I lost it today. It was a subtle loss. No one noticed, I think. No one shared in the grieving process with me. I am only sharing here because I feel it has to be said.
I think of motherhood as an exquisite experience not for the faint of heart. Everyday my children are on a journey. We may only move several inches towards our destination, but at the end of the day, we sleep with our hearts full. We accomplished the today. Today, my heart is heavy.
Matthew has not been sleeping. He may have his night/day mixed up. He may want to play in the middle of the night. His seizures may be wiping him out causing a longer than normal midday nap. None the less, our sweet boy is not a sleeper.
This morning was the annual ECI Christmas party. We have never been able to make it to one of these events due to sickness, doctors, etc. So, today we went. My sweet friend was gracious to let us tag along with her, and I was excited about an adult conversation this morning. Matthew, however, had other plans.
He woke up a bit early. He seemed to be in a good mood up until it was time to eat. Then all bets were off. He screamed. SCREAMED! For hours. We gave him a suppository this morning, hoping that would ease some tummy pain he has been having. It did the job. It also resulted in projectile diarrhea all over my pants. Luckily it was before we left, so I was able to change. Nothing like smelling like poo in public!
He cried his gut wrenching cry all the way to the party.
Take a vivid journey with me on the party.
I have my two children in a dirty double stroller. Yep, forgot to wash it before this morning. My sweet girl apparently did not want to wear her socks. She threw them somewhere in the car only to be discovered later when returning home. Matthew refused to do anything but be held. I sat in the back of the room holding both children, covered in drool and humbled.
I don't accept help well. I chose this life. We were blessed with these children. I don't feel sorry for myself. Today was no different. I kept it together through my arm that had gone numb and my pants that were falling down. I know its too glamorous. We made it out alive and fully dress, aside from the missing socks.
My friend and I, being brave or naive, decided to stop at the mall. Here I am again with my dirty double stroller and my sockless daughter. We did well for a whole two minutes. Matthew needed comfort. He needed to be on his belly. He needed to be home.
Here is where I lost it. He screamed and screamed. Three little old ladies in a store had to come and check on him. They wanted to make sure he did not need medical attention. Yep, totally serious. One young girl asked me if it was normal that he screamed in his sleep. FYI~he wasn't sleeping. Because the majority of his vision is in his lower left field, he generally looks as if his eyes are closed in public. I get the "aww he's sleeping" statement a lot!
I wanted to run out of there. I did not need pity. I needed an extra hand. I needed a gentle encouragement. Pity does not look good on me. It clashes with my eyes, and I have made my peace with that.
But on the way home, I began to feel as sorry for myself as the four mall ladies. Maybe I was not strong enough to venture out into public. Maybe I was a sad vision for people to see in public. I saw the stares while we were eating. The public doesn't understand Matthew. They also can not stop staring at Autumn's feet. Apparently, pity takes over, and they can no longer look me in the eye.
Matthew screamed all the way home. He finally fell asleep on the couch, on his belly, in his home. My head, however, has been racing. I cannot allow other people's opinions of my children or our life affect us. Our kid's deserve so much better.
They deserve a mom who will take them to the annual ECI party without socks and a dirty stroller because she wants them to see Santa.
So beware: Do not feel sorry for my special children. They have so much ability despite their disabilities.
And I will no longer be attending any pity parties!