Journal of a wife, mom, and first grade teacher

Momentary Lapse of Reason

Well, just like last year, I managed to miss the first day of the challenge.  I don’t know why or how, but I can’t remember anything and I have been losing everything including my mind.  I have lost my phone almost every day for the last four days.  I can think of three times this month where I get out of my car, lug the kids out of their car seats and frantically look for my keys in the freezing cold so I can lock the car, only to realize the keys are in the ignition and the car is still running.

I forget medicines, diapers, appointments, grocery lists, and visitors.

Saturday afternoon, I walked out of a store with the cart in tow.  I sidled up to my car, ready to unload my items, when I opened the door and realized someone had stolen my child’s car seat and replaced it with another one!  “Who would do such a thing?  This is crazy!” I thought.  After a few seconds of a momentary lapse of reason, (no, it is not just a Pink Floyd album, it really happens), I discovered I had opened the car door to some stranger’s vehicle.  So I did what any SANE person would do.  I ran like HELL!

Is there a cure for this?  Can someone help me?  My husband thinks I’m flaky.  My kids think I’m funny.  My colleagues think I’m nuts. I think I need HELP.

What a Ride

My children have led me on a journey I never imagined I would embark.  I am one of those women.  The kind that always knew I would have children.  I imagined at least three, never really cared boy or girl.  I fantasized a husband (sometimes) with a house and a dog. Birthday parties, soccer games, school plays, going to the park, first steps, first words…

Here I am, a husband, two boys, dogs which have since passed and living in a rental unit until “THE HOUSE” is built.  

Here I am, juggling job, doctors, therapists, friends and family.

Here I am, scheduling Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, Developmental therapy, Speech therapy.

Here I am, cooking dinner, doing laundry, vacuming, scrubbing, washing dishes.

Here I am, crying baby, whining preschooler, crabby husband.

Here I am, changing diapers, potty training, diaper rash, runny nose.

Here I am, grading papers, writing notes, emailing.

Here I am, Here I am, Here I am…

A journey I never expected, but a ride of a lifetime.


The Haunting of 1989

Since January I have been haunted.  Haunted by old friends and hallowed halls.  Haunted by ex-boyfriends and bad hair.  Haunted by old chemistry and French tests.  Haunted by Duran Duran, The Clash and “House” music.  Haunted by Medusa’s, The Alley, and McGreevey’s.  Haunted by the Metra express train at 6:02am, carpools, basketball games, and SAT scores.  Haunted by John Hughes films, the brat pack, VHS tapes, and tape cassettes.  Yes, I am being stalked, emailed, snail mailed and telephoned.  

It is my 25th High School Reunion.  Class of 1989!

The last one I attended was my 10 year,  I went with trepidation.  Will I see old friends or frenemies?  Will I look good or will they look better?  How many doctors?  How many lawyers?  I went.  I had a blast.  So many old friends, so many rehashed times.

I missed the 20th…my bachelorette.  A girl has to get her “whoop” on!

I am missing the 25th.  It just so happens to be the same evening as GiGi’s Playhouse Gala.  Gigi’s is a place for Down Syndrome achievement.  It has brought my family joy and hope.  We have made new friends and new memories.  We have become the class of present.  Everyday is a new day of development, a new day of hope, a new day of pure joy since Ryan has chosen us as his family.  

Yes, it would be fun to celebrate the “old days.”  Sip a beer or two and break bread with some old friends.

I choose class of present. Weekly physical therapy, occupational therapy, developmental therapy, speech therapy.  Acid reflux, low tone, ear tubes, clogged tear ducts. Smiles, laughter, hugs and kisses.  Hope, joy, love.  Man, a lot has changed since 1989!

The Challenge

The challenge has come to an end.  I must say it was daunting at times; deciding what to write, what to share. Will fellow writers embrace me or will they chalk it up to another first grade teacher looking for something more than sight words and shapes recognition?.  Will I be seen as a forgetful mother who sometimes can’y keep it all together?  I can’t remember the last time I have felt so vulnerable.  

I am so grateful to you all.  You have taken me in and warmed me with your comments.  I have been validated in my writing and feelings.  Isn’t this our human nature?  We all just want to be heard, listened to and told we are okay.  I realize this writing bunch has asked of me what I ask my students.  Take a risk, put it out there, let us all in.  

Although I haven’t met the challenge in that I missed a few days,  I met my personal challenge.  Thank you for inviting me into your lives.


Big Day

Today is a big day in my family.  Today is one of those days I call my father and brother across the country.   I ask how they are and remind them to keep busy.  Don’t lie around and think.  Just do so you don’t have to remember.  I have spent the week moping around my house.   I managed to venture out once or twice with the boys, but just couldn’t bring myself to leave the pity chair.  Oh how I wish spring break had been another week.  I would much rather prefer to be working this week especially today.

This day, six years ago, I held her hand.  I whispered into her ear, “It’s OK mommy, you can go now.  Your sister and daddy are waiting for you.  We’ll be alright.  We will take care of each other.  It’s OK mommy,, you’ve fought long enough.  I love you.”  I held her hand and let her go.

Today is a big day.  One I wish had never happened.  A history I wish I could rewrite.  


You Were Born

You were born in the early evening on March 2nd.  I was excited that you were to share a birthday with the famous Dr. Seuss.  This was a sign to me of your brilliance.  Our first glimpse of each other was a joyful meeting.  I, the one who had been eagerly awaiting your arrival for almost nine months, feeling your every move, sharing your every emotion.  Five pounds ten ounces of you!  How glorious it was to finally meet you.  You wedged your little body under my arm as if you had always been there, a permanent resting place made just for you.  I cried.  Your daddy held you.  I watched him gaze into your beautiful eyes and you back.  “Hello Daddy” you said.  “So nice to finally meet you.”  You and I were already old friends, but daddy was new.  He was yours at first meeting.

My beautiful first born.  My son.  What will you be like when you are one?  5?  10? 16? 21?  Will you always let me hug and kiss you?  Will you like school?  Will you have friends?  Will you always love me?

There is so much I want for you.  So much I promise you. 

Dear God, thank you for this gift.  Thank you for my sweet baby.  I promise to love him and raise him in your light.

Dear Nolan, thank you for choosing me as your mommy.  Thank you for your gift of love.  I promise to love and cherish you always and forever.

Spring Break Day 1

Last night I came home and thought, “Ahhh….no bags to pack for tomorrow, no laundry that has to be ready, no outfits to pick out.  Day one of Spring Break.  What will we do?  Where will we go?  Maybe to the Children’s Museum, maybe the Shedd, maybe a shopping trip to the mall.  Oh my choices are endless!

I fell asleep in the recliner last night with dreams of spring break excursions dancing in my head. 

2:30am: Awake from my slumber in the cushy recliner thinking, “It’s OK to watch a movie, I don’t have to work tomorrow!”

3:30am  I think I fell asleep.

7:30am  Wake up to find my three year old lying next to me. ” What is he dreaming?  Could it be of the excitement of the day to come?”  He looks so darn cute in his little teddy bear pajamas.

8:00am  Get the 18 month old who is awake.  Change and dress him.  The Physical Therapist will be here at 8:30.  So serve up a bowl full of cheerios and a banana.  Yummy!  “Eat up little guy!  We have a big day!”

8:30am  Three year old gets up.  Serve up a sippy of milk and pull up some Mickey Mouse Club on the tele.  Need a diversion for when the therapist is here.

8:45am Physical therapy ensues.  “Please excuse my pajamas.  I haven’t had a chance to change yet.”

10:00am Three year old is hungry.  Change him…”keep my jammies on mommy.”

11:00am 18 month goes down for a nap.  Three year old wants to play a game.  Switch some loads of laundry.  “I’ll shower and change when we are finished.  Then we will begin our spring break adventure.  Where should we go?”

11:30am  18 month old awakens.  Wants to nap in my arms in the recliner. ” Oh, my little baby.  You miss mommy during the day, don’t you?”  Three year old demands “On Demand”.  The movie “Frozen” is ordered and three year old wants a picnic in mommy’s bed of string cheese and pretzels.  “Do you want to change out of your jammies?”

12:30pm  18 month old wakes up.  Serve up some reheated pizza and strawberries.  Make some much needed telephone calls, catch up on emails.  Fold laundry and put away.  Now is a good time to pull out boys clothes that are too small.

1:00pm Eat some pizza.  I’ll shower and change when the laundry is finished.  I need to go to the grocery store.

2:00pm  Husband has a flat tire.  Oh No!  He will get it fixed and be home around 4pm.  I will go to the grocery store when he gets home.  It is too hard with both boys in the store.

2:30pm Look some dresses up online for upcoming gala.  Enter in monopoly codes at  Watch boys play with each other.  “They are so sweet together.”

2:45pm Pull three year old off of his brother.  “No, you cannot put a blanket over his head and jump on his back!  Time out!”

3:00pm  Eat a piece of awesome caramel cake.  I love Spring Break!

4:00pm  Daddy is home!  I’ll get dressed and go to the grocery store after you all eat dinner.

OK, tomorrow our adventures begin!  I hope.