Saturday, December 1, 2012

Highs and lows of motherhood

I'm laying next to my (finally) sleeping Tillie here at 3:33am in my parents' house. Aaron has been gone for the past week back to Texas and now Illinois for a work trip, otherwise, he would have been my tag team guy tonight. Thankfully, my mom is here and was my right hand gal.

It started out as a great night. We went to Pizza Factory (who doesn't love their twisty bread on a stick?!) with Lizzy and my parents. Had a good time. The big kids were hyped up, but that was to be expected from a 4.5 and almost 3 years old. Benson was a dream and slept through dinner (but did cry to and from the restaurant. Again to be expected from a 2.5 month old).

Once we got home, my dad wanted to watch a Christmas movie with the kids, so I gave them quick baths before the big movie. Lizzy was super helpful and was trying to get Cal's diaper on while I bathed Benson, but Cal kept messing around and kept kicking her away.

After the movie and I put them to bed.  I was exhausted and they didn't want to go to bed. After about an hour of back and forth in and out of my bedroom and theirs, I was feeling irritated. Unfortunately it took me over an hour to realize that Cal just needed to be held and loved. Luckily, my mom figured that part out sooner than I did and had asked if she could go rock Calvin in the rocking chair.

Eventually, I took him and laid in bed with him. He held my arm tight with both hands so i wouldn't leave.

A little while later, Tillie started throwing up several times and then had diarrhea... she held on to me so tight too.

I hated seeing her pale face and little hands shake and not know what was happening to her little body. It was heart breaking.

Then Cal woke up with a major leg ache. I think it is growing pains. Poor boy was sobbing and wanted me to hold him. He wouldn't release his grip from my arms to wipe Tillie's bottom. Ha! That part was fun.

I'm not writing this to have sympathy. I'm writing to back up my theory that EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE HELD & LOVED SOMETIMES. Whether we're hurting physically (like Tillie was) or struggling emotionally (like Cal was earlier in the night).

Maybe that's why I enjoy coming back home to Utah, bc I see people who love me. People who really know me. People who have a history with me. I see people who don't just know the late-20-something version of myself, but they knew me as a kid, others knew me as a teenager, others as a college student, some I see knew me as all of these.

And seeing these people, even though I'm not physically touching them most of the time (hey, I've never been a big hugger), they are "holding and loving" me by their concern, their questions, and their validation. Does that make any sense at all?

I've always loved the book Fanny's Dream about a farm girl who was waiting in her dad's field for her fairy godmother to appear and take her to the ball to meet the governor. The fairy godmother never showed up, but a sweet farmer man named Heber did (i've always liked that name bc my grandpa was Elmer Heber Johnson). Anyway, Heber asks Fanny to marry him, she reluctantly agreed and said, "i don't do windows..." Anyway, life moves forward and years later, crazy events like their house burning down, and a few kids later, the fairy godmother finally shows up out of the blue and tells Fanny she can go to the ball, but Fanny declines bc she's so content with the life she has now.

It's ironic, bc currently Aaron is in Illinois doing CE workshop and also had a big "formal attire" work party. We had talked about me joining him, but the timing and logistics of it all didn't make sense for me to go. I won't lie, the idea of dressing up in "formal attire" sounded exciting, especially when I think about my life these past few months consisting of no showers and spit up from a certain baby all over my clothes.

But, as I saw Aaron's pictures he texted to me from the big event, I was glad that I was there with my kids on this crazy night. (Oh, and trust me, Aaron is no partier and definitely would have chosen to be here with us too). I like to think they needed me and I was happy to be there with them.

So, moral of the story: I'm like Fanny (and it turns out that I have a large fanny (double ironic!)).
Also, I'm now a psychologist that has determined that EVERYone needs to be held and loved on occasion. Truth! So, in this season of giving, might I suggest that we look to find those who might be needing a little extra love and find out how we might best fufill that need. I, for one, plan on holding my kids more often... Especially Tilli and Cal. It's funny, bc babies require you to hold them often to calm them down when they are fussy. Big kids and I'll venture to say that adults are probably the same way. They/we just "fuss" in a different way.

So, there you have it. Life according to Melissa. You get what you pay for.
Good night.

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