Thursday, May 3, 2012


Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit a reader.

transmundane (good one!)...

There are lots of names to describe her and her abilities.  There's also lots of skeptics of her and her abilities.

This particular reader, Kate, just seems so natural and sensible.  She seems to have a gift to be in touch with something/someone that I cannot, for whatever reason, see or hear or even begin to comprehend.  Her words feel like a message I was meant to hear --- one that I needed to hear.

There is no turban and gaudy jewelry.  No hocus pocus.  No witchcraft and wizardry.

Just Kate.  Normal Kate.  Easily-could-be-my-friend, Kate.

She said a great deal on Saturday and some words have stuck with me more than others.

You are doing a good job --- don't doubt that.

Stop feeling sorry for him; he's no longer in that life.

Let him be who he is.  Back off and stop being an overprotective parent.

You are helping him to be the person he's going to be versus the person he could be.  

How does she know exactly what to say?!  Are these statements so general that anyone could be given them and feel better about the situation they are in?  I may have paid for a bunch of crap and complete hogwash.  Maybe I've been filled with false hope and a whole pack of lies.  I choose and hope to believe that there truly is something more and that every once in awhile that something more and average, mundane me connects.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Beautiful Moment

I adore these pictures. 

I want to hold onto how these pictures 
even became pictures in the first place. 

To anyone else it may look like a glass filled 
with water and dandelions.

How ordinary.

However, this is beyond the ordinary.  

It's extraordinary.

These pictures fill me with hope.

Through Pinterest I've found an interesting blog that's honest and real and has completely captured my attention - Overcoming Myself.   This unknown blogger doesn't just have one post that speaks to me, but rather her site is filled full of knowledge and understanding and in many ways looks like my life.  

...We are heart healers, which is so hard to be when we ourselves are broken.  Our hearts are broken, too...often by the same children we are trying to heal. 
....We've been the recipients of abuse, emotional and verbal and physical.  We've had to turn the other cheek, put up a brave front, treat others the way they would want to be treated even though they refuse to do the same for us...
...We have good days and bad days.  Days that we feel like we can change the world, make a difference, and days when we wish the world would swallow us up.  End the turmoil of our lives.  We are filled with guilt for the damage we've sometimes allowed to fester by not being perfect moms.  By being selfish.  By being human....
...You are not alone.  I understand exactly how you feel....You are not a horrible mother for how a damaged child has changed you.  Good days and bad days aside, you are and always have been one of the special, the few.  The mommies that haven't given up on beautiful even though it's covered in ugliness, even though you sometimes wish you could run the other way.  You have allowed yourself to be put into a place where God can use you to do miracles.  And He will, if you let Him...

I'm stuck in a funk of what we parents of traumatized kids call Compassion Fatigue.  I know what my older kids went through as babies and toddlers, I have a pretty good idea of what caused them to be the way they are, but their endless annoying, disrespectful, controlling behavior is blocking all of that out right now.
Frankly, I want them to just knock it off and act right. 

But just like my tiny teething baby, I have to remember:

I need to forgive them; they aren't being controlling on purpose.
Their brains just don't work right.
They're sick.

And when all else fails, it helps to visualize them as crabby, droopy-eyed, fevered little babies, crying their hearts out for someone to pick them up and comfort them.  Snuggle them.  Love on them.  Care about them. 

When they were babies, there's a good chance that no one ever came.  And that makes me sad....makes the compassion flow a little easier, when I think about them being sick or teething or hungry or cold or wet or dirty or scared and crying out in vain.  Left totally, completely alone to comfort themselves.
When deep down, all they really want is their Mama.

It's Hard to Hug a Porcupine -

...RAD kids are like porcupines, they seem all kind and gentle,

Until you try to love one you don't know they're temperamental.

As soon as you get close to one, to love, to be a mother,

The prickly porcupine comes out; they'll fight you like no other....

Coming across this blogspot was such a find for me when I really needed it.  Although her mommy-hood and life is different from mine, her words resonate deeply within me.  She dares to be completely honest and truly give a glimpse into the daily life of loving a child who struggles with attaching and being able to love back.  

Please know that Anthony HAS improved in so many ways!  He has come so far and it's so promising to see the growth that he has made.  We have come a long way in four years and are so thankful for the positive changes that have been made.

However, his mad is still there.  And it's that mad that takes over his body and explodes from him that causes so much hurt.  It's a daily challenge.

That is exactly why this picture, these flowers and this moment is so completely treasured.

Last week we had two beautiful days.  On one of those days Anth was outside with daddy while I was getting supper prepared.  He came in all excited Come here, mommy! and gave me two dandelions that he had picked just for me.  

Of course I beamed and thanked him feeling his good mood and seeing the true Anthony that exists inside himself.

Before going back outside he turned and said I love you, mommy with a huge smile on his face.

It was at that exact moment that I wished I could freeze life, keep all the hurt away and just bask in the normalcy of this beautiful moment.  

It turned out that I didn't need to freeze anything.  Anthony repeatedly came in that night with more flowers and more love.  

It felt wonderful.  It was a needed reprieve.  It makes me want more.    

Underneath all of that hurt and pain, our Anthony is there.  I am thankful there are moments like this when we get to see him for a whole night.  It fills me with hope that someday he'll be free from all the pain and the mad.

A's Photo Shoot

The world according to Anthony.
This is what you get when a little boy takes over your camera and starts an impromptu photo shoot around the house.

We LOVE Cousin Time

Damon and Manda's metal business - Twisted Metals - has really taken off and they have been busy working out in their shop every day to keep up.  (Click on the link to find them on facebook and check out their creations!  If you "like" them you could be in the running to win a cute garden stake!)  Several of their shows they go to happen to be in our area, which is the bonus for us.  They've already stayed with us two weekends and there are more weekends of cousin time in the upcoming months.
It's fun to see Anth and Ash play together.  They both love to be OUTSIDE and doing something so it works out well.  It's equally as fun to get to see Miss Tai Tai as she is ever changing and growing. She's quite the snuggler and just oh so cute.
Can't wait for our next weekend in a few weeks!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Easter 2012

We celebrated Easter this year at the Tuttle's house in Grand Rapids.  It was nice to have it a day earlier so we could actually enjoy every one's company and not have to worry about celebrating quickly and then rushing home to do laundry, buy groceries and get ready for another week of work/school/Renae's house. 

Even though it was a rainy/colder day the boys still had fun playing outside and finding lots of fun things to occupy their time.  The annual egg hunt was a success and eating the treats was the bonus as always.  Later on Uncle Airwick took them on a walk on the nearby trails and the boys had a great time being out in nature.

Miss already-three-months-old Taitum Jane was a sweetie pie as always.  She got lots of lovin' throughout the day as everyone was willing to hold her and spend a little time together.  What she didn't like at all was her new Easter basket.  Whoever decided to put her in it for a photo was downright crazy.  Sorry, Miss Tai Tai!

And it wouldn't be a celebration without something crazy happening.
Oh, the squirrels.  Clearly little boys named Anthony just cannot resist going squirrel hunting...

Did you see that, Ash?  Why don't you go get it?  Here, I'll give you a little push...

 You don't want to help me?  That's okay.  With Uncle Damon's shoes on I can do this on my own...

No squirrels were caught or harmed, but he sure had fun trying!
Got to love the mind of a five year old boy!

Our Neighborhood

I remember moving into our house when Desperate Housewives was just starting up and we were watching it every week.  I remember thinking it would be fun to get to know our neighbors and have neighborly get togethers (minus the scandal, sex, murder....).  

That never happened.

Our neighborhood is fairly quiet and for the most part people/families do their own thing.  After seven years of living here we know a few of our neighbors and very rarely do we ever hang out or do something together.

That's all changed in the last month, though.  Our neighborhood has come alive all because of the Bubsa Boo and the power of wanting to play.

I have to admit the first time he went over to his friend's house to play I was beyond nervous (and Mark was laughing at me).  Have we properly taught him how to cross the road?  What if while they're at the park a stranger comes up to him?  Is he saying please and thank you while playing at a friend's house?  What if he gets hurt and I'm not there?  Will he make good choices?  Is he being a good friend?  How well do we really know his friends' parents?  Will Anth be safe?

Again, Mark was shaking his head at all of my nervousness.  He knew Anth was ready.  He knew that playing with friends in the neighborhood is a good thing.  That's what he grew up doing in his own neighborhood as a boy in GR.

Three weeks ago Anthony and I went to his school to have hot lunch together with all of the other will-be-kindergartners next year.  While we were eating and talking and enjoying our date it hit me.  My Bubsa Boo is not my little Bubsa Boo anymore.  He's getting so big and so grown-up.  There's so many things he can do on his own and he's learned so much these last two years in preschool.  I was choking back tears as I realized he's ready for this.  All of this.   He's ready to enter kindergarten next year.  He's ready to play with friends in the neighborhood.  He's ready to have a little freedom and be in situations where he needs to make his own decisions.  

I was the one who wasn't ready.  I want to hold onto his toddler-hood a little longer in an attempt to make everything right/better/healed first before he moves onto the next stage of his life.  I wasn't ready to give all that up, but I need to be.  

He's so ready.  He's there.  I guess this mommy needs to do some catch-up and get into the next phase of his life too with the knowledge that everything will be okay.   It's a good reminder that it's all in God's time.  Not mine.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Clinging to Hope

"Hope is a miracle drug. When we allow in even the tiniest microscopic speck of hope that things can get better, it generates in even the most wounded heart the energy to begin the long, slow, bumpy journey back." - Wendy Keller 

Lately we've had more downs than ups.  The daily barrage is painful, exhausting and so very sad.

There's always hope, though.
Hope for happy moments, carefree days, a healthy Bubsa Boo.

All of his words, his actions show his pain.
The pain gives me a glimpse into his story --- the past trauma.
It makes me cringe.
He didn't deserve this.
No child does.

So I keep loving.
I keep smiling.
I keep giving.
I keep trying.
I keep caring.
I keep being mommy.

I can't give up.
Even when the days are hard.
I don't want to give up.

I'm still holding onto it.
My miracle drug ---- hope.