Something dawned on me today that made me realize that although he is growing up, pulling away and says that he wants mom to cut the apron strings and let go, he still needs his mom. No matter what age, they will always need their mom! In stages you let go, they come back and then they fly again. It is our job as parents to teach them how to fly. Their whole lives we are preparing them how to fly. When the time comes to let them go and fly, it is so hard, harder than you expected. They are ready, you taught them to fly, let them soar! Today I reminded him about something very little, something that he needed to take care of that he had not taken care of it. He got mad and wanted me to take care of it, I had to step back and not take over. It is very easy to just take it over. I did it, I backed off and said, no, this is your job. You need to take care of this. As I took myself out of the situation, he had no choice but to run with it and he did it and was FINE! We were both fine! He can fly and I can let him and still be his mom!
While washing my hair today my one year old pup got herself into quite a bit of mischief! She is really craving attention since our 15 year old Jack Russell passed away. I was only distracted with washing my hair for about 15 mins. Well, that is all it took for this crazy pup to grab my medicine off the counter, run with it to the bedroom and manage to chew off the top of the baby proof bottle! So much for the baby proof bottle. We need puppy proof bottles! In fifteen minutes she managed to chew the cap and lid off the bottle. Thankfully, I caught her in time before she had eaten any of the pills that were in the bottle. It took me a few seconds of calming myself down to realize that she must not have gotten any of the pills out of the bottle. There were none spilled out of the bottle, she was acting as herself, all of the pills were still down at the bottom of the bottle. I think we were lucky! We had averted danger this time. BUT, now I must look around the house as if a toddler lives here and think of all the things I worry about a little baby could hurt themselves with yet, it is what will this little pup hurt herself with? Who knew??? Puppy proof the house! Crazy day..........
I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on this blog once a day / once a week for all of 2011.
I know it won’t be easy, but it will be fun, inspiring and hopefully will begin the daily habit of writing. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.
If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way. Also, feel free to ask me where I have been if you feel I have been slacking in the writing area! This is one goal that I feel I need a boost in and having someone push me along the way will be helpful! SO here is to writing daily in 2011!
For the past couple of years our Christmas Eve celebrations have grown to be very grand. While so much fun and wonderful, it was quite exhausting to my husband and I. Not only have we increased the number of people who attend our celebration, but we have increased what we serve. It is no longer just dinner and some dessert. It is now rounds of appetizers, many, many desserts, of which I do all the baking for. It was especially hard to get all the baking in as we spent most of our weekends leading up to the holiday away with our son at his wrestling tournaments. Trying to squeeze in the holiday on top of his hectic wrestling schedule was challening, not to mention that I teach at the college on top of my other job and the semester would be finishing up so I would have that added pressure on top of the holiday. The past two years my husband who drives for UPS and works on Christmas eve has asked that we skip the Christmas eve festivities at our home and move them to Christmas Day. However, no one in our families would hear of it. They were devastated that we would even think of getting rid of doing Christmas Eve. It is tradition they would say. You have been doing it for 20 years. We can't possibly stop coming to your house. It is always so wonderful. I could not agree more. Each year I look forward to it but each year it gets harder and harder to pull off all that needs to be done. As our children got busier and busier it was harder and harder to keep up with all the traditions that we threw in our Christmas eve. The evening would not end till about 3Am and then it was time to finish wrapping and put out all the gifts under the tree to only wake up 2 hrs later to unwrap the gifts that were only finished being assembled a few hours before. The next day I was completely exhausted and we would do it all again at my sister's house. I started to think that my husband was right, we should only do this one day, not two! This year I began planning for our festivities in October, buying all my baking goods, planning what weekends I would bake etc. I know, sounds crazy right, but if you had to bake as much as I did, you would need to bake that early too! I began the madness early and I was glad that I did b/c as usual, there were very few available weekends that we did not have something going on that I had a whole day free to bake! Then I found out in late November that I would be having surgery on December 23rd. It was nothing serious, but the surgery would require me to be off my feet and in the hospital till the 24th and afterward, no lifting, driving or anything for at least 10 days! Oh boy! What will we do about our celebration on the 24th I thought? I know, I will cook ahead of time and freeze everything. So I began preparing for doing our holiday that way! Then my sister said, "no way!" There is no way you will be able to do Christmas eve! We will just have to cancel it. I was shocked. This was the same person who refused to consider it the year before. I tried to protest. SHe would not hear of it. So that was it! Christmas eve was canceled at our house. I had my surgery and it all went well. My sister was right, there was no way I could have or would have been able to pull off the holiday at my home that evening after coming home from the hospital. I had stitches across my whole stomach. I had two drains coming from each end of my stomach. I had pain and getting up and out of the chair was painful. It was the right decision but I really did not know how right the decision would be till later that night. My husband arrived home that evening around 7PM. He came home with dinner from our favorite Italian pizzeria. We had all the candles lit in the house, turned off all the lights and ate by candle light. It was just the three of us. Glenn, Michaela and I. Kyle was off at the firehouse playing Santa Claus on the firetruck. He would be arriving at our house shortly to give his sister a gift. It was so lovely, peaceful and quite beautiful to eat with my family. Our lives have been so chaotic these past couple of months. Our holiday is always so wonderful, but it is never peaceful. Tonight was just that, peaceful and I am so grateful for it. It was just what we were craving these past couple of years and we got it! Shortly after we ate my sister and her whole family showed up so they too could get gifts from Santa. Santa arrived shortly after my sister, sirens & all, the peace was shattered by the sirens, lights and the laughter of the kids when they realized that Santa had arrived for them on the firetruck. It was the perfect blend to make a perfect holiday. I may just ask for it again next year....
I have begun to define my life as before the accident and after the accident. I remember a friend that used the term "BC" & "AC" it stood for before children and after children. I always thought it was strange that she would refer to her life in such a manner. I once asked her about that. She explained that her life changed so drastically that her and her husband began to refer to their lives in those terms. Before children and after children. I never fully understood why she would describe her life like that. However, they were married for a very long time before they had children. Life before children and after children, was, well, now so very different! Now, I understand, not in the terms that she described, but in terms of how their lives were so different "before" and "after"! Drastically different is what my life is like "before" the accident and "after" the accident! It is about how life is going along in one direction and then turns in a completely different direction and you did not even see it coming, you did not have time to prepare for it and now, well, you are going to have to catch up and you are now in the "after" phase of your life! I am readjusting to my life in the "after" the accident phase. It is a different path. I can do it. It is "after" and I can do "after"! After all in this "after" the accident phase our path maybe different than what we thought but it could end up being better than anticipated. We just need to readjust to the "after"
I woke up this morning tired, dog bone tired. Getting out of bed was hard, it was like dragging an elephant out of bed, especially because it was bitterly cold! I did not have much sleep as usual. Sleeping since my son's accident has been very hard. Last night was not any different. On top of it when my son works late or answers a fire call I tend to get anxious making sleep even worse. So last night was just a perfect storm to make sleeping non-existent. My son worked the night shift, answered two ambulance calls and to top it off, the temperatures dropped and there was lots of black ice out. It was as I said a perfect storm of emotions for a nervous mom like me. I had finally drifted off to sleep when my son came home from his last ambulance call. He was trying to be quiet, however, he just couldn't contain himself, "ma, ma, you asleep?" He does certainly know his mom! I replied that I was indeed "not" sleeping! I asked if he needed me. His reply from the kitchen (of course what does a growing nineteen year old do at 3 in the morning after answering calls, but eat!) Nah, just wanted you to know, I made the local fire department paper. I am excited, you can hardly see me, but I am in it. Kyle that is great news I told him. Leave the paper on the coffee table for me to see in the morning I told him. I am going to sleep now or at least I sure hope so. I quickly went to sleep. In the morning I looked at the paper and saw a glimpse of my son in that Local Fire Department paper. I could see him. I could see the grin of my boy, my boy who almost six months ago doctors told me may not live through the night. My boy who learned to walk, talk and learn everything all over again. That picture made me realize it is all going to be ok even if I can't sleep. Sleep is going to come again. He is going to continue to heal and recover. When I did finally get up and out this morning, there was this beautiful snow on the ground. The snow made me think that it is time to appreciate all the beautiful, small things in life!
Today I read, "Courage" in one of my third grade classrooms. It was a lesson to help re-launch the reader's notebook. The teacher had asked me to come in b/c her students were having trouble in using the reader's notebook. I thought Courage would be a great book to spark discussion and help accomplish our goal with the Reader's Notebook. The students depth and understanding was far more than what I expected to come out of this lesson & my only regret was that I did not have my flip camera with me to share with others their beautiful & heartfelt comments! After reading the book I modeled by standing up and telling them that last week I had courage when I took my beloved dog to the vet to put her to sleep even though I was so sad and did not want to say good-bye to her. There was immediate reaction from their faces and you could tell they felt my pain and could identify with me about losing my pet. I then remained standing and asked them was their anyone else that wanted to stand up and share a time when they had courage. I was thrilled when a young girl immediately stood up and said, " courage is going to your Grandmother's funeral when you are scared!" No sooner had she stood up when a young boy in the class stood up and said, "Courage is...." & he stops and I look at him, b/c you can tell that what he wants to say is very hard for him. I tell him, it is ok, take your time, he begins again, "Courage is going on after you don't have your parents anymore!" A lump immediately forms in my throat and the room is instantly silent. The students all begin now having courage, after all, if he can share something so deep and personal, the courage to share that in this room with us, then they will have the courage to stand up and share their moments of courage, whether it was about conquering a fear or about facing a loss of a pet or a loved one! The room just kept popcorning with kids standing up and sharing, I just sat back in awe! Way more than I expected, much more in depth and understanding, compassion and warmth! When planning this lesson, I thought they would talk about riding a rollercoaster, learning to ride a two wheeler etc. NEVER did I expect this! However, lesson learned for me, never underestimate students depth and understanding. Something my students teach me each and every single day is about courage, how can I not learn to be courageous I have such great & courageous teachers like them!
Each Sunday the same feelings start to erupt inside of me as the sun goes down. I find myself glancing at the clock as I am trying to frantically race against it. I always tell myself that Sunday is my take it easy day, I sleep late, I do not usually go to the gym, have tea in bed with my hubby and yet I find myself filled with lots of anxiety as the evening rolls on. I find that each weekend goes faster and faster, especially now that holiday time is upon us. There is so much to do and just not enough time to do it. How do I find the right balance? Laundry, cooking, cleaning are the normal weekend activites, now add in marking mid-term papers, getting my final ready, decorating the house, shopping for the upcoming holiday, extra cleaning to get ready for the holiday, wrapping, Christmas cards, making gifts, and holiday cooking. I find myself completely overwhelmed and exhausted! Despite trying my hardest this year to do so much ahead of time, this holiday season has just snuck up on me and I am trying so very hard to not lose sight of the true meaning of the season and not get myself crazy. On top of the normal craziness of the season, it is my daughter's 16th birthday this December. My niece and nephews have birthdays in December and it will be my 20th wedding anniversary. Honestly, I don't think I can squeeze one more festive thing into this month! How do you do it all and stay sane? I am not sure I have the answer. My tree is still not up, the cards are not done, the house is still not completely clean and I have half the mid-terms marked! I seem to not be able to get out of my own way! I have always wondered if an extra pair of hands would help at this time of year or even on Sundays when I am running around trying to get all that needs to be done for the week done. I try to do as much as I can on Saturday so that Sunday is not as stressful and yet, the same anxiety happens to me! Does this happen to anyone else? Are there any solutions to this dilemma? OR, perhaps I need to go to the gym on Sundays and perhaps that would ease the anxiety on Sunday night! Someday, I know it will get better, yes it will, when I retire!
Today was just one of those days! Just one of those days when you think....should I have done it that way? Should I have said it this way? Should I have just stayed in bed under those nice warm covers and just slept the day away or better yet, just stayed in bed, in my pj's reading a great book. The alarm went off at the usual time, 4:15AM. Early you think, yup it is early. But, I have not gone to to the gym in two weeks and I wanted to get back there, so, I set my alarm to go off at that ungodly hour! HA! HA! The alarm went off, but of course I was already awake, having been awakened about an hour before from a nightmare. Of course I was not able to shake that nightmare, I was now tossing and turning trying to go back to sleep..nope, no sleep and now, of course, I am tired and just can't seem to get motivated to get out of bed, so I hit the snooze, again, and again and again. When finally I have past the point of no return, I can no longer go to the gym. I will not get back in time for work. Sadly, I will not go to the gym another day. Another day of missing a workout that would be so good for my body and soul, if I could only drag my sorry, old butt to the gym b/c as it turns out, today was just one of those days, one of those days where everyone felt the need to tell me, just tell me all the things that were wrong with this and wrong with that. It was the day that the darling daughter snuck into her HS bathroom and sent a text message to her Grandfather to come and get her from school b/c she was not feeling well and wanted to go home and they let her go home! WHAT? REALLY? How does that happen? No phone call to me? No seeing the nurse first? It was the day that just seemed to sneak up on me and had I gone to the gym perhaps I would not have felt that way. Let's see what tomorrow's 4:15 wake up call will bring me? WIll it bring me motivation and determination? OR WIll it bring me more arm bending to hit the snooze button? I am surely hoping that it brings me determination and motivation, I sure need it!
Embarking on the ferry we were tired, so we quickly found our seats, grabbed our phones and waited for the ferry to take off. We were coming off a busy weekend and were happy that this leg of the journey home was now at the end. Only 1 more hour and we would be home. It is always when you are least expecting something, when your guard is down that things can really catch you and grab you and you have the incredulous thought, like, "what is going on?" and "how did this happen?". That is what happened to me when the ferry began to rock n roll like we were caught in a hurricane. The first lurch I looked at my husband as if, "did you feel that?" or "was that just me look?" However, one look at his face and I knew that it was not just me that felt the lurch and pitching forward that practically pitched me out of my seat. Oh boy is all I could think, this was not going to be the quiet and quick ride home I was anticipating...nope, not in the least! I quickly scanned the people around me, those who were still up and about the boat who were now trying to make it to their seats safely without winding up in others laps or better yet, falling down and hurting themselves. The lurching and pitching continued to get much worse! I then realized my daughter had not returned yet to her seat. I began to worry, what if it was difficult for her to make it back to her seat, the boat was really rocking now!!! People were walking holding on to things! I began to see people making a bee-line for the outside, uh-oh, those must be the people who do not like to have their tummy's go up/down, up/down and all around! I happen to be one of those people. It is at this point that I begin to feel this panic begin to creep up in me b/c my daughter still has not returned to her seat. I am trying my hardest to not let my husband see that I am about to completely freak out! That last lurch almost felt as if the boat was going to completely roll over! omg...I can feel my heart racing, racing, racing, like everyone on this boat, with all it's noise can hear how fast it is beating, how they can hear the inner voice in my head telling myself that it is all going to be ok! (when in all honesty, I do not know that for sure, who really knows anything for sure, but my little voice is telling me, relax, it will be ok)ALthough, right now, it does not feel ok, the boat has begun to slow down, the rocking and rolling is starting to slow down now! Oh thank god, I spot my daughter, my heart has begun to slow down, slower, slower, slower, finally I see her making her way toward us, she is holding on the seats to make her way to us safely so she does not fall, b/c even though in my head I keep saying it is getting better, the boat really is still rocking and rolling a LOT! She gets to us and says, "wow, can you believe this?" I just catch her eye and nod, that is all I am able to do, b/c if I open my mouth, who knows what might sneak out, I might actually tell them all how truly frightened I am and how I am about to freak out! So for now, I just nod! She sits down and I just keep looking out the window for signs of how close we are to getting to the other side, when the announcer comes on. PHEW! "Will all drivers and their passengers please make their way to their cars, we will be arriving shortly and docking at our destination, blah, blah, blah." was all I heard after that b/c I was just so elated that we were entering our destination which meant calmer seas, going slower and getting off this boat! I had never heard greater words! I was so happy! As we practically ran for the exit of the ferry, I heard my phone go off, it was my sister, who was on a ferry coming from a different destination, apparently having the same issues, she was wondering, "Is your boat getting hammered by waves?" We are getting killed and people are getting sick over the sides!" ahhh, another peaceful crossing apparently! So glad to be home!
This past Thanksgiving weekend we went to Maine to my brother's house. All of us. My sister's family, kids, dog and all. My other brother and his family, that is his wife and doggie coco. My parents and of course my family. It was the first time in I don't know how many years that all of us were together for a holiday. It was quite priceless that we were all together for a holiday. I can't tell you how grateful to my brother and his wife I am for opening their home to all of us. I mean, there was 17 of us sleeping under one roof and all of the doggies. I am even more grateful because my sister-in-law had her foot operated on only a week ago and it was quite an undertaking to have all of us swoop down on her when she was not even able to walk. Yet, she still made sure that things went on as planned. We were more than willing to stay home, but she told us to still come. I felt so bad for her, she was in pain, yet, she was still baking and cooking and taking care of things like we were at a five star hotel. She was an amazing hostess. At times, well, let's just say it could be quite noisy, noise of people truly enjoying one anothers company. The only person that was not there was my boy who had to work and could not get off of work. That was very sad for me. On the other hand, you have to look at the good side of that, he COULD work, he had the ability and the state of mind to work. So, all in all, so much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving! I had a blast, just being with my family, sitting around laughing about old times, being able to spend time with my brother's kids and his wife, seeing his beautiful home. We ate, laughed, played cards, drank some wine, ate again, played some more. It was so much fun! The kids had a blast! The weather was beautiful! When you sit back and think and reflect about this past year you realize how truly short life is and you just have to live life to the fullest and be so VERY grateful for what you have. Enjoy each and every second!!! I did just that this weekend, I sat back and enjoyed each and every second watching the cousins play with one another, build forts, play games on the computer, go to the candy store and watch movies together! IT is truly what life is about. One night we bought lobsters from a local store, I have not had a lobster in years, it brought some many memories from the past back to me, we all sat there at the table talking about those memories of our childhood and all the times that we ate lobster as kids camping etc. We packed so much into this weekend, it is a weekend that I will cherish for a long time! Another priceless weekend and I am so grateful we got to do it! Thank you Pete and Sue!
On Monday morning my husband and I looked at each other and without saying a word we both knew that the time had come, the time that we knew was slowly creeping up on us had arrived. It was a decision we both dreaded having to make, but now we had no choice. Our dear, sweet, pup, Bailey Girl, had now been up all night, crying in pain, had suddenly lost the ability to hold up her head, or use her legs. We could not and would not let her suffer. So the decision was made. We both began to cry and I woke our two children to tell them that they needed to come and hold their dog. They needed to say anything that they wanted to say to our dear, sweet girl b/c I was going to take her to the vet and make her comfortable and peaceful. My poor son, my big, strapping 19 yr old with his size 14 shoes began to weep, then the weeping turned to sobs. My heart was as broken as his. Bailey was a loyal and faithful dog to us all and the only dog my son has known since he was 3 years old. These past 6 months have been so long and difficult for my dear sweet boy and now this, the loss of his dear dog. It was way more than I or my husband could bear, we left the room for him to grieve with her alone! You see, 6 months ago, we almost lost both of them, my son and our Bailey. Kyle was hurt critically in an accident, left in a coma fighting to come back to us. Our ever faithful dog, she knew that something was wrong, and she stopped eating, drinking or even getting up! Her heart was as broken as ours about her boy. However, he is a fighter and as he fought to heal, so did she. By the time he was awake and had begun talking, our dear sweet pup began to eat and become more of herself again. Our whole family has been so affected by this tragedy and now we will grieve together over the loss of our pup who was a wonderful part of the fabric of our family for 15 yrs. She brought love and joy to us each and everyday and those are the things that we will hold on to as we continue to heal.
I have begun to realize that this process is one that requires lots and lots of patience. We embarked on this journey without asking to go on this journey, it is a path that we are traveling on that we have no idea how to navigate, there is no guide book to, there is no right way to figure out which way you go when you are now thrown in a different direction and you are re-writing your original path, I just wish it was not so much like a roller coaster ride that at times feels like a roller coaster ride during a hurricane. Full of twists, turns, surprises, drops that leave your stomach at the top and you are at bottom asking, "how the heck did I get here? b/c I sure as hell didn't see that coming??? It is completely exhausting and there are days where I wonder, how am I going to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other, and yet, that is what you do, you get up and you keep going, you need to, you just never know what greatness the next day may bring!
As time marches on, my mantra has become, it will get better, it will get better! Believe me, I know it could be so much worse, and we were so darn lucky, we are so darn blessed. My son is alive, he is a vibrant, happy, 19 yr old boy who is working his way back to the place he was before the accident, so I ask, why the heck am I so haunted by the trauma? IS it because it was so traumatic? Is it because I just can't seem to shake the horrific image of my little boy laying in the road with his skull cracked open, bleeding from his ear, having trouble breathing and I, the mom, the one who is supposed to be able to take care of him frozen with terror screaming for help, screaming for someone, anyone to please save my boy, someone please don't let my boy die. It is an image that seems to grip a hold of me everyday, at the oddest of moments, it still takes my breath away, it will instantly cause me to go to tears and it will instantly bring me back to the horrific moment, the moment when our lives changed forever and I know that I will never be the same. I know, with time, it will get better, after all, I have my miracle boy, I guess I should not ask for anything more!
I learned to laugh, I learned to cry, but will I ever learn to say goodbye? Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened, my life is better because you were in it, this is not goodbye, it’s see you later…RIP G, you will be missed!
On Thursday afternoon I was getting ready to fix dinner when my daughter came running out of the bedroom yelling to me that a former student of mine died today. "Mom, oh my god, mom, you know that student you were helping out last year, the one in my English class, he, ummm, he died today!" I was taken aback, searching my brain to figure out which student she was referring to. Before I could search my brain for who she was talking about, she had blurted out that, G was dead. What? No? That just can't be I said increduolously! You are absolutely wrong about this Michaela. There must be some mistake? Right? He can't be dead? Oh my god, someone please tell me that this is a dream and that what she is saying is not true! I then immediately ran for my cell phone to call my friend, who was G's Uncle. I wanted to speak to him, he would tell me that this was all wrong, that she was mistaken and that her information was incorrect and that the kids on facebook had it all wrong. After all, what the heck do his friends know? How could they possibly know what was going on with their friend? RIGHT? RIGHT? I was a frantic mess trying to find my friend's number, fumbling through my cell phone contact list to get his number. I first call his house, no answer, I then call his cell. After the second ring he answers and I knew immediately from the sound of his voice, that the news was indeed true, that the dear, sweet boy that I had in first grade was gone, that what the kids were reporting on facebook was true, that G had somehow died today. I managed to get out my name, J, it's Katy..I heard something about G and then I burst into tears b/c he confirmed with his tears that G was gone and all I could do was cry and tell him I was so sorry! I am so, so, so sorry! What can I do? Can I do anything for you? How is your wife? Is his Grandma ok? Oh my god, I can't believe this? WHy? WHy is a fifteen year old boy, who should be in the prime of his life dead?
I am living my crazy life to the fullest married to the UPS man & my best friend for 21 yrs. I am a mom of two wonderful kids. My son, a volunteer firefighter and a daugther a Junior in High School. Still trying to figure out how to be a domestic goddess. Working as a Kindergarten teacher, a former literacy coach, and currently an adjunct professor at a local university. My life has been amazingly crazy. Our son is our miracle after being critically injured in an accident last summer. We are so grateful that he is alive and doing so well. We are loving life on beautiful Long Island, NY and appreciating each and every moment!