Tag Archives: kids

Its been 6 years…

Grief

Grief: n. noun; 1.  keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.  2.  a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.

Loss: n. noun; 1.  The fact or process of losing something or someone. 2. The state or feeling of grief when deprived of something or someone of value.  3. A person or thing that is badly missed when lost.

My own definition: Grief: 1.  something that can sneak up on you anywhere, at anytime from anything and has the power to hit you like a Mac Truck going 1000 miles an hour.

Grief is a strange thing, and the things we can do to ride the waves can be even stranger to anyone not experiencing our particular grief.  The two definitions I gave don’t say a single thing about time limits or how people should react to each, but it astounds me sometimes how people who’ve never been through it will interpret each one.  It also blows me away how people will unintentionally give values to that which was lost, even though those same definitions don’t state that the person or thing of value that was lost must have any particular value to anyone else.

6 years ago, at 12:10 a.m., I said “Goodbye for now” to my son, Christopher Scott.  He was 15 weeks along when he passed, though I didn’t find out until I went to an appointment at 19 weeks.  Initially, everyone gave their condolences and was there for my husband and I, but -like most people who’ve never encountered this situation themselves- they gave our grief a timeline and a value.  I was told things like,”He’s happy and whole in Heaven now” and “At least it happened before you got a chance to get to know him” and-

Actually, no.  Let’s stop at that one for a moment, shall we?

Have you ever been pregnant?  Even if it was a surprise pregnancy, tell me that you didn’t envision his or her future.  Tell me you didn’t talk to him or her.  Tell me- if you have other kids- that you didn’t wonder what features they would all share and picture them all playing together.

You KNEW them.  You knew that at a certain time every single day you’d get sick, and you’d joke that your little bean was already putting you through the ringer and promise them that you’d pay them back.  You knew every poke and prod and eventually could pinpoint what part of their body was working to break your rib.  You knew when their witching hour was and wondered if it would be the same once they were born.

You KNEW them.

I knew my son.  I knew he’d probably look just like his 2 older brothers and that they’d probably all be wrestling before he was even walking.  I had plans for him.  I pictured his future.  So, tell me again- how was I lucky?

See, here’s where I take issue with everyone’s opinions.  Those that haven’t been in my place- or your place, or anyone’s place that has lost someone.  They think I should conform to those opinions and they make comments that either make me feel foolish or bad about my own feelings.

Its been 6 years.  Ya know what?  It still hurts and causes my heart to break all over again sometimes.  I think about our family dynamic and how he would’ve changed it; how they all would’ve gotten along.  Ya know what else?  In neither of those definitions did they give a time frame.  If you look up the 5 stages of grief, you’ll see: Denial/Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.  Do you know what it DOESN’T say?  How long someone will experience each stage.  Or what order.  Or if one of the stages will be skipped.  Or the fact that even once someone has finally reached the “Acceptance” stage, that a song might come on or a certain date will come ’round that sends them right back into the isolation or anger stage.  Or that, years later, they’re still bargaining even though their loved one is long gone- “If I could just have one more minute with him again- just one- I promise…”

Its been 6 years.  I still can’t listen to ‘London’ by Brandon Heath without remembering that I had been singing that song to him the day before I found out he’d actually passed 4 weeks prior.

Its been 6 years, but some days it feels like yesterday.

Its been 6 years, but please don’t tell me -even now- that everything happens for a reason, because I still don’t see it and I likely won’t until the day that him and I are reunited in Heaven.

Its been 6 years.  I’ve been through every single stage of grief multiple times over.  I’m sorry my grief doesn’t fit YOUR specifications.

 

 

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Your Sparkly Life is Blinding

FamilyWithPups1

(Image courtesy of Google & Norman Rockwell)

I’m sorry, but we can’t be Facebook friends anymore.

Its not you- its me.

Well, actually, its me being jealous of the perfect life you portray.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.

Normally, I can try and be happy for you.  I WANT to be happy for you.  I LONG for the feelings of genuine pleasure when I see your posts of your perfectly portrayed life.

I’ve even told myself to “fake it til I make it”, but today *sigh* today was the last straw.

Today- after I found cat food dumped into the toilet ; found cat litter (and poop) strewn about the bathroom floor; dealt with a toddler meltdown of epic proportions because I wouldn’t let him suck down an tube of Oragel; listened to fights over video games that started before any sane person should get up during the summer; stepped on THE SAME BLOCKS I had already told the boys to pick up 50 TIMES today; and then found my purse, with all its contents scattered over ever inch of my bedroom floor- I logged onto Facebook and got a virtual punch to my gut from your post.

There were your sweetpeas, like a  Norman Rockwell painting, in all your perfectly portrayed glory, doing something perfect-

And I just can’t deal.

I know- I’m behaving irrationally and making hasty decisions.  I’m blaming it on lack of sleep since- while your little darlings slept through the night with visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads, allowing you to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed enough to go get a fancy coffee after eating a hearty, homemade, organic breakfast and then get in a workout sans kids- my night and morning was a TAD less smooth.  I went to bed with a toddler who took up half my space, got woken up in the middle of the night by a kid who had a nightmare and wanted to sleep with us, too, and then realized that my small amount of space had grown even smaller with the addition of the family pets.  I was then woken up WAY too early, made coffee myself, justified my coffee as my breakfast since that was all I had time for, and prayed for nap time.  And while your husband gets normal days off, mine works EVERY SINGLE DAY, so getting his help isn’t an option.

So, yeah- I’m tired, and bitter, and jealous, and MAYBE acting a little childish- call it a side effect from dealing with 4 imperfect boys in all their imperfection.

You’re a nice person- sickeningly so- but I’m just not mature enough to be happy for you 24/7- but, at least, I’m mature enough to admit to that.

And maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe your life isn’t perfect.  Maybe, like most of us, you’re just posting the highlights, and you keep your dirty laundry hidden away; but, while your highlights include you being crowned Miss America for the 5th time in a row, my highlight reel might sound more like,”Yay!  I made it through the day without any kid poop incidents!”  Which also leads me to believe that your dirty laundry is just that- you have a load of dirty laundry that *gasp* you haven’t done in 3 days… because you were building a house with Habitat for Humanity.

I’m honestly NOT a “misery loves company” kind of girl, but your sparkly life is blinding me.

Like I said, its not you, its me.

But if a day should ever come when you really do have a crisis in your life, you’re always welcome to call on me.  We can hide in my laundry room, sit on my oversized pile of dirty laundry, and attempt to block out the sounds of my boys trying to off each other, and I’ll listen as long as you need me to.  Chances are I’ve been there.

And I’ll try REALLY hard not to silently cheer if I see spinach caught in your perfect teeth.

Counting Kids

How many kids do you have?

Its been 5 years and I STILL don’t know how to answer that question.

Such a simple question- unless you’ve lost a child- and it really doesn’t matter at what stage you lost them, too.  In any case, they were, and then -suddenly- they weren’t.  Does it REALLY matter if 2 of mine never lived outside of the womb?  Does that mean I loved them less?

Sometimes I get jealous of the moms that can answer that question with ease.  They tick off the names of their kids on their fingers, as if checking off a list.  Its so simple for them- all their kids are standing in front of them- or running around like midget insane asylum patients.  In any case, its not an issue for them as they count all their kids.  For moms that have lost a baby, though, we have the option of either going into detail (which can be akin to picking at a scab), or naming off all but the ones we lost, carrying with that the mom guilt of not acknowledging the life- however brief- of one of our own children.

Moms of miscarried or stillborn babies, though, we’ve got a club all our own.  We had a “non-baby”. a baby that didn’t live long enough to “count”.  Since we never had to stay up late with those babies, kiss their boo boos, deal with colic, worry about fevers, laugh at their antics, etc., our babies don’t “count” in the eyes of many.  Sure people will say they’re sorry for our loss initially, but after a while, people feel we need to “get over it”.  They tell us to “look at the bright side” or -if we had kids after the one we lost- they remind us that we wouldn’t have the ones we have now if our other baby had survived. 

Don’t they know we know that?  That every time we mourn the loss of our baby, we get to feel a stabbing pain of guilt because its like we’re saying we wish we had one over the other?  That when we’re having a truly happy moment with our babies we have now, that a thought of our angel babies can enter our mind and it feels like a betrayal?  And then we feel bad for feeling bad?

We aren’t wishing we had one over the other, though; we’re just wishing that there could have been a way we could have had them both.  We know “everything happens for a reason”- it was our mantra in the heartbreaking days and weeks and months after, but despite staring into the eyes of our sweet little kids on Earth, we’re still trying desperately to understand the reason behind our losses.  We tell ourselves that our new baby might have the cure to cancer or bring about world peace, but then we begin to wonder what the world lost when our others passed -or does that mean that their life wouldn’t have amounted to as much?

See, each pregnancy starts off the same: you see the “+” sign and you realize you’re carrying another life.  If its happy news, you start imagining what he (or she!) will look like, who they’ll be, what kind of addition they’ll make to your family, how your life will change-

And that’s where -I think- our little club has it a little worse in some ways.  Our babies never even had a chance.  We never got to experience their personalities; they never found their nitch in our family tree; and, if you lost them early on, there’s even a question about who they looked like.  The only question you got the answer to was how your life would change, but now you have a lifetime’s worth of “what ifs” to replace that one question.

I think its time that people recognize any loss of life as a loss equal to any other.  It shouldn’t be made light of simply because the rest of the world never met our babies.  The fact of the matter is, WE did.  We had hopes and dreams for them and visions of their futures; we grew physically and emotionally with the anticipation of what was to come; we saw them squiggle and squirm on the ultrasound and joked about paying them back for all the heartburn and nausea; we felt them kick and just KNEW they’d have a lucrative career in soccer.

Shouldn’t that count for something?

Shouldn’t it be normal to acknowledge their due date or the date we had to let them go?

Shouldn’t we be able to count and celebrate their Heavenly birthdays without being told with words and looks that we should move on?

We ARE moving on.  We know time hasn’t stood still, as much as we might have wanted it to.  We go to work, we take care of our other kids, live our lives, and keep moving forward; just, sometimes, we want to take a day to remember and count a life that was so extraordinarily important that they left a mark on our lives without living in them; who’s tiny footprints never touched the ground but they touched our hearts; who’s soul purpose was to come into our lives to teach us that sometimes love means letting go and trusting that God not only knows what He’s doing, but that He’ll fill that hole that was left.

Shouldn’t a life that important be counted?

 

Let’s get crafty! Moody Monsters

This summer I’ve been doing my best to keep the Natural Disasters from, well, causing destruction.  At the beginning of this so called “vacation”, I sat down and devised a plan to do something -whether that’s a trip or a craft or just some sort of home-made fun- every single day.  There have been many moments in the past couple of weeks when I’ve caught my breath and thought to myself that I must be crazy, but, well, that KINDA goes without saying.  The fact is, though, I’ve kept these boys SO busy that they haven’t had a moment to even utter the words “I’m bored”.

Well, Camo has, but he’s a “pre-teen”.  A trip in a rocket orbiting the Earth would undoubtably be considered “boring” if it didn’t contain a PS3, a cell phone, and the internet, therefore, I will ignore him and continue to think I’m awesome for how much effort I’ve put into keeping them entertained.

Oddly, some of the more entertaining moments have come from the crafts I’ve had the Disasters do.  Its a lot like my regular day -I tell them what to do, give guidance and show them the path they should take, and then they do what they want.  Only, in the end, we have a little piece of art showing what happens when you do -or don’t- listen to mama.

And, because I like to capture life’s moments on camera, I take pictures of it all.

 

Moody Monsters

I’m not really sure where I first saw the idea for this, but I’m almost positive that their glossy photos of perfect creations (done by editors getting paid to do it) wouldn’t resemble our masterpieces, so that’s ok.  I couldn’t wait to try this with the Disasters, though, because I’m a big fan of projects in which I already have all the stuff I need.

Bug and Camo had a pretty good time gettin’ crafty- although, Camo asked why I had to document it all.  I made it clear that it was PURELY for future use- like when they have serious girlfriends and I want to show that there’s more to my boys than meets the eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One guess as to which one was Bug’s. 🙂

 

I decided that it looked like too much fun to be had without ME getting crafty, so I made my own.  I named him Mr. Awesome- because he is.

Bug was mighty impressed with Mr. Awesome’s colored physique, though, and wanted to make a new one, complete with colored torso, so the next day, he began a new Moody Monster.

Red, of course.  Well, it was a tad on the purple side, but don’t let him know that.

And after waiting a day for it to dry, he added the fun bits to make his creation come to life and- voila!- his new creation was complete.

I think this new guy needs dental work, but I must admit, it was a considerable improvement upon his last one.

And, of course, once his new guy was done, Bug declared that his monster and my monster were best buds, so he took them both and set them off on an adventure… but not before having me take a picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to make your own?  They’re super easy and will keep the kids entertained for at least a LITTLE bit.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Toilet paper rolls (or paper towel rolls)

Paint

Felt

Yarn

Googly eyes

Chenille stems

scissors

You can even use beads for the monster’s hair or pennies (like Bug did) for the white part of the monster’s eyes.  The best part is, though, you can’t REALLY screw it up, so your “little monsters” (or Disasters) will have fun that doesn’t require extreme rules.

And I LOVE to see others’ creations, so if you try this, let me know- I’d LOVE to see how yours turned out!

Have fun!