Overindulging In The Buffet Of Life

Dear God,

Well, once again you were right. Thank you for the lessons that I have learned in the past couple of days. It seems that you noticed how busy a month that September has been and you have made the provisions, once again, for me to slow down. It is always easy to look in the rear view mirror and see that perhaps I have taken on too much. The trouble for me, is noticing this when I’m in the moment.

A few days ago you decided to bless me with an intensely painful back spasm. I have never experienced anything like this and it came so all of a sudden that I literally froze for several minutes hoping that the pain would pass. It did not. Instead, I could barely move or walk for the next two days. The pain I compare to that of labor, as I felt certain that I have never been in as much pain. At least with labor an epidural is offered. For this injury, only a ton of ibuprofen, steroids and muscle relaxers.

While I am feeling better today, and returning to work, it has brought to light once more, that I need to take a break every now and then. I can not continue to fill my plate at the buffet of life. I need to sit down and enjoy the few things that are on my plate in moderation. Anything else would be glutinous.

I try to see the positive in most situations so this is no different. I am writing today in thanks for the couple of days off. I suppose I wouldn’t have taken them otherwise. I am also thankful for the opportunity to see how much Brian truly cares about me.

He came home from work on Thursday to me hunched over and shaking with pain. Usually, I don’t let sickness or pain keep me from doing what I do best…. everything. It doesn’t usually matter what is ailing me, I am always up for more. My list of things to do never gets smaller. This time, I couldn’t move so I’d say it was pretty limiting on my list.

Brian picked up all of the slack and at one point when I thanked him for all of his help, he said “I’m not doing anything that you wouldn’t do for me.” That really made my day. Not only did he realize how much I help him when he is hurt of sick, but he was a tremendous support for me. How lucky am I!

I powered through the past couple of days and at first I was terribly upset at the money lost from not working. It seems that every time I have a chance to get ahead, life steps in and pushes me back a couple feet. This was no different. Each shift that I work is necessary to pay a bill and missing even one shift is debilitating. I had already missed a shift earlier in the week because Cassidy wasn’t feeling well, so this really hurt, but you already know that.

Thank you for reminding me that money isn’t everything. It isn’t more important than my health and well  being. Thank you for the kick in the back that was able to remind me of what my priorities actually are. I may need to work to pay bills and live the life that I want, but it should never rule the life that I am living. I think that I was forgetting that.

It is your little reminders that bring me back to reality and help me to focus on what life is really about. You sent me one of your most amazing reminders about three years ago. You dislocated my knee giving me a three month break from life. Jacob was just born and I had returned to work after only ten days… Once again money ruling my life. I guess you had to put your foot down and prove a point. My injury enabled me to spend precious time with my new baby that I would have otherwise missed.

I do hate to be told that I am wrong, but I guess you do have a point. You must watch over me and wonder why I push myself so hard. I don’t have an answer for that. I guess it is just how you made me. It must be hard for you to watch me get carried away with life and so I guess that is why you send me these reminders.

Once again, my eyes have been opened and I will try to see clearly all of the things that are important. I will try not to over fill my plate and I will try to savor the things that I choose to put on it. I know this is a lesson that you keep trying to teach me, and I pray that this time I have got it figured out. Sadly, I’m sure you know me well enough to know, that I probably do not have it figured out.

I will try my best to stay on course but if I do stray again, I look forward to being reminded once more. Thank you for your help, thank you for your mercy and thank you for your forgiveness of my shortcomings!

Love, Cherise

Working On Warm And Fuzzy

Dear Cassidy,

Well, we have had a rough couple of weeks. You have started first grade and the transition has been less than smooth. I honestly was caught off guard and I thought that this year would start off without a hitch. So much for mom knowing everything! As I write this today, I am celebrating two days in a row of you going to school without crying. For me this is a great celebration because your tears hurt me more than you could know.

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The first two days of school went great and you were filled with excitement and curiosity for all of the new things that you would do in first grade. Your enthusiasm dwindled by the third day and the bus stop was a tearful event. You didn’t even want to get on the bus.

While I was worried, maybe I brushed your tears off too easily as I pushed you forward onto the bus. “You will be fine. You’ll have a great day!” I waved to your tear filled eyes as you looked out the bus window and drove away. I may have seemed tough, but the whole time my heart was breaking. Your tears are my kryptonite. I’m sure I’ll have to explain that to you since you are too young to know what kryptonite is.

By the time you came home from school you were already doing better. It was like the morning never happened. You were excited and filled with energy from the awesome day you had. My fears subsided and I thought nothing more about our tearful morning…. until the next morning.

Once again you did not want to go to school, only this time you fought with me to leave the house at all. I tried to convince you of how much fun you would miss and all of you friends would be sad if you weren’t there. It was just no use. I raised my voice in frustration and demanded you to settle and get ready to leave.  Eventually, you calmed enough to get to the bus stop.

The second the bus pulled up, the tears started again. This time a little more than yesterday. I gave you extra hugs and kisses and tried to settle you before getting on the bus, but once again I pushed you forward onto the bus and then I waved as your eyes were filled with tears and my heart was filled with hurt.

My walk home from the bus stop was a walk of shame. I thought about the moms that would have petted their baby’s head and spoke softly to them. “It’s ok, tell me what is wrong.” They would have gone on and knelt down to sooth their crying child and if they couldn’t they wouldn’t force the child to get on the bus anyway. I felt judged by the other moms as I pushed you forward even though you were so sad.

As I walked back, I replayed my words and what I could have or should have done differently. Why am I not one of those warm and fuzzy moms? I knew by the time that you got to school that you would be fine, but why wasn’t I mushy and sweet to you anyway?

I made it home and could have cried myself. I feel terrible sending you away feeling sad. I hate that I can’t fix things and this was a situation that I couldn’t fix. It would take time for you to adjust to a new schedule and I couldn’t rush it. Frustrating!

The weekend came and you seemed like you were doing better. Like I said, by the time you got off the bus in the afternoon, you were happy and excited. It was on Saturday driving in the car that really broke my heart. You began to beg me not to send you back to school on Monday. It was two days away and already you were fretting. Now this I can’t take.

Both your dad and I were worried that something had happened that you weren’t telling us. This was just not like you.  I may have hid my concern from you, but you really had us worried. It was hard for either of us to believe that this behavior was just because of a transition into a new grade and new schedule. It had to be more.

You honestly had me thinking if your dad and I had made the wrong choice by starting you in school when we did. We certainly could have waited another year but you just seemed ready. Until September third of this year, I was convinced that you were ready. Now you have left me worried and wondering if it would have been best to wait one more year.

Monday came and yet another horrible bus stop experience. This time you got on the bus crying and then ran back off. I hugged you once more and then again sent you off sternly. I hung my head low as I walked home and then emailed your teacher once again. I even called the school to make sure that you were better when you had arrived.

I must say, you really have put my  heart through the ringer these past couple of weeks. I guess this is a lesson for myself. I just assumed that you would go into this year as ready as ever. I figured that you are so amazing that nothing would bother you. You don’t need to worry about transitions, you are invincible!

I was wrong. You are sensitive and you are still a little girl. You may act like six going on twenty six, but you are still just six. I forget that sometimes. I expect so much from you and probably too much sometimes. I’m a tough mom and I’m not warm and fuzzy, and sometimes warm and fuzzy is nice.

I am glad that you are doing better now. Two days of getting on the bus with smiles is great! I guess you just needed to adjust… Now it’s my turn. I need to adjust sometimes also. Tough mom works sometimes but so does warm and fuzzy. Who knows, maybe you would have transitioned a little easier if I was just a little softer.

So while you are learning, I am also. Just wanted to let you know that I am not a perfect mom but I am trying. I love you!

Love, Mommy