Today I lost my community. My imaginary friends. The people who I had become close to, shared in their joys and sorrows with, over the last 5 years. I lost it because my political views don’t align with theirs. 

And that hurts. My views have been different from theirs all along, and I’ve just scrolled by their posts, rolled my eyes and moved on… but I wasn’t rewarded that same courtesy. 

I had left a lot of the groups anyway, but knowing they’re talking about me hurts. Knowing that they’re dispariging me because of religious and moral views I hold dear hurts worse. I never tried to change their minds. I just viewed the world differently. I viewed the world logically, at least to me. 

And I can’t go whining to anyone, because they are who I would whine to. It was a toxic environment, and I know I’ll feel better in a few days. But tonight…. tonight I’m sad.

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Moving on 

I cried tonight. For the first time since your birth, I cried about that first day. A stupid movie, that had nothing to do with birth or anything similar triggered it. I don’t know why. But I cried. 

I cried because your birth was so stressful. Because I was so scared. Because the unknown was so fierce. I cried, because I missed that magical first hour with you. That hour where I counted your fingers and toes, memorized your ears, marveled at how perfect those little breaths felt on my neck. Where I nursed you for the first time. 

I cried, because the first time I touched you was tainted. I cried because I can’t remember that night without remembering that awful nurse screeching at me that I was only allowed to touch you during certain times. I cried because of how hurt, and how incompetent she made me feel. In a night filled with every fear emotion, she should have comforted me. I cried because she made me feel worse. 

I cried because I’m still broken. You are 5 1/2 months old. You are almost 4 months adjusted age. But I still wake up in a panic at night, terrified that I’m bleeding. I still lay awake at night, even with you sleeping beside me, because the terror is still there. I am still scared of a pregnancy that is long done. I am broken. 

You are a high needs child. My sweet baby B. My darling mommy’s girl. I don’t worry about our connection. Even with 12 days of hell, you’re here. You’re nursing as I type, another milestone I worried we wouldn’t achieve. I cried in the NICU, terrified we wouldn’t get to nurse. I thank God every day that you are thriving. 

I’m not healed from your birth. I’m not healed from the pregnancy. I’m not even remotely close. I feel like a shell some days, and like a ticking time bomb on others. I need to get my life together. I need to give my girls stability. Order. Cut down on the chaos. But I don’t know how yet. I’m not there, yet. 

But B… oh baby B. You. You are perfect. You are our miracle, and you are perfect. 

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When everyone is asleep…

Sometimes, when everyone is asleep, it’s peaceful. 

Sometimes it’s anxiety ridden. 

It’s hard when it’s quiet. Your mind races, you think of what ifs, and what you should do. You plan, re-plan, and then forget it all by morning. 

When your husband is snoring beside you in bed, and you’re up contemplating how you’re going to pay your electric bill. 

When you regret your night out, but don’t regret it at the same time. 

Why is it always finances that keep you up at night? Why can’t it be butterflies? 

Sometimes the quiet is wonderful. Relaxing. Intimate. Sometimes it just drives you mad.

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Stillness and quiet are all that I crave. 

In the loud, boisterous, messy long days. 

My mind is muddled, I cannot make sense, of the noise and the movements and the chaos it brings. 

The yelling, the dishes, the TV turned up. The singing, the questions, the talking all day. Little flat feet, slapping the floor. Bodies in motion from the time they awaken, until I shut their bedroom door. 

Yet, late at night and in the earliest hours, I lie awake. I have stillness. I have quiet. But I can’t sleep. 

I miss the laughter, the shrieks, the cries. I miss the wet kisses, the hand rubbing my face, the demands to be held and the sweaty, sticky body that climbs in my lap. 

I think, in that stillness, of the days to come. The days of a house that will always be quiet. Because those tiny children. Those babies. MY babies. They will be grown. They will be gone. My house will be clean. My house will be quiet. And I’ll be stuck in the quietness. Trapped in that stillness. 

I want to creep steathily through the house, and sneak into their beds. Hear their quiet sighs, feel their sleep damp heads on my shoulder. But the baby needs me close, so I resist. But I still find myself lost… Lost in the thing I desire most during the day… Because at night, it turns into my fears.

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You are rarely still. You run, you climb, you play all day long. Even when you climb in my lap, like you do a hundred times a day, you are always moving and talking, a bundle of energy. 

Naptime is your only repreve. You take my hand in your tiny one, and we walk to my bed. I put you on the bed, then lay down with you. With a soft sigh, you snuggle in close. Your head on my arm, I can count your eyelashes and see the green flecks in your hazel eyes. Your voice softens as you continue to babble. I whisper I love you, and you respond “You too.” 

As your eyelids get heavy, I love to watch your eyelashes brush your cheeks. So long, coal black, with the perfect curl. Your exquisite little hand rubs my arm. Your breathing slows, and your eyes stay closed. 

Sometimes I get frustrated with how long it takes you to fall asleep. I have things to do, I’m hungry (and don’t want to share my food), or you’re restless. But I try to soak in these moments, to soak in these snuggles. You’re almost two. I know (believe me I know) that these days are numbered. I want to soak in these curls that stir when I breathe, these tiny little legs that are curled so cutely, this small body that fights to be as close to me as possible. 

Today I’ve struggled a lot with being patient, and remembering that although you look like a toddler, you are still a sweet baby that needs her Momma sometimes. As I struggle to clean and pack, you simply want my attention. You want my touch. You want me.

And darling girl, darling Ellie.. I desperately want you, too. Even when I’m tired. Or busy. Or frustrated. I want these snuggles. I want these hugs. I even want the temper tantrums. Sometimes I just have to pause, to be still, and to remember that.

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I remember…

I remember the last time you picked me up and carried me. Maybe it’s the fact that I was hurt, or maybe it’s because I realized I was to big to be carried, but I vividly remember it. We were at a neighbors house, raking leaves for her, and I was jumping in the piles. One pile was, unbeknown to us, over a yellow jacket nest. I jumped in, and then started screaming. 

I don’t remember the look on your face. I don’t remember much else about this day, but I remember you scooping me up and carrying me the twenty or so feet to your old blue pick up truck. I don’t even remember where I was stung, or what Miss Lil was saying or doing, but I remember you driving us back next door and then carrying me in your house, where Mamaw and Mom were. 
That’s where the memory ends. But I remember (or at least I think I do), the shirt you were wearing. I remember the feel of it under my cheek, drying my tears. I remember being shocked that you were carrying me. It must have been a long while since you had done so. I know that your back must have ached after that. I know your arms must have been sore. But you never complained.
I remember odd things. I have a hard time remembering your face without looking at a picture, but I can picture your bare chest and back, riddled with scars from a war you fought overseas. I can see your muscular arms, with a year round farmers tan. I can picture your glasses and your hair. In my memory, whenever I think of you in general terms, I see you sitting in your living room, a guitar on your lap, strumming and singing away. 

It’s hard, this remembering. It’s painful that I don’t remember much. And the memories themselves are painful, and usually come with tears, because of how much I miss you.

I wish you could see my girls. I finally gave you the blonde haired, blue eyed granddaughter. And boy would you have loved her. I can just picture you drawing endless animal requests. Singing to them as they host a dance show. I’ll try my best to teach them the songs of my childhood. Sometimes it’s just hard to sing through the tears. 

Thank you for the gift of music. Thank you for the love of music. 

I love you, Papaw. And I miss you so.

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Best intentions

Sometimes life just gets in the way.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer. A writer of what, I’m not quite sure. But writing has always had a part of my soul. Maybe it’s just the books that I love so dearly that pulls me this way. Maybe, like one of my college professors said, if you have a story, it will one day be told. It will worm its way out, until you get it down. Maybe that’s what it is. Or maybe it’s just a part of my soul. Maybe it’s what God has in store.

I know, however, that right now I am in the trenches. I’m in the trenches of…well, life. I’m the mother to three beautiful girls. One is almost 6, and on Wednesday we dive headfirst into this homeschool journey. One is 3 and a half, and never stops moving. Every picture of her is at least a little blurry. And one is 20 months old,  only four short months away from her second birthday. She is loud, vibrant, opinionated, devilish, and delightful all at the same time. On top of our homeschool journey-to-be, I own my own business, we have soccer practice, and my husband is rarely home from work before 9pm. We are so deep in the trenches that our thighs are muddy.

And really, other than maybe a slightly cleaner, more organized home, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Okay, maybe I would make Ellie be every so slightly less daredevilish. Turning around to find her standing on the kitchen table when .05 seconds earlier she was hanging on your pants is a bit of a scare. But I know it’s a phase. I know I’ll look back on these days in the trenches with a smile.

One day, the story that lives in me, the story that has been slowly simmering for 10 years will get out. It will get written down. Until then, I’ll continue to wash these muddy clothes, and I’ll continue to try to appreciate the trenches. Maybe, just maybe, I need to tell another story first. Maybe it’s simmering because I’m not ready to tell it yet. Maybe something more important needs to come first.

Sometimes we have plans, and then life happens. I started this blog two years ago. There is exactly one post before this. While that post still rings hauntingly true, there was so much more I could have said in those two years. But life got in the way.

I’m hoping that I can get in lifes way, just a bit. To have something to look back on fondly in years to come would be nice. To preserve the memories, and not just to facebook, would be a blessing. But beyond that, to express myself somewhere where someone other than a 5 year old would hear would be heavenly.

Here’s to hoping it doesn’t take me another two years to write again.

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