Thursday, April 11, 2013

I miss you too!

The full time job thing, the mom thing, the wife thing and the trying to be a good person thing sure gets in the way of having time to humorously snark about life on this blog.   I do miss it and there are moments when I think, oh I wish I could capture that moment and blog about it.  Here's the summary of happenings:

Our 2 year old is acting her age.  She is happy in the morning, likes to come into our room and snuggle before we get moving.  She prefers to hang with me but will give Jason some loving and if I'm not home he is perfectly perfect to cozy up to while she wakes up.  I think it's sweet that she will nestle in close to my side and root around to find my arm and make sure that I'm hugging her.  It is less sweet that she doesn't let Jason cozy in.  I mean, if his hand wanders over to give either of us a loving pat on the arm, she takes his hand and pushes it away.  He does a pretty good job of not getting his feelings hurt and I remind her that he was my boyfriend first.   She also has to endure kisses between mom & dad.  (Nothing X rated, but I think it's important that she sees that Mommy loves Daddy too.)

Getting dressed for school is usually a mini-battle.  I can see that she doesn't want to go to school, but once we're on our way she's happy as a lark.  She likes her friends, she likes the art activities and when they get to play outside (which is any day that it isn't raining) she comes home super tired.  Now that she's two she's allowed to go over onto the big play equipment and I know she's digging that.

When she's super tired after school it is a challenge to get through dinner.  She likes to pull up her step-stool and hang out in the kitchen while we cook.  I let her "help" and that can be as easy as her directing where to put the bowls and which egg to crack or counting (to two) the number it items we'll be using.  Sometimes she gets her own bowls and a few fish crackers to sort while I do chopping.   When it comes time to use the stove we use the power of two parents to divide and conquer.  One parent goes with Shorty to her play kitchen while the other messes with the real kitchen.

Dinners are hit and miss.  Sometimes she eats and sits at the table like a champ, and others she's too busy, tired or bored to play nice.  When we make a real dinner, she eats what we eat and other dinner options aren't offered.  However, like last night where she made a wonderful dent in her chicken stir fry she was offered a yogurt.  I know she wont starve to death on the nights where she doesn't eat, but I'm happier when she eats.

We are in a state of constant motion from the moment she comes in the door until she's in bed.  Thankfully, that is still pretty early. Eight p.m. is the magic moment of her door closing and we get to high five each other and go do adult things.  Last night, "adult things" was to really clean the kitchen floor and then watch Survivor.  I know, I know, too much sexy.

In other parts of our life, we have some friends who are going through a terrible trauma.  Our job is really to be supportive.  A group of gals took a day to go see them (they are in an out of town hospital) and it was an experience I'll probably remember my whole life.  I tend to hide in my cave when things are really bad and I find it hard to allow people, even those I care about and trust into that vulnerable space.  Well, my friend is in that cave and she generously opened up and let us in.  We all walked away feeling hung over and emotionally spent, but I hoped that we were sponges and wicked some of her pain, anger, hurt, fear, disappointment, and every other emotion she's going through.  I know that the four of us can't possibly take all of it away, but maybe for that day it lightened her load a bit.   Also, I think that being a part of the beginning of this journey she's on will help smooth the way to be able to support her in the long run.  Instead of being filled with "oh what should I say, what should I do?"  Now I know what she wants and it is something I absolutely have to give.  How strange is it that the simple answer to the question of what to do for people in pain is: "love me like you did before."

Part of our visit involved getting her into a safe space where she could say all the things you're not supposed to say when going through something really hard.  I think if you're in the midst of hell you get to say what you want about your own fears, pain, anger or whatever and your people are required to let it bounce off.   I do think it's important to know when this 'say what you need to' is appropriate. It was clear to me that I had no advice to give, all I had was a kind ear and the occasional agreement that some of the "go to" things that people say to be helpful simply aren't. Things like:

1) God has a plan.
2) God won't give you more than you can handle.
3) Doctors can be wrong, everything will be just fine.
4) Don't give up hope.
5) Have you tried to do XXXX?

1& 2: The God business is rough.  I believe in God, albeit not in the ghostly white ball of light way, but in the there can be beauty in all things way.  I don't think God takes time to decide when we're going to get cancer or hit by a drunk driver or die of old age.  I think God is in the people who come to our aid and comfort us in those dark times.  God is part of the "I guess I'll take one more step" spunk that some of us pull from nowhere.   I call it God, you may call it something else and that's fine.  But, damn it, don't use God to explain away the dark, terrible things that happen.  These things are part of life and we will all go through death in one way or another.  Sure, we may grow from these experiences and be a different person or maybe even happy on the other side, but pick your moment to talk about God when dealing with folks who have to remember to breathe from second to second.  With that said, please pray like crazy for your friends if that's your thing.  They may not believe in it, but if you do - send those good intentions into the world.  It can't hurt.

3: Doctors can be wrong.  Indeed, but you my friend are not  a doctor.  If a diagnosis is from a real, honest to betsy, knows how to bill insurance doctor, then shaddup about the Neurosurgeon being wrong.  Chances are, by the time your friend tells you what the doctor has said they've seen a couple doctors.

4: Don't give up hope.  This seems harmless, but to some folks, hope is risky.  Hope can open you up to more pain.  Again, this is all about knowing your audience.  For some, expecting the worst is a way of protecting their hearts.  My friend said this exact thing, and I told her that I would do the hoping for her.  Someone needs to hope and if you don't have it, I'll do it!

5: Have you tried XXX?  See #3.  All experiences are different and the all fruit diet that Aunt Mertha used to clear up her pancreatic cancer may not be the best option for me.  One of the things that I think is the most scary about dealing with something like cancer is that there isn't a map.  First you'll go here for 3 weeks, then here for 2 months, then we'll do this.  It's pretty much different for each person.  If you have a good doctor referral, give it up.  Other than that just, listen listen listen then listen some more.

In the end, even those folks who say the wrong thing (often that's me) only mean well and are trying their best.  It's important to remember that when reacting to the oddball things that are said.  Now, if someone suggests that it is your own fault that terrible thing X happened to you, you're allowed to pop them in the nose.  Clarification:  if you're about to get a Darwin Award then it may be your own fault and hold the nose popping for further analysis.

So, I'm filled with perspective this week.  I'm over the moon happy with my life these days and yet that real world stuff oozes in.  I suppose this is real life.  Oh how I'd like to punch it in the throat every now and then.

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