The other day we were all driving to Zack’s first swim lesson of the season. Out of the blue he asks me, “Mom, how did your Mom passed away?” I could have gone one of two ways with this. I could have gone down the path of sadness, being quiet and choosing not to really talk about it, but instead I took the opposite approach. “She got really sick.” I told him. “And she couldn’t get better so she died, and now she’s up in Heaven?” he asked. “Yes.” I replied. Zack went on to say “That makes me really sad because I never got to meet her.” That just about broke my heart.
I explained to Zack (and Brayden listened quietly too) how my Mom was now an Angel up in Heaven and just because we can’t see her anymore, she sees us. I told him that it is hard for me to have the reality of he and Brayden never knowing my Mom, their Grandma, but that she knows all about them. She sees them and she is with us always. We can’t hear or touch her, but she knows all we do and she is in every breath of air we breathe, every leaf that flutters in the wind, every drop of rain or snowflake that gently hits the ground.
Zack seemed to take it okay, and I told him we could look at pictures of Grandma when we got home, and whenever he wanted. I have lots of pictures!
We got to swimming, Zack did amazing – as if I expected anything less – and we came home. I forgot to get out the pictures of my Mom (I’ll have to make myself a reminder note). It was a touching moment to have Zack ask what he did and to genuinely feel the sadness and love. To have my five-year-old with such deep expressions of emotion… it humbled me and made me proud.
Yesterday I got an email from my Dad regarding a memorial for my Mom from the hospital where she had been cared for. It also was very touching, and the timing couldn’t be any better. I posted it on Facebook, but this is what it read: “In 2005, Olga Sommer, a long-time patient of Sequoia Hospital received the unfortunate news that her lengthy battle with leukemia and lupus was nearing its end. Rather than retreating quietly, Olga and her husband, Fred, openly approached the Sequoia Hospital Foundation to see what they could do in support of the hospital’s Infusion Center that had so compassionately cared for Olga. Their first gifts helped purchase comfortable chairs for those receiving infusion treatments. Next, they funded a blanket warmer for the department, followed by a patient scale, and a television. They had only just begun. Olga passed away late in 2006 but not before instilling in Fred the importance of providing for Sequoia Hospital’s future. He continues to give passionately in her memory, and to assure that Sequoia is cared for even after his passing. Fred Sommer has joined the Foundation’s Legacy Circle by including Sequoia Hospital in his planning with a charitable gift annuity. When the new Sequoia Hospital opens this year, the Infusion Center’s waiting area will be named in memory of Olga Sommer, loving wife and mother. The dedication to Olga is a lasting honor to the impact she and Fred have had on the care provided to Sequoia’s patients.”
Yes, bedtime again. The boys are both in their beds, lights out, humidifier, sound machine and glow buddy all on. I used to be SO great at getting those boys in bed and walking out of their room no later than 7:00pm. Not sure what has happened over the past month or two – other than Brayden being sick, and Brayden being extra particular (yep, he gets that from me…).
I finally have them both quiet – well, semi-quiet – and just about comfy-cozy. Zack is tucked into his bed and Brayden and I are rocking in his chair with a blanket and the puppy dog he got from his ER visit a couple of weeks ago. Brayden is actually just about asleep, and I’m just about to put him into his crib, tuck him in and give him one last “I love you, sweet dreams” kiss.
Whack! (Zack slams his arm down over his covers)
I whisper as sternly as possible, “Zack, shh be quiet and go to sleep.” And Brayden whispers an echo, “Zack, be quiet.” Okay – time to start the “quiet down” process again. We’re almost there, Brayden’s eyes are heavy and almost about to stay shut for the night. He’s breathing slow and deep, and his head just starts to slip off my shoulder onto puppy dog. I whisper into his soft little ear, “Okay, ready to go in your crib?”
“I love you.”
Now what Mother doesn’t love to hear their child say this? “I love you too now stop talking and go to sleep. Good night, sweet dreams.”
“I will if you will.” Oh no, he didn’t just say that did he?
“Don’t you talk back to me!” Yes, I did – I got a little peeved. “I’m only talking to tell you to be quiet and go to sleep.” Deep breath… “I love you, sweet dreams.”
“I love you too.”
Brayden, luckily, stayed pretty still and quiet so getting him into his crib was not too difficult. I figured he was tired after a long day of school and playing out in the sun, hell I would be!
Bedtime was saved. 7:20pm and I walked out of their room (and came directly to my computer so I could capture this before I forgot). It wasn’t the worst bedtime. It wasn’t the best, but it could have been better. I managed to stay calm and regain positive energy and love (that’s what it’s all about anyway, right?), and the boys are now happily tucked into bed, hopefully off to sweet dream land, all comfy-cozy.
I had really been looking forward to this past weekend. A weekend without plans. Nothing we had to do. Nowhere we had to be. Nobody we had to meet with, attend a birthday party for or even see. It was supposed to be a quiet, relaxing at-home weekend around the house. Those weekends are the best. I love those weekends, even if we end up being busy beyond belief, at least they get filled with the kind of business we want to do, versus the kind we are committed and obligated to do. You all get it, right? We love our friends and family, but sometimes it’s nice to just be home.
My entire weekend of having no plans turned awry Friday night the second I laid my head down on my pillow. I’d been fighting a sore throat and some sinus congestion for the past couple days prior, but nothing that I wasn’t used to thwarting off with some proper self-care. I was feeling fine (energy and happiness were both up), but I sounded horrible – probably much worse than I actually felt. This sore throat and congestion wasn’t going to slow me down and ruin my no-plan plans. Except… it did. I was up most of the night with excrutiating pain in my ear. Yep, it was an ear infection. I’ve had so many of them I can pretty much diagnose them myself – too bad I don’t have my own prescription pad.
Saturday morning I went to Urgent Care. There was nothing urgent about it. I sat in the waiting room for over two hours, bored out of my mind and starving (my coffee was all I had consumed before leaving the house, and I wasn’t expecting to spend my entire morning reading magazines from 2009). Not all of the magazines were four years old, there was actually one from 1999! Yes, I read that one too. The pictures were quite amusing.
When the doctor (and she was the only doctor in the entire office that day) finally saw me I was out of there in about fifteen minutes with a prescription for antibiotics faxed over to the pharmacy. Kudos to CVS because my prescription was ready before I even got there to pick it up. So now I’m on day 3 of a 5-day dose, complete with miserable side effects, but at least my ear doesn’t hurt anymore.
Sunday morning I rolled out of bed just after 8:30am. I slept pretty good that night and actually slept in a little – which felt good. The boys were eating breakfast and watching a show, Will brought me my coffee – a typical morning. At 10 o’clock both boys were going to have a play date with one of Zack’s friends from school and his little brother, who is also two like Brayden. We were all looking forward to it. Until…
Will was washing dishes, Zack was sitting at the counter writing a note to give his friend, thanking him for having him over to play, and Brayden and I were just starting to play in the living room. I was sitting on the couch, Brayden was on the floor on his back, and I spotted that cute little belly button. I had to go in for a tickle. Brayden rolled and wham! Banged his head right on the edge of the little bookcase. I could tell it hurt because it was loud, and he immediately starting crying. I picked him up to cuddle and console him. A second later I pulled back to check his head and his little hand was up near his eye, covered in blood. “Will, I need you now. Like really now.”
Three hours, an extended play date for Zack, ice cream for all and two tiny stitches later, we were all back home and back to “normal.” Brayden will be fine, it’s just a little gash next to his left eye that should heal completely and by the time he’s ten will probably not even be noticable anymore. Yeah, just a little gash by his eye. There’s no just when it comes to stitches for my little baby. Especially on his face. I cried laying there next to him in the hospital as he was all wrapped up in a sheet like a burrito – not as much as he cried – but I shed some tears.
As for the weekend of no plans. I would much rather have had them.
Yesterday was President’s Day which meant Zack had off of school. Brayden’s school was also closed, but he doesn’t usually go on Mondays anyway, so it was a “normal” at-home day for him. I usually dread school holidays because it means both boys at home, all day, no break. I was counting on the weather being sunny and warm (I should know better than to believe the weather man) so that I could send them outside to play in our wonderful backyard. Nope, I was cold all day just looking outside at the cloudy, overcast and windy day.
The day wasn’t so bad after all. I got myself up out of bed (mainly because I had to pee and I just couldn’t hold it and not think about it any longer to stay cozy and warm under the covers), and pattered over to the kitchen where I made sure my husband knew I was up (not awake, just up) and needed coffee. Good man he is. The boys were both still in jammies, munching on dry cereal, watching Dora The Explorer (not my favorite show or first choice, but every now and then something new on TV does keep them quiet and self-entertained).
I always get a warm “Good morning, Mommy!” when they see me. That alone puts a smile on my face and almost makes it enough to wake up without needing coffee… almost. Yesterday morning was no exception.
I cozied myself up on the chair with my feet up on the ottoman and a blanket covering my legs and torso. Halfway through my coffee and I’m starting to feel a bit more like a normal, living person. Zack comes over and scooches his way up on my lap, half on me, half squeezed between one of my legs and the arm of the chair. I’m glad it was comfortable for him, probably because he’s still so little, because that did not seem comfy for me. I wrapped one arm around him, the other still holding my coffee. We sat for a while, until Dora was over and my leg started falling asleep. It was nice, cuddling and snuggling with Zack.
Brayden wanted his turn, and how could I resist? He climbed up on my lap where Zack had previously been, and like a cat, took a few minutes to get situated, but finally found his cozy position. I didn’t expect Brayden to sit very long on my lap. He usually gets antsy and gets up. 45 minutes later, we’re still snuggling.
Brayden’s better. Phew! He still has a bit of a cough, and still has 7 more days of antibiotics and breathing treatments… but he slept through the night last night! Yippee! I am so happy his night went well, because when he sleeps, Mommy sleeps. And when Mommy sleeps, it is just so much easier to function during the day (after, of course, I have my coffee).
I know when he starts feeling better because something in him switches from being the completely lovey, snuggling, I-just-want-to-sit-with-Mommy boy, to being a little more energetic (both physically and verbally). The last two days have been tough emotionally – for me. I know every child goes through an “I hate you” phase (I’m pretty sure I topped the list for the number of times I said it to my parents), but boy does it sting when it’s your little two-year old, and all you want to do is take care of him and make him better. Probably doesn’t help that there has been huge gaps of necessary sleep in our house (for everyone), and that darn little thing called PMS, but still, it hurts when your child says nasty things to you. Makes you want to cry – which I did.
I am counting on today being a better day. I’ve had my (first) cup of coffee, I’ve showered and washed my hair (mmm, smells like rosemary and mint!), I’ve eaten breakfast, and Brayden has taken all his morning medicines. Toys are precisely scattered on the floor, Mickey Mouse is singing on TV, and hey, I got to sneak away for twenty minutes so I could write this really quick (well, I almost got through this post without having to get up).
I want to say, thanks to my husband for bringing me a wonderfully tasty mini lemon tart (one of my favorite sweet treats), thanks to Zackery for making me feel better two nights ago when all I wanted to do was cry my eyes out, and thanks to my best friend for giving me a card with a giant hershey’s kiss! I accept all your acts of kindness and cheerfulness.
Parenting is hard. I know that. I believe it’s the hardest when they actually need you the most – like when they’re sick. My boys are great boys, but sometimes they will say or do hurtful things. I know not to take it personally – I just keep having to remind myself. Someday (in a really, really, really long time from now – that will seem to come much too quickly) they will not be so little anymore. So while they are small and young, I will love them big, with all my heart, every single day… even if it makes me cry.
It’s December 21, 2012. 12/21/12. Supposedly it’s the end of the world. I don’t believe it is. I am not judging those that believe otherwise, I just choose to believe our world has a long journey ahead, with endless peace and happiness to come. What happened last week in CT was devastating. Heartbreaking. Horrific. I can’t imagine how those families are feeling with the loss they suffered. Honestly, I don’t know much of the details as it’s been too hard for me to watch the news or read about it. I would rather fill my mind with joy, but I also don’t want to be naive.
Both my boys are in school today, so I actually have a minute to myself – to breathe and stretch and think. Today, I am choosing to stay positive and light. I am choosing to listen, but not get sucked into the conversations around me. I am choosing to focus on Christmas with family and friends.
Both my boys have their Christmas parties at school today – and I can’t wait! Brayden, bless his little heart, has had a hard time in the mornings being dropped off at preschool (even though it’s only 2 days a week), but I know he has so much fun because at home all he talks about is his new little friend and his favorite teacher. Today, however, he was actually excited to get in the car and go because of his Christmas party. It made me smile to know he wanted to go. When we got there his favorite teacher immediately greeted him and, as usual, picked him up so I could get on with my day. Is there a little Mommy guilt in there, well, of course, but I know he’s in great hands and enjoying himself throughout the day.
Zackery and I waited in the car for a bit before going in to his school, as it is CRAZY windy here today. Luckily it was indoor recess so we only almost got blown away for a few minutes while walking from the car to the front doors of school. And then, it was varying degrees of happiness, worry, fear, anger and everything in between. Again, I listened, vowing not to be naive, but I chose to keep a smile on my face and keep my strength front and center for my boy.
As his bell rang, I walked Zackery to his Kindergarten class, helped him get settled, gave him a giant hug and even a kiss (I am also blessed that I can still do this in front of all his friends!). I’m going back later in the day to help with his party, organizing a holiday craft for the class. I’m anxious. I love to volunteer in his class, but I also just want to be with him – even if just in the same room.
I am sad about the tragedy last week. I am angry about it. I feel empathy. But I also won’t let those events change the wonderous holiday that is just right around the corner. Christmas. I am happy to have the most beautiful tree we cut down as a family. I am happy to have the stockings hung and decorations all over the house. I am happy to have the scent of pine lofting through the air. I am happy to have presents under the tree. I am happy to be blessed with the best boys a Mother could ever ask for (99.9999% of the time).
When today is over and the boys are getting ready for bed, I will wrap them up with the most special smiles and cuddles a Mommy could give. That is what I am most happy about.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, keep smiling – the world needs peace and joy.
So, today is Sunday (at least it still is here. Somewhere, it’s probably Monday already). I’m partaking in Stream of Consciousness Sunday again, and the prompt couldn’t be more perfect. I actually read the prompt hours ago, but didn’t have the (whole) 5 minutes to write it. I went swimming at the neighbors with Zack, then my best friend from next door joined us with her son and husband, then my husband came over with Brayden, and well, it turned into a great party evening (yes, even on a “school” night). So, here I am, hours later – and I confess I was thinking about what I would write about, but the writing is still limited to five minutes, and here goes (oh, p.s. the promt is:
Tell me about a keepsake that you treasure and will hold on to until death do you part.
I have a keepsake, it’s from my Mother. I keep it in my pillowcase and sleep with it every night. It’s a retro, soft turquoise beaded sunglass case that she used to carry her glasses in. When she passed away 5 years ago, I was helping my Dad sort through the house and I came across that item. I packed it, and within a split second took it back out of the box and decided I needed to have it. It is something simple, but it was SO Mom. The beads are faded yellow and beige, in a sort of almost paisley shape, but really made no pattern at all.
Inside the sunglass case, I have a letter that I wrote to my Mom the night she died. I wrote it on white, lined paper with blue ink, but I have never read it since. It got washed in the washing machine once, as it accidently did not get taken out of my pillow case on laundry day, so the paper is eternally stuck together with the creases of how I folded it 5 years ago. And I will never read it – it’s too hard. I don’t want to go back to that night.
So I sleep with it, in my pillowcase, along with the collar – a blue collar with a tiny little silver bell – from my cat who passed away just a month before Zackery was born. I sleep with my keepsakes every night that I am home. I sleep with my Mother and my cat, Raja. And till death will we part.
This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
- Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
- Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw. (Disclaimer: I usually take a minute to add a picture, because I try to have one with all my posts)
- Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
- Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
- Link up your post below.
- Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love
I can’t believe that two years ago today, we worked together, you and I, to bring you into the world for your very 1st breath. Your very 1st moment, your very 1st experience. For the very 1st time we got to see your precious little face and gaze into those beautiful, innocent, big blue eyes. For the 1st time, I felt like our family was now complete.
You have grown so much. You are a toddler! Wow! Just to say that – it’s weird. You’re my little baby snugglebug. You and your brother will always be my babies.
Your words, your thoughts – they amaze me. The way you speak in full sentences and hold conversations – it just blows me away (in such a good way). You are so smart and funny and kind and loving and caring and all the things my little snugglebug should be. You have your favorite songs (Farmer in the Dell and B-I-N-G-O) your favorite books (the Truck Book from the library that unfortunately we had to return but I promise I will check it out again) your favorite lovey (Bunny – I remember when you looked so little and Bunny was so much bigger – now he is this tiny little ruffled, no longer pristine, white bunny that gets flopped around with you) your favorite shows (Thomas the Train and Curious George) and of course your favorite people (Mommy, Daddy and Zackery). I can’t say you’re my favorite (cuz that’s just not true – Zack is my favorite too), but you’re my favorite toddler!!!
Brayden, I love you so, so much. I love the snuggles and hugs and kisses you give. I love your little voice, your soft baby skin and your oh-I-could-grab-them-forever little thighs.
Happy Birthday my dear sweet two-year-old. xoxo
As daughters, we all grow up thinking “I’m never going to be like my Mother.”
As we get older, and a little bit wiser, we start asking ourselves “What would my Mother do?”
As we become Mothers ourselves, we can’t help but say “I’m just like my Mother.”
For some, we can’t see our Mothers on Mother’s Day.
For others, we spend every minute of every day with our Mothers.
For all, we love our Mothers.
On this Mother’s Day, may we all thank our Mothers for giving us life.
On this Mother’s Day, may we all send kisses to the sky or hugs to our heroes.
On this Mother’s Day, may we tell our Mothers just how much we love them.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers everywhere, new or old, here on earth or up in Heaven.
*(This post was inspired by Marylin Warner, and her blog Things I Want To Tell My Mother)
I wrote to your brother last week, so I thought this week it would be your turn. I don’t like to have to “take turns” with you boys, but sometimes I have no choice.
I just want to say how very proud I am of you. I know I’ve been saying that a lot lately and I really mean it. Whenever we go places – either to someone’s house or a restaurant or the KidZone or Discovery Museum or anywhere! – I never worry about you. That’s not to say I don’t care about you, of course I do, more than anything, but I don’t have to worry about how you will act, behave, treat others, etc. You are courteous, polite, respectful, and patient. I could go on…
I know that how you are is in some way a reflection of me. So pat on the back for Mama! Yay me!
I also know that how you are is because of YOU. You have a wonderful personality, always (well, for the most part) happy and excited. You get cranky when you’re tired and hungry – but hey, so do I. You are getting so good at playing with Brayden and helping him out. One of my most favorite times of the day is in the morning when you are so kind and loving towards him as he adores you so much. The way you make believe play with him, and use your imagination, and talk so gently and genuinely engage with him – it melts my heart and puts the biggest smile on my face. Most of the time I’m still in bed, but I am awake, lying there listening to you two. I wish every Mother could experience moments like that.
You have always been my first, and will always be my baby, but you are growing up so fast! You will be 5 years old this summer and starting kindergarten in the fall. Wow! I can’t believe it. You just went through a total growth spurt and I had to scramble to find you shoes and pants that fit; you are getting so big! But, you will always be my Big Snugglebug.
Thank you for being a wonderful son, brother, friend and human being.
I love you forever.