Friday’s Writing Prompt: Leaving Never, Never Land

Mama’s Losin’ It
Mama’s Losing It: 1.) A moment you realized your child was growing up.

All of us have a point at which we truly grow up- or, at least, I’d like to think everyone does. There are a few boys I knew in high school that I would question that, but, for the most part, we all grow up.

As a parent, I’m starting to realize that I go back and forth between wanting my kids to grow up and wanting them to remain babies forever:

~when Camo gives me a hug out of nowhere- aw, stay a baby!

~when Camo annoys me to no end- please, grow up and move out already!

~when Jacob snuggles up to me- stay my baby forever

~when Jacob starts a fight with his brother and tries to PLAY the baby card- grow up.

~when Nicholas is sleeping- my sweet, little baby boy… stay this way forever.

~when Nicholas is up and making me hold him while he cries non-stop- yeah, you can grow up already.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people have a habit of correcting the things that little kids do- their quirks that make them kids. Things like pronouncing things wrong and EMBELLISHING the truth (yes, its a fancy way of saying ‘lying’), seem to get under their skin- like a kid is going to go off to college pronouncing double L’s with a ‘y’ sound. To my knowledge, most kids that have made it that far, have acquired the necessary skills and abilities to carry on a proper conversation with other adults, never once referring to their brother as ‘budda’.

I can’t tell you the EXACT day that I realized my oldest baby was no longer a baby, but I’m sure it started small; too small for me to really have noticed. Maybe it was after he had been chastised (not by me, mind you) for telling people that he had seen a bear on a walk he had taken. Maybe it was the 100th time he was told that “we call it a GLOVE not a GLUB”. Maybe it was the day that a friend in school had convinced him that Santa wasn’t real. I’m really not sure, which is sad, because he was my very first baby- my guinea pig for parenting- and, as good as I was at keeping track of things in his baby book, you just don’t write down the day your son grew up and began to understand that cooties aren’t real and liking a girl wasn’t icky. You don’t keep track of their choices of shoe brands right there along with when they said their first word.

But, what I DO know is what I know NOW, and that’s that it doesn’t matter if my middle son believes in the tooth fairy or that “No, mom, this is REALLY how it happened”. I mean, fishermen tell tall tales everyday and no one reprimands them.

Because, one day, when I’m not keeping track, my babies are going to be all grown up; and they won’t be referring to binoculars as “big knockers” and they won’t write letters to Santa- they’ll just tell me. One day, I’ll look, and they’ll have babies of their own and be trying desperately to keep track of all the important times, never understanding that EVERY day is important. And they’ll be trying to figure out when it is that THEIR babies just suddenly weren’t anymore, but they won’t be able to recall that ONE moment, either.

But, until that day, when they’re treading the same waters I have, I’m going to keep them close. And, while I might not be able to pinpoint the precise moment at which my babies went from “too cute” to “cool dude”, I know its happening. I have more than enough photos to prove it.

Sacred Moments

“Its moments like these that remind me why I love motherhood.”

For you, maybe that statement is referring to the laughter coming from your kiddos’ rooms as they play together; maybe its the smile that lights up your baby’s face when he’s happy…

For me?  Bedtime.

There is NOTHING that quite reminds me how WONDERFUL peace and quiet is than right after the last kid is tucked in, lights have been turned out, and all the threats of torture and maiming have been put out there (in the event that they think getting out of bed is an option) and I have peace.

Wonderful, blissful, wine guzzling -*ahem, sorry*- wine SIPPING, peace.

Now, one might think that you can achieve this peace just as easily- maybe even more so- without  the aid of children, but I disagree.

What is happiness without sadness?  How can you know what happiness actually IS unless you have something to compare it to?

Having kids is like that person who is living in a construction zone- all day long, nothing but the sounds of chaos and ruckus- and then 5 p.m. comes…

…and bliss.

Sure, they were able to zone it out after a while, but it wasn’t until all the workers had gone home for the day that they understood what they had been missing all those LONG, mind numbing hours.

Having kids -boys- is a lot like that- more so, actually, because I don’t get sick days, paid holidays or vacation days, so I’m in -literally IN- the construction zone day in, day out, all year long.

And, yes, boys -IMO- are worse than girls. I’m sure there are lots of people who will try and disagree with me- point out the fact that I don’t have girls so how could I know?

Excuse me?  I AM a girl.  I was a tomboy, actually, so I know EXACTLY how bad it could get having a rambunctious tomboy.  I was a barbed-wire scaling, tree-climbing, dirt digging, sibling wrestling (WWF-style, thank you very much) girl…

…and my BOYS are worse.

So, when the lights are finally out, the last kiddo has closed his eyes, and I finally get my brain back, I’m able to truly give thanks.

Thank you, God, for 3 loud, obnoxious boys that were born without recognition of the term ‘inside voices’.

Thank you, God, for 2 boys that -while they have superb aim in certain Wii games and other outdoor sports- cannot pee IN the toilet.

Thanks, God, for 2 boys that think fighting is a sport and practice as if it could one day land them in the Olympics.

Thanks so much, God, for reminding me with every scream, whine, argument, complaint, and fight, that silence is sacred and should be cherished because morning- the waking hours- come much too quickly.

But thank you, God, most especially, for 8:30 p.m. for, without it, I would not have the brain cells enough to even remember my name, much less, give thanks.

I miss you

Before you read this, please understand that this isn’t going to be like any of my other posts.  Its not something I write with a light heart.  Its something I need to get off my chest.

Today marks a day that will forever be burned into my brain.  2 years ago I gave birth to an amazing little boy.  From the amnio that we’d had done, we know he was perfect.  From every ultrasound we’d had, he kicked and squirmed like he was determined to be a soccer player or something.  He was, by all accounts, going to be perfect- a handful, no doubt (hey, he had 2 older brothers to imitate)- but absolutely perfect.

On July 8th, 2009, I went in for my check up.  I was 19 weeks along.  I had my boys with me.  At first he couldn’t find the heartbeat with the doppler.  He didn’t act worried- he went and got the ultrasound machine, claiming that our baby was probably just lying in a weird way.  My doctor asked my boys if they wanted to see their little brother.

I knew something was wrong.  My little squirmer wasn’t moving. 

My doctor still tried to assure me that things might be ok.  He sent me down for a better ultrasound.  I knew my boy was gone.  They told me that, from the looks of it, he stopped growing at 15 weeks along, so that’s when he most likely passed.  It will always be a question in my mind if the amnio I’d opted for had been the cause- the 2 instances coincided so closely together.

After a lot of issues with insurance and what not, we ended up having to deliver my baby instead of getting the “easier” D&E.  Christopher Scott was born at 12:10 a.m. on July 10th. 

In a way, it was a good thing we had to deliver him.  I ended up getting an infection that they had to treat with antibiotics.  If we’d gone to PP to get the other procedure done, who knows what could have happened to me.  It was too hard to want to hold him after he was born- I couldn’t even look- but they gave me a box with some things in it, including a picture.  I’ve yet to look at it, but its there.

Now that its been a couple of years, I’m doing better.  Its still hard- like when I look at Nicholas and wonder what Christopher would have been like- but I’m not a mess.

There are some things I learned after losing him that you don’t fully grasp unless you’re in that situation- things like, don’t call someone who has just lost someone they love unless you can keep it together.  The last thing they should have to do during that time is help YOU with YOUR grief.

Also, I will NEVER say “I understand” or “Everything happens for a reason”.  You never actually CAN understand since every situation is different and -even if you can give the exact reason why God allowed it to happen- no one cares when they’re going through that.  I’ve learned that the best thing a person can say is “I’m here”- and then hold on for the ride, because its an emotional roller coaster.

I asked a friend the other day (who had gone through a similar situation) when I would ever feel completely normal, and she made a good point- this IS now my “normal”.  Some days I’ll feel great.  Some days I won’t.  Some days I won’t think about him at all- and that’s ok.  Some days I’ll remember that I haven’t thought about him and I’ll feel guilty- and that’s ok, too.

I also realized that there is NO timeline for grief.  Everyone says that, but what people say and what they expect are 2 different things.  Its one thing to say you feel down or upset about losing him a month or 2 after it happens, but after a while, most people patiently (and some not so patiently) listen to you, all the while wearing a “you’re not over it yet?” look on their faces and once you’re finished, they ask if you’ve talked to someone yet.

Well, duh- YOU are someone.

Not once did I say I’m DEPRESSED or SUICIDAL.  I just said I’m feeling “DOWN” or “OFF”.  I didn’t ask for answers or for you to even open your mouth.  I needed to talk.  To open up.  If people need someone to vent to about their crappy bosses and horrible traffic they encountered on the way home, shouldn’t I get to vent about losing my baby?  Not once would I ever listen to someone say,”Argh!  My husband is SO annoying!  He pissed me off SO bad!  He REALLY hurt my feelings!” and then come back at them with,”Have you talked to someone about how you feel?”  Tomorrow, your boss might give you a deserved raise; traffic will clear up, and your husband might apologize.  I won’t see my baby until I get to Heaven.

I understand there’s a reason for everything, or, more accurately,”Romans 8:28 (King James Version)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose.”  I look at Nicholas everyday and think about the fact that -if we’d had Christopher- Nicholas wouldn’t be here.  And then the guilt comes.  I think about what the world lost when Christopher died and what the world gained when Nicholas was born.  I know God has a plan for all that has happened, and its not my job to “figure it out” but to watch it unfold.  Its not always easy to remember that- and its NOT something I wanted to hear right after we lost him- but I get that.

In the mean time, today marks a sad and special day.  It was the day I officially said,”See you later” to my baby and the day that my baby got to get his first hug from God.  Sometimes I remind myself when Camo doesn’t check in on time or when Jacob rides his scooter too far out of my line of sight, I ALWAYS know where my Christopher is- he’s in the safest arms of anyone I’ve ever known.

And I’m sure he’s running around, causing everyone in Heaven to laugh, and talking their ear off.  He IS, after all, my son.