Monday, February 20, 2012

How to deal with those really challenging moments

It's 4:50 am, and my son is spitting up bloody mucus. All over the crib, himself, and probably on me too. He's crying hysterically, turning bright red, gagging, and clearly in lots of pain. He stares at me, tears rolling down his face, with that look of, "Please save me," but I have to grab cloths and a decompression tube to clean out his tummy from all the toxins in his body. That's what helps him feel better the fastest.

And I'm tired. Fatigued. Exhausted. Especially because I myself was up vomiting the night before and had a fever all night long. One of those stomach flus that's been going around. On top of all this, I also started a new job two weeks ago. So I've been going through the typical mommy guilt and anxiety around leaving my kids in someone else's care. All day long. With not much of an idea of what's going on, and not much time in the day to check in.

And trying to keep up with it all. Making sure the kids are doing well. Making sure I'm doing well. Making sure work is going well. Making sure the house doesn't fall apart in the meantime. Oh yeah, and I'm married too, by the way. Fun, you ask, rest? Ha! What's that? The blog - once every two weeks - my therapy.

And I'm trying so hard to focus on helping my son at now 4:55 am. And I'm wondering, well, actually, I'm crying, "How are we going to get through this?"

And then I look behind me to see how Aria is doing. And she is staring at Ethan and me through her crib as she usually does when he has a bad episode, pacifier in mouth, and smiles from ear to ear when she sees me looking at her. I smile and give the moment a motherly, "shhh, go back to sleep, sweetie". And then I look back at Ethan, and he's kicking and smiling.

All better. The moment has passed. Time for me to clean up and try to get a few more minutes of sleep before getting up to get ready for work. I crawl back into bed - not really sleeping - until the alarm goes off.

I decide to e-mail my friend, a very spiritual and insightful person, in the early AM, and after a recap, I ask her: "How am I supposed to not go crazy from all of this?"

She must have written her reply while I was getting my breakfast together, "I think this is a lesson in stripping ego. Approach each moment with love."

I sit down with my yogurt and fruit. I also sprinkle in some flax seed and gluten-free granola. And I'm thinking, "How am I supposed to approach a 4:50 am nasty vomit session with love?"

So I respond to my friend, truly seeking her perpetual wisdom, and she says, "Honestly, I have to be authentic with you. I have no idea. I'd be annoyed."

Our situation has even stumped my friend who is one step away from enlightenment, and I go about my morning routine feeling miserable. Finish breakfast, brush my teeth, and go up to get the kids ready for the day.

And yes, I'll admit: I'm grunting, and I'm complaining - on the inside - about everything.

And then I see my kids. And yes, I'm sure you already predicted: They're smiling. Playing in their cribs. Happy to see me. And I can't help it. I just can't help it. Despite my misery, I smile back. And yes, actually, start singing songs. And chatting with them about whatever it is I chat with them about. Usually I give a running commentary on what we're doing. But sometimes I talk about how the cow goes "moo" and the train goes "choo choo", which is my son's personal favorite. And sometimes I sing sappy tunes for Aria, because they make her eyes sparkle.

I take them downstairs and start their breakfast until our nanny (who is great, by the way) shows up. And I'm sure you are thinking: I'm not going to feel bad for a person with a nanny. And I'm not asking you to. We need her. And where there's a will, there's a way.

Our nanny, a deeply spiritual and religious woman, rings the bell and after taking one look at me, asks if I can take the day off to rest. I can't. New job and all, I tell her.

And then she tells me that she's going to pray for us. She is going to pray for me. She is even going to have Aria bless me.

And then she says, "Do you want to know what makes me so successful at what I do? Why I have such a gift with kids?"

I'm listening.

"I approach each moment with love." There she said it. Exactly the same message my friend told me an hour or two before.

My heart got so warm and full of love in that moment. Is a message being sent to me from a Greater source? Could be. I know so. The coincidence was too real, too soon, too exact, and felt too good to hear - to not think it was a special message sent to us from Above.

The message: Even those seriously crappy moments, that seem to have no redeeming quality at all, can be approached with love. Must be approached with love. Are to be approached with love. Not sure why. Not sure how. And not so sure I'm supposed to be able to analyze it. Cause that's just what it is. And I knew I had to share it.

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