Thursday, June 05, 2008

Look who is so smart??

This is where Ace lives. I bring her down in the morning and leave her basket on this counter. Poor baby. It is like she is just another bag of groceries. We almost don't notice her...

But at least when she is right here, I know she isn't being loved or jumped on by any of the older kids. They would actually love her to death if I let them (and it would be death by way of crushed lungs from hugging, pneumonia from all their snotty noses on her face, etc, etc).



And, she sleeps so well up there that it really seems to be working for everyone. Sorry for this shot of her giving her best Micky Rooney face. I have to get my camera out and capture more of her "cutest baby on earth" faces.


OK, so I didn't fool you with that last post. You guys knew it was me. See, I have NO idea how I come across. I am sure the discussion will continue over there. For the record, while I am always VERY embarrassed and unsure when meeting people IRL (especially bloggers) I have always been impressed with those that I have met. I don't want anyone to worry that I am talking about them..... usually I am thinking of myself when I compare the blogger person to the real person.

For example. In my last entry I was writing about the strange experience that I had w/ the doctor. I was just putting it out there, but I got back very sweet messages about how I am a good mom and how my kids are lucky to have me. That stuff is hard for me to hear. Not because I don't think that I am a good mom (I think I do a pretty good job) but because I know the rest of it. You guys don't know that I have to FORCE myself to listen to my 8 year old talk about the Simpsons and Hanna Montanna, when I really want to scratch my eyeballs out. Sometimes I don't listen, I just tell her I can't talk right now, and I do this even though I know that she doesn't get much time with me and before too long she won't WANT to talk to me.

You guys don't know that when Grace was born, I couldn't look at her for more than 15 minutes. I wouldn't even open my eyes, because that is when it would be real and I was afraid that I wouldn't have any feeling for the baby that I had been carrying and didn't really feel that connected to. And when I DID look at her, I wished that my eyes were still closed.

You don't know how every time I have to take Ace for an appointment I get really moody and weepy the day before. I am not totally over the whole "I just want her to be normal" thing and it still hurts me to think about this little girl being different. On the one hand, she is so sweet I wouldn't change her, but really, if someone could wave a magic wand, I would. My husband wouldn't, but I would in a second. I want her to be normal. I don't want her to be "special".

I am not in denial about it and I know that Ace is perfect just how she is, but that doesn't mean I don't remember curling up on my bed on Halloween day last year after getting off the phone with the geneticist. I just remember shouting "NO" over and over and over and curling up in a ball and sobbing. Crying. Dramatic, no? I even scared my other kids. Grandma and Grandpa had to come over and take them trick or treating. Great mom, huh? I traumatized them and then bagged on the single most looked forward to event in our house. If I was a GREAT mom, I would have just sucked it up and gone.

You don't know that many, many times I just don't WANT to help the kids do the things that they need to...practice walking, read book after book and practice our "goals" for the week. To discipline Cubby and be consistent--frankly, I don't really CARE if he eats Popsicles all day. I really don't. I would like to think that we all have a little bit of this in us, but maybe I am wrong. At the very least, I don't spend my time dwelling on that stuff.


So, I guess because I know the whole story, I have a hard time hearing about how others view me as a mother. Don't get me wrong, I love the compliments and appreciate hearing them. We all do. Every mother should be told a million times a week how good they are doing. It is good for me to get some of this story out. For a long time there was stuff that I just couldn't revisit because it was still too new and too painful. There are lots of things about the last few years that I still have a hard time thinking about, let alone writing about. I feel it is important to put some of this stuff "out there" because I have learned so much from others who kept blogs about their children with Down Syndrome, their journey to adoption and how they function as a TR family, their relationships and trials with their kids families in open adoptions, etc. I am so thankful that those stories were there for me to read. So I will add mine to the mix.

There was also something that Dalene wrote in the comments about how she wishes she could write some things but can't because it wouldn't be fair to the parties involved so sometimes she just has to processes it alone, and it is lonely. Yeah, I feel that way too (oh the STORIES we all could tell, eh?). Like Citymamma, I also have a blog that doesn't get published (and HELLO? Ethiopia adoption is my specialty...call me, B-Happy is another good resource..). My kids each have a site that their families have access to.

So you see, I am just a mom. I am doing the best I can and even with my help that I have, it isn't enough. It never feels like it is enough for any of them. At least they are getting more than they would if it was JUST me. Who knows?

For now, I am going to go feed the squawking bird that is my baby (she really is SO cute...so patient and happy). She is starting to smile now, but not at me or her dad. She smiles at my sisters, the bishop's wife, the nurse who just gave her shots, the checker at Target. Not us. We get nothing. This girl doesn't know how to work the system yet, does she? I don't feel like I have enough time to just HOLD her and enjoy her. I know that I need to cherish the times like now when I can hold her on my chest and smell her sweet baby breath and rub her little bald head (it's been a long time since I had a baby with a bald head). I need to ENJOY her more. And the other ones. My goal today (since we got the babysitter sick and are home for another day--all appointments cancelled) is to try and enjoy my kids. Respond with love and not impatience or frustration. Be present. These are things that I really need to work on.

Talk to you soon

31 comments:

Julie P said...

Ok, so let me get this right. What you're saying, really, is that you're...(gasp)...normal?

Love ya.

Bek said...

Normal, but not proud of many of the things that I am doing as a mother. Is the fact that I don't braodcast that (except just now when I DID broadcast it) make me fake? If people are reading my blog to get the real picture of life with open adoption, life with a transracial family, life with wealthy inlaws who offer things that embarass me, life as the mother of children with special needs... well, they are NOT getting the whole picture. Not even close...

Julie P said...

Oh, babe. How many of us would choose to be totally honest about every one of our imperfections? Especially the ones that hit our soft spots and important places like motherhood? NOT I. If people are reading blogs for the whole picture instead of the offered slice, they're missing the boat.

Bek said...

You are right. I agree, but it still makes me wonder why I am doing it.

Mostly to keep from going insane amongst the puke. Also, I don't do "deep" very well. Soon it will be back to funny Cubby stories and more hilarious doctor appointments.

citymama1 said...

I agree with Julie. You can still be real without sharing everything with the blog world.

I loved the reminder to live in the present. I also loved the talk Elder Ballard gave last conference to mothers. Encouraging us to cherish the fleeting moments of time we have with our children. Easier said then done, especially when they're throwing food, but a nice reminder that food can be cleaned up but how we interact and speak with our children last forever.

Anonymous said...

And now I like you even more. I cried when I read about you not being able to open your eyes--I just gave birth as well (3 weeks ago) and had a particularly hellacious labor and closed my eyes and sobbed through much of the 31 hours of it because I couldn't deal with it either. I can only imagine how hard it was for you--and no, that doesn't make you a bad person. When Ace was diagnosed, it was the death of a dream--a dream for her "normalcy." It's OK to be upset about that. I appreciate and applaud your honesty.

Danielle in CO

Queen Scarlett said...

This is why I think you're fabulous.

Do you think we record things so that we'll remember? So that when it gets hard we have those funny things to remind us...it's ok? Or that we record the hard stuff to remind us when it's going well that wow... look at what we survived and conquered? I think I do...

That image of you crying when you heard from the geneticist... I would have done the same thing. None of us want our kids to go through something challenging... for their entire lives. Just like everyone here is saying... thank goodness you're normal - honest. I'd take you any day... over frou frou blurred photos and quaint descriptions of how perfect someone's life is.

Bek said...

You guys...

Hey, Danielle in Co, I thought I knew who you were, but maybe I don't. Are you from Mile High Mammas? If you are and I didn't know you were PG SHAME ON ME (and how did I miss that??). If you are a different Danielle, then welcome and sorry I didn't realize you were not who I thought you were... and congrats on your wee one....31 hours of labor. Ouchie McGouchie..... I don't feel so strange now..

W3 Ward Blog said...

When I'm paid a compliment, I think I instantly offset it by thinking of all the horrible things that only *I* know about then negate the compliment. It's almost like not getting the compliment in the first place is better so you don't revisit the bad stuff.

I feel ya.

Lucky Red Hen said...

p.s. i like how honest you are :)

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I found you through the Johnson-McCormick blog and have been getting your feed for about 2 weeks now. We are a transracial family raising one adopted daughter, one biological son and a foster baby who we hope to adopt. I am also a mom who has a tough time "being present" as much as I would like. But I think it gets harder and harder the more kids you have...or at least it has for me. Thank you for your honesty in your writing. It is fascinating to hear about your journey with Ace so far - she looks so sweet! Our foster baby sounds a little bit like your Norah(LOVE HER NAME by the way) in terms of some of the physical stuff too. Keep up the frequent posts!
Melissa in NJ
(www.RainasPack.blogspot.com)

Bek said...

Lucky.. you are are an amazing photographer. Try and offset that. You CANT.

P.S. Is it too late to get a disk of my photos? I'll e mail you...

Bek said...

Melissa--you posted before I did.

I LOVE the Johnson-McCormic blog. That is one family I want to meet IRL. Her boys sound amazing and they have such a great head on their shoulders.... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Bek,

Different Danielle in CO :). We "met" a while back via my blog when I was early in the Ethiopian adoption process. I had to take my blog down because of crazy people (I'm apparently way too much of an open book to have a blog...what with all the crazies roaming the internet...). I think we met via Fizzle (and her blog) initially?? Anyway, my daughter has been home from Ethiopia for a year now and my son was born just a few days after the anniversary of her coming home.

Danielle in CO

Bek said...

Ok.. I totally know who you are. Hi there!! Congrats having your daughter home and for baking a son during your first year of having her home. That is huge!! (and sorry about the miss communication).

You had to take your blog down? Yikes. I am so sorry about that. It is something to think about. I never, ever blog about anything that I wouldn't want a judge to read.... THey don't take your kids away for not wanting to listen to Hanna Montanna do they? Not yet anyway....

Sorry about the mix up!

compulsive writer said...

I agree with julie p. Pretty much you are normal, and maintaining normal under some pretty extreme circumstances gets high marks in my book.

So I stand by my previous comments--your kids are blessed to have you as their mother.

Michelle said...

She looks so sweet and comfortable in the basket!

Confession time here too: I don't do near enough with my kiddos either. People always tell me, "you're doing so much with Kayla, look how well she's progressing" or something along those lines. But the fact is, I'm NOT. I'm just NOT doing a lot of "stuff" with her and feel guilty about that! I always said my kid wouldn't watch TV, or much, and yet I end up letting her watch much more than I care to admit!

I think you're doing fine :)

Kalli Ko said...

I just checked in with you and caught up on your past few posts.

Reading all of it actually made me feel good because I have all sorts of irrational fears about motherhood, I guess being on the verge for the first time does that to you.

It's good to know that feeling crazy and insecure is normal.

Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by all the comments of you "young" moms. Know what? Things/feelings haven't changed much from when I was a young mom...which is why I HATE...absolutely HATE going to church on Mother's Day. I can hardly bear all of those wonderful perfect mother stories!! Why can't they talk about the real things of motherhood! (which is why you last post was so "real."

I would like to add that most of us also have a gardener (the kid that mows and weeds for you), Nanny...paid babysitters, House cleaner...only because we can't afford it but the desire and need is still there!! Private jet..inlaws and their schedule that goes with it, private car to and from airport...taxi's or someone driving you to and from. We all have it, we just call it something different.

I am so impressed by your posts, Bek. (mostly that you are doing it daily!). Extraordinary mother, intelligent woman,generous soul, brilliant gourmet cook and a stupendous daughter!!

momjk

findingbabyg said...

Grrrr... I just wrote a long heartfelt comment and my computer managed to lose it...
Okay, So I just really needed to tell you thank you for writing this post. I fell apart last night, balling to my husband about what a terrible person and unfit mother I am. He actually told me I need to stop reading blogs and comparing myself to all these other mothers. I feel so inadequate, like a failure for my kids.
But then again,I don't post honestly. Just the bright side of things. For one thing, I don't want to hear anyone tell me I am failing, I do a pretty good job of telling myself that. And I don't want my kids to read about the pain and craziness of parenting. I don't want them to ever think I didn't love them because I do. But would my honestly make them think that, I don't know...
I cried when I read your post because we are all real. Even if we don't 'post' it. Thank you for being honest. And thank you for blogging again. :)

Karly said...

You know, I feel like my daughter is perfect, but I would still take away her DS if I had a magic wand. I am not sure it's any different than a parent of a child in a wheelchair saying they would wish their child to walk if possible. And in my opinion, Down Syndrome doesn't make our kids who they are...that is one of my pet peeves, when people say things like " 'they' are always such happy kids"...I want to hear them say that when my kid is throwing a fit for any number of reasons, LOL.

Anyway, I love your blog...even though you (gasp) have a gardener! I will get over it. ;-)

Bek said...

Nothing like a mom to brag for you, right? Thanks mom..

Karly-I have always wondered about the famous "they are always so happy" thing and DS... I feel like that puts them under a lot of pressure when they decide to act like any other two year old, or 8 year old. Do they have to not have tantrums TOO??? So good points.

Kalli Ko... welcome to the world of mothering. It is a wicked combo of being the only one that can parent your child the best and being the only one that can mess them up the most. Thankfully, we all do a little bit of both. It is wonderful though (well, more wonderful when they aren't throwing up...).

babyG... can I remind you that you are the mother of two (both of whom are at tricky ages) and a student and well, it is really ,really hard at this point. It just is. Don't be a perfect mom. Just be their mom.... I am sure that you are doing just fine (and you have a good husband).

I go through phases when I read blog about really talented and capeable people (not all women..) and it just makes me feel crappy about myself. I feel myself getting uptight and anxious and wish I was better and could do better. That is when I take a step back from the computer, do something that I have been meaning to do for a long time (I have a famous and ever growing list of small jobs--10 min or so--that need to be done when I have time..things like cleaning out the bottle drawer, etc...) and come back another day. Ususally I read blogs about other moms/people and come away feeling inspired and wanting to do better....

YOu guys might never get this much posting again (unless we have the flu again)...

wendysue said...

Love having you back Bek, and I think in blogworld everyone needs a quick reality check. . .no matter what they "put out there". The only reason I keep reading some blogs is to wait for it to come crashing down to reality from it's fluff-world. And just so you know, you're completely "normal", I can only take so much of my kids, I'm a yeller, an ignorer, a roll my eyes mom, my kids watch too much tv, play too much computer (Whit's a master now), and eat too much junk, and I think anyone telling you otherwise is the nutso one.

I once heard someone say "you're not a real mom unless you've thought about walking out the door and never coming back". . .the thing is that we DO come back (even if we leave to get some sweet ice cream).

As for your chat about why we blog. . .I blog to keep my life a little sane, I blog to remind me of the funny things that my kids say, or the gross, and the little bits of "life". . .the deep stuff for me is usually reserved for phone calls to family and friends when you really need to let it all hang out. . .or just cry it out by myself in my car. . .I don't think that's sad, I think it's life.

Eww, and sorry about the pukes. . .my brother in law once said the best diet plan he had was "food poisoning".

Leisha said...

I love you more now too. If more people offered up their true emotions and true experiences I think we would all be a happier, less neurotic society. Seriously.

When we were adopting for the first time I read an article about someones TRUE emotions as they embarked on transracial adoption and it was like a breath of fresh air. It was REAL. Their thoughts matched my thoughts and it was okay to have doubts!

I re-read a great conference talk yesterday that really inspired me and I put this quote on my fridge. It's from M. Russell Ballard...

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family... What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

I am inspired by ordinary people doing extraordinary things...like you!

hannah m said...

I found your blog through Angie's (the title caught my eye- LOVE IT).

It sounds like there are parts of our journeys that are similar - my daughter has been diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome. I, too, get weepy and sad and irritable before appointments at LPCH - and there are so many! I feel ashamed to remember not feeling connected to her or wishing her to be normal. I admire you speaking your truth, or whatever part of your truth you choose to share on your blog. I think having a blog has given me a place for tempering the tough parts with the silly or fun or beautiful parts. Otherwise I might just be wallowing in the ick. And that's just no fun.

Betina said...

Yea. I like normal. I really like you. Our kids can get together one day and talk about all the traumatic memories of Mom crying on the couch. They will remember those first way before they remember the great stuff.

wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew and Camille Weeks said...

I knew all that stuff about you. I would always talk with you at park day and when you would leave we would all talk about how alarmingly grounded you were for having such a nice lifestyle. So I guess now your probably surprised we treated you normal knowing you have rich in laws. I love love love it. Its the most refreshing thing I have come across in years. Your living a real authentic life. I think we would be doing society a favor by being more honest and real. You cant change what you don't acknowledge. I even look at my normal healthy children and wish away birth marks, moles, and thin hair that looks nappy all the time. I am so glad your normal. And by saying how you felt its not justifying it its simply allowing yourself to be real. Its the only way to learn to love your kids unconditionally. If you can accept that in your self. Nothing they can do or say would be judged.

Janelle said...

Hi Bek, I've never been here before, but it looks like I've been missing out. I'll check out your guest post on Segullah but for now this post was very satisfying. It made me want to be a more emotionally honest writer. It made me feel very naive. It made me wonder if I'm compassionate enough. It made me wonder if I'm annoying to my readers.

I think when people write "Thanks for sharing" when they comment that they are searching for a more articulate response than those three words can convey, but I still want to say -

Thanks for sharing.

-Janelle (friend of Julie P.)

AlisonH said...

Sounds totally normal to me. That's why the children's books that speak on one level to the kids and another to their parents are always so popular. And, say, Shrek, jauntily dissing Disney.

Melissa Bastow said...

I like this post. It's hard enough to be a mom, but throw extra strong wills and special needs into the mix, and HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!