As I watch my almost ten year old son struggle with peer pressure and the need to find his own way in the world of 4th grade adolescents, I am transported back to my own struggle as an awkward 6th grader, a time when I was caught between being faithful to my friends or being honest and true to myself.
I failed at being true to myself—
The room was quiet. Tense breathing and pencils scratching, the only sounds to be heard. As I sat there, studying my own test, I felt C’s pencil tap me lightly on the shoulder.
As I snuck a glance backwards, she waved the folded note in her hand and nodded towards K, who sat in front of me. I sighed. It seemed easy, just pass the note with the test answers to K. I knew they were the test answers because C had told us the day before that she had them.
All I had to do was pass the note to K when C was done using them.
I could use them after K, although I wasn’t much for cheating. My lack of a social life left plenty of time for studying.
All I had to do was pass the note from one girl to the other. Easy. I glanced up at the teacher, she was watching everyone intently. It would take some quick maneuvers to get the note passed. (more…)
A few weeks ago, we celebrated the end of an era. At two months shy of five years old, my youngest finally let go of his overnight pull-ups.
A big deal, I know.
We ceremoniously gathered all the remaining pull-ups and said good-bye to them. Wrapped and waiting for the garbage-man to deliver them to their final resting place, Zachary is proud of this acheivement.
But after 22 years and seven children, this final send-off is bitter-sweet.
Where have all my babies gone? (more…)
Being a mom is hard work.
Being a mom after one of your children has died is indescribable.
I thought the days that directly followed the passing of my eight month old son were difficult. But soon those days drifted into weeks. Those weeks quickly drifted into months. Here I am, over a year later, and it still feels like David’s passing was just yesterday.
I began to wonder if something was wrong with me. There are days I don’t want to get out of bed. There are days that I yell at my kids over silly things they have done. There are days when I feel alone, even when the house is full of people.
Well-meaning people around me thought I should be over it. That I should be beyond the grief that holds me hostage.
In part, I agreed.
Not that I would ever be over it, no one can ever “get over” the death of a child. But the grief that holds me (more…)
Chugga Chugga Choo Choo….Rosie you go over the bridge and drop off the ice cream. Thomas you help Salty move the coal cars. Chugga Chugga Choo Choo. We’ll all meet at Brendon Docks and have a party. Chugga Chugga Choo Choo.
Zachary spends hours each day playing with his trains. On his belly pushing them. Making up stories for them. He doesn’t watch too many Thomas videos anymore, he knows most of them by heart and re-enacts them every day. (more…)
Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling pain with the mistaken belief that you can’t bear the pain. But, you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyondthe pain. (St. Bartholomew)
This is the essence of renewal: discovering all that you are (or can become) after the pain crystallizes in your mind. Decisions on how you want to live your life going forward. What is truly important?
Going forward. How does one move forward when faced with tragedy? It’s a difficult road to navigate, to be sure. I have borne the pain of losing not one, but two of my sons. I am struggling with what’s beyond the pain.