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Thursday, May 31, 2012

GBE2: Self

"Do you ever cry?" I was asked out of the blue one evening by the woman who was trimming our sons' hair. Almost instantly, she was embarrassed. "I mean, how's that for a personal question, huh?" she asked, laughing nervously.

She was right. It was personal, but I wasn't offended. I guess it was a question overdue. We'd known her for years and yet I had not once discussed our children's disabilities with her.

In the beginning, I was defensive. I didn't think our children's physical and developmental diagnoses were anybody's business but our own. As time passed, well, it was all quite obvious, wasn't it? After all, at these appointments, I never sat. Our older son was either bolting out of the salon, tearing down displays or grabbing at electric clippers.

Forget about having to pin him down in the chair just to get his hair cut.

Surely this woman noticed that our older son did not speak while at the same time his brother spewed every fact you didn't want to know about every topic you didn't want to hear, all while standing way too close to your face.

I can only imagine how we appeared to her, year after year as I struggled but never mentioned a word about the reasons for our struggles. I guess she just knew. Yes, I'm quite sure she'd always known as she quietly trimmed their hair and talked pleasantries until one night, out of the blue, she'd lost her filter and asked me, "Do you ever cry?"

"I used to cry a lot," I answered honestly.

Once a young mom to a toddler and a newborn who were both receiving Early Intervention services, I was told that I needed to grieve for the children that I would never have.

That thought offended me. I loved my children. They needed my help, not a grieving parent. So, I removed myself from the picture and focused on what I needed to do to help our kids. I had to. Their future required the work of a thousand men.

The tears silently spilled as I went about my day. I wiped them away quickly and moved on. And then, realizing that I couldn't let our children continue to see me do this, I began to steal away.

I cried in the shower.

I cried in the front seat as I drove our older son to preschool.

I cried when I went to bed at night.

Behind closed doors, the tears spilled. I wiped them away and moved on as quickly as I could, insisting that I was fine, until eventually I realized that, clearly, I was not fine.

In an effort to be strong, I was the picture of weakness. And, I was teaching this lesson to my children.

One day, I sat down amidst the chaos in our home, and I cried openly, reclaiming a spot for myself in this crazy life of ours. And, in doing so, I found that, in time, I didn't need to do it as often as I did at the start.



This entry was written in response to the word prompt "Self", issued by the Group Blogging Experience 2 (GBE2).

23 comments:

  1. I understand why this prompt was difficult for you, Amy. I know you are not a "let me tell you about me" kind of person, but every tale you share about the boys is a picture of you. T and W are developing and growing in such exciting ways because they have you in their corner, always and unfailingly there. Not to say that you never fall apart or think you can't do this one more moment, but to say that in spite of that, you DO more and LOVE even more. You have a right to cry. You have a reason to cry. I would say more for the frustration of the world not accepting and not understanding your children's needs or your needs more than grieving the children you aren't going to have. I find that understandable, but useless in a way.
    Grieving a life you dreamed of is an exercise in futility, but celebrating the life you do have is much healthier and motivating. I believe that is what you do.
    I also believe you are a giving and devoted human female. One who knows no limits, but exhaustion. Pure physical exhaustion.
    Excellent post and though you may not be satisfied, I believe it is perfect. ♥

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    1. Jo, you should have written this entry for me! Ugh! Thank you for all you have articulated so well.

      I think it is important for parents similarly situated to know that we all cry...maybe we all struggle with crying. We don't want to wallow in self-pity but sometimes the frustration of the moment is there. In the early days, wow, I denied and I CRIED. lol.

      Now my kids know that if I cry--which isn't so often-- it is a rough patch rather than the end of the world. That alone is a good lesson for them.

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    2. I agree and you share so well. Your life is full of good lessons for the boys and sometimes for you, as well. ♥

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  2. I am always so touched by your honesty, Amy. Very glad you decided to tackle this one after all.

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    1. Thanks, Tara!

      Oh, sure, I'd love to say that I've handled this life perfectly, but I haven't. Here's one example.

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  3. yes God is going to have a very large bottle for all of the years my husband and i have shed through the years and still do

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    1. *Blush * The feeling is mutual! BTW, this sure was a challenge, Miss Bethy!! :P

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  5. this made me cry....................

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  6. p.s. (another chapter my friend) :0)

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  7. And there is nothing wrong with that; however, the question was beyond nosy and inappropriate. Thanks for the visit.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. I didn't mind the question. She is a kind person, and we'd been around her literally for years. The crying...yes, my own hurdle. I felt it was a sign of weakness and self indulgence. My mistake.

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    1. Wow! Thank you for admiring me even when I faulter, as I did here. Thankfully, I saw a better way to handle things.

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  9. Did I tell you I love you, Amy? If I didn't... well I do *hugs*

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  10. Amy, never feel bad for crying. Crying is our God-given means for cleansing the soul. It is a necessary process for dealing with life's challenges. You are one of the strongest women I have ever seen and totally amazing at how well you handle your life. Your boys are very blessed to have you. XOXO

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    1. Tag, you're it...if you choose to participate. Please see instructions on my website.
      http://myviewthroughkateyes.blogspot.com/2012/06/tag-youre-it.html

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  11. Amy, thanks for your honesty. After cancer, i cry all the time even for dumb things, I am so affected. I used think I was stronger not to cry, now I think crying makes us more real.

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  12. crying is a release not everyone can allow...it is like a safety valve to make eyes leak and a bit of tension subside...always best followed up with a laugh but not always available either...it is a more pleasing release laughing in a different way...well done for realising being real is important to teach our children...

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