Tuesday, October 15, 2013

vulnerable foreverist in search of belonging

What a wild and adventurous ride... Life

Sometimes we're bored out of our mind, and sometimes we are hanging on for dear life. You're a kid for a short time in your life- which feels like foreeeeveeerrr. And sometimes you desperately want to make your own choices and decisions. Big ones. Little ones- like having ice cream for breakfast. Getting your hair cut. Buying brand name Ocean Pacific shorts, instead of Ocean Terrific from JC Pennys instead. So embarrassing, Mom.

And after a blink- you are an adult for the rest of your entire life, and you make ALL the decisions. And sometimes you just want to go back in time and let someone else decide everything for you.

I had surgery on my right shoulder 4 days ago today. Ibuprofen stops inflammation which is a necessary part of healing and repair, so I'm not allowed to take it for 4-6 weeks. Tylenol sucks-It's baby candy. I hate painkillers. Hate hate hate. They dull my Chrissy until I don't remember who I am. For the first hour after the little magic pill- life is grand. Pain? Who cares about pain! I am FANTASTIC. I should clean. Or learn to play the harp. EVERYONE loves the harp. Licorice. Why is it spelled so weird? Life is good...Then for the next three hours I am a sweaty, anxious, crawling out of my skin, melty, hopeless, messy mess. Everything is awful. Everything is forever. I don't feel much pain- but that's just the thing- I don't feel much of anythingFeeling terrible and horrible and sad and confused is much better than not feeling anything at all.

My friend, good or bad- make sure you are feeling. Something

Yesterday I took off my shirt and immediately discarded it on our bedroom floor as I collapsed into bed. The energy it took to raise my right arm over my head left me unable to walk it to the laundry basket. 

Can you take that? I nod my head toward the heap on the floor. 
What do you want me to do with it? Michael asks. 
Put it. Floor. Too much. I mean, put in garage. Ughhh!!! I mean on the parking lot. NO!! CLOSET!!! Can you put it in the hamper in the closet? Can't think! Words the right order of.

Painkillers should be called word killers. I've never felt sew stewpid. I'm in the middle of a conversation and I forget where I am. And what we are talking about. And if I even know you. So forgive me my dear. I quit taking the little brain suckers the day after surgery, but I'm still groggy and hung over from it all. This week may contain a few vintage posts as I recollect my mind. Is it STILL this week? It's SERIOUSLY still this week?

I'm an amazing Foreverist. But only when it's bad. 

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In the middle of a perfect moment in time- where I catch the golden light that flickers in Doodle's left eye...when I just got great news...when Grey says car so perfectly I get instant chills while basking in the sound of my boy's voice - I hold onto those moments with slippery hands, knowing they don't last. I close my eyes and soak them up.

But the hard times, the middle, the confusing, the questions without answers, the days without hope...sometimes I feel like I instantly succumb to them without a fight. Crap. This is my new life? Well that sucks. I guess I'll just lay here and die inside while I obsess over how horrific it is. 

Nothing lasts forever. And that's good news. Make it work in your favor.

It's been a really hard 4 days. I'm scared when I'm alone so much. Not scared of the boogie man- just scared because everything is up to me. Scared that I will forget to take the trash containers out on a Tuesday. Scared that I will forget to feed someone. Sometimes I just want to lay in my bed with my pillow over my head and fast forward a day or two. I'm scared that I'm just not enough- because some days- I'm really not. Especially lately. Sometimes I'm just scared of Life. 

It's hard for me to share this part of myself with you. Really really hard friend. I want to be strong. I want to know everything all the time. And ironically, I can't stand know it alls because no one knows it all. I like people who own who they are. Flaws and all. No answers and all. Truthy McTruthersons. Why can't I like Me for the same reasons I like you? I'm trying. 

Sometimes I'm afraid to be vulnerable about how I feel because I don't want you to feel sad for me. I don't want you to feel removed sympathy. I don't want you to say, There you are in your sad situation and here I am on this other side and just hold your head up and you will get through it. That separates us. I want you to relate. The specifics don't matter to me. I think once we all realize that- they we can truly connect and feel like we belong. Autism, cancer, infertility, chronic pain, just Life. We don't even have to have a specific measurable painful label of a thing.  Hold my hand and tell me you feel the same sometimes. You understand. Tell me you think life is simply amazing and much much too hard and confusing sometimes too. Look at my vulnerable, and give yourself permission to emit the same. I think when we hold it inside it does terrible things. I think when we let it out- it creates beautiful things. Vulnerable. I don't understand how it can have the ability to create good and bad simply based on where we keep it.

Green Berets, Brain surgeons in the middle of an incision... Probably not best to share your vulnerable. Everyone else--Undo the top button of your vulnerable, take a deep breath and  and let it just hang out. 

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
Brene Brown 

Sometimes I want to skip to the end of the book, Chrissy's Life. I used to do that sometimes when I was reading a book as a child. I couldn't bear to wait to get to the end. I needed to know the answer immediately. And here's the thing- once I did skip ahead and read the ending, I could never really get into the story in the same way after that. I just wasn't as invested.

The whole of life is a willingness to live out the answers. To get up and do impossible things. Sometimes the impossible is simply getting up. Taking a shower. Extending a willingness to hope again. Sometimes it's excruciating things- like a mastectomy, miscarriage, developmental pediatrician office for your delayed child. 

Today I couldn't do shower, it was so hard to get started this morning. But finally around noon I made myself put on some makeup and not yoga pants. I needed to install a love for Fall in two of the most amazing little boys I've ever known.

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All aboard, pumpkin patch!

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And who needs pumpkins when you can ride an old train? 

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So much joy. Me and them. 

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He gets this look whenever he's on a ride. He's completely invested, calm and fully present, and yet somehow far away all at the same time. He makes me want to slay dragons and jump the moon or do whatever it takes to make him this happy all the time.

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Doodle preferred to watch.

But just in case- we let him have a try.

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And this face makes me think he didn't really enjoy it. 

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He preferred things that didn't move.

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Who knew a trip to the Pumpkin patch could be so hard? Neither boy wanted to leave. I'd get one in line and the other would be missing. Poof, hidden in a row of pumpkings.

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I can't believe how hard it is to keep track of two tiny little humans. Parker kept taking off his shoes and throwing them. We were cutting into nap time. Greyson started screaming because I wouldn't let him ride the train again. 

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Grey wanted me to carry him and I couldn't. Parker didn't want me to carry him and he was thrashing about. I was sweating and breathless from the workout. I got into the car and started to cry. My shoulder was pounding and I could feel myself not being enough. 

There there, I tell the earlier me as I look through the pictures. And I remember the feeling of watching Grey on the train and Parker watching Grey on the train. I'm certain- that's what life's all about for me. Those moments. Tiny little moments of just right and beautiful and amazing and enough. I hearted today. I tried and it was so hard- but I TRIED. Sometimes that alone is what makes us enough.



Like Life with Greyson + Parker on Facebook because it makes me feel productive and really happy and like I belong to something really amazing.


  1. I think you own who you are, Chrissy! You come across that way, at least. And I like you as you are. Because of who you are, and in spite of who you are. The "supermom" part, and the "wanna curl up in a ball in the closet and eat chocolate" part, and whatever parts are in between. I feel very much more like the curl up person than the supermom part, but every so often my cape flaps the way it's supposed to! I love how Grey gets so excited and immersed in what he enjoys, and Parker's seemingly careful consideration of the different gourds & things. Would be interesting to peek into his world in that moment. Wonder how often (if ever) anybody would want to peek into my world...? Here's to a better tomorrow! Hope the shoulder is healing well, and you won't have to fuss with the painkillers much longer.

  2. You are amazing Chrissy! Thank you for shareing your thoughts, the beauty and pain of live with us.
    I am always so encouraged by your openess,THANK YOU!!!
    lots of love from germany.

  3. My first child is going to be 1 on Monday. I always wanted to be a mother, and never knew how hard it was going to be. Your blog helps. I love your words, I love your message, I love that you share and I love that you're vulnerable. I also love your pictures, you catch Greyson's kinetic energy so well. So, I hope that your healing goes well, and that you know that there are strangers out in the world who are wholly touched by you and your family.

  4. Chrissy,

    Something I try to remember on those days when it's so hard and you think you're not enough. Not everything matters. What would be the worst thing that would happen if you didn't take the garbage down on Tuesday? So what? Maybe you have some annoyance of garbage piling up for a week, but is that really a big deal? I understand your feeling, though. I have dealt with depression for most of my life, and I often let myself fall into thinking I haven't been enough for my kids. (who are 23, 19 and 16 at this point) But, when I talked to my daughter about it, she said she doesn't remember me as always sad, or crying or hiding out in my room. So, I guess i did okay most of the time. My kids all tell me I'm the best mom they could ask for. So, while inside, I may think that's only because I'm they only mom they have had, I also take comfort in their assurance. Were there days the garbage didn't get taken down, or dinner was a "fend for yourself" kind of night, or mom is napping? Sure. But those aren't the days they think about. They think about the days of sitting around a campfire, or me reading to them, or Dad "doing the finger thing" at the dinner table. (sorry, family joke, just popped into my head) So, even if you aren't as enough as you think you need to be for one minute, or one hour, or even one day, that's okay. You are enough for them in that moment. Thank you so much for putting your life out there.

  5. "He makes me want to slay dragons and jump the moon or do whatever it takes to make him this happy all the time" and this is mostly why I love you <3
    Thanks for showing up with whatever you got so we can do the same.
    Sooooo much love & happiness to you, sweet momma. Jennifer

  6. Your boys are absolutely gorgeous, inside and out! As are you. Thank you for writing and keeping it real.