Hey guys. So it’s been a while since I’ve just sat down and written from my heart. It’s how this whole blog started- my love of writing down my feelings and sharing- and so I want to make sure I never lose sight of it. If you’re here for the fashion, or the kid’s stuff, or the home stuff, come back next week- there will be plenttyyyyy of that! ;) Today, though. Today is just time for me to write. Whatever’s on my mind. Some Motherhood Musings, if you will…
It’s May 2018. Sam is already 4 (I HAVE A 4 YEAR OLD, HOW?!) and Sophie is 2. They are incredible little human beings. They challenge me DAILY. They make me stop and think. They slow me down and make me enjoy what’s right in front of me. They teach me to see the joy in the little things. And I really can’t imagine my life without them.
But it’s hard. This is so so so HARD. And some days, it breaks me. Some moments, I lose my temper and just yell right back at them. Especially Sophie. If you’ve ever lived with a two year old girl, YOU KNOW. They are CRAZY. This one, anyway, she is a feisty little one. She knows what she wants, and she wants it NOW. She is so demanding, and bossy, and she’ll throw a fit at the drop of a hat if she doesn’t get her way.
And here’s a confession: I find myself losing my temper so much more with her than with Sam. And even for the exact same things!!! And then I instantly feel terrible because I see how unfair it is. But with Sam, because of his autism and his developmental delays, I think I treat him differently without even thinking about it. He gets away with so much more. And I expect so much more of Sophie, only because I KNOW she is capable of more.
And then the guilt creeps in. Gosh, does that sound as terrible to you as it does to me? I just pray that she doesn’t resent me when she’s older. I pray that she doesn’t resent her brother, or our circumstances. I pray she doesn’t see him getting away with things she never would, and hating us for it.
This is hard. It’s so very hard. And sometimes it feels like I have no idea what I’m doing.
But then… I’m reminded. I’m not doing this alone. I wasn’t given these two (beautiful) babies for nothing. God never gives you what you can’t handle. I believe this with all of my heart. I KNOW I can do this.
At the end of each of my workouts with my Stroller Strides group, we say these affirmations, and I have never believed them more than I do right now:
I am strong.
I am beautiful.
I am confident.
I am loved.
And I am an awesome mom.
I am, I am, I AM.
And yes, I’m messy. Yes, I’m imperfect. Yes, I’m making this up as I go along. But I’m not alone. I’ve got some infinite wisdom guiding me through.
And guess what? So do you. Whatever is going on in your life right now, whether you’re floating through, feel like you’re sinking, or are walking on water (like my analogies there?), YOU’VE GOT THIS. And HE’S got YOU.
And you know, these kiddos of mine are gonna be alright. Sam is THRIVING in school and all of his therapies. We have him in speech once a week, OT once a week, and his ABA therapy is combined with his preschool, 5 days a week. It’s a lot, but it’s what he needs, and he is growing leaps and bounds.
His behaviors are wayyyy down. He used to bite- a LOT. Poor thing, it was mostly out of frustration, simply because he didn’t have a way to tell us what he wanted or needed, so that was his way of communicating! Just imagine not being able to tell people what you wanted or needed- you would be mad and frustrated too!! He’s bitten me (the hardest was on my neck, leaving the playground, and that is coincidentally one of the hardest times I’ve cried- not because it hurt, although it hurt like a MOTHER, but because I was so emotionally wounded and saddened and in a very dark place about his diagnosis, and that brought me down even more), he’s bitten Zack, he’s bitten his therapists (who have always been nothing but gracious- they’re used to it in their line of work), but what’s the worst: he’s bitten his sister. Poor girl. If you’ve ever had a child bite their sibling, that cry is one of the hardest ones to hear. It’s full of terror and hurt and confusion. And to have to protect one of your kids from the other? It’s heartbreaking. I was at a point where I never thought they would ever play together. I never thought I could ever trust them alone together.
But now here we are. A year later, and SHE’S the one biting HIM (but of course, for her it’s developmentally appropriate at this age, albeit still not okay). Ha! Go figure. But in all seriousness, now we CAN trust them together. Now I know he will be sweet and gentle with her (oh, so so so sweet! He gives her kisses now!!! Without being prompted! It makes my heart sing!). We’ve learned the art of transitions, and how to make them smoother (countdowns and timers are huge! Visual schedules have been helpful too!), he’s more flexible, he can attend to a task, he waits with his peers, he follows the leader out to the playground, he LISTENS and follows directions (this was a big goal of ours, and one he couldn’t do a year ago!), his receptive language (what he understands) is amazing!, he’s less of a picky eater (most days), he holds our hands when walking, he makes more eye contact and smiles so much, he’s just a sweet and happy little boy, and I’m so grateful for him.
And did I tell you, he’s been talking!!! Just a word here and there, but they’re coming! I know they are. I believe that they are. That’s the thing about believing, it makes miracles happen. He was nonverbal, like completely 100% did NOT say a word (only sounds and grunts and singing/humming), up until a few weeks ago. And he’s slowly been saying more and more. He’ll say “Yeah” and “Hi!” and he even said “Bear” (and appropriately, like TO GET A STUFFED BEAR- which is huge. It’s all about finding that motivation!). So. This is my reminder to myself to never ever give up. On my kids or on myself. Or most importantly, on GOD. Because He is in control, after all.
And then there’s Sophie. She is our little star. She loves being the center of attention. She cracks us up always. She narrates our entire days. She remembers EVERYTHING. She loves singing songs, knows her “ABCD’s” and counts to 10 (backwards, too). She loooooves doggies and kitties the most, and always wants to give them hugs when she sees them anywhere. She is fierce and feisty and SO MUCH FUN.
So life is crazy. It’s busy. It’s go-go-go. But it’s beautiful, and it’s fun and it’s ours. And I’ve had three different women tell me this week how much they miss this stage- the messy, hectic, babies-on-your-hips and toddlers running amuck stage- and how they’d give anything to go back to here- RIGHT HERE, where I am. And I know this wasn’t for nothing.
So I’m slowing down. I’m being present and intentional in my days, moments, seconds with my babies (yes, they’re still my babies). I’m tuning in to their sweet and individual little souls, and enjoying them both exactly where they are. I’m allowing myself grace. I’m allowing THEM grace. I’m taking deep breaths before I speak, I’m reading “one more book” at bedtime, I’m singing “You Are My Sunshine” for a few more choruses, I’m lying in bed with them a little longer, because these days are already slipping by so much quicker than I’d like, and I’m not going to let them go without holding them as tight as I can, and relishing in them.
Because I know I’ll miss this. And I know every stage, every season, brings it’s own difficulties and it’s own joys. Why rush things? I’ll take what comes, and I’ll take my time.