FOUR. FOUR! Four years of wasted time. All because of your ego. Four years of never knowing this amazing little girl. She has no recollection of you. When she pulled out a picture of you I had hidden, she pointed to your face and said “who is this mommy? Is that Uncle William?”
I didn’t lie to my innocent daughter. All I simply said was: “that’s mommy’s daddy and he doesn’t talk to mommy anymore. One day, I will tell you all about him okay. When you’re older and you can understand.” Then her sweet little voice replies: “Okay mommy” (as she puts the picture back where she found it and shuts the drawer.)
See…that’s all you are. A picture. Not even a memory for her. Which makes me happy and sad. Sad because I know she’ll never have a Grandpa. Happy because I would never want her heart broken as much as mine was.
Over the last few months, I’ve really accepted “this”. It was harder for me, I think, in the beginning, compared to how easy it was for you. You were always really good at throwing people to the curb. Friends, family, co-workers, girlfriends, wives…children…now grandchildren.
But it took me some time. My heart wasn’t ready to let it go just yet, despite how much you’ve crushed it, over and over and over again.
I can confidently say that I am at peace. The peace you are at when someone dies.
Yet as you get older, you will realize you will need someone. And that someone will be me, your daughter. Yes, you have other children, but as a parent of two girls who are very different, there’s always that one who has the care-taking heart. The one that is forgiving of all things hurtful. The one that will step up to the plate when all the other children run away from the responsibility of taking care of their dying parent. Wasn’t I always that child?
I was there in moments of your life when you thought you weren’t going to make it through. I was there in the darkest moments of your life when you almost put a gun to your head. It may be hard for you to remember now, as it’s clouded with such hate and envy. But I was the one that stood by you, hugged you and loved you for who you were. Daughters do that. I did that. Even when I knew you were wrong. Even when you were never there for me emotionally, like a daughter needed.
But because your daughter had a voice, every meaning of family (in the real world) meant absolutely nothing to you.
And as I watch my beautiful daughter blossom into this bright, gorgeous little girl, my soul is on fire. She is a true wonder to watch. And I am proud to be her mother. And I am proud to say “I did that” when people tell me how wonderful she is. She teaches me all about REAL, true love. And makes me wonder how you could possibly hate YOUR own daughter (me). Because no matter how pressing things get. No matter how much her little sassy attitude is changing, developing, learning and growing, I cannot even imagine ever throwing her out of my life. No, not even when she’s a teenager and she tells me she hates me and slams her bedroom door. No, not even when she says that I ruined her life or embarrassed her in front of her friends. No, not even when she disrespects me. Because I only live my life for her. In this season of life, SHE (they) are the reason I wake up, get up, get dressed and do my repetitive daily routines. Dance class, PreK, reading, teaching, loving, hugging…each day adds new tasks as a parent.
Teaching her to sound out words. Teaching her to tell time. Teaching her to put on her own shoes (which she’s been doing for a year!). Teaching her to LOVE. Love every one. Every color, every religion, every person. Love wins! And I teach her that love has no boundaries. I teach her that we love everyone.
And that, my father, has created this massive little four-year-old full of wonder, LOVE, excitement, anticipation and innocence. She truly, truly loves life and every person she comes in contact with. She’s so full of sweetness, it’s almost painful.
She’s excited for school. Excited for her first pair of earrings. Excited to have her daddy dance to music in the living room with her. She’s excited to bake pancakes in the kitchen. She’s excited to use all of daddy’s tools with him in the garage. She’s excited to play in the dirt, dig in the flowers, watch the fireflies. She’s excited to ride her bike-all by herself! She’s got so much energy and love and excitement in this life, that it is literally my fuel to keep on going. This season of life is beautiful. God created our lives for this very feeling. Each chapter, each obstacle. He knew what he was doing.
Because no love, from any other human on this Earth, compares to the love you have for your child. None.
Josie will start PreK in the Fall. That gives me this entire summer to “let her go”. Because after that is Kindergarten, then it’s grade school…
This summer gives me a chance to make it the most memorable for her and I both. For her to remember that her mom took the time to read a book to her every single night no matter how late we stayed up, the circumstances, etc. This child NEVER forgets book time. And I created that for her.
This summer gives me a chance to hold my baby just a little bit longer, harder and stronger so I can let her go into this awful, sick and twisted world we live in independently as she so strongly is.
This summer lets me teach her more and more and more about the love that she will need to get through this life.
Josie is the best decision I’ve ever created. She motivates me in my career. She motivates me to love my husband harder and stronger then ever before (you’ll never know the strength our marriage has) simply by watching the love he has for her makes my heart explode. She sees how daddy loves mommy. And she sees how mommy loves daddy. And that fills her heart. Nothing…and I mean nothing is as special as the bond he shares with his girls.
And one day, Josie will read this blog…
And Josie: I’m so sorry sweetheart, but your Grandpa just didn’t have “enough” love. He could only love one person. And that was the person that could love him and give him what he needed-himself. He didn’t have enough love to love you, or me or anyone else.
Social media is good in a sense it allows me to keep all things said and done. Pictures, texts, emails, messages and voicemails. I have them in safe keeping. In the cloud, they say. For if I have to fall back on them, and I will…they are there.
Because in emotional days like today, when your 3-year-old turns 4, you hope and wish more for HER. And that’s it. The few family members she knows she can only count on one hand. All others are toxic and non-existent. Or never make an attempt to see her. Technology makes it really easy now-a-days. We made the decision to restrict those from being in her life simply because we knew that walking out of her life would be just as easy. And we won’t allow anyone to break her heart like that. And if you break her heart, then you’ll have to deal with me and her dad. And that…would not be pretty.
Life is short.
Time is so precious. It really, really is.
You will need me again one day.
And until you do…
Enjoy the things in life that bring you TRUE joy. Whatever they may be.
But the love of these beautiful girls, watching them grow and explode in knowledge…that is PURE happiness and the true meaning of life. My life. I am complete. I am content.
This season of life is beautiful. And it’s unfortunate you refuse to be a part of all it’s beauty.
Don’t worry friends-We totally celebrated Josie’s birthday wonderfully and that will be a post to follow. Cannot wait to share with you all what we did for her. One memorable day for our Princess, that’s for sure!
We were discharged from the hospital on the Saturday before Easter. I thought for sure that we’d spend yet another holiday in the hospital with Juliette. I was determined to go home and have Easter with our little family that next morning. Plus, Easter is now a difficult day for me emotionally, because last year my grandma passed away on Easter. It may have been a different actual date but Easter will never be the same. Especially since she had always made Easter so special for my sister and I as we were growing up.
As soon as Juliette vomited three times Saturday night, I almost took her back in the emergency room on Easter Sunday morning (2:30am). But the doctor who quickly called me back, after I paged him in the middle of the night, reminded me to calm down and be patient and told me that this is all expected and part of post-concussion syndrome and give it time. As long as her neurological assessment was fine, then there is no need to worry. And literally after she woke up and started vomiting, she saw the Easter baskets on my bedroom floor and wanted down to go play with them. So she was most definitely fine in that regard.
Juliette hasn’t vomited since that night and she is on the mend, in my opinion. She’s obviously not old enough to tell us that her vision is blurry, or if she feels dizzy, of if she’s nauseous, or that there is too much stimulation in the room for her little brain. But she does put her fingers in her ears when it is, in fact, too loud or too much for her and begins to get a little on the fussy side. Sometimes in the car she doesn’t like my music on. She likes the silence. But by the Grace of the good Lord, she is healing and doing very well and to me, seems like she’s back to her self. She’s a toddler on the go. She’s back to running and falling, she trips, she falls and she still bangs her head on tables that are her height when she stands under them. I try not to freak out and worry about her “sensitive head”. Because it’s really not all that sensitive. I’m just trying to heal too from all this trauma lately and I try the best I can to back off and give her space. But I also try my best to follow her around if it’s on solid hard ground, but even that, on top of most mom things I do, gets exhausting. I have to trust that she is stronger then I give her credit for and trust that she will be okay, even if she did fall. God gave us one strong little girl. She is a fighter.
Easter was great this year besides both kids were sick with colds (aren’t we always sick on events and holidays?), we had to send Bobby’s dad home early because he was a disappointment (we both said that we should have known better). We spent most of Bobby’s long swap home in the hospital, worried about something constantly, from the health of us four, to his blood pressure, the hospital bills never ending, our taxes were due, the escrow in this community is outrageous, I missed a lot of work (extra pick up shifts I could have potentially worked), and the allergy season is absolutely horrid this year in Texas, which is making both kids miserable on a day to day basis. What is going on with Texas weather ya’ll? One day it’s 85 degrees and we’re playing in the hose/splash pad and the next day it’s 52 degrees, gloomy and cold. And it’s been this way-on and off weather mess for months and months. I always thought Michigan was bad. But this is 200% worse! I am literally ready for hot, desert, non-stop heat and sun for the next few months like Texas is supposed to be. I’m ready for pool days and ready to meet new people. I’m ready to get out of this house!
Although we were up all night long Saturday cleaning up vomit (twice in her crib and once in our bed), we still managed to play Easter bunny and throw together Easter baskets and hide eggs all around the front and back yard. With the help of Jennifer we added some Matilda Jane and the help of Shelby, we added in some Usborne Books. And Liz came by and hid even more eggs outside our house with presents for the girls which was so sweet. It was bittersweet. Just to have my husband home, despite all the recent trauma lately, we made the best of it, took a ton of photos and then rested (all of us) the rest of the day.
I can’t speak for my husband, but the worry about your child, once you leave the hospital, is exhausting and consuming. He sometimes still laughs at me because I still have a baby monitor in my 4-year-olds room. I carry two baby monitors with me around the house when they’re asleep. I wake at every peep, cough, whine and fall off the bed (yes-that’s happened once so far and just a few days after Juliette got out of the hospital with a head injury). Just the other night I could hear Juliette breathing funny so I went into her room and got down close and it just was her allergies and nose sounded stuffy.
My girls started off with a cold (or so I think it was that), and it’s still lingering. It’s been about two months or longer now. It’s just strictly nasal related. No other symptoms. Runny nose, that’s it. And it can get annoying, especially for Josie who keeps asking for tissues until her nose is raw. I’m praying to God no cough sets in because that would mean we’d have to reschedule/cancel OIT again. Yes, we’re attempting to try OIT again but more on that later in another post.
As I sit with her, I remember those days as a kid being miserable from seasonal allergies. Bobby and I both suffered in Michigan. As neighbors, he would come to my house and beg me for some Claritin. I was that kid that missed picture day and make up picture day a lot because of my allergies. I woke up with eyes crusted shut and swollen. My eyes itched constantly, I sneezed a ton and ultimately, in my adult years developed chronic sinusitis that required sinus surgery in January 2017 (the BEST decision I ever made). I just look at Josie as she suffers and pray to God that she’ll grow out of this or that there is some type of relief for this misery. Or that the weather would just make a decision and stick with it already.