Thursday, September 8, 2011

When being a mommy is tough....

God knows I feel like the world's WORST mom 99% of the time.  I can think of at least 100,000,000 times I have failed my child and/or let a sweet moment pass without taking the opportunity to show him he means everything to me.  But for all those times, there are the ones where I will stop EVERYTHING to give him my undivided attention.

In THOSE moments, we share that special mother child connection that no one else in the world can understand.  This past year has been the worst kind of torture for me.  Seeing Alex be separated from his daddy, his best friend.  I never had a great relationship with my dad, but I knew when I met Steven that he would make the greatest dad in the world.  That's part of the reason I married him.

Anyway, to see them apart is torture!  Even seeing how Steven reacts to the separation is tough.  Alex has panic attacks at the strangest times.  We have gone through every emotion you can imagine, Anger, hurt, confusion, sadness, etc.  The good thing is that he never holds onto his feelings.  He ALWAYS tells me how he is feeling and what made him feel that way.  I hope that this can continue until he is an adult...even after.  I haven't always had that open dialogue with my parents, and I want that for our family.

At any rate, the only thing he has never been able to articulate to me is why he can't get things done.  "I just can't" is all he says.  Which, until I understood the real problem, frustrated me to NO END.  "What do you mean you can't?!  We don't use that word!  You CAN do anything if you try hard"  You know what we say.  Then I realized, Alex can not complete thoughts.  He can't focus.  He can't concentrate on tasks!  DUH MOM!  I should understand better than anyone!

(Enter guilt stage left)  Yep, the mom guilt enters and you think, "Why didn't I see this before? Why my kid?"  You know the things we ask ourselves.  But more than that I ask, God why do I have to be so high strung with him?  Why am I so mean?  I expect the best out of my kid.  I want him to be a successful adult and contribute to society in a great way.  I want him to feel good about himself and not have to deal with all the things I have had to.  But at what expense? My child's self esteem?  I hope not!

So, what next?  We met with the teacher, we prayed, we have had doctor appointments.  And mostly, I hug him more.  I stop what I am doing to be with him when he needs me.  I think that God gave me these moments without Steven so I could get out of the Dad shadow and love Alex better.  My mom didn't get to spend much time with us, and my dad well....that's a post for another day.  So I haven't been very sure of myself as a mom.

Alex is the best teacher in the entire world.  He teaches me forgiveness daily.  He forgives all of my mommy mess ups.  He teaches me unconditional love.  He loves me in all of my imperfection.  My kid has made me a better person.  For all the negatives of deployment, there is some good.  It has given me a chance to KNOW my kid.  Not just be with him, but get to KNOW him.  Who he is, what he likes, doesn't like, his funny little quirks.  I'm finding that he is more like me than I ever knew.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with this wonderful kid!  Thank you for the joy of getting to know him and being his mommy.  And thank you for the "You're the best mommy in the world" moments that make all the hard stuff worth it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Whew! This one will make you tired!

So the original intent of this blog was to get out my feelings about deployment and the daily challenges that go along with it.  I got side-tracked by the exercising and dieting and mostly blogged about that.  However, as the last two weeks have proved to be incredibly challenging, I am reminded why I wanted to do this to begin with.  

I am in the middle of packing 5 1/2 years worth of belongings.  We are indeed moving.  Not far, virtually around the corner.  I feel it is important to keep Alex's life as simple as possible right now.  The fewer changes, the better!  But moving and setting up house on my own is much more challenging than I had originally anticipated!  (AND EXPENSIVE!)  However, I'm proud to say that I have set up all the utilities and trash pick up! WOO!!!!

Second, Alex has had SUCH a struggle this year with school!  Last year it was challenging.  This year he is already behind.  The frustrating thing is watching him become so upset and frustrated with himself.  he is such a smart kid, and he KNOWS the answers and what to do.  He just can not seem to focus on tasks!  We are facing a dr. apt. to follow up on his A.D.D. assessment.  

I have heard every opinion there is, but I know what it looks like and I know that when diagnosed and treated properly, medicine CAN help.  I also understand that my child has to work hard as well to overcome this.  So, for all you people with strong opinions one way or another....Opinions are like butt holes.  Everyone has one, and they all stink.  That is all I have to say on that topic!

I went to the funeral home this evening.  A wonderful man ended his battle with cancer.  He strongly resembled (to me at least!) Gene Stallings, and was a perfect example of quiet strength.  I feel for his family, but rejoice that he is in heaven and no longer suffering.  It was terrible to sit in the funeral home, though.  

Not just for the obvious reasons, but every man there, it seemed, had dark salt and pepper hair just like Steven.  They were all about the same height and build and Alex JUST knew his daddy was there.  You & I, however, know that he was not...  Alex FREAKED OUT!  He wanted out of there...NOW!  

I don't blame him.  I can't imagine the emotions of a 6 year old facing the deployment and separation from a parent.  Just a couple of weeks ago, Alex was CERTAIN his daddy was in Heaven.  He sat in my back seat and just sobbed.  "Mommy, I KNOW daddy is in heaven.  Why didn't he say bye!?"  My heart didn't rip, it shattered into a million pieces.  As I held my emotions close, I explained (For the millionth time since Steven left) that Daddy is not in heaven.  He is where he is, doing a job that Alex should be very proud of him for.  

I know this is a very long post, but it helps me put into words these things.  No one, and I mean NO ONE, can truly understand what it is like to be the spouse who stays behind, unless they have been the spouse who has stayed behind.  You don't watch the news because you don't want to know.  You panic when you see a government vehicle anywhere within a 20 mile radius of your house.  There are a million things I could post, but the worst is watching your child struggle.  

As we come upon the 10 year anniversary of that horrible day, I think about how those few men changed the course of history forever.  They changed the future of MY child's life, and of so many others.  I am eternally grateful, that there was another day in history that changed the course of my life.  A baby, born in a manger.  He grew to be a man and died on a cross to save an entire undeserving world.  I know that no matter what this deployment brings, no matter how overwhelmed and stressed I feel, my life is in the hands of the creator.  And HE is going to get us through.  

I have to trust that He knows what's best for my child, too. God knows Alex's future, and He can heal my child's heart.  So tonight I hold him a little closer.  I snuggle him a little tighter.  And I thank God that He holds my child's future, not some crazy men flying planes, not some dr prescribing medicine.  And He holds my future too.  No matter how uncertain everything feels, He has everything under control.