WELCOME TO MY "OTHER" BLOG!
This blog is a series of anecdotes from our life after losing our first child, a stillborn daughter, then going on to birth the two other lights of our lives!
Bear is 6: serious, organized, my cruise director and my time keeper.
The Comedian is 4: She is pure comedy always doing something unintentionaly funny that I attempt to put into words.
Enjoy our stories, conversations, and delights as we embrace the lives of our second and third daughters without ever negating our first.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Today was really hard. Bear struggled immensly with her emotions, riding the rollercoaster of tears, frustration, anger, fear, worry, anticipation, hope, and who knows what other anxiety based emotions.
Tomorrow is her first day of first grade.
As I watched her, trying my best to stay buckled in the same seat she was as she hit the peaks and valleys of her emotionally charged day, I broke inside.
I saw my little girl fighting to regain some sense of control as her world spun out of control. I saw her clothes get folded, then re-folded, and strictly organized in drawers. I saw shoes come flying at my head matched only by the murderous look in her eyes. I saw her cower in the backseat of the car, not wanting to be there but not wanting to get out either.
Quite simply, I saw myself.
I saw the person I become when grief overwhelms. I know those feelings of despair partnered with the need to compartentalize my life. I know far too well how it is to want and not want something equally at the same time. And so my heart breaks a little more each time it happens to her.
GAD - General Anxiety Disorder, that's what they call it. "Basically", one psycologist told me, "life just stresses her out, at times more than others."
Yeah. No kidding. Poor kid.
We have had a relatively good summer with regard to her stress triggers. We have introduced a few new techniques and strategies she can choose to use when she feels her body starting to get out of control. Today, nothing worked.
I am starting my new job tomorrow so I can't be there for her first day. Daddy will walk her to school and pick her up. That will be enough, I tell myself knowing he is a calming force for her, but oh how I wish I could be there too.
Her backpack is ready. Her lunch is packed. Her outift is picked out.
"Mommy" she whispered to me at bedtime, "I'm sorry I was so not controlled today. I'm just so scared to go. I'm just so nervous."
She finally said it outloud. For that I did a happy dance, right there in her bedroom and the corners of her tired mouth reluctantly started to turn.
"I know" I whispered back, "We both start new things tomorrow. I'm nervous too."
And as she closed her eyes we hugged. I pray her dreams will be peaceful ones.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I pounced. I wrote a sample piece. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the first columnisnts for Exhale magazine. My column title? Meditations On Life After Loss.
Exhale has grown so very much over the last nine months. Each issue is available now in PRINT format for a donation of $5! Woo-hoo, look as us growing!
This month my column is a bit different. It is a piece on Parenting After Loss. I thought it appropriate to share as my show and tell for it took me A LOT longer to write than others preceeding it.
This is an emotional issue I have been wrestling for some time now. Please, if you have a response - leave it. If you are a few years ahead of me on this PAL journey, tell me so - with some nice, flowery, what-I-might-expect-to-see-in-a-couple-years story...perhaps.
Thank you for allowing me to tell our story. Thank you for helping me to write a happy ending.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
We all knew that was coming!
And, their teacher gave them lollipops!
They knew that would happen too.
What was less expected were the happy tears pouring from my eyes. Their intensity matched only by the pride and accomplishment glowing in Bears's.
For the record, Comedian did not pass. This, too, was expected. And, contrary to what the image above says, she is not upset about this in the least. "I get to do level ONE again" she says animatedly to anyone who will listen.
Friday was Bear's long earned (like five years in the making) moment.
And, The funny thing about really wanting to do something is that even when you have achieved it you still want to do more, to go further, and try new things that yesterday seemed impossible.
Like this. Holy Cow - I got a swimmer on my hands!
* - A short PSA for all parents: There is a 24 hour fatigue delay when your children swim four hours in one day. The next night expect them in bed a full two hours early!
** - Oh, and don't miss the quote of the week, a lament on the end of swimming!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Bathing during her toddler years is not a story I will even tell you. Ok, Earplugs. Enough said.
We started swimming lessons at 2 years old. For the first year she sat on the first step. The second year she sat in the water on the second step, and so forth.
We've never pushed her. We've always wanted her to feel safe in the water and find her comfort zone in her own time. Even so, this was the general expression you recieved when she got anywhere near water, usually followed by tears.
As summer approached something told me this was our year. An inuition of sorts that the heavens had aligned and suddenly, not only would she feel safe and confident in the water, but she would want to swim!
Mother's intuition. Never mess with it.
Congratulations Bear. You have done it. And, futhermore, you have inspired your sister to follow suit. You are growing up so fast and accomplishing so much.
This is Bear's fifth year in level one swimming lessons. Tommorow is the 'exit test'. Something tells me that, at long last, she will pass!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Aug 3rd - Off to play tennis!
Aug 4th - An improptu lunch out with Auntie Erika and the girls' Great-Godmother Karen and Great-Godfather Paul!