Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Parenting is Hard

Over the past several months Macy has been crying in the evening (and come to find out during the day as well) all because she misses people.  She says she misses her Lolli and Pop, her Gigi and Poppy, her friend Aniston from school that moved away, and Charlie; just to name a few.

I guess I am writing down my thoughts about all of this now mainly because it has finally taken its toll on John and I.  We have dealt with it the best way we know how (without getting too terribly frustrated) and now it seems each evening it is getting more and more difficult.

I think the straw that broke the camel's back was the evening she cried for nearly forty five minutes over Charlie.  She broke down and begged me to bring Charlie back so she could hold him.  The minute I calmed her down she turned right around with another question or frustration about where he is right now or why he can't come home.  I explained he was in heaven and when people die they cannot come back to us here on earth.  She didn't like that response so she continued crying and just repeated over and over that she missed Charlie.   I laid with her that particular evening until she fell asleep and as I laid there praying over her I started worrying her sadness may be something more than just escaping the inevitable bedtime or avoiding something that didn't go her way.  It really made me sad.   I started to wonder if her worry and stress over the people that leave may have something to do with a fear they may not come back, similar to her brother, Charlie.  

I can tell you from experience having a hurting child is one of the most painful things in the world.  If you have never seen your child physically hurt you should know it is nothing I would wish on my worst enemy.  I held Charlie as he breathed his last breath and struggled for air as he passed from this world into eternity.  And now as I walk through different stages of life with the twins I am realizing so many things can hurt your momma heart.  Physical hurt, emotional hurt, mental hurt, or all of the above.  It is miserable to see your child hurt.
  
So I started talking (or actually word vomiting) my confusing and scared thoughts to my sister and my friends about Macy's recent sadness.  I came to a kind of knot in your throat, hard to swallow truth about our life.  Macy, along with all of us, have had to learn a really difficult lesson.  As a four year old this isn't a typical lesson you walk through quite yet.  It was forced on her like it was forced on our entire family when Charlie died nearly three years ago.  People leave sometimes and never come back.

So with all of this in mind, we decided to try a few things.  While I do not want to squash her sweet or sensitive spirit I do want to give her some things to help her cope with missing people and also teach her that not everyone leaves forever each time they move or go on vacation.  We purchased a small mailbox from Target (perfect time of year by the way) and many notecards.  When I picked her up from dance later that evening we talked about the new mailbox and what it was for.  I explained that anytime she was sad she could simply write the person she missed a quick note or draw them a picture.  She would then seal the envelope and I would help her write their address on the outside so that we could mail the letters at the end of each week.  She loved the idea and loved that she was going to have her very own mailbox.

All was well for about an hour.  As we started getting ready for bed she said something about wanting to write Charlie a letter.  I told her that was fine and she could write him a letter with a picture and put it in her new mailbox.  When it was time to address it she said, "Mommy, I'm ready for you to put the mail name (which is what Macy calls addresses) on it."  I told her that Charlie did not have an address because he lived in heaven.  I had obviously not thought that completely through when I told her I would mail her letters.  This moment was too much.  I had to leave kind of abruptly.  I laid her in bed with her dad and brother to watch a television show and left to walk around Target for a few minutes to gather my thoughts.  It was more like walk through Target and cry because in my mind I couldn't get it together.  I wasn't helping her.  All I could think was, "What if I am too broken to help her understand this extremely difficult fact of life?"

I have since come to grips with a better reality.  We are going to keep going.  I am her momma.  I am the best there is for her.  John and I are going to encourage her to feel sad when she feels sad.  We are going to help her know that it is ok to miss people.  We are going to speak truth and pray over her sweet heart as we tread these waters with our heavenly Father.

Parenting is hard.          

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I'll Always Miss You

This weekend was full.

It started on Thursday and won't be complete until I finally close my eyes this evening and prepare myself for this long week ahead.

In this whirlwind that was our weekend we crammed in so many things.  We enjoyed a big family dinner on Friday evening, spent the day in Columbus at the American Girl Doll Store for Kiley's birthday (while Johnny had a basketball game and spent the day with Gigi and Poppy), we ate pizza and put together a new puzzle on Saturday evening, we went to church and learned about how God made us each unique and in His image, we grabbed lunch and then ran through the grocery store so that our pantry didn't look quite so bare this week, prepped lunches and all the fruits and veggies for the week, I got my hair cut (thank you Julie!), and then we spent the evening with everyone again before the Gesenhues head back to Florida.  It was busy.  It was so good to see everyone that we spent time with this weekend.




     


Some weekends I need this.  When the weight of missing Charlie could swallow me up, I like being so busy I don't have time to stop.  I can't think about what it would be like if he were here.  I don't have time to worry about how we would make the things we do now work with him by my side.  It is funny too because these are typically the activities and weekends that I think about him most.  God gave me a heaven mindset this weekend.  He gave me the courage to look through the lens with hope.  I did and it made this weekend so full of joy even in the midst of missing him.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Women's March 2017

I try not to criticize or be disappointed in people because I am positive I am also disappointing.  I am also "what is wrong with the world."  Not one of us is perfect.  And while I realize all of this is true, I refuse to teach my little girl that walking down a street with a vulgar sign describing her body parts (that should be covered by underwear) is a good way to be an independent, respected, and loving lady and eventually woman.

I want her to look out for others.  She is being raised in a loving home where she is looked out for and cherished.  If and when she feels like there is someone that is not loved and cherished I want her to look out for them.  I want her to help them if she can and if and when the time comes that she cannot help them I want her to ask someone for help.  We will be there for her.  We will help her look out for others too.  
 
I want her to have a meaningful conversations with people that are different from her.  I don't expect her to have the exact same thoughts that I do.  I want her to think for herself and as she grows up thinking for herself means finding friends and also learning about others.  Having conversations with people that think and believe differently than her will encourage her to figure out what she really believe as truth.  I want that for her.

I keep thinking, how vastly different the Facebook feeds and new articles would be if the women that marched really, actually wanted their voices to be heard and their actions to be seen.  What if instead of standing together in the middle of cities all over America, the women that marched, walked into soup kitchens, tutoring centers, nursing homes, churches or the thousands of other places that need a positive role model to volunteer for just one day.  What if they all helped someone that needed them?  What is they really stood up for the women that can't "stand up" for themselves?    

I can't help but think (or maybe hope is a better word) that that would have had a much bigger impact on our world.  I think it still would have taken the media by storm.  They could have "proven their worth" with something worthwhile and most importantly taught our daughters that you do not need  to find your worth in anyone but your Heavenly Father and we can come together for good.


  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Adventures in our City

Today was a special day.  I had two choices.  I could spend the day working at school and/or at home to prepare for the upcoming week with students or I could spend my last day off with my family.  In keeping with my New Years resolution I decided it would be way more worth it to be completely present with my family.

We decided around 10:00 this morning that we would venture out and see the train display at Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park before Christmas was completely boxed up and put away until next December.  I had never been there before.  The entire first room was set up to look just like our city.  The bridges were perfect, Mount Adams had a special spot up on a hill, and the trains traveled all over the city, which thrilled Johnny.  I am glad that I saw smiles and heard the twins laugh.  I am so happy that I chose to take on that adventure today.




After we finished up at Krohn, we decided why stop there?!  We have the entire day off and we can do whatever we want.  We went ahead and made our way to the Newport Aquarium.  The last time we visited we purchased passes because it is worth the money if you visit there more than twice a year.  Since this was our second time in just two months we all agreed that it was worth it.  The twins ran through the exhibits, stopping at all of their favorites.  The seahorses and the sharks never disappoint.  Macy also finally conquered her fear of the shark bridge.  Had we not made time today to go do something together we would't have had the privilege of seeing our sweet little girl so proud of herself.  She has never been able to walk across that bridge.  She battles herself literally the entire time through the aquarium until we finally get there and she cries and wants to do it but cannot make herself.  It was a victorious moment for her and for us!  John and Johnny finished just before us and turned to see her walk across. Johnny cheered his sister on and kept her moving with his sweet words of encouragement!  He was also so proud.  I am so happy that I chose to be present on that adventure today.





It was a great day.  It was a day that I will cherish.  The smiles and the hugs and the giggling made my day.  I will remember those sounds through all the hard days ahead.
 
Images by Freepik