These Little Moments

These days, my life is so complicated. It’s hard to take care of everyone. When we decided to have five children, my grandparents were in relatively¬†good health. I had no idea that I would be taking care of them and a toddler and newborn (the other kids take care of themselves, for the most part). At least I thought I had a couple of years or so to get everything straight. I was wrong. So, now, I’m doing the best I can.

Normally, life is hurried, but manageable. When the kids are out of school and able to stay with the babies, I do a little more for my grandparents than on normal days. I miss my babies on those days and end up more tired. Often they are on their own for supper or it’s take out.

I have been at my grandparents for 8 days straight. When I am there, I am there for several hours. They like me to stay because they are lonely. Sometimes it’s just a bad day and it takes me that long to talk my grandma down from the ledge. I try to enjoy those moments because I know the moments I have left are limited. I have had nightmares about these days since I was about eight years old. I wish I could enjoy these days more, but when I could enjoy them, I didn’t–at least not like I should have.

Today, was my first day at home since December 29th, 2012. It was also a school day for Nora. Today, for hours, it was just me and Cason. It was time to spend time with him. Cason doesn’t talk much, but he has so much personality and he is so loving. I also try to make time to write. I sat down for a few minutes to write before we went to play pirate ship. He jumped up beside me on the couch and asked for my phone. He has decided to stop saying “please” and uses grunts with outstretched hands to relay his request.

I giggled at his new tactics and allowed him to take my phone. I haven’t done that much since he cracked the screen not that long ago. I found a musical game for him to play and let him go. He started off sitting next to me. Then, he leaned on my arm. He moved again, and again until he was laying on the couch on his belly. His feet were flopping up and down, kicking my arm. I was supposed to be writing, but instead I watched him play that game, flopping from one spot to another.

It seems silly to just watch him move from one spot to another, playing a game. Maybe it was silly. Whatever it was, it made me smile. I completely forgot where I was in my story that I was writing and I just enjoyed that tiny moment. That tiny moment makes me remember what amazing creatures we are. It makes me take notice how our growth and development is to be marveled. It also made me remember all of my other children that came before him and how quickly they have grown. Slipping away from me faster than I could have ever imagined possible.

While my life is busier than I had planned, even chaotic sometimes, I wouldn’t trade it–not for anything. These little moments are what keep me going through the hard times. They are my sanity and make me remember exactly what life is about. Life is little moment after little moment. If we lose sight of that-if we forget to treasure that-then we have missed out on life.

Don’t forget to enjoy your little moments.

Never Before-1999

Randy and I went through a very rough period. I felt like I had grown up. Like I had given up all of me to be a wife and mother while he slept, worked, and played like we were still 18 and kid free. I tried talked to him about it. I tried talking, I tried screaming, I tried throwing things, and I even tried ignoring it. Nothing, and I mean nothing worked.

One day I just told him, we had to be done. We had to separate or he had to change. I knew full well I could end up a single mom and miserable. Since I already felt like one, I figured it wouldn’t make too much of a difference. He was very unhappy about my decision. His way of dealing with what I told him was to ignore it, just as he had done all the conversations before.

To drive the point home and maker sure I was prepared if this lead to a life apart, I got a full-time job and put Kayla and Brendan in day care. Kayla still carries that scare today. She hated every second of it.

Getting that job really drove the point home. He was remorseful. He wanted to turn things back to the way they were. He hadn’t noticed how unhappy I was during that time. Even though I was practically shouting it from the roof tops! I guess it was easier being blind to how unhappy I really was.

I wasn’t giving in this time. I knew he hadn’t wanted to change before. I didn’t believe he really wanted to change now. I think he just wanted to be comfortable again. That wasn’t enough for me. I guess maybe part of me wanted him to stay uncomfortable, too. I know I had been for so long; it was his turn.

I kept trying to get him to actually move out. I wanted him to see what life would be without me. I guess, if I am being honest, I wanted to know what life would be like without him. I guess I probably did want some freedom. I had gone straight from my parents house to his house with a baby. That is a lot to wonder about. A lot to soak in. And, at some point, your mind wonders: what did I miss?

One night he came home early for work, which scared me. That is never a good sign. He was in tears, literally. He told me he was a mess at work. He was a machinist at a metalizing company. They would spray metal onto parts and he would machine the parts back down to specs. He worked on aircraft parts mostly, but did some parts for NASA as well. He had messed up a couple $50,000 parts because his mind couldn’t stay focused. He was afraid he was going to lose his job. He also was afraid of losing his life. He felt unstable, like he could snap and take his own life.

Those words scared me. That is never what I wanted. We started talking. We talked and talked. We talked and cried together for over six hours. It turns out, how we were raised conflicted with each other and created some huge misunderstandings. We told each other things that were unpleasant to hear. For the first time, we were acting like adults and we were very honest.

That was the turning point. That is when I knew we were salvageable. We could be us only better. We could be the us that I had dreamed about.

We put a halt to all plans of separation. For the first time in a long time, I let him hold me until the kids woke up the next morning. We only got a few hours sleep that night, but it was the most restful sleep I had had in years.

I was tired the next day, but somehow, I had plenty of energy as I walked on cloud 9 all day. I knew the worst was behind us. Even though I knew we still had plenty of work to do, we were going to be fine.

While he slept before work (he worked nights), I wrote this….

Never Before

Never before have I ever felt

So safe and loved

Never before has anyone let

Me come before them

Never before have I wanted

Something so badly

Never before has being alone

Felt so scary

Never before had I felt I had found home

Until I found you.

February 23, 1999

Times are rocky still, but after long talks that last the night through,

I feel much better.  Better with each passing day.

Oh, it’s so cheesy, but what a glimpse into what I was feeling then. I find it amazing to view my old writing.