Thursday, May 29, 2008

A good point

Capribaby - a recent commenter - made a reall good point. First off, I think we're probably a lot alike, in that schedules sort of irritate us - or freak us out - one of those. But she made a point about "Time". And it struck a cord with me. I was reading over at Jacob's blog this morning - praise God, that boy's 136 days old! Goodness! What a miracle. And he/his daddy mentioned giving somone a "Jacob hug" today - meaning, that you never know if and when you'll be able to give someone a hug again.
It's like the day that Joshua died I held him a bit after he was gone, but at the time I thought I didn't want to hold him because it wasn't him - and there's a small part of me that regrets that. Granted, it was very strange to hold him - I didn't like it. But he was mine, and after a few weeks it hit me really hard that I can't hold him now.
And while none of us as parents ever want to think about losing our babies, children, adult children - it's possible. And the hugs and kisses and time only happen for a little while anyways. Pretty soon they'll be rubbing our sloppy kisses off and whining because their friends are watching...
I felt like God hit me with a ton of bricks this morning. I heard in my head, "I, of all people, should understand that TIME is more important than getting the STUFF done". Life STOPPED while Joshua was with us. I did a few things, but was never far away from him - in fact I don't think I was away from Joshua for more than an hour the whole time he was with us. I took him to meetings, to church, to friend's places. I led a communications meeting the week before he died, while holding him. And granted, he was the quietest baby in the history of babies, so I can't expect to do the same with Madam Loudmouth (Oce in case you were wondering). But the time element is the same. It's already insane that I don't have a ::baby::, but a toddler. Good grief, she was just tiny the other day right? Then again, the sleep deprivation of having an newborn hasn't ended. Will this kid EVER sleep through the night in her own bed? Ak! Yeah, I know, I should probably be harder on her, but it's difficult to be the disciplinarian when your kid's crying - because of the stuff I mentioned above. Losing her. And losing her is a concern for me. Matt thinks I dwell too much on that stuff, and he's probably right. But I'm pretty sure most moms worry about losing their kids - cars, carseats, standing in the road, walking on the sidewalk and seeing cars careen around a corner, falling off of stuff, etc...

But in all this work stuff - I'm aware that she's my priority. And while I've heard my mother say FOR YEARS that her kids are her priority, and everything else can take a backseat - it's taken me a long time to really believe it for myself. Oceana is my priority. And that means - for me - that if stuff doesn't get done for work or the house, oh well. Coz she's more important. And that means that if something happened to her and she was sick or broke a limb (I have a feeling I'll be THAT mom, the one in the ER a lot....grrrrr) everything else can fall to the side. While I knew that in my head, it really didn't click in my heart until this morning.

So on that note. I know a lot of you have mentioned that you appreciate your children more now than you used to - and that you try to enjoy those midnight hours, because you've seen the heartache of not having them - .... so please, today and tomorrow and forever, enjoy your kids. And if you can, let the other stuff fall away - coz our babies are the priority right? We only get one chance to raise them. One chance to get the kisses and cuddles in without the "Mooooom! Stooooop!". Hehe.

Here's Matt enjoying TIME.
[Please also note, do not give 2 year olds blue highliters. You should see the tights she wore that day. They may never be white again.]

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  1. Dear Susie,

    I love this post and am so glad that God revealed it to your heart in your own time. As moms, and I am now a grandma, our kids are our #1 priority. One chance is what we all get to do it the best we can and it is not easy. My twins, who are now 37 years old, collectively got over 600 stitches in their first 18 years.
    ER was a bi-yearly thing with them. They surfed since they were 6 and many surfboard injuries. Could not keep them out of the water though. It was nerve wracking but they spaced injuries with enough time in between for ME to recover before the next one hit. It is all in a moms days work. You are right to realize that the housework can wait until you have time and kids grow up so fast as you are now seeing with Oceana. And it is so normal to worry about losing her, you are familiar with that one already. Guys tend to move on,(nothing mean intended here) and moms tend to keep it all in our hearts. After all, we carried them in our tummys till they were born:) I think you are doing such an amazing job of juggling life right now and have nothing but praise and admiration for you. Oh and (Madam Loudmouth)!
    You crack me up but I know what you mean. Have a wonderful day and know you are loved. I think of Joshua all the time and pray for you.

    Love and Hugs, Laurie in Ca.

  2. Hi Suzie,

    I remember the day you mentioned Joshua's ‘cele had burst. It was so weird because I was about to go to bed and Lord laid you on my heart in such a heavy way that I stopped and prayed for you there and then, the weird part was that it worked out to the time you mentioned his ‘cele burst (you know with the time differences). I remember not being able to sleep much over those last remaining hours wanting to be there for you in prayer. I remember the morning I read about Joshua's Promotion and thinking, the time has come for me to put my life as a mom on hold to lift another mom up in prayer. I remember after praying, wiping my son's nose for the millionth time that morning and just crying at that thinking of the many "one more" times you will wish you could have. I still pray for you daily.


  3. I just found this poem an posted it recently on my own blog, it really hit home for me and is so true. You have your priorities right, Oceana will not remember the schedules and the clean house, she'll remember the love and attention!
    If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again
    by Diane Loomans
    If I had my child to raise all over again,
    I’d build self esteem first, and the house later.
    I’d fingerpaint more, and point the finger less.
    I would do less correcting and more connecting.
    I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
    I would care to know less and know to care more.
    I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
    I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
    I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
    I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
    I’d see the oak tree in the acorn more often.
    I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
    I’d model less about the love of power,
    And more about the power of love.

  4. I LOVE that last picture of Oceana! It is absolutely adorable!

  5. Susie,

    I have been thinking this for some time, but haven't written a comment because I actually feel...guilty...for benifiting from your loss.

    Because of you and Joshua, I feel like I really do try to make the most of my moments with my little Adele! Everyday, especially on her fussy days, I am so thankful that I still have my daughter, which makes dealing with hours of screaming a little easier. I forgo housework so that I can hold her while she (finally) sleeps...I can work on getting her to sleep in her crib later, right?

    Your story has been such an inspiration to my life! I wish there was more I could do for you to repay you for the profound ways you have inspired me!

  6. Thanks for the reminder. I needed that today :)

  7. AMEN!

    Karen Fahmer
    (Jacob Ryan's Mom)

  8. Looks like she REALLY loves her daddy time! What precious pictures. I totally enjoyed the years I had with my children...sharing their victories and defeats. I used to cry every fall when they went back to school because I missed them terribly. Now I see my son making the same memories with his daughter and there are no words to describe the emotions. All I can say is...ENJOY!

  9. This is a poem I was sent when I first became a mommy. Enjoy!

    Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
    because babies grow up we learn to our sorrow
    So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep
    I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

    Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there;
    Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere.
    For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the door;
    I should apologize, I guess, for toys strewn on the floor.
    But I sat down with the children and we played and laughed and read,
    And if the windows do not shine, their eyes will shine instead.
    For when at times I'm forced to choose the one job or the other,
    I want to be a housewife, but first I'll be a mother.

  10. what a great reminder. sometimes i think i might hug and kiss my little ones too much but then i remember that there is no too much. I realize that one day they will grow up and leave our home (perhaps even go the way of their daddy and join the military and then Lord knows I'll never see them) so you know what while I can I'm going to hug and kiss and smoother them with love.

    And there is nothing... nothing... more dangerous then a toddler with a highlighter. I too speak from experience.

  11. Hey Susie, I am terrible with schedules as well. I am planning on homeschooling next year so it's something I def. need to work on over the summer.

    Anyway, wanted to suggest a couple things that may make things easier?

    Could you leave a few diapers/wipes at work so that you have those things there in case you forget.

    Snacks/juice boxes would be good as well in case you end up with a hungry monster on your hands!

    And how about a box of toys that are for just when she's there. If they're not her everyday toys but *special* toys, they may hold her interest for a while so you can get some work done. Do they have a chalkboard? Since she seems to like to color on everything ;) that might be a way to keep her attention there.

    As far as at home, I have no advice there. I truly struggle every day to keep my house up. I will go for long periods of time where we're all clean and tidy but I get to a point where my feet are tired and I haven't sat down once during the day where I say forget it, it's gonna have to wait. For those times I usually solicit help from my husband and he doesn't complain too much.

    The only other thing I can suggest which makes things a lot easier for my dinners is to get any prep work that you can possibly get done, done during the day. I make many of our dinners during the day and throw them in the oven at night. Or even if it's getting the veggies chopped up or the salad made. It makes dinner a lot easier on us.

    Otherwise, keep at it! I have three little ones (6,5,1) and each time I've had to find the new balance and it takes time!

  12. Susie

    You perfectly summed up the realization I have come to since I started reading your blog. Thanks :) As for the blue highlighter-I feel your pain. my 5 year old had a black sharpie incident when he was two and let me tell you. It was EVERYWHERE. seriously- EVERYWHERE and took weeks to get it all off

  13. True, true, true! Time flies - I soak up every baby hug and slobbery kiss I can get. They will be over way too soon.

  14. I love the blue highlighter pictures, they so sum up the spirit of a 2 year old! Just wait for what's in store, my 5 year old I just caught painting her toe nails on the carpet!