Tuesday, February 25, 2014

letting go

My sweet, first born, 4-year-old son shimmies his naked heiny across the toilet seat in McDonald's. The same boy who was wiped clean with antibacterial everything numerous times a day as a baby. Surfaces were painstakingly prepared for him--germs eradicated and slathered with antibacterial gel before he came in contact with them. Shopping carts, restaurant tables, foreign toys. Boy has that changed.

I internally shudder and refuse to entertain the thought of the vile germs and help him carry on with his business. Even for the simple deposit of number one into the toilet, both pants and shoes must be completely off- turning a 4 minute task into at least 15. Tonight we have all the time in the world so we go slow.

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For the first time in my adult life this evening I found myself with both boys at a McDonald Playland, where we were breaking every rule- Shoes must be off, no food on the equipment, no going up the slide. Opps. Parker got stuck on a huge winding tunnel 10 feet off the ground and started to whimper. I knew I shouldn't have let him climb up there, I think. I have no choice but to wedge myself through the narrow, sticky tunnel, and flash back to the striking contrast of my past weekend.

Author Kelly Corrigan says, Things happen when you leave the house. A quote that makes me nod a resounding YES, believing it with everything I think I know about life. But I just haven't been able to make those words apply to me. From the moment we suspected something was wrong with Greyson- I have never spent the night away from him. And for Parker's entire life of almost three long years, I have been his last kiss goodnight. I can count on one hand the number of times a sitter has put him to bed. To paraphrase a quote from an old friend, I'm convinced their umbilical chord wasn't cut- only stretched. The thought of leaving them overnight leaves my heart pounding rapidly and I am unable to take a full breath. They need me. I couldn't stop them from getting autism, so I must ensure nothing bad ever happens to them again. It's hard to call out your own self for irrational fears. I don't know if it is a Motherhood thing, an autism thing or just a Chrissy trait- they are all forever intertwined in me and I don't know where one begins or ends.

But it was time. A month ago, my dear Friend Wendy- who lives in Southern California sent me a message that THE Kelly Corrigan was coming to {pages}, a bookstore for an author event to discuss her new book, Glitter and Glue. I knew that there would be no better occasion or more motivating factor to make me take a trip without Greyson and Parker. Wendy + wine+ one of my favorite authors ever. It was settled- I was going. And as the day leading up to the trip neared, I was only giddy with excitement. The day I left was hard. I knew the boys would be okay- I knew they would do fine. I was just so heavy with sadness. I was more worried about me.

My friend Shannon and I went together so the drive there zoomed by. During the 4 1/2 hour road trip, my sadness faded away and was slowly replaced with excitement. When we got to our hotel, I was flowing over and squealing- giddy with delight. We were right in the heart of it all.

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Manhattan Beach Pier- where Michael proposed to me 9 years ago.
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Wendy, me, Kelly and Shannon. Love you girls!

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The event was everything I hoped for plus so much more. The book store was quaint and delightful. The doors were open and the ocean breeze rushed in. I felt like I was in a dream. Kelly Corrigan is a profound word merchant, hilarious and a regular old every day gal.

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She read...

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And spoke... And although I don't know her- something tells me this picture is just so totally her. She had the room buzzing with laughter at times, and throats thick with tears too.

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One of my favorite parts was watching her sign books. She took time with each person, looking them in the eyes and really connecting. That spoke more to me than anything else.  I talked to her about this blog and you and my boys. I told her I was writing a book- and as soon as I got people I would be asking my people to ask her people for a quote for my book cover. She said- The answer is already yes. I'm holding her to it.

At one point the owner of the bookstore was trying to get a group shot of everyone holding their book. She couldn't fit everyone in the frame and her camera was freezing up.

I'll take a picture and send it to you if you'd like- I told her. As I got up to take the picture Kelly said, While you're up there, tell everyone about your blog.

HOLY @##t

But I took a deep breath in and I did it. And I was honored and grateful. Pinch me.

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It was worth all the traffic in the world getting home.

Motherhood. I want this more than Life. And I have it and it's mine. But that doesn't mean I can't take time off too.

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Sometimes you can even find ways to combine both worlds. What an adventure.


  1. Congratulations! Looks like that trip was exactly what you needed, in so many ways. :-)

  2. I just discovered Kelly Corrigan last week (Thoughts on Parenthood and the Great Adventure) and can't wait to sink my teeth into her book - and yours for that matter! So glad you got to meet her AND speak about this sacred place! Keep writing girl.

  3. Love it, as always!

  4. I love your last photo and the sentences surrounding it. What a beautiful way to put it. Grateful, present, and honest. Thank you for writing and sharing. You not only make the world a better place for your sons--you make the world a better place. Period.

  5. I always enjoy reading your posts. And lived vicariously through you on this one. An amazing experience, so happy for you!

  6. YAY! Her book is on my Amazon wish list. When yours is out, it will be there too! (and then in the shopping cart, of course). Glad you got some time away - and still a few great photos of your adorable boys. Thank you!

  7. Absence DOES make the heart grow fonder - at least I have found that with my newly minted 5 year old. Hooray! for girlfriends & Chrissy time & beautiful drives & inspiring women. And Hooray! for sharing this place with more people. There is so much beauty here; a little something for everyone.
    Love & happiness to you, sweet Momma! Jen