Thursday, August 22, 2013

The other side of the frustration coin

Her cry registered in my mind before I was really even awake. 3am. I clumsily got myself out of bed and ran to her. She was crying. My baby.

When I got to her room, she was sitting up in the middle of the bed, wrapped in the pretty pink comforter she was borrowing from her cousin, and pitifully crying.

I leaned next to the toddler bed, drew her blonde head onto my shoulder, and told her that everything was going to be OK. Her body fell onto mine, limp even more than usual from sleepiness. Addison gives the best hugs. Low muscle tone means that her entire body molds into mine when she lets me hold her close. As she clung to me last night, her breathing slowly evened back out into sleep.

I held my little girl and even though my own mind was crowded with sleep webs, I felt the love and pride that I have for her swell up and make the sleep disruption seem almost like a highlight of the night.

After a while, she let me lay her carefully back down onto the pillow, tuck the comforter closely around her, and watch her so peacefully sleeping once again.

Frustration- gone.

Sometimes I swear my kids read my blog. When I write about how awesomely they are behaving? They immediately start acting out. When I mention something about good sleep habits? They are awake all the next night. When I talk about how nice and healthy they both are? Someone gets sick. I guess I jinx myself far too often in this space. But yesterday? Right after I clicked "publish"- something clicked with Addison. She obeyed me for the first time since we arrived here. It was over something silly- putting a book back where she found it. But to me it was huge.

Frustration comes with the job. With special needs parenting. With all parenting. When I was new at this (OK, I am still new at this- when I was "newer" at this), I used to be ashamed of the frustration. Like I was somehow doing something wrong. Not loving enough. Being too selfish.

But after riding the roller coaster up down up down up down so many times now- I cling tightly to both the good and the bad times. I want to remember the frustrations. When I am sailing along on my easy, normal days- I don't want to forget where we have come from. When I start taking my children for granted, I want to remember the tough times and how amazing a gift it is when things are boringly normal. And so I write about both.

Sometimes I am tempted to sensor out my bad days and only share with you the good. But then I remind myself that this blog really isn't for anyone who might happen upon it and graciously read my words. This blog is for me. And I need to remember.

Yesterday, immediately after writing- something about just writing the words- confessing the frustrations, made me feel better. Your comments, emails, messages, and IG posts further strengthened that. Thank you. And then Addison took it upon herself to be very sweet the rest of the day. Family picnic by the lake. Hike down to the beach front. Playing in the water. Getting more sand on both of my children than we actually left on the beach. Laughter. Waves on my feet. Happy children.
And as I felt my frustrations slip away- I was thankful.

Yesterday someone commented that I was being too hard on myself. Someone else said that I am human. Yes, and yes. Thank you for the reminders, love, and kindness. And to all of you going through similar frustrations? Let's ride this out together. The good. The bad. And the freedom to express both without judgment or fear of being completely alone in all of this.

Because as we all know: motherhood is unpredictable...and yet kind of awesome at the same time.

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