Friday, November 22, 2013

My Diary Entry From Seven Years Ago Gives Me The Willies

I'm reading a journal entry from seven years ago and I have goosebumps.

I've spent so long seeing myself as a career woman who got desperately derailed by Malachi's diagnosis. I worked very hard through high school, college and beginning reporting jobs to climb as high and as fast as I could. Then I suddenly dived off that path, so what did all that hard work matter? 

But this journal entry comes from before I had even started working. In many ways, it validates the life I have now. It lets me know that, by and large, I'm doing exactly what I wanted to be doing, albeit not for pay and not in the way I imagined doing it.

The date was Sept. 11, 2006. I had just graduated college and job prospects were dim. Here is what I wrote:


I'm sitting here counting how long I've been unemployed. Not quite three months, though it seems much longer.
I've spent almost entire days on the couch, sleeping or staring into nothing. I've gotten past the point where days of not doing anything are restful or relaxing.
These days are boring, unsatisfying and depressing. Lately, I've come out of my depression a little to feel the need for action. But mostly, I'm unsure where that focus should be directed. Job leads at both the AP and The Sentinel have stalled through unexplainable delays and choosing another road to start down is difficult because there are so many options, depending on how far afield I want to look. It feels like at some point Providence comes in and says this is what you are supposed to do. But how long should I wait for that?
Mom says I need to make a declaration to God about what I want. A segment on TV about a woman who died in the World Trade Center towers said that I need to make a list about the things I want to accomplish in life. So here I go.


• I want to be the greatest service I can be to people in my professional and personal life.

• I want a job that makes me feel like I've made a difference.

• I want to remember to make the smallest impact on the environment that I can.

• I want to be able to feel love at all times and remember to love and be loved.

• I want to feel comfortable with anyone and be able to make anyone feel comfortable.

• I want to stand up for myself and loved ones when necessary.

• I want to succeed professionally and be well respected by my peers.

• I want to have financial security and remember that ensuring this does not mean earning enough but saving enough.

• I want to always consider cogent arguments and, even if I do not agree with them, recognize where they come from.

• I want to be able to feel what I feel and not feel bad that I'm not feeling something else.

• I want to remember to help people whenever I can.

• I want to know what I am worthy of.

• I want to feel special.

• I want to travel more.

• I want to experience many different things in life.

• I want to teach my children to be independent and self-reliant.



The writing I do here on this blog and the questions I answer for other parents on the special needs path encompasses so many of those things. Even though life is linear and I don't owe my former self anything, I feel a measure of satisfaction that I'm not so far off from who I hoped I would be.

Fun with hats and costumes while in a waiting room.



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Looking for a meaningful gift? Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is a beautiful and insightful board book available here. All profits go towards my son's medical needs. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Secret to Life



Dearest Children,

My darlings, you are three years old now, so allow me to pass along to you The Secret to Life. It goes like this:

Step 1: Decide what you want.

Step 2: Ask for it in the right way.

Step 3: Get it.



That's it.

Granted, most of your life will be spent figuring out Step 2.

But here's a hint.

STOP. WHINING.


XOXO,

Mama





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Looking for a meaningful gift? Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is a beautiful and insightful board book available here. All profits go towards my son's medical needs. 



Tuesday, November 05, 2013

My Kids Say the Darnedest Things

I am really loving this age with my kids. They are a little more than 3 years old and they are constantly saying hilarious things.

I remember about the time JJ first started walking, I often felt like I was living in an absurdist French comedy. I would be dealing with some crisis — say Malachi had a blowout — and in the background, JJ would be slowly and methodically putting all of the plastic dishes into the bathtub for no apparent reason while loudly calling: "BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB BOB." I would step outside of myself and think: "Wow. This is kind of hilarious."

These days the hilarity comes from the things they say: the grown-up phrases they are trying on for size and the imprecise conclusions they reach as they try to make sense of this mixed up, messed up world. Their cute babbling and slurry 3-year-old talk is occasionally punctuated by these windows into the big kids they will soon be.

Here's a recent one:

(In a family dressing room at a pool party)
Malachi: "What is that thing called?"
Me: "It's a bra."
Malachi: "What does a bra do?"
Me: "Ummm... It keeps my boobs all together."
JJ (completely serious): "(Otherwise) we'd have boobs EVERYWHERE!"

And another:

(Malachi pointing repeatedly to the crab on his shirt.)
Malachi: Gropygrope, gropygrope, gropygrope. Crabs say "gropygrope."
Me: Crabs say "gropygrope"?
Malachi: They sure do.

And another:

(JJ, scheming on my PB&J)
Me: OK, you can have some.
JJ (said like a tiny wizened diplomat): Thank you for giving me a piece of yours. You are a good brother.

And one that displays Malachi's adoration of letters:

(I walk into the room and Malachi breaks into a huge smile and reaches for me.)
Malachi: Mommy.
Me: That's me!
Malachi: Spell Mommy.
Me: M-O-M-M-Y
Malachi smiles beatifically, as if that is the most wonderful thing he's ever heard. Then, in a reverent whisper: "I can also call her Shasta."




Love it.




Feel free to share this post using the icon buttons below and if you haven't subscribed to my RSS feedliked me on Facebook or followed me on Twitter, there's no time like the present! 

Looking for a meaningful gift? Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is a beautiful and insightful board book available here. All profits go towards my son's medical needs. 


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