If you were anything like me, a few months ago I was agonizing about what choice I would make when it came to sending my son to preschool or not. Both my husband and I work, so while we could balance who is home when, we knew our son wouldn’t get the attention he needed, the friend interactions he desired, and the outdoor experiences he craved. I know there are many of you out there who are doing so many versions of home school, virtual school, or even a hybrid of in person and virtual, and I want to tell you, you are doing wonderfully.
A Bucket List.
Do you have one? Is it something we all should have? Do you even know why they call it a Bucket List? I recently found out that the wonderful list we all aspire to, that list of the things we want to do before we die, is actually called a bucket list because we are supposed to complete the list before we “kick the bucket!” Maybe that is obvious to everyone else, but for some reason, hearing the term “kick the bucket” became way scarier to say than just the things I want to do before I die! I do not want to be kicking any bucket ANY time soon.
Would you do it?
We hear it all the time. We believe it to be true. But most of the time, we don’t do it. Flight attendants remind us of this on every flight we take, “Put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.” We are supposed to take care of ourselves before we are able to effectively take care of others, but I wonder, would I do it? Would I put my oxygen mask on first before assisting my son? I actually don’t think so.
I’ve been home for too long
I recently confessed in my previous blog that I do not like to do imaginative play with my child. I know, maybe I shouldn’t say this out loud, but then again, this is exactly why I should say this out loud. I have been home with my son nearly every day, all day, since March 12. When the real news of the Coronavirus came out, I called his Cardiologist to see if he was considered high risk for severe complications due to his congenital heart condition, and when her reply was uncertain, I became uncertain. She did a wonderful job explaining the importance of taking all precautions, including keeping him away from sick, coughing, sneezing toddlers, but I had to laugh at that. He goes to school, kids are sneezing, coughing, eating boogers all day long. How do I keep him away from this and keep his hands out of his mouth or off of his face, he is 2 years old? The answer was simple and clear, I pulled him from school.
It’s great to be a mom, truly it is.
There are so many amazing moments when I stop and look around me, see the drawings my son made hung proudly on the refrigerator, feel him snuggle in my arms, and hear him say he loves me, unprompted. In those moments I think, yes, this is why I became a mom. This is what Heaven on Earth must feel like. I take a deep breath, breathe it in so I don’t forget it...and then... the moment passes. In the blink of an eye because literally a moment later he jumps down and starts screaming for no apparent reason at all. “Do we have any more cookies? No? No? Nooooo!!!!!! I WANT MORE COOKIES!!!!”
It happens more often than not. Something gets out of control and I feel like I am in crisis mode. It may be too many sleepless nights. Too much screen time. Too much sugar. Too much “mom, mom, moooom.” And then I hit a moment of “something has to change. I need help. I don’t know how to fix this.” So I look to my people, my online tribe, and I search for books, blogs or podcasts that can tell me what to do. I sign up for them and as I’m waiting to read, listen, or for the class to go live, I all of a sudden know the answers.
Oh how I miss those days. You moms out there remember them, right? The mom parties? The parties that started as soon as your baby/toddler went to bed about 7 or 7:30pm and you knew you had at least 3 hours of interrupted time? I LOVED those predictable days. I would typically grab a glass of wine (or the bottle), a bag of chips, and put on Fixer Upper or This is Us, depending on if I wanted to laugh or cry. Anything to just be alone in my moment and get my emotions out, to no one but myself. In those days, my husband would either still be at work or working in his office so I knew it could be my party. I could watch anything I wanted, wear sweats, and just be me. Not a mom. Not a wife. Not a milk factory. But just the emotional mess I was...it was glorious. And then he “grew up.” Mom parties came to an abrupt end one day and I found myself saying, “those were the good ol’ days.” My how times change.
“Mommy, is the Coronavirus done yet?” These were the first words my son spoke upon waking today. This question is now so ingrained in him that before he asks to go anywhere or do anything, he asks if the Coronavirus is done. In a few ways, so smart on his part. It gives him a chance to decide if he will still ask if we can go somewhere, knowing the answer will be “no, but let’s add it to our list of places to go when the world is healthy again.” Or it gives him the opportunity to be creative and ask if he can do something that is in our home already. In another way, it breaks my heart that his little world has been turned upside down in a matter of weeks when he has only been alive a few years.
If I had to describe my Bliss it would go something like this...I would be a Mompreneur, working from home on projects I love: writing, photography, adding content to my podcast, creating at home movement programs to help parents who have kids with mobility challenges, meeting kids in nature, and helping kids of all abilities connect through experiences and empower them all to go confidently in the direction of their dreams. I would do this from home, while unschooling/world schooling/natural homeschooling my son in the most integrated way possible. I would find a rhythm in my home that included family movement (something like yoga), outside exploration time, adventure days, family meals, dance parties, and just living in harmony. I would find the best integration possible where we are all free to choose and collaborate how we make money, what we spend our money on and how and where we spend our time. I just never knew I’d have the opportunity/be forced to figure this out due to a pandemic and the government closing down schools, work, travel, and basically everything considered “non-essential” to life as we know it.
For the first time since her passing in November, my dear friend Maddy visited me in my dreams. She was dressed in ACUs and I was helping her pack her car. She looked beautiful as ever and I apologized to her for not doing something to save her life. In true Maddy fashion, she said, "don't worry about it." I could tell she even meant it and continued to let me know that she was doing ok. I think it was her way of telling me that she is in Heaven, and truly, she is ok. I want to live in that dream forever where she is still alive, but since I can't, I decided to post the eulogy I wrote for her. The world needs Maddy to live on forever, so if you have the time, take a moment to read about this wonderful, beautiful person, who continues to let me know she is ok, even in Heaven.