Henry Grayson, a psychologist, knows that each of us wants a happy and healthy life. However, as human beings we have this belief that we somehow do not deserve good health and happiness. That belief is subconscious and has a negative impact on our ability to prevent and overcome illness and to find happiness.
In his book Use Your Mind to Heal Your Body, Dr. Grayson explores what keeps people from embracing happiness and good health. He tells us that the human body is made up of various energy fields that respond to our subconscious thoughts and that these thoughts often make us sick and unhappy. He also shows us ways in which we can move past sadness and trauma by using our minds to self-heal our bodies.
Dr. Grayson ideas are different because he actually forces us to look at our deepest wounds even when they are hidden from our conscious minds. He states that it is very important to clear through blockages that prevent us from healing. He describes techniques similar to those used on war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders. His goal is to not only return to good mental health but to also force us to see and understand that we deserve good health and much happiness. Moreover, he has given us the tools to do just that.
Here is a video that talks about some of the ideas in Dr. Grayson’s book and about his work.
I am still completely dumbfounded by what happened last Thursday. If you recall I had mentioned a medical procedure I was having on Thursday afternoon. That medical procedure was a breast biopsy that was scheduled after they found a growth on a breast ultrasound. The growth did not show up on a mammogram but the radiologist suggested that before age 40, it is hard to find what they are looking for on mammograms. Anyway, so they found a growth and scheduled the biopsy. That biopsy did not go as planned.
I went in a nervous wreck. They used lidocaine (like they use for dental work) to numb the breast before the ultrasound guided core needle biopsy. Before the lidocaine, however, the radiologist had to confirm that the growth was still there via an ultrasound. Because it was located in a duct, relocating it did not prove easy. From day one, I was told that the doctor suspected an Intraductal Papilloma which is a wart-like growth that sometimes punctures the duct. These types of papillomas are four out of five times benign tumors and made of fibrous tissue and blood vessels. Because they grow inside the breast’s milk ducts, they can cause benign nipple discharge. The biopsy was supposed to rule out any chance of cancer. However, things did not go as planned.
The growth was located on the ultrasound after much trial and error on the radiologist’s part. Once she located it, I was injected with the lidocaine and the core needle was injected into the breast. The needle was guided into the area where the growth was located but no biopsy samples were taken. As soon as the radiologist got to where it was located, it was GONE. It literally vanished! She searched and searched and finally gave up looking. She suggested that may have been a cyst or “debris” (that was the word she used), but she would talk the doctor and I would be a getting a call early this week from the doctor or his assistant. Since there is still discharge and pain, I will need additional testing. I am kind of relieved that breast cancer is likely out of the picture but frustrated because I still have no idea what is going on. I am also wondering whether the growth is still there and the location made it harder to find after the needle was inserted.
And well, strange things always happen to me. I never expected this outcome. I actually expected some kind of answer. You would think I would learn by now.
I went to NYC over the weekend. Here are some photos:
We have all heard the saying “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” It was the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche who famously said, “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” The fact is that pain and suffering are just another part of human experience just as laughter and joy are.
For me lately, my motto is “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” There is no question I have endured more than most people have. As a matter of fact, I was saying to someone this morning, “I just don’t get a break.” Maybe that is God’s way of telling me I am stronger than most people because I am certain that the Almighty would not give me more than I could handle. However, I wish I could get a break.
This morning as I drove into work, I thought about my brother and how his illness and death affected my mother, my siblings, my children and me and of course, the tears came. I asked God to let me sit this one out – not for me, for my children and my mother. I have to go into today for a medical procedure to determine whether or not, I will have a long road ahead of me medically. Further, whatever the outcome, I will still not surgery to resolve the pain and other symptoms of I am having. The surgery is minor but the right of the results of the medical procedure would mean a long and tough road ahead for me and my kids, of course.
Am I wrong to ask of God to allow me to sit this one out? Haven’t my kids been through enough in the past few years? It seems like my three year old came into this world not knowing a life that wasn’t turned upside. First it was my health, then all the financial issues, then my brother’s illness and death, and then, a divided family. My older son, he has watched me struggle with so much in the past few years and I wish that he didn’t have to see that side of me. As parent, isn’t it my job to protect my kids from these types of hardship? I feel like my parents were better at hiding these things than I am.
I won’t have any results until after the Memorial Day and possibility towards the end of the month. It is going to long week waiting for those results. I haven’t said anything to my mom because I don’t want to scare here especially if this turns out to be nothing to worry about. My mom doesn’t need this right now. She is finally learning to live her life after the big blow she was dealt. I have not seen her this happy in a long time and I am glad that she finally is.
I know that regardless of the outcome, I am strong enough to take the challenge should that be necessary. However, I am praying patiently that I get to sit this one out. I know that whatever doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger. I have provided that time and time again. But still, wish me luck.
Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend. I am going to be out of town. I will post pictures soon.
I am writing about my mother today. The reason I am is because I find myself in the middle of a health scare that involves a lot of patience. Next week, I am going in for a procedure to determine whether I will need further treatment. Regardless of the outcome, I will still need surgery to treat the issue causing so much havoc on my body right now. I cannot share this information with my mom until I have all the facts and I hate not being able to. However, I don’t want to alarm her. She is already lost so much and I don’t want to put fears in her head that may turn out to be baseless. I am writing about her because I know that as I deal with this crisis, she will still be here in everything she taught me.
Mom tried for years to teach me the value of patience and growing up, I never imagined the value patience would hold in my adult years. My mother was a Palestinian woman who married my father and came to the United States at age 23. Three years later, I was born. By cultural standards, Mom was considered old when she got married. However, if not for Mom’s age, I don’t think she would have prepared for a life of hardship in a country that was all foreign to her.
Growing up, I watched Mom take hardship by the horns but that it is not say it took its toll on her. However, in those days, I never understood where her strength came from nor did I really grasp the role that she played in our lives. My mother kept her children close by and an example would be her walking us to school on a cold snowy day in Southeast Michigan. She often told us that about twenty years ago, she had a horrible dream that she had lost one of her children. In that dream, she was frantically screaming, “I lost one of my children!” It was once of the reasons she kept her children close by and growing up, I didn’t quite understand her reasoning behind that. As a mother myself now, I understand the fear a mother feels when her children leave her side and I understand the pain when she fears for their safety.
Reading this, you may think that my mother and I were close but the opposite is true. Mom and I never saw eye to eye and growing up, I often thought that my mother never really loved me. For that reason I rebelled and my rebellion was no secret. Being part of a close knit Arab community growing up, my actions were thought to be disgraceful to my family. It was probably the reason my parents married me off so young. These days, my mother is one of my closest friends and I confide in her more than I do my best friend or my sisters. However, getting to point took a lot of work on my part. The fact is my mother never changed – I did.
The reality is that my mother and I are more alike than I ever imagined. My strength, my stubbornness and my resilience are things I get from her – I owe some of that to genetics and some by watching her. Growing up, my mother tried to teach me the value of patience and some of that was based on her religious and cultural upbringing. To me, her views were nothing but prehistoric. Being a first generation American, the last thing I wanted to do was feel less American and different from my peers. I never wanted to believe that my mother was trying to teach how to survive and how to be a strong independent woman. Without that education, I couldn’t have overcome the obstacles I overcame nor could I have overcome them with strong patience and determination.
Immanuel Kant said, “Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; erelong she shall appear to vindicate thee.” Having done a research paper in college on Immanuel Kant, I recall how difficult his work was to interpret and this is a particular qoute that has stood with for quite some time. In fact, Kant’s work is deep and complex. My professor told me that he commended me for taking on such a difficult project and for successfully getting my point across. The fact is I understood Kant’s need to be different, deep and complex. In particular, that quote was everything my mother sought to teach me. Patience was something that I had to have in order to survive but I would also prevail and even when wronged, there would always be higher power to answer.
I may have a huge obstacle upcoming and I know that like everything else in my life, I can overcome and surpass. A part of me feels restless and I just feel like I am entitled to a break considering everything my kids and I have been through. However, I know that regardless of what happens, I will have the Almighty at my side and my mother’s life lessons to get me through and I will prevail.
I recently received some great products from the people at Carex Health Brands (through Crier Communications) for me to use and blog about. Carex Health Brands offers a complete line of products to help you ease the aches and pains that come with stress and health conditions such as RA and fibromyalgia.
I received the following products from Carex for my review:
Bed Buddy Warming Shawl
The Bed Buddy Warming Shawl came in handy with I awoke the night after the products arrived with neck and shoulder pain. I took out the warming shawl, took a quick look at the product description and then put it in the microwave for less than two minutes. I put it around my shoulders, buttoned it and fell back to sleep quickly. When morning came, I had gotten a good night’s sleep and most of my pain had subsided.
The design of the shawl covers the shoulders, neck and arms. It is comfortable to wear and is attractive coming in two colors – black or burgundy. It also offers a secure closure so you do not have to hold it around you. The shawl keeps you warm while providing a deep penetrating moist heat. It is great for anyone with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and/or back pain. You can even use it just keep warm on a cold day. All you have to do is put in the microwave for a minute or two (depending on your microwave) and the warm heat lasts for up to an hour. You can also put in the freezer if you are looking for cold therapy.
Bed Buddy Aromatherapy Hot/Cold Pack
I really loved the Bed Buddy Aromatherapy Hot/Cold Pack. Actually, using it was heavenly. If you want soothing relief from aches and pains, this Hot/Cold Pack is your friend. It is filled with 100% natural grains, herbs and flowers and scented with rose, orange, lavender and cherry blossom. The uplifting aroma will rejuvenate you and the hold or cold relief will help you with aches, pains and stiffness.
The Hot/Cold Pack offers a moist heat and deep soothing relief from arthritis pain, joint stiffness, and sore muscles. You can use hot or cold and it heats quickly in the microwave. The aromatherapy scents will help to heal and uplift you.
I awoke the other night with a really bad migraine headache. (I often awake to pain.) After taking my migraine prescription, I needed to do something about the throbbing in my head until the migraine medication did its own job. I heated up the hot and cold pack in the Microwave, headed back to bed, and put it on my forehead. The aromatherapy helped me to fall asleep quickly while the moist heat provided soothing relief. In all honesty, I didn’t expect to use the heat/cold pack on my forehead but it came in handy when I did need it and offered relief I didn’t expect.
Bed Buddy Foot & Hand Warmers
The Foot & Hand Warmers come with lightly fragranced scent packs with eucalyptus, clove, and cinnamon – all to calm and revitalize your senses. Heat up to long lasting comfort, that stays heated for up to one hour. The warmers are one size fits all and easy and safe to use. I have awoken to stiff achy joints and even on a warm morning, the Foot & Hand Warmers are a Godsend.
Carex Ultra Grabber Reaching Aid
The Ultra Grabber Reaching Aid is designed for grasping items from those hard to reach places. I am 5 foot 3 inches so even without RA and fibro, there is not a lot I can reach. Additionally, the Ultra Grabber offers a 90 degree rotating arm that makes grasping easy. The wrist support is great for those of us with achy and weak hands. The locking tab holds grabbed items in place for those lacking hand strength. It is great tool and it does it what it is supposed to do. It is most helpful to me in the kitchen because I have pretty high cabinets. I don’t do well with stools and chairs as it is but with the grabber, I no longer have to worry about stretching to reach something and then giving up to locate a stool or chair.
You can find Carex products at various online retailers, including Amazon, and local retailers, including Walmart. You can also find Bed Buddy products there as well. Carex Health Brands is a global leader in home health products and has been in business for more than twenty years. For more information, please visit the Carex website at http://www.carex.com and/or the Bed Buddy Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BedBuddy. To find retailers, call Carex at 1-800-526-8051 or email them at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. The people at Crier Communications sent me samples to try out. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me.
A chapter in my life closed yesterday. It was the chapter that involved financial discord and it finally came to an end. I thought I would either laugh or cry when I found out but I am too numb to feel anything. That issue dominated nearly three years of my life. Three years while I was starting to deal with a life with chronic illness, then my brother getting sick and passing away, and so much more. That issue was a dominating factor in my life so long that I never expected it to end. Maybe the effects will be felt tomorrow when I smile at my accomplishment or when I cry because I am happy or maybe I will never respond.
I think that the reason for the lack of joy is that I know that when I overcome one hurdle, another one comes to replace it. Isn’t it funny how life works out? I always tell people that God really gets me with these hurdles because with every single one, he makes me better, wiser and older. I think I know what the next chapter is but I am not sure about that. The next thing I need to do is something I am initiating but like with anything else, I don’t know what the outcome or the journey will be. At the same token, the trial will be in how the journey evolves so I suppose that even though I initiate it, it will still be God’s work what happens and how I overcome.
I have been through more in the last twelve years than most people have been through their entire lives. All this time as I struggled with my relationship with the Almighty, he was by my side as I overcame some of the biggest challenges of my life. In the beginning, it didn’t seem like God was on my side. I doubted his presence because no matter how much I prayed, I felt like things were getting better. Looking back now and with my faith stronger than ever – I know that if not for God I would not have gotten through all those tough times. All those times I thought God wasn’t listening, he was there making me stronger than I ever imagined. God’s faith in me has always been big and now my faith in the Almighty is big. I know that with God by my side, I can overcome so much and through those experiences, my faith is strengthened and so is my will.
What is next in store? I don’t know. I just know that life has taught me to be patient no matter what I am handled. For example, I had a doctor’s appointment last week and I found out that there may be something big that I may have to worry about. I am getting some more tests next week and in all honesty, I am scared. My kids and I have been through so much in the past few years and we can use a moment where our lives are not spinning in circles. I finally recovered from my injuries from last year’s car accident and my RA is tolerable. This financial mess has been neutralized and I have learned to deal with the grief of losing my brother. I asked “why now” more times than I needed to. In the end, I realized that I would just take things as they come and I would pray for the best. God is listening and he will help me to get through whatever challenge lies ahead. For now, I will just take the current peace in my life has a sign of good things to come.
One of things that always stands out when I read other blogs and even my own posts is this idea of trying to be normal as we struggle with chronic illnesses. After the past few years since my diagnosis, so much has changed in my life, my career, my health, my personal relationships and even the loss of my brother. Some of those changes were due to RA and fibro and others due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Some of the changes came after I made the choice that even though I had to live with RA and Fibromyalgia, I didn’t have to let them take everything from me. I changed careers and dreams, I let go of people in my life who made a choice not to be there for me, I learned a lot about myself, and I found myself taking on opportunities that I never imagined taking. I evolved after I was diagnosed and in a way, I found my new normal.
People with chronic illness often use the words “somewhat normal” or “semi normal,” but I never have. Living with RA and fibro has given me a new kind of normal. Like all of you, I know the battle scars that chronic illness leaves on your heart and your soul. The way you look at life changes and if you are not careful, you will lose track of all the things in your life that are wonderful and good despite chronic illness.
Chronic illness becomes this imaginary wall between you and the people in your life that don’t understand. But the thing is, there are people who actually take the time to care and the effort to understand because of their love for you. On the other hand, relationships, marriages and friendships might end because of chronic illness and in my experience; I have learned that those things are okay because they teach you who and what is most important in your life. Other things such as regret because you can no longer do things you once enjoyed and anger because you have to adjust to a new lifestyle are all things that are a part of living with chronic illness. Anger, regret and depression, if you allow them, will eat at psyche. If you let this happen, you will isolate yourself from the people that love you.
So how does one keep up the fight and persevere? You do that by creating a new kind of normal. That normal means that you decide to control what you can and focus less on what you cannot. Your new normal also means that you take responsibility to not shut people that love you out and to not discriminate if they do not understand your pain. Your new normal accepts that while there is a stigma associated with chronic illness, you can still take a firm stand and acknowledge that you are not crazy, or a hypochondriac or simply seeking attention. In doing so, you do not let the ignorance of others affect how you live your life and work towards your dreams.
Four years now since my diagnoses, my normal is anything but normal and I am okay with that. I don’t take crap from anyone, I continue to live my life despite these diseases, and I stick to my normal. My normal allows me to wake up every morning knowing that today will be good if I make a choice to allow it to be. I am not depressed or angry. I don’t have regrets over things out of my control and I focus on the ones that I can. I am content with my normal and I think that it is so important for each person to find theirs and to be content with that.
Having made the decision to remove a particular person from my life all together hasn’t been easy especially when that person wants to continue to make my life miserable. In all honestly, I gave more of myself than I had to. The last year has been more of the same and even though I kept my distance, I tried to stay on good terms with this person. I have found that I am adequate without this person in my life.
The reason I use the word “adequate” is because I have spent so many years feeling inadequate because this person made me feel as such. I can look at myself in the mirror and despite my health challenges; I am quite successful in my career and in my life. I have done so much and accomplished so much while working fulltime and being a mother to my children. I don’t have any regrets. I am raising two amazing boys to be gentlemen who will never treat women as inadequate. My older son is 12 and I remind him daily how important it is to treat women with respect. I remind the value of women as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, wives, etc. and the peace I get is that he turns out to a good man.
No one should have to be made to feel inadequate. After my brother died, I allowed myself to find out how adequate I was. I did some soul searching and I learned how important it was to love myself first and foremost. I still have moments where I still feel inadequate but for the most part, I am confident in my abilities. My health definitely poses a challenge especially with the weight gain but now that I have removed stressors from my life, it can be easier to focus on getting better.
As 2011 came to end, I promised myself I would focus on my relationship with the Almighty. As planned, I have worked to better my relationship with God. The more I worked towards that goal, the clearer I was able to see. If you have ever heard someone say that prayer makes things clearer, they are absolutely right. Not only does prayer makes things clearer, it allows a feeling of peace. All those questions I had and that I continually pondered about God and faith, I know now that those answers aren’t necessarily specific. If anything, they mean allowing God to take the wheel and have faith in that he knows what is best for me. It has taken a long time to fully grasp and understand that.
A few weeks ago, I had this dream that I was walking around dismayed and asking people questions about God and faith. In the dream, I wanted to understand how to strengthen my belief in the Almighty and how to feel closer to God. I remember saying, “I believe, now what?” It was when I took a moment to think about my dream the following day that the answer came. As I pondered the meaning of that dream, I felt cold and I started to shiver. I had the overwhelming desire to cry, not because I was sad, but because I was happy. I felt God’s presence in a way that I had never felt before.
I remember listening to the former actor turned preacher, Kirk Cameron’s story about his journey to finding faith and God. At age 17, he followed a girl into a church, not because he wanted to be close to God but because he wanted to impress the girl. He heard the gospel for the first time. Sometime later, he was sitting his car thinking about the fact that he could die at any moment. He told himself that if there was a God and a heaven, he would not be going there. It was at that moment that he felt like he needed to be saved. In order to do that he needed God to reveal himself and he asked this of God. There wasn’t a specific sign but he felt God’s presence and it changed him. His heart became softened because it had been opened to the reality that God existed. So, he began to learn all he could at God and as he did this, he saw his need for forgiveness, a willingness to obey God and to live his live in the way that pleased God.
My sister once told me that God doesn’t seek us. We have to be willing to seek him. I didn’t realize how true that was until I saw that first hand. Once we seek God, he opens up his arms to us to show us love and forgiveness. I am the first to admit that I have made mistakes but the more I leaned towards God, the more I learned the value of making good honest choices. I even warn my children against little white lies and I practice what I preach. I have always been a horrible at lying but have a stronger faith in God has made me understand the value of honesty especially to one’s self.
In 2011, I learned so much about the person I am today. Having a stronger faith in God is just another part of a bigger puzzle. I had shed many tears last year that I actually thought I would run out of tears. It was those tears that pushed me towards a strengthened faith and while I wish I could change the circumstances for them, I am better for them. Without those tears, I wouldn’t have learned how unique I am. I wouldn’t have learned that the only person I need to be adequate for is me. So, I am adequate even on my worst day. I am proud of who I have I have become and if not for all the lessons I have learned in the past four years, I would not be who I am today.
Excerpt: Her bangs were almost long enough to put behind her ears now, and I tried that but as soon as she hopped out of the van, her hair fell into her face again. Poor kid. She looked like an orphan nobody cared about. I prayed to God she didn’t become one tonight.
Travis Brown was nineteen years old when his daughter, Bella, was born. While his friends were dating and enjoying their teenage and college years, Travis was changing diapers and working hard to raise his daughter – a choice he has never regretted. Bella is Travis’ entire world and he has done everything in his power to keep her safe and fed. However, before Bella’s fourth birthday, everything changes. READ MORE.
We all have events and people in our lives that have such a strong effect on us that they keep us from moving forward. In my life, I have found that if I know that I have to move forward, I eventually do. I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to move forward from a particular person in my life who has only complicated my life. I have tried and I have invested a lot of time (years) into that relationship but it is broken and beyond repair. I know that the only option left to me is to move on.
I have shred way too many tears and I have done a lot of soul searching and the in the end, I know the best resolution is to end that relationship and move on with my life. I tried for a long time to salvage and fix this relationship but in the end, all I felt was worn out.
That relationship did nothing for me but make me feel unworthy. I had this overwhelming feeling that I somehow had control of the situation and I could somehow change it if I were adequate enough. The truth is the only person I have control of is me and somehow wanting to believe that someone can change was holding me back.
I also feared what was ahead. I wasn’t clinging to the relationship because it was good for me. I was clinging on to it because it was all I knew. Fear kept me from letting go but it also hindered me from seeing myself as a person who was smart, wonderful and capable.
I am looking ahead and moving forward. I need to let go in order to look towards the future. I am envisioning a better life without that person. I want to be free to love myself without that person’s interference and a past that hurts. I no longer feel bad about walking away nor do I feel sorry for that person. If anything, I feel bad that I don’t feel bad. I am numb and I am tired. I have cried enough and I am ready to move on.
As I drove into work today, I thought about how fast my boys were growing up. It is like all I had to was blink and today came. My older son is 12, going on 20, and the younger one will be four in September. I was telling my older son this morning, M, to help his brother in the bathroom so that he could get a boy’s perspective at potty training. He laughed and said, “You potty trained me and there was no boy’s perspective then.” I had to laugh because he was right. I potty trained him and he did not turn less boy so what was the different in potty training my youngest, E? The potty training idea got me to think about M being that little and how many years have passed since then.
Having a twelve year old and a three year old at home is a challenge. They are different kids at different stages of their youth. That age gap seems so big now but when they are in their twenties and beyond, the age gap will not be as obvious. For now, it allows me to enjoy with E the things I miss about M being little. It also prepares me for E’s preteen years as I am currently going through them with M.
M is nearly a teenager and sometimes, I want to baby him and I stop myself because I know that isn’t what he wants. We are getting pretty close to the teens years and while the idea of him as a teen leads to anxiety, I have faith in him and me that we will get through the teen years and we will come out stronger as a result. He is getting to the point where Mom is not the person he wants to be around but to ease my fears, I remind myself and him that I will always be here whether he wants me around or not. The days of hugging and kissing and being playful are long behind us. I miss those times but as I have told by others who have raised teens, they are never too old for a hug and/or a kiss.
E is three and going a hundred miles a minute. He is smart, funny, and silly. He loves hugs and kisses and he calls me his best friend. I look at him and I see everything I am and I ever will be. He is a like a tiny version of myself. He is going through the big boy stage and he often sleeps in his own bed, I don’t mind when he decides he wants to sleep in my bed. Sometimes he wants to sit my lap or be carried and sometimes, he doesn’t.
As much as my boys drive me crazy, I remind myself that if they were not healthy, they would not be able to do that. I have been fortunate to have been blessed with healthy children and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. Despite everything I have been through, the best thing that God has given me is healthy children and I am lucky. It is okay that I am not rich or even successful in my profession, I have healthy children and I wouldn’t trade that for all the money or success in the world.
Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia came into my life when I was 32 years old and four years later, everything that I feared turned out to be nothing but fears. I was afraid of disability and I was afraid that I could not be my children’s mother. I fight every day and I keep moving because these are the two things I fear the most. Have RA and fibro changed our lives? Of course they have but I can think of things much worse that make RA and fibro look like small challenges.
Our lives have been definitely challenged. First, it was RA and Fibro. Then, it was huge financial nightmare that has only recently come to resolution. There was also my brother’s cancer diagnosis and his untimely passing. My kids are and were part of all these events and they watched first-hand the effects of these events on my life. Then there were other events such as marital discord that I wish they didn’t have to see. I wished and I continue to wish that I could have protected them from all these events – events that I am fairly certain that my parents would have hid from me.
I remind myself that I am not parents and I made a decision to raise my children differently. I only saw my father cry once in my entire life and the only time I ever saw mom cry was when death and illness were involved. My parents hid their pain, their tears, their disagreements, and their troubles from us. That is what most parents of their generation did and that has not changed. My mom still doesn’t tell us about the issues that affect her unless she needs assistance in dealing with them and if my father were alive, we probably would be in the dark. My kids have an opportunity to see me when I am weak and when I am strong. They get to see my successes and my failures and they get to learn from that. If only parents gave me that gift, it would have my stumbles and falls so much easier to bear. But they choose to protect me to which I am grateful for but even so, I have learned all on my own how to handle life’s challenges.
I know that my boys will not be little forever and every day, I remind myself of this. I also remind myself to treasure every minute of every day with them. Sometimes, when I drop the boys off at daycare, M runs off before I ever have a chance to tell him I love him and that I hope he has a good day. I feel sad that he feels he is too old for Mom’s hugs, kisses and I love you’s and that someday, he will long for the days when he was young and when someone loved him so unconditionally and who wanted to show him daily. When I drop off E, he wants my hugs and kisses but afterwards, he will quickly scurry off to his friends and doesn’t even turn around to see if I am still standing there.
They are growing up faster than I ever imagined and every day, I am taken back by how much older they are getting every day. When my own birthday nears, I don’t think about getting older, I think about their getting older and that makes me sad. I want them to be little but I also welcome high school and college graduations, weddings and grandchildren and while it seems like we are still a long way from all these things, I know by watching my own mother how quickly time creeps up on us. For now, I know that they will not be little forever and I am going to treasure every moment I have with them and I am going to spend every day working on making those moments.