are so special".
i have always had amazing perspective about my foot,
knowing that this was how i was intended to walk this earth.
i haven't really let it slow me down,
and my personal suffering about it has managed to stay within me.
i haven't spent my life complaining about it.
but today i want to complain.
i want to be bitter about the things i haven't been able to do or wear.
because guess what?
it's more than that.
it's letting go of the hope that my foot would ever be normal.
my doctor told me bluntly (but kindly) that my foot will never be normal.
any attempt would just be a shift away from one problem but to a new one.
i could wear a brace to hold into tightly in place,
but then think of how limited i would be on shoes or how different i would look then!
or i could fuse my ankle and create a solid platform,
but think of how it would feel to never be able to bend your ankle again!
the dream of being a ballerina would definitely be gone.
and the high heels?
i could do a muscle transplant and have it not work because the muscles won't fire together.
or i could leave it just how it is and deal with these problems.
no matter what, it will never be normal.
all that childhood and adult hope is gone.
it's more like today is a bit of a mourning day for me,
the beginning of a lifelong acceptance that it is different and will always be different,
and that is not such a good thing.
at least not today.
tomorrow or the next day will be better.
i will feel that pride again about being a one of a kind.
i just wish i could be one of a kind and normal all at the same time.
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