Several things over the last few weeks have just about done me in. The first was a play date I organized for Virginia. We invited two girls from her class over to play. They are the sweetest little girls and they love Virginia to death. You can tell that they are genuinely thrilled when she smiles or laughs with them. They talk to her as if it doesn't even bother them that Virginia can't respond.
But she can't.
I listened to these two first grade girls converse- true friends, sharing their day with each other- and felt such sorrow that Virginia couldn't be a part of it.
Then she got invited to a birthday party she logistically can't attend. I love our school friends and our community because they always include Virginia, even when they know she probably can't come. I love this mother for thinking of her. But I am so sad that she can't go.
Sometimes it all seems like too much for her, and for me. I don't want to struggle through one more hour long feeding. I can't bear to hear her cry at night anymore. I don't want to get out of bed in the morning and face getting her showered, dressed and fed.
I can only imagine how she feels.
I started thinking about what my day actually looks like, and, as vain as it sounds, decided to try to document it. I wasn't doing it for the blog. I just wanted to try to put my finger on what has been so hard for me lately.
In the process I realized something pretty incredible.
I could find whatever I was looking for- both the good and the bad.
I could go through, pick the awesome moments, snap a smiley picture, and pretend my life is perfect. Or I could take the bad pictures, focus on all of Virginia's struggles, and tell myself I should just throw in the towel and never get out of bed again.
Obviously, the reality, for all of us, is somewhere in the middle. All of our days lie somewhere in the tension between joy and sorrow. Clearly some days are better than others, but really it boils down to whether or not we choose to be thankful or we choose to be angry.
So here is my day...
5:10 Findley's alarm goes off.
5:38 Findley leaves for work (I did acknowledge him before he left, but he definitely made his own coffee)
6:20 Virginia wakes up (a miracle- this is the latest she has slept in months. Usually I see this sweet face between 3 and 4 am)
I repositioned her and then showered and dressed.
Just as I was getting V dressed, Mr. Bed Head appeared in the doorway. (about 6:50)
I fixed Virginia's cream of wheat, packed her snack and Wills' lunch, fixed V's medicine, and spent about thirty minutes feeding her.
7:45 Eliza wakes up.
8:00 Get Wills dressed, change V one last time, ready to leave
Eliza doesn't want to be left...
Until she spots the chocolate chips on the counter and has an absolute meltdown and refuses to go one step further until I give her some. And, if you read the last post, you will know that I don't hesitate.
8:15 Head to school (for the record, school starts at 7:45, but this is the best I can do when Findley leaves so early)
Go by Starbucks (for the first time in a month) and get coffee for myself and a new friend. Go visit friend for two hours. Get to hold a very special baby.
11:30 Home, time to get Eliza dressed for the day (and play "where's the baby?)
Play outside with Eliza, water plants
For the record, this is what the finished garden looks like
Then I get the shovel out.
Unfortunately, the shovel has to do with this:
And not with the garden at all.
12:15 Time to puree V's food so it will be ready for her when she comes home at 12:30. Yummy- leftover tenderloin and cheese grits.
1:00 I send Amy and Virginia off to speech therapy in my car.
I put Eliza down for a nap and leave her under Mary's watchful eye. I take Wills and his friend to a 'get ready for kindergarten' play date at the park for an hour.
Wills and Eliza have a 3 o'clock doctor's appt, so we rush home, drop off the friend, and get Eliza.
She is waiting for us...
We rush off, are about fifteen minutes late (typical), and they have to get 7 shots between them.
Ring pops are great for pain.
5:00 Arrive home to this sweet face
I hand Wills and Eliza off to Amy and sit down to spend about an hour feeding Virginia her dinner, pureed chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese.
6:00 the best part of Eliza's day (and mine, too)
6:15 Head outside to get some energy out before bed. So glad it is spring.
Making up for the entire afternoon I missed with her today...
The little two play while we get Virginia into her pjs and give her nighttime meds.
7:35 Nurse Eliza to sleep (Yes, I still nurse her 3 times a day, but she sleeps twelve to thirteen hours, so why change anything?)
7:50 Try to read Virginia and Wills a book. V gets mad (not sure why), so she has to go on to bed sans book reading.
8:15 Put Wills in bed, say prayers, sing exactly four (not too short) songs
8:20 reposition Virginia
We heat plates of leftovers. Yes, it is always this late when we eat.
Don't really want to eat b/c V is crying so hard. Settle for this instead.
8:30 hold Virginia, try to calm her down
8:45 Findley puts V on her stomach instead of back
9:00 I put her on her side. Still can't hold still to fall asleep
9:30 After several more interventions, V asleep; time for me to wrap up world's most boring post
Oh, wait...get rest of tax stuff together for accountant. We are sure giving her plenty of time this year.
Obviously, out of love for my child, I don't show the fussy times. I can't capture her feeding struggles or communication difficulties on my iphone, nor would I want to. I hate it when she cries more than anything in the world. But I do know this. I am one blessed mother who got to see a lot of smiles today. A lot.
**This was not a typical day in four ways. 1) I showered because I was going to my friend's house to hopefully hold a new baby. 2) I did not go to the grocery store today. Usually I go at least twice. 3) Virginia slept until 6:20. If she does that again tomorrow, I will document my day again. 4) I did not talk to Molly or Laura on the phone. So sad!