Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It goes by so fast

Today I was thinking, I really want to SAVOR this time with my son, for it goes by so fast. There will be a day when he'll be in school all day or he'll be away playing with friends rather than home with Momma. There will be a day when he won't need me in the middle of the night, for a burp, for a drink, for a snuggle. There will be a day when I won't be able to rock him, take his picture (ALL the time!), read him books, push him in the stroller. There will be days when he won't like me so much and won't want to spend the afternoon blowing bubbles, dancing together in the living room, or not doing much of anything but just BEING TOGETHER. My kisses will embarrass him and under NO circumstances will I be allowed in his bedroom. It'll be here before I know it. So today, I am SOAKING up this precious time, for it goes by so fast.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

a mother's birthday

So I woke up kinda grumpy on my 32nd birthday this morning. What kind of birthday can I have as mother of a one year old? Last year was different; My son was only 2 months old and I was still in the newborn-honeymoon-stage. But now it's a year later and while I love my son to pieces, I just wanted a day off for my birthday. I kept asking my husband - don't they have "take your child to work" days? No, I guess it wouldn't be appropriate for him to have his toddler with him while he's counseling addicts and felons (he's a rehab counselor). If I can't have the day off for my birthday, I'll try to reason with my son... Son, it's my birthday, you're supposed to lie still when I change your diaper; Son, it's my birthday, you're not supposed to throw your breakfast all over the kitchen floor and walls. Son, didn't Daddy give you the memo? It's my birthday, you're supposed to go right down for your nap, no fuss. I even tried to reason with the kitties... no, Frankie, I'm not letting you outside, which he responded with, "meow, meow, meow, meow, meow" on and on and on and on and annoyingly on until finally I gave in and let him out and told him, "fine, go out, run and frolic and eat grass til you puke but you better not get hit by a car because I don't want a dead cat on my birthday. And while you're out, poop outside because it's my birthday and I don't want to clean the litter box on my birthday.

But as the day went on, something happened inside of me. Rocking my son, reading him books, and holding his snuggly warm body against mine, I thought, what more could I possibly want for my birthday? After his nap I put on my favorite tunes and we danced and danced and danced in the living room. He giggled and I sang and we swayed and twirled and b-bopped (and he burped LOUDLY) until I was too tired to go on. When have I had a dance partner so delighted in me? This is joy.

So tomorrow afternoon, after work, I get some time off. I'm going to Barnes and Noble and getting a yummy treat at the cafe and buying some books for my birthday. I'm really looking forward to it. But I also know, it will be nice to come home to my husband and son. They're the best parts about me. And I'm grateful.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fear and loss

A woman from my grad school died on Monday. She died from a brain aneurysm. Her name was Allyson and she was days away from turning 34. I didn't know Allyson, as she graduated several years after I did, yet I am deeply affected by her death. Especially by the way she died. Would I feel differently if she had died from a car crash or from an illness? I don't know. A brain aneurysm is so scary to me. Any death is devastating, whether it's sudden or a ticking clock. But this kind of death stirs up a lot of fear in me. It's so random, so sudden, and I fear a similar fate.

I am afraid to die. I'm even afraid to write about this for fear this will be some ironic last post people will read after I'm gone. But I'm not superstitious and in writing this down, I hope I will be able to quiet my mind long enough so I can fall asleep tonight. In dying, I'm not so much afraid of where I'm going but what I'm leaving. Ever since my son was born, I've been afraid that something is going to happen to me and he will be motherless; that I'll be taken from him before he'll be able to know me or remember me. Since my dad died almost five years ago, I've been afraid that other loved ones will be taken from me. Now that I have a son, there's been a shift for me. Yes I fear that I will lose my son or my husband or other family or friends. But for the first time, I fear that I will be taken away.

Death seems so random. Why Allyson? Why my dad? Why someone else's dad or child or sibling? I want death to be logical - you get lung cancer because you smoke. Then there's something I can do about it - I won't smoke. I want control over death - if I eat healthy and exercise, get plenty of sleep, don't get too stressed and wear my seat belt I will be safe. But it doesn't work that way. Death overtakes the healthy and unhealthy, the young and the old and everyone in between. I feel powerless to death. My time will come when it will come. And being God's beloved doesn't give me much comfort. He took my dad. He could take my husband or my son. He could take me. He heals some and not others. Who knows why. Every night I lay my hands on my sleeping husband and my sleeping son and beg God, "please, please protect them - body and mind and heart and soul. Please don't take them from me. Please don't take me from them." I need help to live, without this weight of death on my shoulders.

As a therapist, I have clients who want to die. (Or perhaps better said, see that as their only way out of the tremendous pain they're in.) I have other clients who are afraid to live - really live - in fear of change, pain, loss. This is my struggle as well. And yet, I am so blessed to be in the midst of so much life - my 8 month old son is so full of life! Everyday he teaches me how it is to truly live - without fear, fully engaged and present in each moment, giving his all in everything he does whether it's fighting sleep or trying to crawl or laughing in delight over the kitties or playing and splashing in the bath. He is fully alive in body and spirit and heart and mind. I want that always for him.

My heart goes out to Allyson's family and friends. How devastating. May I live - truly live - with freedom and passion - until it's my time to die. And I will continue to lay my hands on my family and beg God every day.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My conception story (don't worry, it's rated PG)

No one likes to admit that their parents have sex. I'm not sure why but it's a squeamish topic. Like my brother, who chooses to believe that our parents had sex only 5 times in their 30+ year marriage - one time to create each of us kids and one miscarriage. Anymore than that and he has to dissociate and go to his happy place...
(hee hee, love you bro!) :)

I have no idea how my mom and I got onto this topic but she shared with me my conception story the other day. It's such a cool story, I wanted to blog it.

I am the youngest in my family with quite a big age gap between my siblings and myself. My oldest brother and I are 12 years apart, my next brother and I are 10 years apart and my sister and I are 6 years apart. So, I guess you could say, I was unexpected. Welcomed and delighted in, but a "surprise". My mom was 34 years old (believed to be "at risk" back then to be having a baby that "old") and while she had wanted another girl she was happy to have my sister and no plans were made for more kids. God had other plans (I'm so glad!)

My dad had been away on a business trip and called my mom from the airport to tell her that he was on his way home, a day early. A neighbor lady was over for coffee, visiting with my mom and when she heard that Bill was on his way home she stood up, gathered her things to leave and said, "I'm going home right now to pray that you become pregnant tonight!" (She had 7 children herself and really wanted my mom and dad to have more kids.)

Well, my mom is a believer in the power of prayer and her and my dad hadn't discussed the possibility of having more kids. She didn't want to be doing anything behind my dad's back so she doubled up on protection that night. And that night I was conceived. If my dad had come home the next night as planned, who knows... if birth control had been more reliable back then, who knows... I mean come on, I got through two forms of protection! I was determined!

Thanks Mom, for sharing that story with me. It has powerfully affected me. I was prayed into existence. I am meant to be here. I'm even willing to admit my parents had sex to know that story :)

Monday, January 07, 2008

6 months!

My son turned six months on Christmas Day. I can't believe how fast time is flying. We had a great trip to PA to visit my in laws. My son's first plane trip went really good - that was a relief. You just never know...

I am loving my life as a mommy. Everyday I just can't believe that he's actually my son. He's a strong-willed child that's for sure... I can already see we're going to have some challenging days ahead when he's a bit older, but then we did give him an Irish name that means "fiery" so we have no one but ourselves to blame! :) It is truly interesting how that happened though - I fell in love with that name while I was pregnant when I saw it in a magazine. I had no idea who this dear boy was inside of me (although I did have a clue he'd be very active with how active he was in my belly!) And yet the name fits. Pretty cool.

Sorry it's been so long since I've blogged. I've never been good with organizing my time and with my son it's even harder! But that's something I want to get better at this year. I love having a new year ahead of me and the hope and inspiration that gives me. Blessings to you my blogger friends. Thanks for reading.