Happy Second Birthday, Lexi

2/16/14

Dear Lexi,  Happy 2nd Birthday.  I love you, sweetie-pie. What a good, good dog you are,  so cute and affectionate.Lexi1

You were a nasty, wild, hurtful puppy, weren’t you? Don’t look so sad, you didn’t know better. I know you are sorry. You were just an oral devil dog, digging those demon sharp puppy teeth into our arms and legs and clamping down. We probably tasted better than all the chew toys we bought you. Our welts gave you texture, right? Grandma kept telling us to “give you back” every single day but I couldn’t do that. Many trainers tried but they all said “You’ve got a really willful puppy there but if/when she grows out of it you’ll have a really great dog.”And, sweet girl that is who you have become.(Thank God)

At about eighteen months, from one day to the next while we were busy doing other things you became a dog, an amazing dog. One that cuddles and protects us, hugs us and plays with us. You are the dog we always wanted, we just needed to give you and ourselves a little more time.

It taught us all about being more patient, didn’t it?

Right now you are sleeping with your head on my knee, nuzzling, a part of you always has to be directly on me.  You know each member of the family so well. With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain I do spend a lot of time in bed and that’s where you come, leaping on the bed, to be with me, happily. When “Dad” is around you get the leash, go to the front door, and start whimpering. You get instantly wild when your brother comes to visit, but we know he provokes you. He allows you to be wild, we don’t. Yes, I know, YOU are WAY cool when you rough house together.

Oh, but when your sister comes home from college you hear her parking her car and you run to the front door and start crying until she comes in.  Yes, our daughter, your sister, will kneel down to your level and you hug each other while you cover her with kisses. That picture of the two of you on the ground stays in my heart forever.

Have a Happy 2nd Birthday, thank you for choosing us at the shelter to be your family.Lexi2

Love, Mom

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No Other Love

Mama Bear and her two cubs

Mama Bear and her two cubs (Photo credit: pixieclipx)

Dear Kids,

In case you haven’t heard it, it’s true what they say about mothers and their children.this is a bond like no other.

You and your sister are attached to me in a special way

I will always feel the need to protect you, to keep you safe.

No matter how old you get, you will always be our babies.

This special bond that will never go away or lessen.

Like a mother bear and her cubs I will protect you fiercely and I will do

not anything possible but everything to keep you from harm’s way.

This is nothing to joke about, this is serious but not something you will understand

until you have children of your own.

If it means that you are mad at me, I will deal with that, my job is to protect you.

I will go to the ends of the earth to do that, as many parents would too.

If you decide to go on this trip and it is alarmingly dangerous and I disapprove,

you will look out your window from the plane

and I will be the person on the tarmac, suited up, in bright yellow and orange,

against the night’s dark sky

flashing my arms, not letting that plane leave.

You do not know this side of me.

It never weakens, it can’t be destroyed.

You can joke and laugh and call me “silly” or “mushy” or say that “I can’t drive”

I’m alright with that

But, do not ever underestimate a mother’s love for her children.

Ever.

Plinky Prompt: When you were five….

  • When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did it happen? See all answers
  • Fireman? Ballerina?
  • Taranaki St. Free Kindergarten, Wellington

    A Kindergarten teacher.

    I always loved little children, still do and I know I have a great way with kids, especially shy kids. I didn’t become a teacher because my roommates in college were always doing these art projects and I am NOT crafty.
    Needless to say, I think it was a mistake because I would have been a creative and loving teacher.
    Instead, I worked with grown-ups, counseling, hiring and doing negotiations. I should have stuck with the young crowd, they are so much nicer!

On Sickness, Stress and Candy

I’m discombobulated, anxious, confused. I feel funny, like there is something wrong, and there is. It’s not me though, which is worse, it’s that my son is sick and my daughter is disappointed. I hate it when my kids are sick/unhappy. I have a feeling this never ends, the worry moms have for their children. My husband is as involved with the kids as I am, but not in the same way. It’s a completely different style. He isn’t worried, he takes things in stride, he lives in the moment. I wish I could do that. Believe me, I’ve tried.

I wake up and feel that something is wrong. My stomach feels uneasy. Something just doesn’t feel “right.” I don’t think it’s because my daily routine has been jarred, I think it’s my heart. The inside part, the one that cracks a tiny bit, the one that is directly connected, like the umbilical cord was, to my offspring.

There is also this: the incredible stress of unemployment, for my husband and myself. I have been really good, patient, relaxed (as much as one can be) but now these other factors are making my anxiety index reach the sky. I know that things are out of control in my brain, when I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s bothering me and than realize everything is. I try to breathe slowly, it doesn’t help.

Months ago I had lung problems and a non-stop cough. It was horrible. I was then given a nasal spray to help me but I did not know that the taste in my mouth would be vile. VILE, in capital letters, on purpose. I thought that buying some candy would somehow dissipate the gosh-awful taste in the back of my throat but it didn’t. The Good n’ Plenty that I bought for a remedy did not work but at least it reminded me of easier times, when I was a child, eating those pretty pink and white candies, swinging on the swings in Forest park, surrounded by my friends and their moms. Everything was easy then, at least to us kids. Our parents, well, they probably were experiencing what I am experiencing right now. Being a grown-up.

I will get over myself I’m sure, when my children are healthy and happy.  I think then, I can handle my own stress, my own illness, manage my own pain. As long as it’s not the pain of my children, I can handle anything.

Those 3AM Monsters

I am trying to picture a small, clear glass bowl filled to the top with plump blueberries sprinkled lightly with sugar.  The color, taste and texture of a red-green mango ripened to perfection. I am trying to remember the rare moments in time that life feels perfect. The moon making my bedroom alight as if someone forgot to turn off the downstairs lamp. The first smell of spring after an especially long winter.

When I cannot sleep, like last night between 3am and 6am,  I tried to remember things that make me happy. It doesn’t help me fall asleep but once in a while it fights off the anxiety that lurks in my stomach and slows down the racing of confused mind; I wish I could tell you it worked last night but it didn’t. Nothing did.

Everything seems worse at 3am, doesn’t it? The bed is lumpy and the pillows are too hot, I turn them over and around but nothing works, they are either too plump or not plump enough. Sometimes I take my hand and try to finger the softness of my pink and beige fuzzy blanket, thinking that may calm me down, but no luck.  I reach across the bed to where my husband sleeps and I take my hand and try to wrap it around his arm or lay it on his back; but even that reassurance does not help me chase the terrors away

In the past when I could not sleep I would take my flashlight and sneak down the uneven, noisy, stairs and my dog would follow me. Every time she sees me get up from bed with a flashlight she knows it’s snack time and she joins me; she is my snack buddy. It’s our own little secret and everything I taste, I give her half. A slice of hard salami, a digestive cookie, a slice of sharp orange cheddar cheese, toast with butter. I like our time together, my dog and I. We are both getting older and yet it affects me more to see her almost- white chin, than any wrinkles I may have gathered on my cheeks. I watch my best friend try and jump on my bed and I know it is not as easy as it was when she was much younger. She is turning nine on March 1st and I worry about that too.

Without the sleep I so desperately need everything is dark black and I still feel scared. Breathing exercises don’t work, counting backwards from 5,3066 does not work. I feel frightened and  confused and at 3 in the morning every thought or fear that I have are magnified one hundred percent.  I am anxious, I worry about little things that I need to do, not that they are difficult, just that I have not done them. Everything balloons up with intensity and my body flips from side to side to see if I can find comfort in a different part of the bed, deeper in or throwing off the blankets or taking my night-shirt off.

Children know all about the monsters in the dark. As parents we sweep closets and look under the bed with flashlights and leave a light on in the hall or a nightlight in the corner of a room. We will do anything and everything to make our child feel safe, comforted, cherished and loved. Grown-ups don’t have the privilege of people taking care of us. There is no one to sweep under the beds for us or shout random phrases for the monsters to flee.

We cannot be so easily reassured. We suffer through the hours, the minutes, the seconds, it takes for our brains to slow down; until we are so over- tired that we drift off to sleep without the comfort of knowing it.