Sunday, July 21, 2013

a broken record

I feel like I post about this all the time....well, okay. So I don't post as much these days but my deep thoughts, when I have them ;-), are always about this...

I am so thankful for my life.  For my husband.  And each one of my kids.  And I am painfully grateful for my rainbow baby.  And all the things I get to do as a mommy to this baby...because I missed out on them with Chase.   I am constantly reminded of him.  At least 5 times a day, I say to Owen, "can I hold you?"  Each time I change his diaper, and especially as he gets older and nears the potty training stage, I am grateful for the chance to do this.  I love love love it when he grabs my hand as we stroll along, because he doesn't do it very often and....I never got to hold Chase's hand to cross the street.  Going to bed....I often think of teaching Owen to sleep with Reese.  But I love sleeping with him.  I am even grateful for those middle of the night throwing up episodes...I'm grateful that he was in bed with me so that I could make sure he didn't choke himself...and I'm grateful to even have this child here to nurse through an illness.  My diaper bag.  I could easily graduate to carrying just my purse at this point and use his little backpack for diapers and wipes and a few essentials.  But whenever I think about getting rid of the diaper bag for good, I remember the immense pain of empty arms.  Seeing someone in a restaurant and noticing a cute diaper bag and me not having one....because I didn't have my baby.  I love giving Owen his baths...something (along with diaper changing) I would have gladly assigned to the girls after having four children.  But no matter how tired, no matter what is on my plate, I stop and thankfully do his bath.  And I still take him everywhere with me.  When I just have a few things to get at the grocery store and want to make a quick run, he always wants to go with me and I don't hesitate to take him.  He loves to go to the grocery store!  

This rainbow is the most challenging baby we have raised without a doubt.  But not a second goes by that I am not grateful for him and feel so incredibly lucky to have him.  And I am not entirely convinced that it's been hard with him because of my fear of losing him since I lost Chase.  I'm not sure how I would have faired these first two-and-a-half years without this perspective.  I would not be smiling through the fatigue like I am I don't think!  But I have gotten definitely felt closer to Chase when I think it would have been very difficult to do so as the time passes and makes us feel farther and farther from him.  Owen has reminded us of him and helped us imagine him in and amongst us all.  

We miss our sweet boy.  I think of him every day from morning til night and pray every night to see him in my dreams, though I hardly ever do.  I know one day I'll hold him in my arms again and that will be amazing.  Until then....I love and miss you with every beat of my heart, little man.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Always learning

Getting  But it also is pretty cool.  And there's one thing I've decided I will never stop doing as I's learning things.  About life.  About people.  About relationships.  About expectations.  About purpose.

I used to have expectations.  I expected get up early if I was going to get my run in before the kids woke up.  I expected to do well in a race if I had trained hard.  I expected....  I expected to have a healthy baby after nine and a half months of a healthy pregnancy.  I expected to bring that baby home from the hospital a couple days after giving birth to him.

I'll stop right there because those expectations were not met and my life fell out from under me in what were the most painful, emotional and physical, moments of my life.  Shattering on the floor below like a piece of glass.   I learned perspective real quick.  Faster than I wanted to.  When I already felt very strongly that I had the right perspective on life.  But I no longer take things for granted like a healthy pregnancy or healthy baby or time to go for my run.  I learned that.

And then I realized I still have other expectations that I need to let go of.  I learn things on a daily basis about people and relationships that tell me I need to raise or lower my expectations.  As a parent, obviously, I'm shaping the lives of my kids and I'm very careful about relationship expectations and what they learn.  I sometimes have specific behaviors I want them to acquire from me but I know that they are who they are already and that is their own person.  They have a bit of me in them, a bit of their daddy and the rest is up to them.  I am humbled, some days, at this realization.  They are pretty amazing individuals.  And when I see my flaws in them, I try to correct them, in hopes that they become a better person than me.

But it is me that I come back to.  I've learned not to expect things from people that are just not going to give, perform or be what I think they should.  I am a firm believer in actions speaking louder than words and listening to that.   I will not assume that you will give, perform or be something that your actions don't tell me you are, just to help you out because that's what I think you want to or should do. I have to let go and listen to (observe) those actions.

I have also learned not to compare my relationships.   Because comparing leads to expecting  It doesn't work.   Sometimes I try to understand why my relationship with one sister doesn't mirror or even consist of the same things that the my relationship with another sister does and I come up disappointed because my expectations were not met.  And really, I should not have compared the two relationships in the first place.  But I'm learning to let go of those expectations....  and not compare the relationships.  Because they are different, just as the individuals are.

It's not easy...and I try to be true to myself while I am trying to set an example and teach my kids as well.  Always hoping that I'm doing it "right", or what I think is "right".  Living up to expectations I have of myself.  Not always escaping the throws of hypocrisy, but trying to learn from my mistakes and learn from them, too.  I think as a parent, you strive for your kids to be better than you lieu of the mistakes we make along the way.  Sometimes admitting those mistakes and showing them my fears helps us grow together and makes our relationships stronger.

And I don't plan to ever stop learning.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Just a few things to do...

It's been busy 'round here.  And as I was telling someone recently, I don't expect or hope for it to slow down because I know it won't.  It'll only get faster.  I just hope to enjoy it as best I can.  And we've been doing just that.  Swim, track, baseball, 4th of July, cousins, Color Run, travel just to name a few, have given us lots of memories to cherish.   

We also, however, have lots of uncertainty right now.  It's hard on everyone....trying to keep track of where we are tomorrow.  It doesn't really allow for planners in this family and that's hard.  We ask....for faith.  We hope that they have faith in us as their parents that we make the best decisions for our family, even when they don't understand them.  And to have faith in us to keep everyone's best interests at heart....and to trust in us, to follow through and then adapt to any changes that come our way.  I know this is very hard on them.  

But I hope they are learning that no matter what comes their way, they can handle it and deal with it.  And that when a sudden or unplanned change is in front of them, to adapt and find a new route as quickly and as painlessly as they can.  Because I worry that when they are 25, they'll look back on these years and think their parents were crazy, unorganized, flighty people that always acted haphazardly.  And that is everything we are NOT doing....but will they ever understand that?  I hope so.  

I do know that we have never stopped loving them, or showing them so much love, throughout it all.  And maybe they'll remember that part most of all.  

Just maybe.