Monday, April 20, 2015

Dear Anna

Dear Anna,

You are now 10 1/2 months old.  I can't believe how fast these few months have passed.  As we sat on the porch swing this evening waiting for Daddy to come home, it seemed like only yesterday that I had you wrapped up, sound asleep, on that same swing, able to hold you in one arm.  You slept most of the time then, but only if I was holding you.  You liked to move!

Now, you still like to move, but generally your moving is of your own doing.  You've really developed your own personality, and it is so interesting to see our similarities and differences.  Maybe I'm projecting a lot, but we do seem to be quite similar.

You love being snuggled and carried around, but you kind of hate being around lots of other people.
You're perfectly happy just playing in a corner by yourself.
You have strong opinions and you're not afraid to voice them.
You love the dogs.
You love being outside and playing in the grass.

You've been through so much already, and your first year has, unfortunately, been a stressful one, but we've just about made it through.  You've been a champ through everything, and I am so extraordinarily proud of you.

You're helping me to learn patience and acceptance for the way things are (you'll crawl and walk and talk on your own schedule and not on what someone says you should be doing).  And at the same time, you've given me so many bragging rights.  I mean, you're adorable and SMART!

You make me smile every time you blow kisses, or wave bye-bye, or suddenly mimic something Daddy or I do.  It really is amazing to watch you learn.

I want you to know how much I love you.  I want you to know that, even when life is crazy, and I don't have a spare minute, and I'm tired and frustrated, and I hand you off to Daddy or daycare, I love you and you are always on my mind.  When I'm training a dog or cleaning the house you're on my mind.  When I'm put you to bed and breath a sigh of relief because I have a free moment in the evening my heart is swelling with love for you.  When I'm climbing into bed and looking at you on the monitor I can't take a normal breath until I've made certain you are safe and well.  I hope this is something you never have to question.  I hope you feel this love forever. 



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Why I Didn't Cheer

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Hans, Mom and I all did the Monument Avenue 10k this year.  We all had great results, and we had a really good time.  One thing you may or may not have noticed, though, was that I didn't go to cheer Mom on.  A large part of me has wondered why I didn't make a big deal out of this year.  I mean, I cheered for her when she did her 1st 10k.  Heck, I even drove as fast as I could to meet her at the half way point after I'd finished (kind of a tradition for us).  Last year, I was pregnant, so timing didn't really allow me to cheer, and I was the one who really needed the cheering anyway.  This year, though, I should have been cheering.  The race is to raise money for Massey Cancer Institute after all.  How could I not cheer her on?  I've thought about it a lot, and I have a few explanations.

I had to work.
This is true.  While this was supposed to be my weekend off (the only one all month) I did have a lesson, and meeting Mom would have messed up my plans.  That said, I could have easily scheduled my lesson for different time or day.

Mom's and my relationship isn't what it used to be.
 This one is a little harder to go into without revealing some things that shouldn't be shared to the mass public.  The reality is, though, that mom and I don't have the same relationship we once did.  We have a lot to work through, and even admitting that is hard.  In addition to some of our baggage, we also have to deal with how cancer changed our relationship.  How, I was thrust into the role of caregiver and had to manage food intake and doctors appointments and chemo schedule and bills, all in addition to being a new mom.  Now, Mom is trying to take those things back, but it's hard to let go when you're so used to holding on.  Our relationship is definitely different.

I wanted to be selfish.
I already mentioned this was my one day off all month.  I wanted it to be all about me.  It may sound awful, but I wanted to be selfish.  Heck, I even thought about not running just so I could lie in bed all day.  I'm glad I did run, of course, but I almost didn't.  The reality is, I barely had enough energy to worry about myself.  I couldn't even fathom thinking about someone else.

Cheering this year was too hard.
Let me explain.  When mom first walked the 10k, it was this huge accomplishment where we had a lot in common.  She'd always wanted to do it.  She'd trained hard.  She had a big time goal in mind.  This year, though, cheering meant facing the reality of the situation.  This wasn't just a race that she'd thought of doing for a while.  This was a post-chemo, post-radiation race.  Cheering meant acknowledging all the pain and struggle of this past year, and I'm not certain I'm ready to do that.  It's so much easier to put everything in the past and move on, and yet I also feel that I'm just burying my head in the sand and avoiding.  Call me cowardly, but I just didn't feel up to bringing everything to the forefront this year.

Well, there are my reasons.  They may not be great, but they're mine.  Thoughts?  Insights?