Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mistakes

I think we were finishing up brushing her teeth. A long day behind us, I’m sure. Both of us tired with a million things running through our heads, I assume.

She turned to me, and with no warning said;

“Mom, sometimes I make mistakes. Then, I think about those mistakes later, and I feel weird all over my body.”

I hugged her!

Hard.

Then, I dropped to her level, looked straight in her eyes, and with the utmost sincerity said; “me too, my girl!”

Photo by Studio K Squared
We proceeded to talk about those mistakes. We talked about how they make us better. And, how we really can’t learn without them. And, we talked about how hard they are, and how weird they make us feel.

This is a big one for my girl. For me.

Because I’m not really at peace with my daily mistakes either. In fact, if I’m being honest, I immediately wondered what mistake I’d made that would lead to her putting so much pressure on herself.

So, I asked her to report back to me about her mistakes the next day.

She returned home from school proud to report back to me about the mistakes she made. We high-fived and celebrated the fact that mistakes are gifts - lessons tied with a messy bow.

The gift she has given me is the time to reflect on my own mistakes and truly learn from them. How grateful I am for her profound bravery to put her emotions into such meaningful words.

This girl, I tell ya, keeps teaching the "teacher"!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The After

It’s been a little over a year since we discovered Weston’s coconut allergy. And, not quite a year since we eliminated dairy from his diet. To say we’ve seen vast improvements in his sleep, well-being and behavior, is an understatement.

When I share the story of Weston’s health challenges for the first two years of his life, I’m always met with the comment; “did everything get so much better after you figured it out?”

And, the answer is; “yes!”

But also; “no!”

You see, after the hundreds of up-all-nights, the thousands of questions to the doctor, husband, friends and family, after we started sleeping again, after Weston started smiling more than he coughs, and after everything didn’t seem so hard, I realized I was changed.  


The After. Thankful our little guy is happier and healthier. Photo by Studio K Squared

And change is hard.

Last year, around my birthday, I woke up after only a couple hours of sleep, and I stayed awake for almost four hours. For no reason. Just awake. In a panic about how I would feel the next day with so little sleep. I’d been there {exhausted} before. Hundreds of times. For good reason. Because I was up all night with a sick child. But this wasn’t for a good reason. I just couldn’t sleep.

Then, it happened again a few months later. And, again, a few months after that. Then, once a week for many months. And, finally, many nights in a row.

So, I began to do an inventory on my life.

I noticed an electricity in my body at the mere sound of a cough. A physical reaction to a noise that had caused myself, and my family, so much pain.

I noticed relationships I once took for granted. Cracked. Strained. Not what they once were but not something evolved either.

And I noticed myself still in overdrive. Still regimented in my activities. Trying to control the uncontrollable.

Did life get so much better after we figured out what was causing Weston so much pain, and our family such heartache?

Yes!

But also, no!

Because, I’m learning, my friends, in the after, you’re left with the remnants of the trauma you’ve experienced. These remnants, they're gifts. But, it's up to you to find their place with the new you. 

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