One Day at a Time

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I have a feeling that last night was a hint of what is coming. I haven’t had a sleepless night in quite a while but last night seemed to go on forever. This is the second night in a row where I was awakened by nightmares that sent me into complete panic.

On Monday, we drove four hours to take my daughter to college orientation. I guess that’s where the reality of her leaving really took hold. I walked around this intimidating campus choking back pain as I realized this would be her new home. No more checking her bedroom at night to make sure she was safe and sound. No more rides to Dairy Queen or meeting her for lunch in the middle of the day. The world as I knew it was about to come crashing down around me and like it or not, I was not given a choice or time to adjust. 

My heart is heavy. I am grieving for the little girl I am desperately trying to let go of. I don’t always recognize this new face or the body that is the same size as mine. Wasnt it just yesterday that I was singing Barney songs and taking her to the park in that beat up red wagon? In my dreams, my fear is in control so I make the decision to stay awake. I wrestle with so many thoughts I cannot control. How will I stand to live in this house that will feel so empty? What will life be like without her in it everyday? My eyes are tired and the answers escape me. I need sleep but it still won’t come. One day at a time I remind myself as I crawl out of bed drained and weary. One day at a time is all I can handle. I may not be able to take on months at a time but 24 hours is something I know I can tackle. 

Appreciate your life as it is today. We live in a constant state of change and we have to embrace what is right there in front of us each and everyday. 

A Painful Silence

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My mom forwards me some really silly things on Facebook Messenger. Sometimes I stare at the screen and ask myself, why in the world is she sending me this? The last few days she hasn’t hasn’t been feeling well and my messages have become eerily silent. Sometimes we don’t realize how much something means to us until it’s gone. Every time she starts to get symptoms again I get really scared. Her health has been a challenge the last few years and it’s never going to move back in the other direction. I know she won’t be around forever. None of us will but the thought of someday not being able to talk to her on the other end of the phone everyday fills my heart with a pain that is far too deep for words. Tonight I am reminded that life is precious. We have to love people while we are fortunate enough to have them around to love. We have to make the call to say you matter, you are so important to me. Life can change in an instant and we have to have lived and loved enough to always be prepared for the most unexpected scenarios. Reach out to someone and let them know you care. That is the greatest gift you can offer someone…your time, and attention, your affection and your appreciation for having them in your life. Put your time into the people and things that really matter. Make every minute count.  

What I Have Learned From Being A Parent

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Seventeen years ago, this very day, I gave birth for the first time. The pain I experienced that early morning was nothing compared to the pain I feel as I watch my baby girl learn the hardest lessons in life. I never imagined how embedded our lives would become. I feel her pain in my deepest core and her joy makes every fiber in my body dance. There is nothing quite like being a parent. Some days are so difficult I don’t know how I will ever get through them. Other days warm my heart enough to keep it beating on even the coldest of days. So what have I learned about parenting in 17 years? I have very little control over other people. I can do my best to set an example and hope my children will follow in my footsteps but at the end of the day, I have no choice but to support them when they choose their own path. I have learned that I don’t necessarily have all the answers and sometimes my kids are actually smarter than I am. I have learned to be open to ideas that once I would have never considered. I have learned to accept there are many types of people and sometimes my children see something in someone that my eyes would never recognize without their guidance. I have learned that parenting is the hardest and most important job I could ever have and giving up my career to make sure I can do everything I can to help them transition into caring, decent human beings who will contribute to the world in the most positive way is worth more than any amount of money in the world. The funny thing is, I think I learn more from them than they could ever learn from me.

Here We Go Again

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The anxiety is starting to reach a level that I am finding difficult to handle. Tomorrow I have a meeting with the Director of Special Services and a new principal and the stress of having to go over and over this with new people year after year is starting to take its toll on me. I am at my breaking point spending endless hours trying to help my son at home and being on the receiving end of backlash from the school the entire way. I actually reached out to the Office of Civil Rights and the lawyer on the end asked, why have you waited so long to file a complaint? I didn’t even have to think of an answer. The truth is, I thought all teachers cared about students. I really in my foolish heart believed that teachers would do whatever it would take to assure their students would be successful in school. Boy, I was so wrong. Even when by law they are required to provide certain accommodations, there are a few that will resist on every level. So how does the school react? They attempt to change the words in my sons 504 to protect these same teachers that refuse to meet the accommodation. Are you kidding me? Is protecting a law breaking teacher more of a priority than doing everything they can to make sure a child learns? I guess I didn’t believe anyone could be so cruel, so uncaring that even when you ask for their help, they will not give it. I am so naive when it comes to people. It is hard for me to not expect the best in them because I could never act that way myself. I am a parent and I do whatever it takes to help my son because as a mom, I know I am the one person in the world who will always have his back. I am sad and broken and trying to ignore the palpitations that keep me up at night. I will continue this fight because the support from many of you gives me the strength I need to carry on. Wish me luck tomorrow. I will give it one final shot and then I am left with only one other option. It’s time to move in a different direction.

Before My Eyes

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Today was cold. I actually dragged my Uggs out and dusted them off to wear on my feet. It’s easy to not notice the things that are obvious and staring me right in the face. When you look at something day after day, the changes are so subtle that they often go unnoticed. We went to the outlets today to get the kids some winter clothes. Today that in between stage came to an end as my youngest moved out of kids clothes and into men’s clothes. I had to notice. I couldn’t miss that one. The clothes are so much bigger on “that” side of the store and I stood there shaking my head wondering, when did all of this happen? My youngest, my baby, in men’s clothes. Look closer. Don’t miss the changes that are happening right before your eyes. Find a way to ignore the distractions and pay attention to what is really important. Someday you will look back on this day and probably wish you looked a little closer. Start now. Do it today.

Is This How You Define Break?

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We are spending our last two days of so called fall “break” doing an extensive research paper on Kilauea volcano. I say we because having a kid with ADD does not provide for hours of dedicated attention span and requiring the paper to be done APA format makes it even longer and more intricate to complete. My daughter is in 11th grade and has never done a paper in this style. It would be nice if there was time in class to work on these papers and to make sure the teachers actually taught and explained what APA format entails. Where do they think the kids learn? The parents of course and here’s a newsflash. We didn’t have computers back then. We didn’t have to figure out how to cite something because there is no author or because it came from a website with no author. Give me a break. We never had to submit our reports electronically or add pictures using a computer that have to be certain dimensions. We could write the report, tape on the darn pictures, carry it to school and physically hand it in. Pardon me if I am technologically behind and I barely know how to turn a computer on. It’s tough times for us parents who are generationally behind. How can we help our kids who can’t seem to help themselves? It really gets under my skin. Really, a break means just that, a break, no work. This has really ruined everyone’s weekend. It just doesn’t seem fair.