Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on
being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

Anna Quindlen

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Glued Together

It's been an interesting couple of weeks around here and I thought I'd try and sum it up (along with what I am learning) in this post. Apologies for the lengthy rambling.

Our little boys are growing up. Eating us out of house and home (C had 5 pancakes for breakfast and 5 pieces of [homemade] pizza for dinner on the same day), compiling a growing list of childhood injuries (2 black eyes, one split lip that happened while shopping, one split chin requiring an ER visit, brilliantly colored bruised cheekbone, one goose egg, 10 splinters in one little foot, multiple scrapes and scratches and a cut in the bottom of a different little foot - these are just the ones I remember from this month), and exerting an ever growing need for independence at every turn. I have been struggling to keep it all together as Kelly has been working long hours and has been noticeably absent at the most trying time of our day (from just before dinner until bed time). He is such a blessing to our family, a tremendous help and source of humor and strength as well as a welcome distraction (for the boys and I alike) from the routine chaos. We miss him terribly when he is not here. I am feeling a little-no, a lot -crazy in the midst of it. Pitying myself and "single parenting" and then I remember my Aunt Maria and our dear friends in Germany and I am heartbroken for their loss and ashamed of my selfishness. Searching for perspective, wanting (and frequently failing) to be mindful of what is before me I feel the heaviness of the responsibilities that never cease. And I am tired. Tired of being a referee for little boys whose solution to any disagreement is a physical attack followed by the type of screaming that should only ever be permitted in the most dire of emergencies. Tired of sassy attitudes and outright defiance. Tired of the endless questions that have no finite answer and so they continue on and on. Tired from lack of sleep. Just plain tired! This tiredness has been defining me, has shifted and altered my attitude and I am not feeling like the good mommy I'd imagined myself to be. I am not even behaving like the mommy my children need and deserve. My voice is too loud, my temper too short. Yet they love me in spite of my failings (at least for now). And at the end of the day (or after any unpleasant exchange) when I ask their forgiveness, when we talk about our day and the things we should have all done differently, when I remind them that they are loved unconditionally even when mommy is grumpy or when they are angry or unkind we are immediately whole again. This fragile and frequently fractured circle of relationships that is our family can be glued back together (as C says about his chin - held together by Dermabond in lieu of stitches) and healing begins. Cs "glue" did not hold up to the rigors of life as a 3 year old triplet. We had to re-visit his doctor and re-evaluate our healing plan. A reminder that this love and these relationships must be nurtured, this trust must be valued and not taken for granted and this Mommy must get it together while there is still precious time with these little boys who will all too soon grow up and make a life on their own. Mothering is hard work! And it is the best job I have ever had the privilege to do...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Choosing Gratitude

It is with a very heavy heart that I write of a dear friend who was lost to this world on Monday night. He leaves a wife and two small children, a brother, parents, friends. Young and seemingly healthy, this is a shockingly heartbreaking wake up to those of us still living. How much do I take for granted every day? I am ashamed to admit that I am often too busy with tasks to notice that the life around me, the lives around me, are such a joy and a blessing every moment. EVERY MOMENT! We are not promised tomorrow yet I cannot seem to consistently live in today. To appreciate and take in the blessing of this moment. Whatever it may be...sick kids, aging pets, chaos all around. How lucky am I to have these things. How to choose this "attitude of gratitude", to purpose to live in this moment, every moment, to be mindful of my words and actions, my thoughts, my attitude...I am trying to find my way. And remembering to be thankful for the journey.

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. John Milton

Friday, October 5, 2007

One Too Many

The following "day in the life" happened a few days ago - I am just getting a moment to write it down. Much funnier today than when it happened :)

H had a routine Pulmonology appt (he was diagnosed with asthma at 9 months). Kelly was not able to arrange his schedule to be here with the other boys so we all piled in the van and headed to Atlanta for H's check up. This is not something I enjoy. Three - three year olds at any doctors appointment is rough but even more so when two of them know they do not have to be there...we all have a difficult time patiently waiting and I am (and have always been) acutely aware that we are being watched by everyone the moment we enter a waiting room and people realize these are triplets. More on this later. So, we survived the check up, good report for H, lungs are clear and all the boys managed to keep the chaos to a minimum.

From there we headed to the farm for our weekly CSA pick up with a quick stop at Chick fil A (an incredible treat as far as the boys are concerned - probably the highlight of their week if you ask them) in between. At the farm we fed the pony, went through the corn maze, got silly on some hay bales and had a great time. And then we began the drive home (the farm is a little over an hour north of our house).

I keep "to do" things - items to be returned, exchanged, mailed, etc. - in my car at all times. It's easier than trying to remember to bring stuff with me when it might be a convenient day to take care of it. On our way home from the farm everyone closed their eyes (not me) for a much needed cat nap. We'd had such an uneventful day so far, and all was quiet as I approached our exit so I made an executive decision to continue down the highway a bit to a nearby sporting goods store where I needed to make an exchange. I thought the boys might enjoy exploring all the sports equipment and I'd be able to check something off my perpetually growing to do list. All was well as we entered. As expected, the boys were very excited to see the basketball goals, football pads, baseball bats and kayaks. I found what I needed for the exchange and everyone was happy. And then I made a rookie mistake...I decided that while everyone was happy, I'd do something for myself - GASP! I've needed a new pair of running shoes (not that I actually run) for awhile. We headed to that section of the store. The boys sat down on a nearby bench, I supplied everyone with cars from the stash in my purse and I turned to speak with a sales associate. As I began to explain to her what I was looking for I heard the scream that every mother knows means trouble. Turning my attention back to the boys, I saw B holding his mouth as he alternately cried/screamed and was able to determine that C's head had collided with his mouth as they were both running after their cars (these head on collisions happen at least once a day at home with varying degrees of injury). I asked him to move his hand so he could show me where he was hurt and the blood started spewing. Let me say here that I am not a very reactive (to injuries anyway) parent. I do not panic, I do not have a weak stomach and I almost always determine that a little ice and a hug will be all that we need - we are rare visitors in our doctor's office. This was no different than usual except we were in a very big store, very far away from the bathrooms and I had three little boys dispersing in different directions while one was screaming in hysterics with blood all over his hand and face. I somehow managed to drop my things, get everyone together, grab all hands and head across the store to a bathroom. Funny observation - in a store that was full of sales people looking to help me just moments before suddenly not one employee was anywhere to be seen. Through every department we trekked, up an elevator, into the bathroom where I placed the two uninjured boys against the wall and told them in my very serious, mommy means business voice not to move an inch. Poor B was still in shock about all the blood on his hand and though it was not hurt at all wanted most to wash it off. We managed to clean him up and determine the usual...a little ice and a hug would be all his fat little lip needed. But I learned a lesson that day. One I should have figured out in 3.75 years of life with triplets. Sometimes one more thing is just one too many and as sure as I think it'll be fine, we are bound to have an unforeseen adventure to laugh about later - once the horror of poor judgement has passed.