The anniversary

One year ago today was a life changing day.  I’ve never before and fortunately, never since, experienced such fear.  I’ve never come so close to the edge and I pray I never have to be there again.

I can’t speak for all parents of special needs, but for us, on David’s journey, there have been celebrations, milestones and anniversaries along the way.  There’s of course, the day he was born.  The day we actually got to take him home.  The day his heart was “cleared” and cardio check-ups were complete.  But there are also days worth celebrating that you’d like never to remember.  Today is one of those days.  One year ago today David almost died.  I can hardly type the words, it still seems too dangerous to even write.  We were so close to losing him and even that day, my mind stopped me from going there.  What parent could?  So we prayed and cried and paced and literally clung to him and prayed some more.  And God answered our prayers.  David survived.

So today is our anniversary and that calls for celebration.  I celebrate that David is with us and cheer for the moments we’ve had over the past 365 days.  In the same breathe, I mourn the people we were before that horrible day.  We are forever changed.  In some ways for the better and in some ways . . . well, I guess we’ll see as time goes on.

David is a survivor and today, as difficult as it is to look back, it makes looking forward that much sweeter.  I’ve seen the dark side of “what could have been” and I much prefer where we are now.  Thank you for all who prayed for our sweet boy and continue to pray for him.  God willing, there are many milestones and happy anniversaries to come.

D

 

The balance

This morning I heard David in his bed “talking” to himself and making sweet baby noises.  Immediately I thought, “I miss him! I want to go cuddle him!”  So I went in, picked him up, changed him, talked to him and began our day.  He was happy and smiling and I was blissful.  In the middle of our routine, Ella woke up and came in.  She, like her mother, is not a morning person, so it took her a few extra minutes to become charming.  Ella requested pancakes and I thought, “Why not?”  So I put David in his bouncer, made myself some coffee and started making chocolate chip pancakes.  It was all very glossy magazine, very 1950’s housewife, very Pinterest perfect.  Until I realized that we had to be out the door in 20 minutes, my hair was still in a towel, I was in my robe with no make up and I had two children still in pajamas.  The hurricane that usually defines our mornings hit and we sprinted through each room, brushing teeth, grabbing toys and food for daycare and running out the door.

Why is so hard to find balance as a mom?  When my kids are underfoot, I often feel frazzled and dream of “me” time.  I find excuses to distract them so I can take a break.  Our mornings are often filled with the sounds of, “Hurry!  Get your shoes!  Have you brushed your teeth?  Hurry!”  But, when I’m away from my kids I miss them so much, there’s a physical ache.  I could hardly wait to burst into David’s room and see his sweet smile.  I get excited when Ella wakes up and I can give her a big hug and ask about her dreams.  But, that all usually lasts for about 10 minutes.  And then Ella bites David and he needs a diaper change and I still haven’t had coffee and I’m wondering why I was so eager for them to wake up early.

This last weekend, I was able to get away with a group of dear friends.  We stayed in the mountains, ate at delicious restaurants, spent the entire day at the pool and actually chatted and read and never set an alarm.  It was amazing and just what I needed.  By Sunday, however, I missed my kids and husband.  The last two blocks home seemed to take 30 minutes.  I couldn’t wait to hug & kiss them all!  It was an awesome reunion and a wonderful 36 hours of family time.  So, why by Tuesday morning am I ready for a break again?  Why is it so easy to swing back and forth from obsession to aggravation?  Is there any consistency to motherhood?  I can imagine that the minute I feel like things are actually good & everyone is happy and at peace, they’ll be teenagers and not want anything to do with me.  I know I’m going to miss these days, but the fear of the unknown future doesn’t create a peace about the present.  

This isn’t even necessarily the guilt I’ve felt in the past.  This is something different.  This is not being able to have consistency and personally, that’s something I thrive on.  When I want to have blissful moments and happy playtime with my kids, I want them to be easy and polite and fun and engaging.  But, when I need to do dishes or cook or put laundry away I want them to quietly color at the table and not scream and never cry and make even my chores seem easy.  So, that’s never going to happen.  The only thing that can change is my attitude.  That, and an earlier alarm in the morning.  I’m not going to pledge to enjoy every minute of crazy mornings and feisty toddlers.  I know I’ll never relish in screaming and hitting each other and having to give time-outs.  But, the mess makes the good times that much sweeter.  So when David sits up by himself and Ella brings him a toy and they are laughing and I get to be a part of that, I will soak it in.  I will let it overwhelm me and then when it’s not so pretty, I’ll have some wonderful images in my head.  Oh, and I’ll let my children sleep and have just one more cup of coffee before I wake them up.

bath

The changes

Fall is nearly upon us. Being married to a teacher, fall is always a fresh start for us. Back to school is always the norm for us, only this year, we’re a part of it, not just observers.
Ella is starting full day preschool in 2 weeks. She’s been in daycare, but there’s something about getting a school supply email & shopping for back to school clothes that just feels different. She’ll never not be in school again!
David is beginning a new therapy daycare that is going to be amazing for him! He’ll receive daily speech, physical, occupational & feeding therapy. He’s going to grow so much this year!
This will be the first time both our kids will be at 2 different facilities. I don’t know who it’s going to be harder on, the parents, or the kids! David loves Ella so much & she is so good with him. I’m excited for them both, but I already miss the special bond their daily interaction brings.
Here’s to a fresh start & new experiences!

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