Friday, February 28, 2014

It's been a really, really long time....

I know that sometimes I feel that I just can't keep the words and feelings inside my head and my heart. They come bursting out in the most inappropriate times and places and that's when I know I need to write it out. And when I write it out, maybe, just maybe, it will resonate with someone else and they will nod their head while they read my clumsy words or they will shake their head and say -- that girl?, that girl is CRAZY. Either way, the writing is somewhat selfish. I will admit. I had a very long conversation with school administrators this week at two different schools in regards to all three of my boys. You might think -- oh my, what has Robbie done now? ;) Alas, they were about Robbie's homework and how he can complete it with all of his doctor's appointments, etc,; about Jake's absences from when I wouldn't let him walk home from school in -20 degree weather and finally, about Brady's unhappy year at school. Mama Bear came to the first meeting and I'm sure that I scarred more than one person in that meeting. Because, you see, I had to advocate for what is best for my kids in the face of "THE MAN." I really don't like "THE MAN." I mean, really. Maybe I inherited the dislike from my introverted father who has never had a boss he liked or could work with for longer than what seemed like six months or maybe from my anti-establishment mom who yanked me out of school and then homeschooled my brothers K-12. I don't know. All I know is when my children aren't treated like individuals, I get this very uncomfortable itchy feeling inside that makes me want to use profanity all while I'm really thinking -- DO YOU NOT SEE THAT LOVE WINS?? THAT WE MUST TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER?? THAT WE SHOULD LISTEN MORE AND TALK LESS??? And so Mama Bear did not go to the second meeting. Melanie the Monkee (see Glennon, ie Momastery, ie "Carry on Warrior") went to the second meeting for my sweet Brady. My 9 year old blessing, my rainbow after the darkest days, my very smart little boy who has a new teacher this year and they just don't get each other. And actually, what I really mean by that is that Brady has zero emotional connection with his teacher. And you might be just about at the (that girl is CRAZY) portion of the show, but I think that at 9, when he spends more time with his teacher than he does with me, he should feel some kind of an emotional connection to his teacher and I think it just might be the adult in this relationship's responsibility to foster that connection. And I heard myself say in a voice that I did not even recognize as my own -- "You see, the religion at my home is kindness and I often say to my boys LOVE WINS when I don't know what else to say. I also say to my boys -- how do you think he/she feels right now? Have you attempted to put on their shoes? And if you have, have you taken just a tiny walk around in them? Because I believe that we need to take care of each other. I really do. I believe that my boys need to be LOVE NINJAS." And I think I saw a glimmer of...maybe she's not SO CRAZY in their eyes. And then I explained that Brady has had quite a year, really. His dad fell into a bottle of Jim Beam and got divorced again. His mom moved him in with someone the whole family loves very much and his dog died and he had his VERY FAVORITE TEACHER OF ALL TIME taken from him. And still, he smiles. And still, he thrives. And so I made it through THE WEEK OF MEETING WITH SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND TEACHERS and then something happened that any bereaved parent will understand...A CHILD DIED. And it rocked me. It didn't rock me JUST because I was transported back instantly to the days after Lily died and caskets and endless flowers and endless cards and then endless silence. The numbness that happens after you bury your baby, when you realize that the first night it rains, you can't go dig her up to keep her dry. The realization that sleep is your best friend but it is elusive, always just out of reach -- especially at the witching hours of the night when everything is worse. And you can't sleep during the day because YOU HAVE OTHER CHILDREN WHO NEED YOU but you don't even know who you are. So after the transportation, I realized I was doing something so disgusting, I wanted to slam my own hand in a door. I was doing THAT THING WHERE NO PROBLEM IS AS BIG AS A CHILD DIED. I don't know if you know what this is but it's relentlessly evil. It means when your boyfriend tries to talk to you about something that is happening in his life, you think you have the right to say -- I DON'T CARE, DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND, A KID DIED!!!!! I don't know if you can recognize this at first glance but I'm pretty sure it's glaringly obvious that when I said that LOVE was not winning. I was definitely NOT being a LOVE NINJA. So I had to take a pretty HUGE step back and look at myself and shake my head and hope that some of the pieces went back in to the right places. And then I had to start planning how I would take action to change my attitude and I had to BE KIND to myself and then SHOW KINDNESS AND LOVE TO STRANGERS, but mostly to my family and the people I love because I know that is the best way not to fall in to the PIT OF DEAD KIDS. And so now you're probably back to thinking -- this girl is CRAZY -- because who even puts the words "pit" and "dead kids" in the same run-on sentence?? And I can only say...I'm so glad you don't know because if you did it would mean you are in the CLUB. And that CLUB is the CLUB of people who's kids have died. It's a fucking shitty club. And I think profanity should be used in that context. And so my friend (and if she reads this, she will know who she is) writes this morning..."Do seven random acts of kindness in memory of this beautiful soul who has left us." And I fell into her words and sighed....Ahhhhh. Right....Random acts of kindness and a NUMBER even!!! An assignment for the LOVE NINJAS!! And I will do that today and until I don't feel like screaming at people for laughing or going about their lives as if there is not a DEAD KID. But before I do that, I just want to say one thing that maybe someone who goes to dear, darling, sweet-faced Leah's funeral will read and think about before they dress up and dread the thought of that tiny coffin and her shell-shocked family (because it DOES NOT MATTER THAT SHE WAS SICK, SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO GET BETTER). Those parents are learning to do something they have never done before. They are learning to breathe again. They are learning to breathe without part of their very beings. They are grieving in different ways, even, and they are still being parents to their living children. And they are having to make such chilling decisions like, "what will she wear?" "what will her stone say?" "who will keep track of all of these gifts of flowers and food so we can thank people someday, maybe?" And then they will have, I'm sure, hundreds of people want to tell them how sorry they are and they will stand for hours, so grateful that their daughter couldn't possibly be forgotten but so overwhelmed. AND PLEASE DO NOT THINK THAT I SPEAK FOR THESE PARENTS BECAUSE I DO NOT. I SPEAK FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE AND FROM THE HUNDREDS OF PARENTS I HAVE SPOKEN TO SINCE I BURIED MY DAUGHTER, WHO HAVE ALSO BURIED CHILDREN. And it all comes back to life is beautiful. But life is brutal. It really, really is.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

a break in the action...

because my Robbie came out tonight after being in bed for an hour and asked me to read something he had written. This is what he wrote:

My sister, If she were...

My sister died at birth. Her name is Lily. I wish I could see her everyday, oh how much I would pay. To see her one time would be as if she were alive. I wish she was alive, now and everyday. I would be the best big brother of them all. If she were here by my side, oh I'd love her till I die and see her for the first time. I wonder how pretty she will be when I see her for the first time. If she were there sleeping by the moon, I would stay up staring at that beautiful moon. I wish I could talk to her for every second of everyday. I only do everything I do for her, like being smart: I always thought she would be in the high ability classes. Being athletic: I though she would LOVE basketball, and I made the B team. Last but not least, being caring. I thought she would be the shoulder to cry on. You might say it was hardest on my mom and dad, then you should feel the hurt of two brothers and a dyingly much wanted sister. By Robbie Harris. For Lily Victoria Harris. I love you. The End.

My most treasured possession....

It's difficult to pick your most treasured possession...and I still am not sure I got it right. All I know is that I have little left of my precious daughter. A tiny box with just a few little things that encompass her entire life (physically, that is). So this picture, it is one of the few things I have to prove that my daughter lived. I miss her...every single moment of every single day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day #6...a person you'd love to trade places with for a day...

gwyneth paltrow...for a few (okay a million) reasons. a few I have pics for:
she is married to a musician who is passionate and an amazing artist and who she clearly loves deeply...I long for a life partner

She has a daughter (something I have, but not with me and that totally sucks every single day of my life). And she had the guts to name her Apple because she thought it was just a nice-sounding name. And in this picture she is in a market in London with her daughter. That statement alone is just pure jealousy.

She has a son. His name is Moses. She clearly loves being a mom (I know this because I read her blog) and this picture was taken in Spain...(jealousy?).

My best friend in San Francisco, Kara, introduced me to a Gwyneth obsession (and seven thousand other amazing things) and also to her blog:

In this blog she has lots of "sub topics", make, go, get, do, etc. etc.

This quote was part of "Be"...the best part of her blog: she doesn't think she knows everything...she actually just finds people she knows (albeit amazingly famous and educated people) who talk on the subject of the blog. She just writes an eloquent letter at the top or reviews the place/food/clothes/shoes/book/etc.

I first learned about Cynthia Bourgeault almost two years ago when I started looking for scholars and thinkers to contribute to the BE section on GOOP. Her words have been a powerful inspiration ever since. In her new book, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, through biblical research and analysis of several forgotten Gospels—including the Gospel of Mary Magdalene—she is able to show this often reviled character as another apostle and a companion of Jesus’. In their relationship, she posits the possibility of a true and mystical love and through it, forgiveness and salvation.


And yet another quote that made love her even more because she reads (which is an awesome, awesome blog thing my sister found for me)

Postpartum Depression
When my son, Moses, came into the world in 2006, I expected to have another period of euphoria following his birth, much the way I had when my daughter was born two years earlier. Instead I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life. For about five months I had, what I can see in hindsight as postnatal depression, and since that time, I have wanted to know more about it. Not only from a hormonal and scientific standpoint, and why so many of us experience it, but from the perspective of other women who have gone through it. Below is a description of the condition by Dr. Laura Schiller - a New York city based OB/GYN -, an indelibly beautiful piece by Bryce Dallas Howard chronicling her very personal experience, a connection to Heather B. Armstrong - a writer and blogger who continues to share her experience on, and advice from psychologist and frequent GOOP contributor (and mother of two) Dr. Karen Binder-Brynes.

- gp

Something I want to do....if Gwyneth does it, though -- geez --- can I do it??

Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis
By now, I think you all know how amazing I think my trainer, partner and friend Tracy Anderson is, how she kicked my twice pregnant ass into shape, and keeps taking me to new levels. Tracy’s dream has always been to be able to make her ingenious customized-to-your-problem-areas program available to any woman who is up for the challenge—and now she has. See below! It’s pretty f’ing great 'cause it works!...

And, finally, Gwyneth is everything I want to be. She is an actress, a singer, a mother, a wife, and she's absolutely gorgeous.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Memory I Love...(Day 5)

It's too hard to pick a "favorite" memory. I can think of so many events or days or moments that have changed my life. I remember the minute I held my dead baby was unbelievable wonderful and awful at the same time. I remember when my sisters and I all got the same tattoos on the same day. I remember every time I've caught Brady and Katie holding hands and thought -- this is what life is -- I am so blessed. This was the first master's degree in my family...and it belongs to me... :)

This picture, though, was one of those moments that took my breath away, that made me so nervous I could barely breathe or stand in my ridiculously cute (but incredibly uncomfortable) high heels. I knew that my mom was proud of me, I knew my boys were seeing the reason why I was a basket case for two years and that hard work does pay off and I knew that my darling CoCo sis was truly celebrating with me as she has for every big moment in my life. I worked damn hard for that degree and I am very proud of that moment. That's all.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Night...#4

The Karate Kid


Monday, March 7, 2011

My favorite TV show....(day 3)

So you're probably wondering how someone with an IQ higher than 65 could possible enjoy a show like Toddlers and Tiaras but this show is so incredibly fabulous,it is impossible not to watch. Have you ever (even though you are a mom) caught yourself staring at some poor mom deal with a screaming toddler in the grocery store thinking to yourself..."thank god that's not me?" This show is kind of like that only times a million.

Why did I pick a picture of one specific girl? Well, you just have to google Mackenzie in Toddlers and Tiaras to fully appreciate this child. She is Satan incarnate and yet incredibly adorable and precocious and (let's be real), simply a product of her insane environment. Plus, Mackenzie says things like..."NiNi (her pacifier) don't know the way home...." and "You people are driving me crazy!" and she's FOUR!

Then there's Arnold. Arnold is a collectible puppet (LIKE A HUGE PUPPET...MUPPET LIKE EVEN) and, get this, he's disabled so he has a wheelchair. And how does this have anything to do with child pageants you ask???? Well, because one of the contestants must bring Arnold to the pageants and Arnold cheers for her and helps her remember her routine and dances (EVEN THOUGH HIS LEGS DON'T WORK!!!) and sometimes he gets the routine WRONG! I don't know how after reading about Arnold, you could not think this show is priceless.

Half of the people on this show are certifiably insane and the other half are just so self-absorbed it's unbelievable. Either way, it's a blast to watch and it doesn't hurt that I (gulp) did a few pageants and made the mistake of telling my other half so now, randomly, he tells me to do "pretty feet" in stores or asks me to do the "pageant walk and turn."

Do you need a laugh? Wednesday night, Total Loser Channel (TLC). Be there.