Friday, November 15, 2013

a million tiny little things

Many people that run a marathon end up running another. Maybe it's because the second you cross the finish line- people are there to take care of you. You go from sweaty and hot to freezing cold and wet- so people wrap you in a cozy thin tinfoil blanket. You are offered cooling leg sprays, massage, energy goo packs, energy bars and drinks. You even get a fricking medal, and the option to get your picture taken holding your fricking medal. You walk by other runners and everyone congratulates each other freely. Everyone knows they accomplished something big and something amazing, and that the hard and painful work leading up to it was worth it.

I think life would be a ton easier if we applied those same marathon finishing principles to many other aspects of life...

Like cancer. The patients should be given a bag full of loot on arrival- trash mags and comfy cute socks, lemon drops, a list of suggested cancer ass kicking songs to listen to. A community of people should be there after every chemo session, cheering the warrior on- throwing confetti. Whether you know the person or not. You are amazing! You can do this! Screw you CANCER!

We need to take care of each other going through hard times.

Getting laid off, finding out its autism, a painful divorce, or any one of life's road bumps and ditches. We should all gather in a room. Congregate on couches with pillows and blankets. Talk about life and hope and the present and the future...drink coffee or cocoa or wine and eat cupcakes and just be amazingly human with each other. We need each other to cheer us on.

Remember my Super Cuts fiasco a few weeks back? As I was sitting in the chair, I notice a woman walk in. I want it all chopped off, she said in answer to the stylist asking what she wanted done. And as her hair was being wet down and sectioned off, she started to cry. I heard her say, I'm getting divorced. And she was clearly in the middle of a moment. A horrible future painful moment type of memory- and I felt like I should say something to her. I wanted to tell her she would be okay. I wanted to tell her that I didn't know divorce pain- but I did know pain...and I could promise her that she will come out on the other end of this life thing. I would remind her that this thing- it's not bigger than she is.

But I gave myself every excuse to get out of it. You are a stranger. You will freak her out. Saying something isn't your place. Mind your own business. I regret staying silent. First of all- I should have told her NEVER GET A MAJOR HAIR CUT AT SUPER CUTS!!! Her hair was so pretty and thick and long. But second, I should have hugged her and said something to her. Maybe she would have looked at me like I was crazy- but I should have done it because that's the kind of person I want to be- regardless of how my actions are received.

Today I needed a marathon finish. It was so hard, and there were quite a few moments I thought I would snap. It started out innocent. I had Physical therapy while the boys did Behavior Therapy.

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Parker at the clinic.

Everyones in therapy for something. The exercises I do are mind numbing. I like BIG. Run 10 miles. Hard core cardio. Spin. Kickboxing. Big moves, big results. The exercises I am doing to heal my shoulder are tiny. Some of them feel ridiculously tiny and made up.

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Here's ME! Swinging a whole entire two pound weight for three long, boring minutes. Dude, this is nuthin.

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For the love of Pete, I ride an arm bike. AN ARM BIKE!!! There is no such thing. It doesn't take me ANYWHERE no matter how fast I ARM PEDAL!!!

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I look around and see everyone else- also doing tiny little things to heal. And I realized, to heal my shoulder, there is no one big thing I can do. I need to do these million tiny little things that add up.

And then I thought- Oh wow. That must be a theme in my Life- because autism is exactly the same way. No one big fix. A million tiny things. Little light bulbs daily. So many hard but worth it things in life can't be done or undone with one grand sweeping thing. They must be accomplished in a million tiny little pieces. Anything good is worth the hard work.

After therapy and lunch and some playing, I put Parker down for a nap. Less than an hour later I hear noises on his baby monitor. It sounded like crying- but it certainly wasn't Parker. I know my babies cry like the FBI knows finger prints. I listen closer- it sounds like a tiny little baby. Not my Parker. I wonder if I am getting feedback from a neighbors monitor. The sound continues...this terrible muffled cry. I think Parker must be having a bad dream and making strange noises in his sleep, so I run into his bedroom. He is laying there awake, and he can barely breath. Each attempt at an inhale is labor intensive. He is scared and confused, and so am I. I grab him from his crib and yell for Greyson. I text Michael- Call the doctor. Parker can't breathe. Going now. And we take off. Speeding and praying Hail Marys. She is a Mother, she gets it.

I ran into the doctors office where they brought us into a back room immediately. The doctor tried to check Parker's blood oxygen levels but Parker fiercely fought her. The more upset he was, the harder it was for him to breath. Each attempt at an inhale made a high pitched whistle and each deep painful exhale sounded like a bark. It was Croup and his larynx and trachea were swollen. Parker got two shots of a steroid, while we waited to make sure it opened up his airways.  That hour in the patient room was torture. I finally got Parker calm and relaxed. Greyon- keep the lights on. Greyson, close the door. Greyson, don't climb on the stool. Greyson, Close the drawer. Put that back. Don't jump on that. Greyson- COME BACK IN THE ROOM!!! Each request was getting louder and mightier. I was afraid I was going to start screaming at the top of my lungs.

It was hard. So incredibly hard. And time dragged on, but finally Parker started to take full inhales again. And then he started jabbering and pointing to pictures on the wall while smiling and laughing. He was back- my happy little Doodle. I was so relieved.

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And when we walked out of the Doctor's office, we sat and watched the sun go down- in the middle of a busy street. Because it doesn't matter where you are when you see beauty- you need to stop and grab it and soak it up.

They watched the cars and the sun- and I watched them. Soaked them up completely. I opened my arms wide and welcomed the hard times, the horrible moments, the crying and tantrums and everything less than stellar that comes our way. A scare like tonight reminds me- that nothing else matters but them. They can breathe- how lucky am I? It's all so incredibly stinking worth it.

And the remaining 2 hours we still had until bed time? We did it. And I did it so I could tell you I did it, and therefore remind you -that whatever it is- you can do it too. In ten years I probably won't remember tonight. I won't remember how scared I was. It will be one of a million tiny little things that fill my parenting bucket up full.

And it may not have been nipple chafing cream and a warming blanket- but I got a tiny almost-not really- little marathon finish tonight. I holed up with gobs of chocolate and took many deep breaths. And before Parker went to bed I grabbed him and we slow danced to Crazy Love by Van Morrison in the dark hallway by our front door. I rubbed my nose across his little face and breathed him in completely. Relieved after the stress of the day. He gently placed each hand on either side of my face and looked at me so deeply and intently that I know that it was love. Crazy love for sure.

Whatever it is you are going through- I'm here for you. I'm cheering you on. Neither one of use are alone. I'm placing the blanket on your shoulders right now.



Everytime I get a new LIKE on Facebook, an angel gets their wings and I eat more chocolate.


  1. Thank you for writing. A big huge thank you. Know I'm throwing confetti at you threw the phone when I finish reading your entries.

  2. Such a good point. I hope you recover from croup quickly. We had the same thing happen once and it was terrifying.

  3. Thank you for the blanket. I need it more than you know. Keep writing. I wrap your words around my heart each day, knowing that mommy warriors are out there, fighting the good fight for our children and comforting each other and essentially, holding the world together, one child at a time

  4. I want to say something intelligent, but have a head cold that slows that process down. So glad Parker is okay and so glad you made it through the marathon. Here's a nice warm blankie and hope you get to settle down a little today.

  5. Thank you. Thank you. Your writing is so moving. I love your analogy of the marathon finish and daily challenges. I have never run a marathon, but I use to live on the finish line for the Boston Marathon and would wind my way home from work each April amongst the runners wrapped in tin foil and the arms of loved ones. I could totally relate. I have felt the scare of illness almost taking my baby and know that being wrapped in a tin foil blanket surrounded by understanding mothers would have made me feel safer. And, I love Crazy Love by Van Morrison and know that you and Parker dancing in the dark hallway was for sure, crazy love. Thank you. Kristen at onein1hundred.blogspot

  6. Hi Friend. We had a similar situation a month or so back. My little was wheezing & struggling to breathe. In my lowest mommy hour I told him to "knock it off". I thought he was faking it </3 When I told him we would have to go to he dr he said OK! & ran to the car. That is when I knew we had a situation. Terrifying for sure. He, too, bounced back quickly but it took me awhile.

    You forgot to mention the people cheering along the marathon route shouting things like "nice legs!" I like that :)
    I like the idea that it is a million little moments, because it seem like the BIG ones are the ones I use to define life.
    Thank you, again, for your perspective.
    Much love & Happy Weekend! sweet momma, Jen

  7. Thank you for such a beautiful post! Loved everything about it. Hope everyone feels better soon. Happy Friday! XXX

  8. I'm so glad he's okay! This post was beautiful. Possibly one of my favorites. I ran the NYC marathon about 10 years ago and around mile 20 some random spectator was passing out orange slices. I took several and they tasted so good. For the remainder of the race all I could think about were oranges. The apple in my goodie bag was a major disappointment. As we were walking back to the hotel we passed a hotdog stand that had Fanta orange soda. I HAD to have it! I nursed that can of soda and every sip was heaven. This post made me crave an orange soda. Maybe I need to keep a few in the house as a reminder that life is made up of a million tiny little things. Thank you.

  9. Great post. You know at every marathon they have hundreds of those foil blankets so there are plenty to go around. I say keep yours around your shoulders. You deserve it!

  10. Beautiful post. I felt it. The ending with Parker's hands on your face - totally a marathon finish! <3
    Hope he is feeling better soon.

  11. Hi. Jennifer at supercuts is the manager on Ashland and blythe in fresno. She cuts and colors hair AMAZING.

  12. Chrissy- We had the same experience with croup in September with Benton. He woke up at midnight and could not breathe. The sound of his gasping on the monitor sounded so foreign it was disorienting. We called 911 and then took him to the ER where he got a steroid shot and two breathing treatments. He had croup before but it NEVER sounded like that. I was so terrified I was shaking. Luckily my mom was in town and watched Cooper til we got home from the hospital at 4 am. My guess is that you will remember this day for quite some was weeks before I could sleep for more than a few hours at a time again and not just stare at the monitor all night long. The next time B got croup, he was on prednisone for 5 days and then I REALLY wanted to run away...that stuff makes children crazy! I hope everyone feels better soon and congrats on your strong finish. Enjoy the chocolate! : )

  13. Oh my gosh. I got so scared for you. I'm sorry you had this frightening experience but - wow - what a great finish. You deserve all the chocolate and warm blankies a mom can get. (As do Parker and Greyson!)

  14. Hey sister! I'm so sorry to hear about Parker! That is so scary! I totally agree that there needs to be a room where we can drink wine and all listen and take care of each other. I could use some love since not working right now. I LOVE YOU! Big Hugs from CHICAGO!