Archive for August, 2015

Back to school. Love mom.

August 27, 2015

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Next week you’ll be opening those big metal doors of a new school year.
Your backpacks and doors won’t be the only thing that is heavy and loaded down.
You will be full of nerves, excitement, uneasiness and happiness.
I want you to remember a few things, not just on this first day, but every day of the school year.

1. You are good enough! As you sift through the unsteadiness that comes with not seeing your peers, and the worries that come a long with not knowing if your friends from last year will still be your friends this year. As you walk into the new classroom with a new teacher and slowly take those steps to the new desk. And your tummy is in knots not knowing if anyone will talk to you. Know that you are good enough. And every other kid is feeling the same.

2. I don’t care about the other kids. OK I do, but please please don’t compare yourself to them.  I am not worried about what Suzy got on the test, I am not worried that your mark was lower. I’m not worried about Johnny being a math whiz, but you don’t get it. I’m not worried about the game being lost, or won. Did YOU try? Did YOU do YOUR best? That’s all I care about. You have your own talents and gifts, as everyone in your class does. Focus on YOUR talents and gifts while cheering on your peers in theirs. There’s so much more to life than classmate competition, others successes don’t take away from yours, be proud of yourself and your friends!

3.  Be kind. Be yourself. Be good.
You are perfectly you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Embrace and encourage the differences that others are. Don’t get sucked into the he said, she said crap. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want being shared with the person you said it about, and you won’t have to worry. Be kind, to everyone. You don’t have to agree or even like everyone, but that doesn’t give you the right to be cruel. Same goes for others to you. And if they are? Hold your head high, walk away and talk to us. Same goes for the teachers. I assure you that you’re not going to love them all, or always like what they have to say. That’s OK. But you don’t get to back talk or be rude. They are a) the adult and you will respect them b) they are there to help you, use that. And appreciate and respect that and them, they are your biggest resources!

Love you and don’t ever forget that!

From caterpillar to butterfly.

August 18, 2015

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Just like that, those 8 seconds are gone. I’ve missed writing, but so enjoyed those moments of just being.

As my boy plugs through this life that so “kindly” cocoons at every corner he turns, I’m amazed often at how he works desperately to knock them off and fly.
His life is a constant caterpillar /butterfly effect. And that quite frankly sucks. But the beauty is so worth it. Those moments of anguish and pain are out weighed by those of pure and simple joy.

I look back 10 years ago, then 5, then 3, heck even that many months and I am amazed at where we are today.

Don’t get me wrong, bipolar definitely still lives here, anxiety and ptsd still reside in our walls, they’re not going anywhere. What amazes me is his acceptance, understanding and knowledge of each and how damn hard he works to overcome them. And how doing so has changed not only his life but ours.

For a 14 year old those things are astounding.
The fact that he can now tell us what he needs (to be left alone, a walk, to talk etc) depending on his mood has been a huge shift! The fact that he is able almost all the time to describe his moods (and if they’re just a bad day or cycles) is monumental in our world.

Often this summer I’ve watched him battle, literally you can see it on his face, to overcome and ultimately conquer things he would have easily avoided in the past.
It’s exhausting for him, and it’s heartbreaking for us to let him break those walls without being able to help. Wishing so bad that it could be easier, wishing so bad he could conquer the things that are so minimal to most, yet monumentus to him.
Watching the cautious steps he takes forward in his unsure steps makes my heart smile.

A lot of it has to do with having accepting and kind people around (even strangers!) while he’s taking them. The little words of encouragement from those who don’t even know our story, the family that just simply let’s him be until he figures it out , no pressure, and the people who actually make an effort to see past an illness that a) makes first moments sometimes a bit shaky and b)even when or if they don’t understand  they make no assumption or judgement based on an obviously big kid full of nerves they’ve never met but instead of an odd look they give a smile. And those that do know our story and don’t care, or do care enough to look past it, and realize there’s so much more to the kid than an illness.   His knocking those cocoons off isn’t nearly as difficult with you along the way.

But he continues to overcome the caterpillar and soar, and we’re proud. As so many parents are proud of the trophies and medals, we are proud of the simple things taken for granted.

Typically after the “butterfly” moment, we endure a week of the return of the “caterpillar”. But I will take all the caterpillars in the world for an hour with the butterfly!

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