Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Dance of Life

Since this journey of special needs has begun, everyone has had some advice on how to overcome this  personal struggle; my friends, family,  colleagues, therapists, the Indigo Girls. It often  goes a little something like  " live in the present, focus on the positive, " or "the less you seek your source for some definitive, the closer you are to fine..."  Well as much as I love that song, I still sometimes want to "wrap my fear around me like a blanket and sail my ship of safety till I sank it" (cue Indigo Girsl chorus).

Recently, one of my dear  old friends wrote me some beautiful words worth sharing:  " we may lose ourselves in our pain, but we find ourselves in our strength. It's the dance of life and the music never stops". These words resonate strongly with me. Life is hard, but even in the darkest of times there is light and there is music. You  just have to open your heart and listen.

So while my days of clubbing and 2 am pizza with my girls may be long gone, I still got some moves. They just mostly involve throwing my 1 yr old and 3 yr old in the air with my husband in our weekly dance parties. Sam may not walk yet,  but he sure loves to dance. No  matter how bad our day was, we let the music heal our wounds and wash away our worry. For those 5 minutes, we get lost in the present, forgetting the past and the future. For those 5 minutes, we smile until our cheeks burn.  For those 5 minutes we let our boys laughter  fill our hearts, until they  almost burst with happiness and gratitude for all that we have.

I don't have to tell you that being a parent is hard and at times you may not even recognize your life or the person you have become;  so take the time every day  as a family to lose yourselves in a  moment and remember that it's the little things in life that matter.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Zen and the art of Compartmentalization

After 15 months of devoting every waking (and sleeping moment) to my son, I go back to work Monday; I go back to my "other life", back to attempting to balance my career and my family. I won't lie this terrifies me, as I don't know if I fit into that "other" world anymore. So bare with me  will you, as I delve into a cliché  "who am I" Zoolander moment.

You see I am a lot of people: I am a Mother ( a damn good one I might add) to a rambunxious 3 year old and an angelic hypotonic 1 year old who has different needs. But I am also a wife, a director of environmental affairs and an MBA candidate (on hold for the moment). Oh and in my "spare time" I am also a sister, a daughter, a friend and a rock climber. In addition to these more generic titles, I have also been the outgoing smiley one and the type A Nerd (with a capital N). I have had my heart broken (the "I will never love again" kind of heartbreak) and I have broken hearts. I have held my children and laughed till my cheeks burn and I have cried till my heart aches. I have been vulnerable and scared and I have been ambitious and strong.

So I ask again "who am I".... This is not a rhetorical question,  seriously, "who am I" and how for the life of me do I reconcile  all these different facets of myself? Anyone?  Well according to Google, to reconcile oneself means to " make compatible, harmonious or consistent". If only it were so simple Google, if only it were so simple...

 So as I return to "other world", I will have to navigate these muddy waters carefully; lining up the little versions of myself, like little Russian nesting dolls, fitting the little ones (sister, daughter, rock climber, friend) into the bigger ones (director, wife and mother): practicing what I will call "Zen and the art of compartmentalization".

You see Google, the beauty is that in the end we are all tucked harmoniously inside ourselves, existing simultaneously, each version making us  exactly into the person we are supposed to be.

My best advice is to be yourself. Unless you’re psychotic, then you might want to try a different tactic.”
Gwen Hayes, So Over You

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lessons from my boys

I have learned more from my boys then I have in my own 34 years of life.

In their young age they have shown me that first and foremost I am a mother, this is what defines me. Not my job, not my past. Being a mother is my single greatest achievement, it is what gives my life meaning and guidance.

They have shown me that I am strong and that despite the bad days, when the stress and anxiety about Sam become so unbearable and everything seems to be crumbling around me, I will wipe away the tears and I will carry on. Not because I am brave but because I am a mother.

I know there will be more bad days ahead, but my boys have shown me that it's okay to cry. Crying does not make me weak, instead my struggle makes me human and with each tear I wipe away, I become a stronger and better mother.

I am not courageous, I am a mother, a mother of two  amazing boys who remind me every day to live in the present. This is the single most important lesson they have taught me; and when you don't know what the future holds for your family, this is the only truth that matters.

Sam is delayed because he has not reached his milestones on time. Abandon the notion of time, and Sam is a normal, happy, smiley baby. After all, he has his whole life to learn how to walk, to run, to talk. At a young age, children have no notion of the past or the future, they only understand the present.   In his innocence Sam does not know that he is delayed and Loic does not know that his brother is different. He does not ask me why his brother is not yet walking, he loves him for who and how he is, no strings attached. Their innocence transcends all notions of time, rendering expectations meaningless. All that matters is the here and the now! Wouldn't we all be a little happier if we could see the world through our children's eyes?

But I am a mother, my days revolve around time (exercise time, nap time, play time, bath time, story time and bed time) and my thoughts revolve around  my children's future. I cannot abandon the notion of time but I can reshape my focus, my attention and my perspective. With Sam, all we can do is wait and see...but I plan on making the best of this waiting game. Time will not be my enemy, I will befriend time, tame him and I will enjoy every precious day, hour, minute and second of this life; because let's face it at the end of the day, time goes by too fast!

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”
― Walt Whitman

Monday, March 30, 2015

All the small things

When you have a hypotonic child, its the small things that count. Its not about the big accomplishments, milestones go out the window. Its all about the milistones, its all about the small things. For months I have been waiting for Sam to crawl. When it dint happen by his first birthday, i was devastated and a little bit of hope dissapeared. I have since tried to eliminate expectations, not to say I dont hope and pray that he will walk one day (not tomorow, maybe not in a year, but one day he will ) cause I pray every second of every day, with every kiss and hug; I have just stopped putting him on a timeline and started appreciating the small things. The new noises (no words yet), how he engages with his environment, playing catch with me, laughing, how quick he can put himself in sitting position when he wants to. He may have not learned any new skills this week but he is getting better at some and this is what I hold close to my heart... the small things...