Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Here I was, on the verge of the greatest announcement of the year (and no, it doesn't have anything to do with new babies), and it all went crumbling under.
I was so proud, so elated, so relieved that this entire winter our entire family survived without getting sick even once.
And then my husband had to go and ruin it for me.
How he came about the nasty cold that he has is a mystery to me. After all, I am the one who works in a hospital, and have been surrounded with kids sick with every bug under the sun since December. He, on the other hand, works in an office with roughly 10 other people, none of whom, to my knowledge, are under contact or airborne precautions. And yet he is the one sounding like an 80 year old elephant with a defective trunk.
It never seizes to amaze me how even slightest presence of an illness kicks your whole life right out of its equilibrium. There is just that feeling that something is not right, the house is messier (and not just because it is littered with tissues), everyone is in need of a shower, a hug, and a cup of something steamy.
Even though I still don't have the symptoms, and Joseph has only exhibited a mild variation of what his daddy has, it is as if the entire house, walls and kitchen cabinets included, is suffering.
I don't like this feeling.
We are trying to power through the runny noses and coughing, employing everything from nose drops to throat syrups, from teas to honeys, which are all excellent helpers with just one major drawback: they taste nothing like bacon or green chile, and thus have to be mostly forced on our daddy and husband.
I hope it passes soon, so we could return to normal sequence of sleeping and waking hours, venture outside on some big or small adventure, and get the stench of dayquil out of our clothes.
Meanwhile, I am off to make some tea and cozy up under a blanket with my sickies.
Don't sneeze, everyone.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


On Tuesday night I came home, swallowed cold dinner, and climbed under covers with my pajama'd little man who was sprawled across the bed, his blanket kicked off to form a mountain at his feet. He slightly moved in his sleep, barely startled by my intrusion, and as I slightly kissed his forehead, almost inaudible "choo-choo" (yes, we are in the train phase) escaped from his mouth.
I hadn't seen my son for two days. Or, to be more precise, I had only seen him asleep, in the morning when I left and at night when I came back. I had to patch together his days from phone conversations with other people as he laughed / screamed / cried in the background.
I have been busy.
There will be many more days like these in the weeks and months to come, and while I have made this choice consciously, there are still moments where I second-guess myself, there are still days when I wonder what I could do so he remembered me being there, not me being away.
As I have mentioned a while back, it seems to me sometimes that parenting is a lesson in learning to let go. It wasn't until recently, however, that I realized, it goes both ways.
As I watch him wave good-bye and blow me kisses instead of crying and hugging my ankles as I head out of the door, I understand that learning to let go is one of the many lessons I teach him. Why is it that holding on is something we all do well, but letting go is a skill we struggle to acquire?
I want to believe that I am never away. A part of me is always there with my son, just like he is always there with me throughout the day, only a heartbeat away, no matter how far.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Joseph didn't sleep last night. Well, to be perfectly honest, he slept until 1 a.m. (roughly 2 hours after my head hit the pillow), and then woke up. Nothing in particular was wrong, he wasn't teething or hurting, he wasn't thirsty or scared. He woke up and decided that sleep was not on his agenda anymore, so he wanted to play, look out of the window, listen to music, and read books.
Do I need to mention what I thought of all those suggestions?
Finally, around 4 a.m. or so, sleep deprived, and on the verge of walking out, I shoved him in the car seat muttering the words-that-should-not-be-spoken under my breath and drove around the town.
At 5 a.m. we all crashed into the motion induced sleep hoping somebody cancels morning.
And the next day I woke up a mean mommy. A part of me despised the mother I was, the grouchy, the unfair, the indifferent, but mostly I kept filling up on caffeine, and telling myself it was justified.
Later in the day, we found ourselves sorting through some books at a local library when a small book practically jumped into my hands: Toddler: Real-life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love. I smirked. I could so contribute.
And then, out of habit and curiosity, I opened the book on a random page.
The story's title was When Unthinkable Happens, and while I won't indulge into detailed retelling, I will say that it involved words like paralyzed, tumor, chemo therapy, and many others that should never be found in the same sentence with the word toddler.
Beautifully written, it was a story of survival, and courage, and beating the odds, and it served as a harsh reminder that I forget how good I have it.
I glanced over at my little person who was busying himself with rearranging the library book shelves and almost sobbed right there in front of the parenting section.

We all get so caught up in the race to raise a child, hurrying them along, rushing them to walk, to talk, to sleep through the night, comparing them to others, comparing them to ourselves, and getting upset when that comparison is not to our liking, when their actions don't fit the cookie cutter of our expectations. We forget they are a miracle, and a blessing, and time with them should never be taken for granted, even if it involves chasing them around the house at 2 a.m.
I often think that a big part of parenting is learning to let go. To let go of your ideas, of hopes about how it's going to be, of their hand. For now, I'll have to let go of my aspirations for a full night's sleep, and, more importantly, of the thought that I ever have a right to be a mean mommy to my fickle, irrational, urgent, tiny person that loves me so unconditionally.

Hug your babies extra tight tonight, they are a gift and not a given.