Today was one of those days.
Where wacked-out hormones blend with exhaustion, the tail-end of sickness and an incredibly emotional month to brew this lovely shade of gray.
I knew these setbacks would come. And I cried. And slept. And struggled to be patient and hide my pain from my little blonde free-spirit who wanted to read books and water flowers.
I dreaded Nella’s afternoon doctor appointment today because I thought the onslaught of info would begin…the hardships, the differences, the therapy, the scary things I didn’t want to hear.
I cried on the phone with my sister on the way there. And then Lainey fell asleep in the car and I forgot the stroller and I couldn’t bear waking up her tired little soul for her little sister’s appointment. So, I schlepped her sleeping body over my shoulder, twisting uncomfortably to keep her head from falling and balancing a diaper bag and carseat with 7 pounds and 4 ounces of baby in the other arm. And then I walked through a parking lot, breathing heavy and chanting to the rhythm of my jeweled sandals hitting the pavement…I’m a rockstar. I’m a rockstar. I’m a rockstar.
In the midst of my pain and sadness in life, my sarcasm often brews. I usually don’t mean what I say, but I say it because it feels good and the wit it takes to concoct something halfway funny and caustic distracts the part of my brain that feels pain. And because I’m sad, I usually don’t feel guilty for biting satire.
Which is why I didn’t feel bad when I said “F#@! Holland” today or “I hate wooden shoes.”
My sister always says exactly the right thing when I call her crying. She knows when to cry with me and she knows when I need to stop. Today, my Obi Won had good things to say.
“The very first line in The Road Less Traveled,” she told me, “says…
…Life is Difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
Oh, the truth.
And, though I may have cursed wooden shoes and Holland, I came to the realization that, in any parenting situation, there are a thousand Holland situations. And a thousand Italys too. (Warning: Going into far-fetched Analogy Zone. Hang on.) And there’s air traffic control monitoring this constant stream of flights, for any given child, that take off and land in both the beautiful expected and the unknown lands where we must search for beauty. Perfectly “normal” children with 46 chromosomes take their parents to Holland. When girls grow up and tell their moms they aren’t having children, thus crushing grandchild dreams. When boys choose art over football and disappoint their fathers. When children move away and don’t come home for Christmas. When girls become teenagers and slam doors and call their mothers b-words.
And who says Nella will never take me to Italy? I feel like she already has…when she’s breathing heavy on my chest at night and the weight of her tightly-jammied body sinks right into my soul and I smile thinking, “this is just like Lainey.” When she takes her first steps someday. When she says ‘mama’ or ‘I love you’ or reads her first book out loud.
It’s just a mess of flights and destinations for every child…some good, some bad…but that’s parenthood. Period.
Our doctor appointment ended up going beautifully. Not daunting or scary at all. I smiled and told Dr. Foley it didn’t seem any different than Lainey’s one month appointment. Sure, we talked about steps ahead, but they don’t scare me. And we are fortunate to have a pediatrician who delivers all this information happily…like a mom…like someone who cares but knows that deep down inside, we just want to love her and enjoy her. It felt like Italy.
Thank you, Laura Weber for our new hat! We love our hats!
Setbacks come and go, and we move on. Because Life is difficult…but I’m accepting that and already…it doesn’t seem so bad.
On days like these, I get excited to go to sleep at night…to snuggle between the girls, feel the weight of newborn on my chest and know that tomorrow is a perfectly blank slate. We can walk to the lake, have a tea party in the yard, paint and color and bake. Tomorrow, it will be Italy.
(Thank you to the person who so kindly sent this beautiful hat we received today for our bunny. Wish we knew who it was from!)
And, for the record, I still hate wooden shoes.
…but I love tulips.
…and her birth announcement: