Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thanks Tripp and Courtney for continuing to teach me life's lessons

Okay, I'm going to break your heart for a minute or two here...

A few months ago I blogged about a wonderful little angel named Tripp Roth.  He valiantly fought EB for 2 years and 8 months before finally taking his eternal rest.

I still follow his mother Courtney's blog.  I have been avoiding reading it lately even though she's been understandably absent, only posting a few times since her son's passing.

Today, I took a deep breath and clicked...I'm not even sure why because I knew it was going to be sad.  I knew I was going to cry my eyes out and ache for this mother and her son.

I'm so glad I did.  You see, I've been having a bit of a pity party for myself lately.  When we moved to Texas we had some very intensive family time.  It was me, Claire and Zora all day every day.  Claire spent 2 days a week at an in-home daycare in Columbia, but in Texas, we hadn't found anyone yet.

Since I work from home I technically don't need childcare, but I think Claire does.  I don't stimulate her enough during the day and I have to care for Miss Baby so at times, she's not center stage and she lets you know that this does not please her.

This made me a crazy person.  Claire was bored, so she was acting out.  The baby is now mobile and, like her sister, a bottomless pit, so I am constantly trying to keep her full.

I couldn't take it.  This myth of stay-at-home-mommyhood.  I didn't feel fulfilled, I felt drained and at my wit's end.  I wasn't cherishing every moment, I was counting the seconds until Rob got home and I could do something like shower or pee by myself. 

Then we found our balance.  Claire goes to Montessori school every day in the morning.  Miss B and I spend a glorious few hours together and bond like I did with Claire when she was a baby.  I feel peaceful again.  I feel like a sane person.

So why do I feel like an a-hole?  It's because I feel guilty not feeling gloriously fulfilled by staying home with my children.  This is not my calling.  I am as good of a mother as you'll find, I'm certain. (yeah, I'm tooting my own horn)  But I'm not a kindergarten teacher and never wanted to be one.  I want to play an active role in my children's learning and education.  I want to help them learn to read and do math and become world citizens, but I don't want that responsibility to rest solely on my shoulders.  It's too much.  I'm not cut-out for this gig. 

All of that being said, there are people in this world that put me to shame.  They are strong and patient and put on this earth to do something special.  Courtney Roth is one of them.  She spent every moment of her son's short life caring for him.  She gave up anything that resembled "her" life and lived for him.  This is something I hope that if necessary, I could do.  I also hope I'll never have to test that theory.

Now she is without her baby.  She has to figure out how to go on without him.  It makes me realize that I wouldn't trade a single tantrum or tear, any of those drops of spilled juice or cereal messes, any of those "one more story, please Mommy" moments if it were my last with my babies.  They are precious to me.  I take the ease of my life for granted.  I sweat the small stuff.  I cry over spilled milk, literally.

I don't want to anymore.  I want to savor each second.  I'm going to try my best to take a deep breath and enjoy my babies like they deserve to be enjoyed.  They are miracles and they are my angels.  Tripp Roth continues to teach me things.  Wise beyond his years.  Thanks Tripp and thanks Courtney for continuing to be strong and honest for those of us who are neither at times.

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