Thursday, May 18, 2017

Just Don't Eat the Apples

Chick-fil-a has a fruit cup. Occasionally, when I am feeling particularly virtuous, I will get the fruit cup instead of the fries. I will eat everything in said fruit cup-oranges, blueberries, strawberries, red apples- until I get to the green apples. I hate green apples. And yet, every time I eat that darn Chick-fil-a fruit cup, I force my way through all of them, chewing with my mouth wide open so minimal tongue contact need occur. Barely allowing my teeth to scrape the bitter skin before forcing them down my throat.

I am a small person. I in no way shape or form need or want to lose weight. But I’ve had three children. And also, wine and cupcakes are my favorite. So, there is a tiny area around my stomach that is decidedly not my favorite. Its not going to go anywhere (unless I want to live a sad little life without wine and cupcakes, which I do not). I own only one dress in which this little stomach bump becomes the focus of all of my attention. Especially when I wear it with flats. I know this. Despite all the knowing, every few weeks I put on this dress with flats and inevitably spend the entire day prodding and ramming this very small bump and making ridiculous promises of a sugar-free diet. The next day I put on new clothes and eat the damn cupcake (or french fries).

Facebook makes me feel bad. Really all social media makes me feel bad. I have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), FOGS (Fear of Getting Sick), FOMKGS or FOMKD (Fear of My Kids Getting Sick or Dying), FOMHLB (Fear of My House Looking Bad) and just plain F. All of the F’s. I have them, from social media. Which is SO. Dumb. But I see some blogger girl that I don’t even know in her fabulous life doing fabulous things with her kids and I think, should I be doing those things with my kids? The answer is no, I shouldn’t. Because my kids are perfectly happy. Well, one of them is going through an unfortunate stage where she yells and writhes around on the floor like a dying spider when she doesn’t get her way, but other than that- very happy. And so am I. 

So here’s the thing. Note to self. Stop wearing the darn dress. Get off of social media- live in the real world. And for heaven’s sakes- just don’t eat the green apples.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Protect, not Project

Protect, not project. Its something I’ve been working on.

Last week, we walked in the Mach of Dimes Walk for Babies walk in honor of my cousin’s baby who was stillborn earlier this year. Its an event I’ve thought about doing in the past, and I was proud of her for having the strength to go through with it in honor of her son. 

The thing I was stuck on was whether or not to take the kids. Gracie, in particular, talks a lot abut Rip lately and I was worried explaining the reason for our walk to her might bring up questions I wasn’t prepared to answer. I was protecting her, see?

In the end, we decided to do the walk as I family. When I explained that the reason for the event was to raise money for babies who were born too early, Gracie said, “so babies like Baby Rip won’t have to go up to heaven? That’s good.” And she went back to playing.

Parking in the hospital garage, getting out of the car, walking to the event down the same streets where we walked to say goodbye to Rip (and later hello to Sam and Gracie), I was overcome with emotion. And wouldn’t you just know it, they were playing “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes as we arrived. As I was saying prayers of thanks for my oversized sunglasses, my children happily played beside me. 

All of those questions I was so afraid of, the fear and sadness I brought to this event- that’s on me. Why did Rip die? Why do any babies have to die? Where are you, God, in this world these days? Those are questions I struggle with.

My kids, they don’t question. Rip is in Heaven. He is with God. We will do our best to help other big brothers to hang out with their families longer. Any fear or sadness in this day just did not occur to them. I know this kind of acceptance won’t last forever, but in the meantime I’ll try my best not to mask my projections and it protection.