Thursday, August 21, 2014

a friend inside

My friend had a rough day yesterday. Not just with Moming but with Life. She is the person I'm with the most, the person I see and talk to most. Someone I have a direct ability to affect with my words because she intently listens to every little thing I tell her. So like any good friend, I gave her a good listening and talking to at the end of the day.

It's a shame you can't keep it together. To be honest, your job isn't really that hard, in fact it's kind of stupid mindless work. I don't understand why sometimes you make it out to be so stressful. You worry about everything. There are people who have it so much worse than you. Maybe if you woke up earlier you wouldn't always be running late. Maybe you could even like- Oh I don't know- wear something besides your Summer Uniform (tank, shorts and flip flops) and try and look like a grown up.

I sound like an asshole friend- huh? Of course I wouldn't dream of talking to a friend that way, yet I find it perfectly acceptable to talk to myself that way. Every darn day. And the funny thing is, it makes me less motivated, not more. So today I treated Chrissy Kelly a little more like a good friend.

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I treated myself to an awesome unfancy massage. $19 for forty minutes which is practically FREE.

After my massage and shopping and talking nice inside my head I went to pick the boys up from Behavior Therapy. As we were trying to walk out the door Parker had a melt down because he didn't want to leave the truck he was playing with there. He would walk a few feet and then crumble to the floor screaming. Finally I said, "Goodbye Parker. We are leaving" and started to walk out the door. Greyson (who is always by my side and ready to leave) wouldn't BUDGE. He went and stood next to Parker. Hammy hammy hammy hammy, he said gesturing towards Parker. Hammy is his version of "Help Me", one of the practical social phrases he has been taught to use when he needs assistance. Sometimes when he wants to say something but doesn't know how to say it- he just says, help me.

"Come on, Grey" I said.

"Hammy, hammy, hammy"- Greyson says, urgently this time. He reaches down and tries to grab Parker's hand.

"Par. Par. Par- Hammy hammy." He tells me. He didn't want me to leave Parker. It's the first time I've ever seen him show concern for his brother, Parker. My heat stopped beating and then started to thump loudly. While walking to the car Parker would melt every few feet, and Greyson would stay right by his side until he got back up.

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Little miracles daily.

This afternoon I went out the pool area with the boys. I really wanted to sit and read while they swam but Greyson said, Mom- pool so many times in a row that I couldn't refuse. I have a million reasons why I don't usually go in the pool with them. It's not hair washing day (what is this- 1952?), the water is too cold, I don't feel like it, we don't have time. I could probably come up with 4,000 reasons. In the movie, The Breakfast Club Allie Sheedy says, "It's unavoidable. When you grow up, your heart dies".

I'm pretty sure when your heart dies you refuse to go swimming because it's not hair washing day. So today I jumped on in.

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And he looked at me. He really looked at me for the first time in so long. I ache to hold him and squeeze him and have him say I love you, Mom. Some days I would be happy with just a little eye contact. Today that wish came true. The pool was magic. I was the Queen and he was happy. And because of that, so was I.

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This makes me happier than I can find the words to say...

On Facebook this afternoon I wrote the question, "What's the best book you've read lately? I need some new reads?" I want to share the great responses I got in case you are looking for new reads too. *Asterisk means more than one person recommended. I linked the first 16 titles until I realized how long it would take to link up the whole damn list and I quit. 

In the Woods
The Invention of Wings 
Life Animated
*The Rosie Project
*We Were Liars
*Eleanor and Park
*The Giver
This is Not The Story You Think It Is
Marrying George Clooney 
Chestnut Street 
Love Anthony
What Alice Forgot
*Big Little Lies
The Light Between Oceans
The Fault in Our Stars
*The Goldfinch 
The Bible
Unbroken (Laura Hilderbrand)
The House Girl (Tara Conklin)
Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)
The Paper Magician (Charlie Holmberg)
A House in the Sky (Amanda Lindhout)
Dancing on Broken Glass (Ka Hancock)
Calling Me Home (Julie Kibler)
Heaven is Real (Todd Burpo)
The Unwind Trilogy (Neal Shusterman)
The Secret History (Donna Tartt)
Signature of All Things (Elizabeth Gilbert)
Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)
A Lesson Before Dying (Ernest Gaines)
The Garden of Last Days (Andres Dubus)
Yellow Crocus( Laila Ibrahim)
The Plum Tree( Ellen Marie Wiseman)
The Kitchen House (Kathleen Grissom)
Mother. Daughter. Me (Katie Hafner)
Me Before You (Jojo Meyes)
The Orphan Train (Christina Baker Kline)
Roses (Leila Meechum)
The Tea Rose (Jennifer Donnelly)
Wild (Cheryl Strayed)
The Outlander Series (Diana Gabaldon)
My Mothers Secret (Witterick)
The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
The Story Teller (Jodi Picoult)
Game of Thrones Series (George RR Martin)
Written in My Own Hearts Blood (Diana Gabaldon)
The Power of Now (Eckert Tolle)
Chestnut St. (Maeve Binchy)
The Prayer Box (Lisa Windgate)
The Husband's Secret (Liane Moriarty)
The Walk Series (Pichard Paul Evans)
The Girl You Left Behind (Jojo Moyes)
Molok'i (Alan Bennett)
Beach Music (Pat Conroy)
Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran)
Keeping the Faith (Jodi Picoult)
If I Stay (Gayle Forman)
Where She Went (Gayle Forman)
Following Atticus (Tom Ryan)
The Twelve (Justin Cronin)


  1. Chrissy - wonderful post!! Ignore the fool above. 😘

  2. Love, love, love your post today! ❤️❤️

  3. To Anonymous, the verbose... there's the door... use it to get out, and forget how to come back. There is nothing helpful in your diatribe, and this is no place for visual poison. If you're into the awakening movement, then time is a wasting, best get a movin'.

    To Anonymous, the succinct - AMEN supportive person!!

    To Chrissy, the amazing by just being - loved your post. SO nice to hear of the little joys & miracles that you got to witness. Here's to more of those. :-) And more treating yourself like a good friend. Something many of us need to practice doing. Have a wonderful day!!

  4. Chrissy,
    My eyes swelled up with tears as I read about Greyson's concern for his baby brother. BEYOND beautiful words tonight my sweet friend! You are the most amazing momma and it makes me so happy when God sends you these sweet moments that are nothing less than gifts for your beyond deserving heart. I love you.

  5. Oh Chrissy, that's beautiful - moved me to tears.
    Great pool photos too.
    (sent you a message with an article - I'll post the link here too)

  6. Love reading your posts. Just wanted to tell you your boys are so beautiful. Beautiful is not a word one typically uses to describe boys but they truly are.

  7. Such beautiful stories today! Love how Grey watched over his little brother and the simple joy of you getting in the water! I remember as a kid telling myself I would always get in the water and get my hair wet! I have to remind myself of that when my boys want me to join them.

  8. To the first poster- I take my boy to behavior therapy as well as do so many others. To each their own right? We are all just doing our best as parents.
    To Chrissy- as always amazing post. I loved it.

  9. Little Miracles! Love it! Thanks for sharing with us your most amazing day. I am so thrilled that Grey wouldn't leave without Parker! What a great big brother. Thanks for the reminder to be my own best friend. It may sound funny, but you are really teaching/reminding me to love myself as much as I love others and to allow myself to just be. I adore you. *and not in a freaky stalkerish way, okay, truthfully, if I was near Fresno I would probably follow you around until you gave in and let me hang out with you. lol

  10. It would be wrong for me not to leave a comment after how much better I feel after reading this post. I haven't left the house in 3 days because my kids have been sick. And then, I start talking to myself the way you talk to yourself. Now, I won't and today, we are getting out and doing something fun. The hair washing thing? That sounds so like me too!

  11. Beautiful! Standing up for brother is very special!! My favorite moments are when I see my boys (5 and 2) stand up for each other. It means so much!

  12. Fantastic photos as always! I love it when my boys hug. It doesn't happen very often, but always softens my heart. Good for you for taking care of yourself and taking the plunge in the pool! I'm going to think twice next time my boys ask as I usually say no as well! Hugs to you today.

  13. I love this! I love good days of our kids giving eye contact and watching out for each other!

  14. You made my day! You have such a gift of just saying it. I always try to remember that the hardest person to show compassion to is yourself.

  15. I haven't posted before, but I always, always read your beautiful posts and admire your photography. Thank you so much for the gifts of your writing and photography! Chrissy, I think you'd also love the book, Wonder, if you haven't read it yet.

  16. I think you would love Jodi Picoult's "House Rules"....A single Mom with 2 boys, the eldest with autism/Asperger. Each chapter is written from one persons view. The oldest boy shows us great insight into his world, the younger brother loves his older brother but constantly resists because of the sacrifices he needs to make. The Mom of course is so very torn. I have wanted to suggest it to you, but never in a million years thought you would have time for a little pleasure reading!

  17. Thanks for the wonderful post. What a great day! And I don't know how you always capture the that wonderful hug between brothers. Weren't you in the pool, or if not in the pool, at least soaking wet? You are amazing!


    1. Hello Leora, I ask Grey to hug all the time. At least once a week. Parker will get a big smile and walk to Grey for the hug and Grey runs away. I grabbed my camera while we were at the pool. I just had a feeling he would't run away this time. He didn't. (And in two of the pics I actually WAS in the pool holding my camera up HIGH so it wouldn't get splashed!!! I just love the angle it provides.

  18. I'm a new reader, and there is so much to love about this post that I can't even put it into words!

    Thank you for being kind and gentle to Chrissy. She deserves it!

  19. Little miracles indeed- I still remember the first time my son gave me a bit of eye contact & tried to show me something, Just the best!

    Very happy for you! & glad you've decided to be a bit kinder to you- funny that isn't it how we beat on ourselves in a way we'd never do to others & then wonder why we feel worse hehe.... In regards to that I've started trying to talk to myself the way I think I'd answer my bestie if she rang with the same situation & I reckon it helps as funny as it sounds to get me to treat myself more nicely:)

    1. I like that! I'm going to pretend like I'm talking to a best friend!!!

  20. Love this post, too! That is exactly how I talk to myself! Is that part of our anxiety disorder or something else? (Lord knows I've more issues than all of the back issues of Time!) . Again, I also connect with your talk of not wanting to "dive-in" - to the pool, -at the park, -making forts. Sometimes I feel like such a rotten mom cause there's times when I just want to sit on the computer, and be "by myself" without any interruptions and not be asked to play Ninja's or put his Batman costume for the 8th time that day. I know I should be thankful I have a little guy who can talk and wants my help, but that's how I feel. See, I am rotten. And see, I do talk to myself that way ALL the time. :-)

  21. I love the story of big brother taking care of his little brother like that! That is an awesome story!

  22. WAIT! Greyson is swimming joyously in the pool, and jumping in? I don't read your blog all that much, but I do know going in the water and getting his face wet and swimming and jumping in are all things Greyson did NOT LIKE. So good job to you and your husband for being firm in your convictions that he learn to feel comfortable and swim - and good for you getting your hair wet! And for him looking at you - I can imagine that was thrilling.