Friday, August 22, 2014

The Longest Week of My Life

We made it.

I ate some really bad stuff, I occupied my time by visiting stores and spending money, emailing/calling/texting friends as my support group, and by crying.

Yes, I cried. And not just on the first day. I really lost it on the third night in to the fourth day. The week got harder, not easier. No one prepared me for that. And yes, I am mad at every single one of you for that. HA!

But I've learned a lot this week. Two of the biggest are:

1. Carter is JUST like me. Exactly like me just slightly shorter.

2. Your own pain is absolutely nothing like your kids' pain.

Let's go over the two items, shall we?

1. Carter is the sweetest, kindest, most generous person I know. If you are having a bad day, invite Carter Patrouch over. She compliments, gives hugs, and really knows how to cheer you up. I like to think I am the same way. I get really happy when I make others happy. CJ is the same.

The girl worries. Oh my does she worry. I feel awful for her because I know what it's like to be filled with anxiety.  I hate this for her.  But hopefully I can guide her in to a better direction than my own ways.

She's sensitive. VERY sensitive. Add tiredness to the recipe and we are all screwed. She does not do well when tired.  Neither do I.  Marc has learned this and doesn't question me when I sneak off to nap.  He knows it's for the best.  We have learned the same with Carty.  If she is tired, let her sleep!

Family gal. She loves us. I mean really loves all of us. She misses us terribly when we aren't around her. While she likes school and has fun, I really think she'd love it more if we were all there with her.

2. The saddest movies I can think of are Beaches, Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias, Toy Story 3, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.  Now, A LOT of movies make me cry, these movies make me curl up in to a ball, cry until I can't breathe, and have that really ugly cry-face that makes your face red and white all at the same time.  I stay puffy for awhile after from the tears.  It's bad.

I have broken a toe, dislocated my kneecap, had labor pains, and 3 c-sections. I've had my heart broken, family members die, and family members diagnosed with bad stuff.

NOTHING, none of that, makes me cry or be in pain like my kids' pain. Man oh man.  Marc said it best, "Kids make you find the pit of your stomach. If you didn't know where it was before, oops, there it is!" So true.

Deep within my soul I feel their pain.  It is all consuming.  All I can think about.  Deep sigh.

It's as if I take their pain and put it in myself.  But I can't actually do that, so it ends up that both of us are hurting.  Vicious, ugly cycle.  But what can I do?

I'll tell you...I hug them five thousand times, kiss them all over their face, buy their favorite treats, and let them sleep in bed next to me so I can see their sweet little baby faces. I hover, and nag, and bother them until I know they are ok. I drive past their school and see them playing happily on the playground. Maybe even twice I'll do that.  I have and will do anything to make sure they are happy.

So the first week of elementary school is over. At 2:36 pm I will greet CJ at the bus and bring her home. I will have all my birds with me for two days straight and it will be awesome.

I have learned I am NOT the mom that rejoices because school is back in session. I am the forever summer mom. I am the mom that has contemplated homeschooling just so I can be around them all day.

Half of you have just rolled your eyes! HA! A quarter of you are probably in agreement and the other quarter are probably a mixture of both.

If you had kids starting back to school this week, how did you do? If they start next week, how are you feeling?!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Kindergarten

I jolt awake.

It's dark.  Quiet.  Middle of the night.

I feel pressure, but no pain.

I get up, go to the bathroom, come back to bed.

Sleep eludes me.

I get up again.  More pressure.  Still no pain.

But I know.

This is it.  I'm going to be a mom soon.

Will it be a boy or a girl?  Will Carter look like Marc or me?  Will s/he be a good baby?  Will I be a good mom?

Thoughts race.  Pressure is stronger.

Now there's pain.

I wake Marc to let him know the news.  I am greeted with the biggest, sleepiest smile I've ever seen.

******

Last night was much the same.  But the pressure was higher.  It was in my chest.  My head raced.  Will she like school?  Will other kids like her?  What will I do all day waiting for her to return?

Preschool was a breeze compared to this...it was only 3 hours.  She left me at 9 to return at 12. Now I don't see her until 2:30.  I might as well be traveling to the moon with all the time I have to wait.

My heart races.

Sleep eludes me.

Five and a half years later and she's still completely in control of my emotions.

She can do this, but can I?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

When Your Baby Isn't Your Baby Anymore

It took a lot longer than I expected, but I finally teared up over CJ going to kindergarten.

This will be the first time in FIVE years that I am not the one driving her somewhere in the morning or hanging out with her all day.

Five years we've been buds.

And now she's off to the big school.

Ugh.

I am SO excited for her, I really am, because she is SO excited.  The girl loves school.  In the car  yesterday she was telling me she hopes she learns science.  Immediately after this she asked what is science?

She's excited about new friends, a new teacher, learning lots of stuff, and the big playground.  She's busting at the seams to get to school.

But it's official, she isn't my baby anymore.

I can barely even lift her up because she's almost as tall as me.  And she can walk down to the neighbor's house to play.  I don't even have to be WITH her.

Last spring her teacher, LPW, told me to try and not be too sad because some great things happen as they grow up.  And, per usual, LPW was/is correct.  Carter can get her own water, own snacks, tells us when she's tired and needs to go to bed, she can wash her own hair in the bath, she's super independent while still needing hugs and love from us.  She's a perfect little combo of awesomeness right now.

Gah, I love her so much.

Also in the car she was telling me she likes to give nicknames to people.  We are a nickname family: Marco, MJP, CJ, Carty, Gabo, Gabey, Harp, Harpie Ri, The Baby, the list goes on and on.  Her latest nickname for herself is Jean, which is her middle name.  I highly doubt this one will stick, but for now I am calling her Jean.  She's so dang cute.

I am going to be a mom to a kindergartener.  I know plenty of moms have walked in these shoes before me, so PLEASE give me words of encouragement.  I need the strength to not cry and totally embarrass her on her first day of big girl school!

P.S. I will TOTALLY be like this for every single first day of school in her lifetime.  Poor thing will be in college and I'll be clinging to her leg not letting her go.