Posts Tagged With: grown up

tenacity in her DNA

Been thinking about Thing 2.
Concerned she’s not really getting her life together. She’s employed, sometimes happily, sometimes miserably. (But, aren’t we all?) I’ve been concerned about her emotional well being. And the well being of Boyfriend J. I worry for them. I know what it’s like to feel trapped. To feel defeated and how easy it is to let that consume you.

And then the other day, she shared that her dear friend Jimmy is going through so much with his mom and her health, and then suddenly she suffered a stroke and is in a vegetative state with no real hope of improvement.
Thing 2 expressed how hard it is to feel helpless when all she wants to do in the world is help her friend and his sweet mom through this moment in their lives.

I began to consider everything my baby daughter has been through in the last year or so.
I’ve seen her hold the hand of her dearest friend after the sudden and surprising suicide of his father.
I’ve seen her rush to the home of her sister and brother in law because the latter specifically requested her presence after the loss of their baby.
I’ve seen her be there for Jimmy even though she’s not sure how to be other than to “throw hugs and beer at him”.

This young woman has demonstrated a level of strength and support that most seasoned adults don’t always successfully handle. She is handling her own complicated emotional feelings, as well as for the people she loves. She’s been tremendously responsible for the people she loves.
So I feel like I need to stop and breathe a little bit. I need to realize she’s doing things with her time and life that are important, even if they’re not actively furthering her “getting it together”.
The thought she’s using these things as avoidance for dealing with getting her life together crossed my mind, and it’s a very Thing 2 sort of way to function, but after talking with her today I feel like she’s working hard to get herself together as well as supporting and loving her people.

She’s learning how to ‘adult’ and I think she’s kind of digging it!

I told her not giving up is hard af but it’s more worth it than she even understood. And this superhero feeling is why!

Of course there will be days when she’s not feeling especially superheroish, but now that she has, she’ll remember it and be more inclined to keep going when the going gets tough. Not quitting when life gets hard is part of growing up. Feeling accomplished and empowered when you persevere is the reward. She’ll remember that now that she’s experienced it.
She doesn’t remember fighting for her life as a new baby. She doesn’t remember how hard she worked to stay healthy. My girl is a fighter! She’s got a strength and tenacity down deep in her. She’s seeing evidence of that now. This time, she’ll remember.
Everyone needs their ‘I did it!’ moments.

I told her I knew she had it in her, that she knew she had it in her and just needed to be reminded.
She wrote: “Really I didn’t want to “brag” to you about how everything is working out (albeit in its own silly Thing 2 way) and make you feel, well, I don’t know what I was afraid of, but it’s nice to hear that you’re rooting for me (and us)” (Us being her and Boyfriend J)
“And I know you always are and will be, but I feel like recognizing it.
You gave me my tenacity.
And I am eternally grateful (heart emoji)

I told her that her tenacity is in her very DNA and I’m just here to remind her.

She replied: “I love you. Thank you for being the best momma, and for being an incredible human aside from your fierce momma-ness”

I shared with her that YBW and I had been talking about how she’s doing, and I shared with him about where and how she is and what she’s doing for her friends. That he’s been loving and supportive in our conversations about her. That even though they’re relationship is a bit tricky, he’s on her side.

She replied:

(This is one of my new favorite Robynbird/YBW analogies. I’m totally the cereal and he’s absolutely the fruit and nut mix.)

That’s the second time this week one of those girls told me they appreciated me.
Thing 1 did it on Thursday in a text message that read: “You’re a great mom. So you know”
And that creates nice warm fuzzy feelings in me.
My own ‘I did it!’ moment!

I built the foundation.
They’re in charge of construction now.
I’m going to worry…I don’t know how to not…but I see what’s being built, and I’m feeling comfortable and confident for them.

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Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

for that is the only place to truly live

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I long to remember how live fully in both fantasy and reality. To know my imagination is free to create absolutely anything. To know that I’m as grounded as humanly possible.
You need both roots and wings. I know that’s rather a mixed metaphor, but I honestly believe it’s the truth. If I am safely rooted in reality, I have the ability to spread my wings and soar into fantasy.
I can remain grounded in the real world at the same moment I am King of all the Wild Things.

Most grown ups do forget the delicate balance. Most grown ups don’t believe in fairies. Most grown ups are far too busy to play. Most grown ups don’t embrace the child within.
I am not that kind of grown up. I will never lose my sense of whimsy. I will always remember how to play. I will always always believe in fairies. I’m a grown up and oftentimes I want to actually be a fairy.

Peter Pan told Wendy, “You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”
The place between sleep and awake is where grown ups can remember how to live fully in both fantasy and reality. The trick is being able to do it when you’re awake.
Peter Pan also said, “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” So many grown ups doubt they can fly. I believe I can fly because I work every single day to remember how to move freely between the fantasy and reality. For that is the only place to truly live.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wait a minute! I’m a grown up?

I believe I’ve remarked before about how I sometimes don’t feel like a real adult…it could be that I haven’t written about it, but I know I’ve talked about it in day to day life.
Sure, I did do grown up things. Sure I had adult responsibilities, but I never really felt like a grown up. Not exactly “fake it till you make it”, more like “feelings follow actions”. So I acted like a grown up to the best of my ability.

The first time I officially felt like an adult was when Thing 2 was moved to the NICU. Sure I was already a mom, but I was a young mom and I was still growing up while I was being Thing 1’s mom.
The second time I felt like a proper adult was when I took my suicidal first born to the hospital. Leaving her there in on the adolescent mental health floor of the hospital was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

So far, both times I’ve considered myself a real adult involved leaving my babies in a hospital and going home without them.
Other things happen in life that make you feel like a real adult. Finding your first “real” full time job. Divorce comes to mind.
When my mother died, I didn’t have that feeling of being an adult. I think it was because I was experiencing shock and disbelief. I’ve since wondered if it’s because I was never treated like a grown up in my relationship with her.
The day my father died, I never felt more like a child but I’d never behaved more like an adult. Isn’t it curious how that works?

You know you’re an adult when people you know, respect, and love need important things from you. Help with children, support after a death in the family. A strong sounding board for the tough questions.
I was an adult when I stood in church surrounded by all the people I love most and pledged my life to YBW.
I was a grown up for my friend and mentor when her beloved died. And that realization just hit me.
Today, I did a real adult kind of thing when I had to write a recommendation letter for my friend in Arizona’s application to graduate school.

So it’s occurring to me the more I write this post that I really must be an adult.
It feels normal and natural, like the most comfortable article of clothing I own.
But I don’t always want to wear that, you know? Sometimes I want to wear impractical clothing…oftentimes in the form of shoes.
It feels like I’m still figuring out how to be a proper adult. It also feels like I’m still figuring out how to be me as an adult.
But the jokes on me, right?
I’m an adult.
And I don’t suck at it.
I guess I never realized that.
Perhaps I didn’t want to?
I’m not sure how I feel about this. And I guess that’s OK too. I can wear my grown up clothes, but put on my impractical non-adult shoes every now and then when I need to.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What are we doing?

My heart is heavy today.
Partly it’s because Thing 2 left yesterday.
Her being here brought me much anticipated joy! We did all the goofy things we wanted to do. We almost snuggled enough. We had good heart to heart talks that included tears and laughter. I’m glad she was here. I’m glad she went home to her friends, I know she was missing them. She’ll be back in a month and we’ll do it all over again!

Partly my heart is heavy because things feel weird with YBW.
We were being goofy in the kitchen a few nights ago and he thought I was hitting him with the dish towel so he leaned over and licked me from chin to hairline. A big, spitty-cow-tongue kind of lick. So after I wiped off my face and got the saliva out of my ear, I punched his upper arm.
When we went up to bed I was being silly and he didn’t want any part of it. That’s when he told me I had really hurt him.
He did everything he was supposed to do. He told me he didn’t like that I hurt him, and please not to ever hit him that hard again.
Then he fell asleep.

I haven’t slept in the same bed with him since that night.

The next morning I brought up the situation. I wanted to clear the air, make sure we could talk about it and understand each other’s points of view.
I apologized for hurting him.
It was clear that I punched him with intent. But I had no intent to hurt him. I think it was just one of those punches that lands much differently than anticipated.

We talked about what it means to be physical in non-sexual ways.
YBW tends to be very “handsy”. He is quick to touch or tweak various parts of me as we pass by one another. He’s quick to pet my hair or cradle my face in the palm of his hand. I quite love this about him. That small, silly physical demonstration of his affection for me.
Yes, sometimes it becomes difficult. There are times I’d rather he not randomly tickle me or grab my bottom as he follows me up the stairs.
In this conversation, I expressed my displeasure that it’s a one-way street. If I try to be playful and tweak at him he doesn’t like it. Now this is mostly because he’s extremely ticklish and most times it feels less tweakish and more ticklish to him.
But sometimes it doesn’t seem quite fair to me.

This conversation was…tricky. I knew bringing it up would create a scenario in which neither of us would want to touch the other for fear of crossing this imaginary line. I actually said as much.
We’re still working on hearing what the other says and not falling into old patterns of hearing what’s been said to us in our previous lives. I didn’t want to bring it up because I knew what would happen. But while we were near the subject, I needed to say what I was thinking.
That’s what grown ups do. They talk about ‘all the things’.

So, where that left us is days of no physical contact. Precious little eye contact. And me not being able to sleep next to him.
I’m just so uncomfortable around him. I don’t know if he’s uncomfortable around me or not.

Last night I was brushing my teeth and he was in and out of the bathroom. Normally he would run his hand across my bottom every time he passes me, but not last night.
He was already in bed when I got there.
I said: I’m going to try and stay in here all night.
He asked why I was leaving. I told him I just couldn’t sleep. Which is true. I lie there and simply cannot sleep so I get up and got into the other room. I don’t sleep much better in there, but I don’t feel quite as anxious as I do lying next to him.
He asked: Am I doing something to keep you from sleeping?
No.
Then I told him I kept waiting for him to touch my butt while I was brushing my teeth. I told him I didn’t like where we were. I pointed out that I asked if I could lean on him while we were sitting on the couch early in the day.
He replied that he still didn’t know when or how he could touch me but assured me I could touch him.

Two nights in a row I curled up behind his sleeping body, my face pressed against his back. Just breathing his scent trying to feel connected to him. Then got up and left the room.

I don’t know if Thing 2 being here inhibited us being connected, I was focusing most of my time and attention on her. The boys are here too, I don’t know if that inhibits us from being connected, YBW is focused on Thing G.
I’m not sure it’s as much them as it is us.

I honestly believe something shifted the night I punched him.
That however playful my intentions were, it landed in a very real way.
I don’t think he wants to really talk to me. I don’t think he really wants to have any sort of physical contact with me.

It’s hard to have an intimate conversation when there are kids in the house, but I’m going to try again to bring it up when he comes home today. We may have to wait till Friday when the boys go back to their mom.
I believe he’s struggling with this too. I don’t think it’s all in my head. But I’m going to have to take the initiative, because I can’t sit with it much longer.

One good thing about Thing 2 leaving is that I can go downstairs and sleep in my cocoon instead of the upstairs guest bed. At least that will be more comfy until we can figure out what the hell we’re doing.

Categories: love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a good daughter

I’ve been sitting in hospital all day waiting…waiting…waiting…
(Perhaps I’ve mentioned patience is not my most marked characteristic?)

I’m waiting because that’s what good daughters do. A good daughter waits while her dad has his hip replaced.
I am a good daughter.

A good daughter also identifies her dad’s body for the sheriff’s department before they can remove it from his home.
I am a good daughter.

I started this post on Tuesday while sitting in hospital…I came back to it Sunday after the entire world changed.

My dad was found dead in his bed Friday morning by the home health physical therapist that came to do his initial intake after he came home from hospital. When I got there, she was long gone but the sheriff deputies were waiting for me.
When I asked if I could see him the first response was to ask if I really wanted to see him and then they told me I wasn’t allowed to touch anything.
(My hackles immediately go up, I’m thinking: that’s my Daddie I’ll touch him if I damn well please.)
They tell me they have to stand in the doorway and watch me to make sure I don’t disturb anything. (Oh, I’m going to punch somebody in their mouth before this is over.)
The older sheriff’s deputy, who actually knew my dad, says: it’s OK sweetie, you can touch him.

What I wanted to do was crawl into bed with him and lie there for a little while before they took him away…but I was afraid that would make the deputies poop their pants. I touched his hand and leaned over and lay my head on his chest for a moment and then  stood up, looked at him, whispered: oh, Daddie, then I left the room and didn’t go back in until I was finally alone in the house.

I cannot express how grateful I am that I had that teeny moment with him. I was able to see that he didn’t suffer, that he looked peaceful…
I have never felt less like a grown up than I did on Friday, but I’ve never done more grown up things than I did on Friday.

I don’t know what I would have done without Sundance or YBW on Friday.
Poor YBW…I called him when I got the call and he was unavailable…my plan was to leave a message that sounded something like: Please call me when you get a chance.
When I heard his voice on the outgoing message, I completely lost it and screeched: My dad died! Please call me back!
Sundance and I were texting back and forth before I got the call…so when I couldn’t get YBW I called her, when she didn’t answer…I texted: Please answer the phone please.
Before I could call her again, she called me and what followed was chaos.

Thing 2 said: Oh Mommy, I wish I could hug you. I told her: I will get to hug you next week when you get here. (She’s coming for my birthday.)
Thing 1 was beside herself with grief and I couldn’t hold her.
Thing G was so kind to me, he never stopped touching me Friday night, with little pats on my arm or leg or back, and so many hugs. His kindness was truly overwhelming. That sweet little boy took such good care of me when I needed to hold my own babies, he’s my baby too now. Thing 1 was so happy Thing G was taking such good care of her mommy, she told me to please thank him and give him big hugs for her.

I go tomorrow to sign the papers for a private autopsy to determine cause of death and then must decide whether or not to pursue legal action…I am not that girl.
I will also be able to spend a little more time with my Daddie’s body.
My God, I’m exhausted.

I am now an orphan…but I’m still a good daughter.

Categories: death, love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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