I realized how much I love to write, how it is both theraputic and realaxing for me to just sit here and type away. I have always loved to write. When I taught fifth grade it was my goal to turn them all into Edgar Allan Poe or Jane Eyre. I hope I succeeded, maybe one day I will see them on some daytime talk show talking about their latest novel and how their fifth grade teacher gave them their love for writing. Hey, a girl can dream can’t she?
The way I adore writing is the way my son adores playing. Today there is a day off from school and my mind is a flutter with what to do to entertain him, but I have realized on many occassions that he would rather amuse himself with a bucket of LEGOs and go to town, that boy loves his LEGOS. And when I say entertain himself, I mean he can sit for hours, building and taking apart those plastic bricks, creating fictional stories around them and telling them aloud as he builds. He has such an imagination, I envy him.
He has quite the personality as well, all the kids wave to him and say hello as he walks into school, it’s like watching an episode of Cheers, when Norm enters the bar and everyone shouts “Norm.” He is quite the character. I have always said I need a baby girl because I was so bored with LEGOS and superheroes, but I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without being ankle deep in those little plastic bricks that bring my son so much joy. So on this rainy day I think there will be lots of LEGO building and mayhem going on and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Going to the cardiologist with my now almost 7 week old daughter is becoming extrememly difficult for me as the time draws nearer to when she will need to have “Open Heart Surgery.” Just saying that out loud scares the crap out of me. I say it out loud, I think about it and I stuff the thought down as far as it will go, where my mind cannot process it, where I can’t start to ponder over all of the what if’s.
I worry, I am a worrier, that is just what I do, I have been that way since the day I was born I think. I just want the whole thing to be behind us, to where she will be healed and on her way to living a fabulous life.
Everyone keeps telling me that I need to be strong for her and believe me I am trying, any more and I’d be wonder woman. I just feel my heart breaking for her, for me, for my son, for my husband for all of us. I wish we didn’t have to go through this and the waiting is the worst part, waiting to see how she is doing, waiting for the day they tell us to get to the hospital, waiting for her to show signs of needing to get this done ASAP. I just can’t take the waiting. And the doctors with their doctor words and cold glares, makes me quite uneasy. They talk about this surgery like they are going in to change a tire, and I just want to shake someone and scream. “It’s her heart, it’s my baby’s heart!”
Then they tell you all the things that could possibly go wrong, and that makes me feel so much better now, thanks a lot.
I just don’t know how that day will get here, how will I hand my baby over to them, they won’t hold her like I do and love her they way I do, they won’t know what makes her stop crying or what makes her smile. I don’t know how I will wait, how will I wait and wait and wait to hear that she is okay, to hear her cry again, to hold her again. I know I will have to hold it together because everyone will be expecting me to fall apart.
I just want to fast forward to the day that she has done so well and is sent home from the hospital. Untill that day I just keep reminding myself to stay strong, she will be fine and she needs me.
“Without knowing what I am and why I am here, life is impossible.” Leo Tolstoy
So when I went for my 6 week check up after having the baby, the doctor told me to still try and find the time to do the things I like to do and to remember who I am and not to lose that. Of course this got me thinking who am I? I mean really besides mommy who am I, it is so true that when you have kids somehow who you are and what you love to do gets lost along the way, so I thought I would sit down and think about this question and make a list as long as I could of all things describing me.
I love planning birthday parties for kids (and if I do say so myself, I am super good at it- I love the details, and I make everything, well almost everything- so far I have done my son’s birthdays- Sesame Street, Farmyard, Pirates, Batman and Spongebob)
I like to play board games.(Scrabble, Monopoly, Jenga, Trivia etc)
I was born and raised in Bronx, NY (Everyone says I do not sound like it anymore- guess I have lost the need to say I’m goin to visit my motha and my fatha)
My pointer finger on my right hand has no ligaments so I can’t point it (I know very exciting tidbit of information I just thought you needed to know)
I can play the recorder (About all I remember it “When the Saints Go Marching in”
I was shelterd as a child (I didn’t date until I was 21 need I say more)
I love watching my son grow into this wonderful person (He is so clever, funny and imaginative, sometimes I wish I could be more like him)
I go out of my way to make holidays, occassions and events special for everyone (I love making things for people-crafty things)
I love reading to my son (He loves this book called Zoomer and another one called Chester, very funny stuff)
I love going to Hershey Park (A place where everything is about the chocolate)
I love going to Cape May (I never knew the place existed until I met my husband, I told you I was sheltered)
I am extremely thoughtful (I love going out of my way to do things for people)
I love going to Disney World (I have probably been there 25 times)
I long to have my own home (This probably will not ever happen, not in the cards for me)
I would love to open my own business (Crafty type)
I want to take photography classes (working on either taking classes or teaching myself)
I am usually not good at keeping in touch with people (I suck at calling people, I am better at email)
I love Reality TV (Real Houswives, Biggest Loser, Dancing with the Stars,)
When I was pregnant I craved oranges, melon, burritos and egg salad
I love to snuggle with my little girl
I wear a size 9 shoe
I love the beach
I am an over achiever
I am a homebody
I am impatient with myself but patient with others
I am good at whatever I put my mind to
I love to watch TLC(What Not to Wear,Say Yes to the Dress, 19 Kids and Counting, Little People Big World, The Little Couple, just to name a few) & The Food Network (Diners, Drive Ins and Dives is my fave)
I love to cook (but I make a huge mess)
I love amusement parks (I just like the atmosphere, the food, the rides, you know all of it)
I love pizza (salad pizza is my new fave)
I saw New Kids on the Block in concert twice when I was 12 (yes I will admit that)
I have been to a Josh Groban Concert by myself (When we went to Hershey one year he was playing there and I bought myself a ticket)
I love Josh Groban (so want to meet him one day)
I have bad memories about things that were supposed to be great times in my life and were not
I had the best wedding I have ever been to (and I’m not just saying that)
I love Juji Fruits
My family says I am too sensitive (I am but I am okay with that)
My greatest accomplishment are my kids (They are the best thing I have ever done with my life)
I would love to live in Manhattan (I went to college there and oh how I miss it)
I have had 2 csections (all traumatic in there own way)
I have taught K, 2nd, 4th and 5th grade (5th was my favorite)
I bite my nails (not anymore I quit cold turkey)
I didn’t start dating until I was 21 (met my husband when I was 21 too)
I have taken Zumba classes and loved it (It is an awsome workout)
I am an only child (after seeing my mother’s family drama- I am glad I am the only one)
I would love to live in the south (Maybe North Carolina)
I attended Catholic School for 13 years
I have taken Belly Dancing Classes and loved it
I love COFFEE (the smell, the taste yummm)
I love to bake (cookies mostly)
I love to read self help books (lose weight, exercise, be happy, do it all)
I am left handed (it sucks living in a right handed world)
I like white gold and silver jewelry (just a preference)
I love to surf the internet (self diagnosis, research, gifts I would love to receive)
I love crafts (scrapbooking etc)
I hate being around rude and obnoxious people
I was born 2 months early and the doctors told my parents I wouldn’t make it through the night. (here I am 34 years later.
I have a scar on my right foot from an IV they put in my foot as an infant (sadly I will never be a foot model)
I love traveling (I want to go on a cruise, I want to see Italy, Ireland and England and all 50 states)
I had braces for 4 years
I was teased a lot as a child (and I wonder why I still have body image issues- thanks)
I love taking pictures
I love to eat in new places
I unplug appliances before I leave the house
I am shy but I can be loud
I am a great wife
I am a great mommy
I would have loved to have had 3 or 4 kids (but that dream is shattered)
I am unhappy with my current body and weight
I would love to live on the beach or on a farm (which ever comes first)
I get upset easily
I want to write a children’s book
I am creative
I must wash my hair every day
I am not a morning person
I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 21
Friday nights are my favorite part of the week
I love men with British accents
I have made my own bread
Fall is my favorite season
I am clumsy
I have no sense of direction
I worry ALOT
I earned my Masters Degree while I was 9 months pregnant with my son
I love a good bargain
I love to shop
I cry too easily
I like being alone
I hate being late
I love to swim
I would do anything for a friend
I would do anything for my family
I love being a stay at home mom
I HATE when people ask me if I am going back to teaching or when I am going back to work. (I’m not so DON’T ASK)
I am quiet and shy and often come across as bitchy but I am really not.
I wish I was more active.
Wow that was a lot and that was hard, I guess we have to know who we are in life, know what makes us tick, know who we are in order to know who we are going to become, there are so many other things I want to do in my life, there is no time like the present. Next list I work on will be a list of all the things I want to accomplish.
Life is a rollercoaster ride or so we are told. Sometimes you want to ride the dips and hills with your hands in the air, other times you’ve got a white knuckled grip on the bar and you are holding on for dear life, and then there are those times when you just want to get off the ride, not wanting to endure the highs or lows that come with riding.
Life is a lot like this, especially when there are things getting thrown at you left and right. Sometimes I feel like I can accomplish anything, conquer the world, I am super mom. Other times I feel like I just want to curl into a ball and let it all just pass me by, like I cannot handle what the ride of life has to throw at me.
I feel like I have been having a few of those get off the ride days, surgeons, cardiologists, pediatricians, when will it ever end? I know I should be thankful, I know I should be saying, “Thank God -her heart can be fixed.” But inside I want to scream, “She is just a baby, damn it, why is she having to go through all of this crap?” I feel heartbroken, I feel like I want to do all the things that new moms want to do, show off my baby, have a christening, go to mommy and me classes, take her out but I cannot do any of these things for fear of her getting sick. I so yearn for a sense of normalcy, a sense that we are just like any other mother and daughter, but we are not and I am reminded of that by the doctors.
Sometimes we all have those days where we feel sorry for ourselves and our circumstances, we just want to be average, normal. But what is that really? Normal? Is it something to be happy about? Maybe we can but I guess it’s the excitement of the dips and hills in the ride of our life that keeps us coming back for more.
From the moment you entered my life I have loved you. You are the sweetest most beautiful baby I have ever seen. When I hold you it is as if your little body just melts into my arms. I will never forget the first time I looked into your eyes, you were not what I expected, you were so much more. I knew from that moment on I would love you, I would protect you, I would give you a wonderful life, and show you all this beautiful life has to offer. When they told me what you were going to have to endure at such a young age, my heart was broken, I don’t want you to have to go through any of this.
We have a lot of rough roads ahead of us but I will help you, I will always be there . I wish I could take this pain from you, I wish it was my heart they had to cut into and not yours, I would take it from you if I could. You will never be alone I, promise you , I will be there with you every step of the way and I will love you through it all. You are always going to be my sweet little girl and I want you to know how much you are loved forever and always.
To My Wonderful Son,
You have always been my little guy, my pal from the moment you were born. For 6 years it has just been you and me together exploring the world. You have brought me so much joy in my life, so much fun, so much laughter, you are one funny kid. You are so bright, so curious and you make me so proud each and every day. You amaze me with the things you are able to do and accomplish. You are so full of life and intelligence, so full of compassion and empathy, I am so proud to be your mom. You have always been so well behaved and people have always told me how blessed I am. You are my dream come true, my first born child and now you are the best big brother a baby girl could ask for. I admire your ability to have fun and to imagine anything your little mind can create, I often wish I could be more like you. I wish I could take a look through your eyes for just one day, and see the world in its entire splendor. You always have a way of lighting up a room when you enter it and making your presence known and I love you for that. I look forward to seeing you after school and hearing about your day. I will always be there for you, to love you, to guide you for all the days of my life. You are my sunshine and I will love you for always and a day, my sweet, loving boy.
Tell your kids you love them, hold them close, make them feel special. Life is so short, it is full of ups and downs, ins and outs, but take them by the hand and experience it all with them, enjoy your life with them.
Easier said than done, I know, trust me. When I found out about my daughter’s conditions I blamed God, the universe, anyone and everyone. I wanted to know why, who would let a little baby have to suffer through all of this? Why were there people in the world having healthy kids that didn’t even want them or love them and how was all of this fair? It wasn’t fair, I did everything right, got married first, had a career, had my children. When I was pregnant I ate what I was supposed to and steered clear of the things you aren’t allowed to eat while pregnant. I did everything I was supposed to do, so why was I being punished? Then I realized that I was not being punished, my child was a gift that was supposed to teach me something, teach me about life and how to live it, teach me about enjoying the little things and the moment. I have always been a big picture kind of girl but this little girl in her short 5 weeks of life has taught me to try to enjoy each little thing, each special moment and be present in the moment instead of always thinking of the next thing.
It has been a learning process, don’t get me wrong, you can’t just expect to change your way of thinking in the blink of an eye, but you can just try to be present in your life and don’t just sit on the sidelines. Life is so short, so while you are dwelling on things that annoy you or bother you or things that just do not seem fair, realize this; you are missing out on moments, moments that can make you smile, moments that can make you laugh, moments that in the big picture are the moments you may never get back. So take those moments and take them in, breathe them, feel them before it is too late. So as corny as it may sound; when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.