Saturday, May 15, 2010

Nearly two weeks ago Duc sliced open his finger. Well, filleted is actually a better description. From below the first joint, across the joint and into the nail bed the blood gushed. I witnessed the accident and even with me sitting next to him the blood ran down his fingers into my cupped hand creating a puddle that I had to pour into the sink. I struggled to get him to the kitchen so I could wash the wound and examine it. He was bleeding so heavily I couldn't see the depth of his wound. After 10 minutes of pressure I called Michael to rescue us and I called my mom in tears while I waited.

Duc's wails punctuated my own tears as I told my mom how hard it was to see my son in pain. She told me it never got easier. Even seeing your adult children in pain tears a mother up.

I hung up and thought I'm not cut out for this.

It is hard to watch your child cry out in pain and worse to anticipate the pain and tears that will someday come.

Duc knows something is going on with me. As much as I try to hide my feelings and brighten up when we are together I am sure he senses something is off. He has been clingier than normal and today as I dropped him off for daycare he clung to me harder than he ever has before. He locked his little hands around my neck and did his best to do the same with his legs. It was like having a second layer of skin. It took two daycare employees to pull him off of me. When I looked back at him as I slipped out the door his arms were still out stretched as he screamed and cried. I cried all the way home.

While Duc and I attached to each either amazingly well, I know this is still a process and the next 2-3 weeks are going to be tough. I know the dependence he has on me and how anxious and desperate he becomes when I am not in eyesight. The daycare staff tell me he says "mommy" all day long. When my family sits with him they say the same. I can hear it when I use the bathroom at a restaurant and leave him with friends. While I know that all children go through stages where they need their mommies more, I also know his is slightly different. The need is something more.

Some day he is going to realize I wasn't the first mother and that the other one left.

I wonder if there will always be a little piece of him that is desperate--for her, for me, for something we can't give him. Someday he may realize, as I finally did, that those that love you can't always give you the kind of love you crave. It can't be found at the bottom of a bag of chips, in a beer or in a stranger's bed.

Watching this unfold brings back memories of my own childhood. I remember my mother dropping me off at another child's home and leaving me in a strange home without her. I remember watching the car pull away and the desperation I felt as I thought she's leaving me...again. I cried, I screamed and I wouldn't leave the window. I don't know if they were ever able to engage me in play or not--all I remember is the anguish I felt. I was 4.

Other mothers comfort me when they see me wrestling with him in public. The assure me that as he gets older it gets easier. I don't doubt he will follow direction better and not act so feral, but I don't imagine that motherhood ever truly gets easier. Not when you feel the pain of the little heart tied so closely to your own. Not when their pain is your pain.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


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One of my fondest summer memories was a tradition that never really took hold. My parents had bought a hand crank ice cream machine. I remember going to the local dairy which included an evening trip to a farm where we poured the cream and my dad left some change on the work bench. I remember the ice and the salt and watching my parents take turns laboring over the crank. My sister and I would anxiously hover wanting the first bite of ice cream and it always took SO long to finish.IMG_5086 copy

Recently I was sharing this memory with my mother and I told her I was thinking of buying an AUTOMATIC ice cream machine. I’m not into ice cream and Duc is lactose intolerant, but the desire to recreate my fond memory with my son was a little too sweet to resist.

Her response surprised me. She asked why I would ever want to do it—she remembered the mess, all the cranking and remembered we gave up on it after only a few attempts.

Our perspectives of the same experience were totally different and I find myself thinking of that a lot lately. IMG_5103 copy

It’s been over 3 weeks since i updated this blog and I think that may be the longest I have ever gone. A series of events left me being so physically and emotionally drained that I simply shut down. By the end of the work day I didn’t want to talk and I certainly didn’t want to email or read blogs. I spent as much time with Duc—we needed it. It’s been a rough 3 weeks and it is only going to get a bit tougher before it gets better. I read up on gardening and living a simpler, more organic lifestyle. I slowed down, soaked it all in, made bread and tried to enjoy as much time as I could with a sick and clingy toddler.IMG_5016 copy

I remind myself that we all have choices. There is always an A and a B. I can choose to feel like a victim or I can take charge of my situation. So I adjusted my attitude and reminded myself that I will do anything and everything I have to for my family.

Duc’s birthday is a week from today. My little man is going to be 2. I’m happy for him, but his birthday always brings a bit of sadness to my life. I can’t love him and celebrate him without remembering how we became a family. I know there is a woman out there that rubbed her belly and probably named him long before he was born. I don’t recall if I have shared it here or not, but the reason I named him Duc was because I imagined it might be a name his first mother might have chosen for him.

I’m also sad because I will miss my son’s birthday. My work schedule is going to get nasty for the next few weeks, but the ugliest day will be his birthday. My parents are going to be taking care of him while I am away.

So, while I have plenty of things I want to write about in the coming weeks, they will likely have to wait until June.

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Oh, and if any of you have suggestions on an affordable vacation I’m all ears:D


About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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