Tuesday, November 6, 2012

11/5 & 11/6 (No politics here)

I wanted to save yesterday's thankful post and do two in one day.  Anna is my 11/5 and Daniel is my 11/6 and I just wouldn't have enough room to write them in a Facebook status.


I am so incredibly thankful for Anna.  She is my firstborn and she had my heart the moment I knew I was pregnant.  We got pregnant with her on the heels (less than a month) of miscarrying our twins.  Being pregnant with her gave me hope.  When she was born, we were elated!  When I held her for the first time I felt like my heart might burst because I was so overcome with love for this tiny little piece of Will and me.  For the most part, she was a pretty easy baby.  As she started talking and finding little ways to express herself we figured out that she was going to have a strong personality.  She was very smart and caught onto things quickly, but man, was she stubborn!  She still is :).  She is so smart!  I'm often taken back by her intellect and intuition.  She sees things that people don't typically notice.  I am so grateful that I can add her point-of-view to my own because it makes my world richer.  She's also an incredibly tender-hearted little girl.  Often, her intellect clouds her emotions, which makes her appear less feeling than her counterparts.  She's so type A that she loves to categorize and catalog things and it makes her seem cold about emotional things.  She's all about order and things going exactly as she's planned them out in her head.  I love that about her.  I can be so right-brained and disorganized, so we sometimes butt heads, but she's taught me to be a bit more organized.  She's also taught me so much about how I see the world and the people in it.  A little over a year ago she was diagnosed with an extreme case of ADHD.  It was something I knew, but it was still hard to deal with the diagnosis.  I learned that you can't judge a child or parent based on appearance or behavior.  I had always assumed (until I became a parent) that when children were acting out in public it was a problem of parenting.  I would silently judge the parent and assume that they could not or would not handle their own child.  It frustrated me that people would be so indulgent that their children wouldn't listen to them.  Man, was I naive.  I never even stopped to consider that the children might have a problem without some sort of physical sign.  I didn't think that maybe their parents were harried and exhausted and had to choose their battles because so many things felt like a battle with their child.  Now, we're going to have her tested for Aspergers.  The diagnoses are often confused.  She shows many signs of Aspergers and in an effort to figure out the best way to help her, we're going to visit a new psychologist who might be able to help.  One thing that I can say without reservation is that I am passionate about being able to reach Anna in any way that we can.  I (we) want to help her.  She is our independent, with deep convictions, forward and deep thinker, analyzer, loving, go against the flow little girl.  She often ends up playing alone because she doesn't want to do what everyone else feels like doing and she's not one to compromise.  She frequently gets upset that others don't want to play the way she does, but in spite of that, she continues on the path she's chosen.  It amazes me.  She's very small for her age, but she's not afraid of her larger peers.  She's fearless and spunky.  She has a beautiful soul, and I look forward to the future with her even though I know that we have our fair share of valleys ahead mixed in with the peaks.  In those rare moments when I really feel like I've made a serious connection to her, I feel fulfilled and hopeful.  She's not typically a cuddly kid, so when she chooses to sit on my lap and tell me how much she loves me, my heart soars.  How incredibly blessed I am that God chose her for me, for us. 


I am so grateful for Daniel. He is named after my Papa and my Father-in-Law.  I will never forget the day that we told my Dad that we would name our son Daniel.  We went in for a 3D/4D ultrasound to find out the baby's gender while my parents were in town.  As soon as the technician told us that we were having a boy, we told him that Daniel would share his name.  I could tell that he was so proud.  It still makes my heart swell when I remember that moment.  It means even more now that my Papa is gone.  The pregnancy was so scary.  I had almost every complication possible and I feared for Daniel's life and my own.  I spent so much time praying and reading my Bible in hopes of getting some peace in the storm.  I found it.  I actually felt that "peace that passes all understanding."  I felt that all of the struggle in his pregnancy would be worth it, that he was going to be a special little man.  He is.  He has so much of my personality in him (God, help him).  He's very emotionally driven, he's brave, he loves to put on a show for people, he's stubborn, but he really loves to connect with people.  He's a cuddly little guy who LOVES to cuddle with Mommy.  He will walk up to me randomly and give me a kiss and tell me how much he loves me :)  When I walk into a room he's in, he lights up.  It's so sweet, and it often lifts my spirits on the days when I'm especially down.  He mentions that he misses Papa probably 50 times a day.  My response is always the same, "Me too, Daniel."  He loves so deeply, and this will always make his losses especially difficult. I know that all too well.  He adores being the class clown.  He enjoys making people laugh, but he's exceptionally hurt when he feels that people are laughing at his expense.  His sensitivity often clouds his judgement and makes him turn to vigilante justice (something we have been trying to deal with for a while now).  He's not afraid of anyone.  He's small for his age, like Anna, and it doesn't phase him for a second.  I wish I could get him to understand that he should temper his responses because there are bigger, meaner people out there who might seek to hurt him (oh, and also because violence is a bad response to anger and frustration), but he is still invincible in his own eyes.  He is my extremely loving, feeling, intelligent, humorous, out-going, and affectionate little man.  I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to love a second child as much as Anna because I felt like there was some fixed amount of love that I had to offer.  I was wrong.  The same swell of the heart to the point where you feel it might burst from loving so much happened with him.  I found that my capacity for love was not some fixed amount.  I love him so very much.  He's my own little heart walking around on display for the world.  I am so blessed by him.  When he runs into my arms after school, my heart skips a beat.  What did I do to deserve this kind of love and joy?  He is so eager to express his love and his little body just can't contain the great amount of joy that he has.  What a miracle!

In this period of loss and mourning, I am especially grateful for my two children.  Their thoughts on loss and the joy that they feel in the midst of pain has kept me going.  My responsibility to them has kept me going each day even when I felt like wallowing in my loss.  Thanks to them, I have put one foot in front of the other even when I wanted to retreat inward.  I owe it to them to show them how to deal with great loss.  If I give up and quit pushing on, I will teach them that defeat is an option.  It's not.  Right now, they are so resilient.  I want them to know that they can continue to live their lives in that way.  There is always hope.  "Even the darkest night must end and the sun will rise."  I thank God that I have them.

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