I’ve been a mom for close to 19 years. Almost longer, but my first experience with motherhood was a miscarriage. Oh, I know…eeew ick. What a shitty thing to blog about.
Anyhoo, In my 19 years of parenting I have experienced the following scary things:
- Day one-heart defect (just mitral valve prolapse, but still shitty for a brand new mom, esp when a friend of a friend had recently lost a baby with at heart problem)
- 9 months, 1st born dislocated elbow by husband who leaned over our son not noticing the baby arm in between the couch cushions. Hubster DID however notice the sound similar to a car backfire followed by baby screams. (We still seldom speak of this, the Hubbs ages 5 years min. every time we do-parent guilt sux).
- BHS-1st born, (around 9 mos probably from the whole arm dealiio). That is AWESOME! Seeing your kid cry so hard he becomes silent, stops breathing, turns bluish & right before passing out, remembers to breath. Fun times for a new mom.
- 2nd born colic
- 2nd born pneumonia at age 2 (requiring 2 ER trips since our dr at the time thought he just had a virus)
- 2nd born diagnosed with “Profound Speech Delays” at age 3, requiring 2 yrs of therapy.
- Mommy hemorrhage 1 week after the birth of 3rd born. (older bro still in dipes & on a bottle, newborn strictly on the boob, oldest bro still managing his pull ups & mommy in complete denial because she has boys to freaking feed, hadn’t shaved her legs in over a week & going under general for the stupid hemorrhage dealie just wasn’t a good option).
- 3rd born admitted for “maybe meningitis” at 7 weeks ...that is freaking awesome seeing a new born get a spinal tap.
- 3rd born admitted for 4 days with rotavirus at 12 mos old.
- 4th born “maybe brain tumor” at 9 mos. As well as “Wilsons Disease”, “Addison’s Disease” and epilepsy. (The Addison’s disease possibility was so weird since her name is Addison).
- 1st day of kindergarten for 4th born after moving to Tucson from KS 3 weeks earlier, took full on header on the tile. ER trip, cat scan, concussion, puking up blue marshmallows all night. All 4 kids missed their 2nd day of school in our NEW city. I swear it took them all year to recover from missing day 2 of school.
- 3rd born, approximately 5 mos after moving to Tucson got hit by a car while riding his bike at age 9. It was the evening of our 1st Thanksgiving in Tucson. If you ever wonder what the worst words a mother can hear, I can tell you 8 of them: “Tamara! Myles (insert your kid’s name) just got hit by a car!” yelled through the window preceded by OMG’S and running foot sounds.
All of the above things worked out just fine. My kids are healthy, smart and well functioning kids. No disorders, no disabilities etc. I think they are happy and I know they make me proud every day in some way. They aren't in wheel chairs or impaired. In fact Breath holding heart defect boy graduated HS a year early & is at UA on an academic scholarship. Colic boy is honor roll every time in hs. "Maybe meningitis bike vs.car fail boy" has more friends & muscles than I can count and "maybe brain tumor girl" is honor roll every time & smart beyond her 12 years.
I’ve lost a lot of sleep over the years and still have a few bad dreams about the above scary things that happened to my kids and have often wondered what the hell it was all about.
BUT my aha moment came after all these years when a teeny tiny girl with a flower tattoo on her foot asked me a buncha’ questions or made comments like “Why are you so accepting?” “You are so supportive of your kids, you never make them feel bad blah blah blah." I had never thought of myself in that way until someone else shined a light on it; like pondering air or something. *click click click* Who does that unless it’s gone?
That’s when it ALL clicked for me! Like the last piece of a puzzle, or that last number on your locker combination. All those scary things that made me (& my husband on occasion) cry or scare us to death regarding our kids is WHY we feel the way we do about them. It’s not a matter of how perfect they are or what they accomplish (however, we think they are brilliant, funny, well mannered, & beautiful just sayin’). We are just so damned grateful for every breath they take. Each day they are alive, is a day worth celebrating for us. We’ve been close enough to KNOW this with each one. All those bent knee prayers begging for mercy, understanding, strength & knowledge suddenly fell perfectly into place….DUH.
Not to be too sappy. My kids have certainly thrown us a few curve balls over the years and challenged the shit out of us. But to look at all the bullets we have dodged over the years, I will take a curve ball straight to the face ANY day compared to the alternatives.
Free Advice: Always listen. Always be open minded & willing if not eager to learn no matter your age. I got an answer to a question today that has haunted me for almost 20 years, simply by listening to a teeny tiny brilliant little girl with a flower tattoo on her foot.