“Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs…since the payment is pure love.” ~ Mildred B. Vermont
“I love you, mommy,” just might be the most wonderful words in the English language, if you are a parent. Brian only recently began uttering this entire phrase. In the past, whenever I would tell him I loved him, he replied with “I too.” Thankfully, he has not given this response up, but simply added the longer version to his arsenal of things that melt my heart.
In my life I have held many different jobs and played many different roles, but none of them are more fulfilling or gratifying than being Addi and Brian’s mommy. They are my heart and soul and I would travel to the ends of the Earth to ensure they are happy, healthy and safe.
That being said, I am far from perfect. I try my hardest, but sometimes the days can become overwhelming. One thing I have realized during this adventure is that even when you have people surrounding you with love and support, it is still possible to feel utterly alone. More importantly, I have learned that is an okay feeling to have.
“I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.” ~Maya Angelou
I am grateful to those who check in on us and encourage us to participate in different events. Luckily, on the days when it is just Brian and me, he helps to combat the loneliness.
When alone in the hotel room, we have spinning wars (he always wins, as I am much too old to spin that much), hide and seek, play cars and run back and forth between the rooms. If you were to listen in, you would hear Brian yelling, “Hey! You come back here!” or “Do it again.” Just now, Brian found the greatest joy in jumping up and down on packing “bubbles” that came in a care package from an amazing friend. He doesn’t even know there is another sheet, but I’ll try to save that one for another time.
As hard as it is for Matt and my family at home, I am loving the relationship Brian and I are building, even though he doesn’t want to let me out of his sight. I’m sure this will prove challenging when we return home, but that is one of the many bridges I will cross when I get there.
As for now, we turn our attention to ten days from now when Brian checks in to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for tests. Every day I pray they will provide answers and, as crazy as this sounds, provide validation for the three months we have been away. I pray that he makes it through the anesthesia with minimal to no side effects, and I pray that I have the strength to hold it together.
Thankfully, I will not be alone. In addition to the hundreds of family, friends and strangers who are offering us prayers, well wishes and strength, I feel incredibly blessed because my best friend will be my side. She just might hurt me for publicly saying these things, which is why I will leave her name out, but like I have told her many times before, it always has been her. She gets me in a way no one else does and when I am at my lowest, she can pull me up. In addition to the very, very long list of thank you’s to those who have helped along this journey, I will never forget the sacrifice she is making to be here with me and her sister for helping to make it possible.
I have been through these tests before and a couple times by myself, but this one is big. Because Brian reacts differently every time he comes out of the anesthesia, I am scared of what he will do this time.
Along with being scared, I am hopeful. Hopeful that the diagnosis will come with options and solutions for the future. Hopeful that my son will have a chance to eat again. Hopeful that I will return home soon.
I believe this is what motherhood is all about, though. Sometimes things are scary, sometimes we hurt like hell, and sometimes we use the very last bit of strength within us to be strong for our children. Whenever I was sick or hurting, I used to ask my mom to “make the bad man stop.” She reminded me that it is my turn to “make the bad man stop” for Brian.
As parents, we live and breathe for our children. Still, as I have learned through this journey, I hope others see that we do not have to be strong all the time, but no matter what, we never give up.
“Gratitude preserves old friendships, and procures new.”
Thank you again to everyone who reads each of my ramblings, reaches out, and includes us in their events, thoughts and prayers. I know how blessed we are to receive your help and love, and I know how blessed I am to be Addi and Brian’s mommy.
Now it is time to chase a little one off to bed with lots of kisses and love you’s.