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Posts Tagged ‘heart’

“Sensory Snapshot”

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

It was an extremely rare, warm day in January.  Fifty-eight degrees warm to be exact.  I decided to keep my little girl home from school, not to play warm weather hookie, she had a cold.  It certainly wasn’t keeping her down though.  She came with me to work for a bit, and patiently waited while I did my usual chores.  My last chore was to rid the yard of puppy land mines, which with the weather being so nice was not near as much of a chore as usual.  Of course I was on a timer, as most mothers are.  Squeezing the most out of every single second of the day.  This time the timer was set for about thirty minutes, before we had to make our way to the bus stop to pick up my other precious one.

She was so happy to play outside, and once again anxiously waiting for me to be finished this one last thing.  “Mama, will you play with me?  Let’s fly on the airplane!” I responded with my usual reply, “Just one more second, and I’ll be all done.  Then I can play.”  I sensed her disappointment and frustration, and as I was scooping another pile into the bag, I was struck by the realization that I was wasting precious time.  This pile of $&!#, didn’t matter!  It didn’t matter if I picked it up right then, or next week, it was $&!# after all!  I put down that scooper and said, “You know what? I’m done!  Where are we going on that airplane?”

I hopped on the seesaw airplane, and we flew.  “Mama, you be the driver, and I’ll tell you where to go.”  So, we flew to Hawaii.  I’ve always wanted to go there.  The flight was surprisingly short.  When we arrived, she instructed me that we needed to get on a boat (the swing set) for the next part of the trip.  So, we sat on the swings and started swinging to power the boat.  She giggled at the dog when he nervously barked at us,  “Why is he barking Mama?”    “Well, I guess because he’s never seen us swinging on a boat before!”  More giggling.  We were going pretty high, “Wow, I’m getting dizzy!”, I said. “Why are you dizzy Mama, that’s silly!”  “I guess ’cause I’m old”, I replied.  More giggling.

Then it happened.  I looked over at her as she was chatting away to me, and realized that we were swinging at the exact same pace.  We used to say we were “chained together” if that happened when I was kid.  And as I looked and told her this, she smiled the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.  It was one of those moments.  You know the ones where your brain takes a snapshot.  You will never forget a single detail of that very  moment.  It was mid-afternoon sun, and it hit the side of her face.  It made her glow. I wasn’t just seeing her beauty, I was feeling it.  I was feeling her purity, innocence, her joy.  I was feeling her heart.  I was warm from the inside out, from my head to my toes,  and I have a feeling the freakish weather had nothing to do with it.  I would have felt that warmth on the coldest of cold days.  I didn’t just have a visual snapshot, I had a sensory snapshot.  I have an imprint of what the air smelled like, hearing the squeaking swing chains and her tiny giggling voice, the warm sun on my face,  the tiny butterfly in my stomach from swinging so high, and the joy of having that simple moment. That is what spirituality is for me.  I saw her soul.  I took in my surroundings on every level.  Call it God, call it whatever you like.  That’s what it all about for me.  It’s now filed away in my heart.

(Of course I don’t have an actual photo of that moment, but this one evokes the same feelings!)

(Photo property of M. Fani.  Not to be used or copied without permission)

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“A Deafening Silence”

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I have been wanting/needing to write about one of the most difficult times in my life for the past 5 years.  The time during which my daughter was seriously ill.  It feels like what I’ve heard described as post traumatic stress disorder.  For anyone that may read this and doesn’t know me, I’m so happy and grateful to report that my daughter is now a normal healthy 5-year-old, but the scars left behind for me are deep and in some ways not fully healed.  I’m hoping that purging these memories from my head and heart onto this blog will help to clear them away.  By giving them a place of their own, out of my head, I can then let them go and move on.  Needless to say, it’s been difficult to figure out where to begin.  So I’m just going to start.  These post will come in parts and pieces.  And maybe, just maybe my words will be a comfort to someone who may be going through something similar.

It’s 3 am, and my alarm is blaring.  I was already awake, not much sleeping going on these days.  I lay propped up on my couch and feel the burn of my c-section incision as I try to turn and get up.  The house is quiet, as my husband and 2-year-old son sleep soundly on the second floor.   The alarm was set you see, because my baby girl is not here to wake me for a feeding, and I need to pump.  She is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and I’m alone.  The silence is deafening.

I had her home with me for one short week before she became so ill and we had to take her to the hospital.  That is a post for another day.  But for one week I had her with me in my family room at 3 am, making those tiny sounds that an infant makes.  All of her things are around me.  Pink gingham blankets, diapers, nightgowns, binkies.  But she’s not here and the silence is deafening.

I gather up all of the gear for my pump.  I’m determined to keep up my production for when she’s well enough to nurse again.  The hospital is so supportive, and they feed her with my milk that I bring daily.  I believe so strongly in the health benefit of breast milk, and her doctors encourage me and help to make that belief even stronger.  I have never felt more helpless in my entire life, and this one thing gives me my only sense of contributing to her wellbeing.  I’ve been able to get through these pumping sessions most of the time without crying, but tonight it seems impossible.  I sit there with only the sound of the  rhythmic, moaning pump, and the tears begin to flow, and it seems that with the flow of tears comes the flow of milk.  I would gladly give my own life to make her better, and it seems there’s a strange symbiotic relationship between my sorrow and my abundant milk production.  It’s as if the more I give, the better her chances may be.  It’s what I hang on to anyway.   The sound of the pump is deafening.

I finish up and carefully prepare and label the bottles to take to the hospital.  And as I do after every pumping, I call the hospital just to check on her.  The nurses are so kind, and will speak to me as long as I need.  There are no changes.  I’m so grateful that she is in such good hands.  But they are not my hands.  I hang up the phone.  The silence is deafening.

I make it back to the couch and try to get comfortable to sleep.  It most likely will not happen, but I try.  The alarm is set again for the next session.  I lay there and remind myself that I am fortunate to be surrounded by my extremely supportive family and friends, and my ever-loving husband, and my darling son.  They would all do anything for me.  But they can’t give me what I need.

I need to hold my baby girl.  I need someone to tell me that she’s going to be o.k.  I need to know that I will have her home, in my arms again waking me at 3 am.  I need the doctors to tell me that they know what is wrong with her, and that they can help her.  But they can’t, they don’t know that yet.  They won’t say it.  And when I ask, the silence is deafening.

So I’m alone with the heavy thoughts in my head.  And tomorrow, I’ll spend the day at the hospital.  And I’ll pray that it will be the day that she is well enough for me to hold her.  And I’ll wake again to pump, alone, in silence.  It’s the only thing I can do.

“My Runaway Heart”

In Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm

A few weeks ago, my 6 1/2 year old decided he was going to run away from home.  Why you ask?  Well, horror of all horrors, I wouldn’t let him watch a movie!  I know, i’m a terrible Mother.  The whole thing was quite comical, but did have many layers of good lessons for both of us.  I’ll get to the lessons later.  The comedy went down like this:

We were enjoying a leisurely dessert of ice cream on the deck, when”L” asked if he could watch a movie when he was finished.  I decided against it because he had already watched his limit of T.V. for the day.  Apparently, that was more disappointment than he could handle, so after much begging, he declared that he was running away.  I pretended not to hear that for a little while, but it became obvious that it wasn’t going to work this time.  I began to explain as simply as I could that it just isn’t safe for a 6 yr. old to travel alone.  Well, my son had a well thought-out answer for everything I threw at him!  Seems he’s quite the debator (one of the traits i fear he inherited from me…paybacks!)  “L”, “I won’t fall for any tricks Mom, if a stranger asks me for help, or wants to give me candy, I’ll run as fast as i can!”  Me, “Well, what if you get lost?” “L”, “I’ll take my chalk and leave a trail!”  Oh boy, I’m in trouble.  He’s determined!  This debate went on for a good 30-40 minutes.  During this time, he was inching his way off the deck into the yard.  The funny thing is every few minutes he would ask permission to go!  “So Mom, can i go now?”  At least he was using his manners, right?!?!

I finally decided that I was going to have to let him try, or he’d find a reason to want to run away the next day, and the next until he tried it.  I would follow him of course.  So I took a deep breath and said, “Well, you seem to really want to go.  Will you at least give me a hug & kiss goodbye?”  Now, “L” is not the huggy type, so to my surprise, he walked over a little teary-eyed and gave me a hug and kiss!  I know, this is all so dramatic, but just wait, it gets worse!  Then, he said he needed to get something to take with him…he went inside and came out with his baggie of Silly Bandz!!!  No pictures, blankie, favorite keepsake…Silly Bandz!!  I had to try not to bust out laughing!  On the inside, I was a bundle of nerves.. he’s really going to do this!

Off he went into the backyard around to the sidewalk.  During this whole time, my 4 yr. old was listening very intently.  My kids are very close, and I think it’s safe to say, best friends.  Well, the second he left the yard, “J” burst into tears….DRAMA!  Now this is making me even more emotional!  I quickly whisked her inside to explain that we were going to watch him from the window, he’d be fine.  Now it’s starting to look like a scene from a movie.  “J” runs to the front door sobbing and holding her dress up to her eyes to blot the tears, “L, I don’t want you to go!”  (Really, I’m not making this up!)  With that, he hears her crying.  He was only a driveway away.  He comes running to the door, “J what’s wrong, what happened?  Why are you crying?”  “J” keeps sobbing, “Because I don’t want you to go!”  “L”,  “I’ll be fine, J, I won’t get lost I promise.  I’ll be back.”….”J” keeps sobbing.

Through all of that, he was unaware that I was peeking out the window.  I was trying to comfort “J”, while keeping an eye on him the whole time.  Finally, he made it 3 houses down the street to where I could barely see him.  I grabbed “J” and started outside to get a better view, and get into the car if I had to.  Just as I get outside, I hear the ice-cream truck. (a very rare occasion in our neighborhood)  As I look down the street toward “L”, here comes the truck toward him.  Well, the driver must have thought “L” was coming to tag him down, and very quickly pulled the truck over to the curb.  It was perfect.  “L”  FREAKED!!!  All I see is him turn around screaming, “MOMMMMYYY!” and running faster than I’ve ever seen him run home.  I was of course heroically waiting in the driveway to comfort him!  “Mommy, there was a truck with 2 men, and they were gonna take me!”

Could the timing of this been any better for my son who had an answer for every scenario I threw at him?  My heart ached for how frightened he was, but at the same time, I had to try not to laugh!  The whole scene was kind of comical!  I would love to know what the ice-cream man thought!

I think it’ll be a long time before “L” decides to run away from home again.

Now to the lessons.  “L” obviously realized the dangers of being 6 and alone on the street.  I think he also realized on a 6 yr. old level how much he’s loved, protected, and safe at home.  Even without an extra movie, he’s got it pretty darn good.

As for me, I’ve had so many emotions about this for weeks now.  I couldn’t help but feel the aching tug at my heart.  Since the day they are born, they are constantly pulling away from us.  Striving for independence and confidence, to be their own little person.  It all comes in stages, and each one hurts a little more.  Weening, starting school, first run away attempt.  I was having flash forwards the whole time.  The first time he drives on his own, going away to college, and hurt of all hurts for a mother, finding another woman to love and getting married.  Each time these things occur they tug at my heart, and I’m sure take a little piece with it.

Then I realized too, how much he needed me to let him go.  He longed for me to say it was o.k.  “Mom, can I go now?”  I guess my job is to give him the tools, and character to be o.k.  And he will.  For every tug or piece missing from my heart, he will fill it with something more.  Becoming a great person.   Going away, but coming back with more.   Someday I hope that he has a fulfilling life, happiness, someone to love him back, and if he chooses, a family of his own.  My heart will then be overflowing.