If you're new to our blog, and would like to start from the moment I learned I was having triplets, click HERE :)
Posts about Colton's Cleft Lip and Palate surgeries as well as the Triplets' Cranial Bands are along the sidebar.

Monday, March 9, 2015

My heart hurts

I used to have so much to say.

Triplets, Preemies, NICUs, Cranial Bands, Cleft Lips, Cleft Palates….Yep, once upon a time this blog was a stepping stone for others walking our same path in life; a stepping stone for others facing the same challenges. It almost feels strange that the days of shelling out my "learned wisdom" about these topics have come and gone. It's like we've reached an age and a place in life where we're just….normal.

There's a lot of happy in that, I suppose. It IS sort of freeing not to be an 'expert' on these things anymore, because I HAVE actually forgotten how to efficiently fill 18 bottles a day or how the valves and pieces fit in Colton's Habermann Bottle. And I literally don't remember how often I washed their helmets. I don't. 

You might even say I've become complacent with this 'uneventful' life of mine.

Until tonight.

Tonight I was painfully reminded that our story is not over…and that my job as a mother will forever be a million times harder than teaching could ever be. 

I have 3 kids. They grew together, were born together, and are raised together. They are triplets and there's a lot of 'sameness' that goes with that.

But the reality is that one is different. (Yes, my intellectual self knows and appreciates that  they are ALL different, but one feels it a little more than the others.) He feels it in ways they can't yet comprehend. And I would literally take back every insecurity and every flaw I've ever had about myself (and there are a lot) to take this away from my Colton.

We were just sitting around the dinner table having homemade banana splits, partaking in our usual line of "how was your day" questioning. It begins with whoever thinks to ask first; tonight that was Ethan.

"Hunter, how was your day?" 

"And what was your favorite part?" 

"And what was your worst part?"

She, in turn, asks Colton the same questions.

If we're keeping track, he had a good day. His favorite part was painting birdhouses and eating ice cream. And if I'm being honest, he had a hard time thinking of a worst part.

But before he moved on, he very abruptly lifted up his upper lip, exposing his top teeth. Ever so innocently, he asks, "Mom, do my teeth still look funny? Are they still crooked?"

Trying not to appear flustered, I very 'breezily' said, "Well let me see. Um, yep. They're still a little bit crooked, but they still look really good to me. Why?"

"Because 'B' {his best friend} makes fun of my teeth sometimes. He says they look funny."

And just like that- it happened. He realized he's different.

If I were a superhero, my powers would be remaining calm and collected when all I want to do is fall apart.


I shot a look at Brian basically pleading in silence for him to say something because I wasn't sure I could, without crying. I needed a second to compose myself.

"Hey bud, your teeth are a little bit different right now, but pretty soon, they'll be all fixed up. Don't you worry about what other people say about them, okay? Everybody's a little bit different from each other and what's important is that you know how special and handsome you are." 

This bit of saving advice gave me enough time to well away the tears and interject my own wisdom.

"Colton, here's the thing. You're actually kind of a superhero, you know. You're only 5 years old and you've already had 3 surgeries! (I'm including his ear tubes) What other kid can say that? 'B' can't say that! Nobody I know is as tough as you are. When you were born, you had a hole in the roof of your mouth and Dr. Hurst fixed you all up! He fixed your lip and your palate (brief intermission here to explain what his palate is) and pretty soon, he's going to fix your teeth too!"  {And breathe….}

"But why was I born with a hole in my mouth?" (Said in a tone that showed more concern with the why HIM part than the hole in the mouth part.)

Again. time felt as if it had slowed almost to a stop. His eyes and his little self were waiting for an answer. And I wasn't sure I had a good one.

"Buddy, I don't know why. Maybe because God knew you were tough enough and brave enough to  handle it. 

Not entirely sure he was convinced, he at least allowed Brian and I to sprinkle our hopeless bits of wisdom upon him and the other two. We went back and forth with all the things you're supposed to say when your kids are feeling hurt; all the things you tell kids about tolerance and acceptance and treating everyone with kindness even when they look different. We talked about how Hunter's eyes didn't work so well and she needed to have glasses, etc.

And in case you're wondering what his demeanor was this whole time, you could almost say he was  unphased. And yet, he was thinking about it. He thinks about it. Something in that moment made him ask about it.

But just like that, the game moved on.

Colton looked over at me and asked, "Mom, how was your day?" 

I smiled and said, "It was a good day." 

"What was your favorite part?" he asked next.  "Um, watching you play outside and having ice cream with you."

And I knew it was coming…..

"And what was your worst part?" he asked.

{what to say, what to say…}

"Right now." I said. "Hearing that you feel a little sad about your teeth hurts my heart." 

The game continued until everyone had had a turn and almost as abruptly as it began, they were asking to be excused from the table. I've never been so eager to let them leave. Brian sent them upstairs to get ready for bed and I just sat, my back to everyone.

And I cried. Silent,  guilty, hopeless tears. And Brian knew. He sat down beside me and said all the things you're supposed to say when your wife falls apart.

I can never shake the guilt that he's a triplet and yet, he's the only one who has to deal with this crap. I can never shake the guilt that perhaps something I did or didn't do during the pregnancy caused his cleft lip and palate. I can never shake the guilt that I can be there for him forever and I can fuddle my words left and right when he needs a pep talk, but I can never take it away. I can't take away the surgeries and the pain that are yet to come.

Amidst my sobs, Brian so eloquently reminded me that maybe I was looking at it from the wrong perspective; he reminded me that Colton is going to lead the way, that he's going to shape someone else. He's going to teach someone about tolerance; and through it all he'll have his brother and sister to have his back. Maybe THAT's why he's a triplet.

Sometimes I like it when he's right.

Colton,

My wish as your mother is that you will realize the strength you have. That you will be courageous enough to stand tall when you're feeling down or when you're feeling different. My hope is that you will continue to rise above it and that you'll be able to see the handsome young man we all see. That you will find comfort in knowing that you're never alone. You are my hero. And you have been for almost 6 years now. I love you bud.



Now THIS is love. 

[Side note- I wanted to add to this story that neither Colton nor any of us are upset with his friend, nor do I think his friend even meant it harshly. I am pretty confident the whole conversation was spurred more by a 5 year old's curiosity than intent to be mean. Kids are just honest. Sometimes too much. ]  :) 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Inspiration can be found in the oddest places...

So, I'll be the first to recognize that my skills as a blogger as of late BLOW. But wait for it. Today, I got one of the greatest laughs I've gotten in a while and well, it sparked that old feeling of, "Oh my gosh, I have to blog this!"

So this afternoon, I'm busily working away on numerous projects for work and I left the little boys upstairs on my bed, watching CARS. It was harmless. No really. It was. Well it WAS. Until Brian went upstairs to get laundry.

Cuz that's when  I heard it. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GO DOWNSTAIRS RIGHT NOW AND SHOW YOUR MOTHER WHAT YOU'RE DOING. " {cue tears and feet dragging} And then I saw it. Ethan Scissorhands. Hairstylist extraordinaire. Oh. My.


I was able to get in about 18 stern words filled with all the wisdom I knew I should impart about how we only cut paper, you could've cut yourself, yada yada yada, until I gave up and burst into laughter.


That sad little face looked up at me, confused about the contrasting message my face and my words were sending and he crawled up into my lap and just hugged my neck with everything in him.

This is one of those times. One of those things…when all you can do is smile.

(And thank God picture day was LAST WEEK!)  :)






 More fun was had 'fixing' the haircut. 

Daddy turned him into 'Little Old Man, Ethan'


And then he buzzed him all. the.way.


Parenting is never dull. Of that much I am certain. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saying goodbye to 2014.

Something lately has been causing this little *tug* at my nostalgic "once-upon-a-time-I-was-a-blogger" heartstrings so I thought, "for the love of everything, just do it. Just open the blog and start writing." So I typed in the once familiar web address and clicked 'sign in.'

And BAM. I. Forgot. My. Password. If I were a twitterer (is that even what we call them?)  this would surely fall under  #bloggerfail , #iusedtobesogoodatthis, or #imissmyblog.

Well the upside is that it only took me 2 attempts and I got it right. Which brings me to now.

Hi. My name is Ami and this is my blog.



And it IS the last day of 2014, so time is of the essence.

I was reminded by some old and new friends today why I used to blog.  There is purpose beyond just keeping my memories in one neat place or my desire to tell funny stories about my family. Once upon a time, this blog brought hope to others in our same boat, whether that was triplet related or cleft related or cranial band related. It's brought laughter, it's kept my family connected and it's reminded so many that we are all the same when it comes to this thing called parenting. Most of all, I think it's reminded us to just laugh.

In talking with these friends today, I was reminded how grateful I am for this family I have…how long it took to get here and how every fear I had when I learned I was pregnant with triplets just sort of 'went away' as we began living our life and making it our own. As I left our visit, I wondered {and doubted} that I properly conveyed what an absolute blessing it is that they, too, have been chosen to be the parents of three little ones. (At once.) It was a nice way to end the year…it left me feeling thankful for my life and hopeful for theirs. :)

That does not change the fact that I was terrible at blogging this year. So many things happened that I never wrote about. I've often wondered why I let it go by the wayside and usually come up with the same excuses…I'm just too busy... I have too much work to do…I needed to clean the house…

Excuses. That's all they are.

I miss my blog. I miss my memories and I miss my blog friends.  I will be better.

If a toilet has to go unscrubbed for a few hours, then so be it. {Starting to hyperventilate already..} lol

My kids are funnier than ever right now and I don't want to forget these days.

But, unfortunately, half of my photos are on my old laptop so I don't even have all of 2014 in one place…but here, in a totally messed up order are some of my favorite memories from 2014. :)



Graduating from Sonshine Preschool! 





Their Pre-K Teacher, Mrs. Lucas 


My mom, one her best friends, Mrs. Lucas and the trio.


Ponka and Co.

Mother's Day Photos with Savannah Williamson

Me, My Mom and my sister

Apple Annie's with our friends the Hairgroves…this is always a favorite. I stood in that pumpkin patch just a few weeks pregnant with the triplets and every year since.  :)




Birthday parties with friends...
My niece turned 1…and then some.


Apple Annies

Our many Halloweens! E, H, C
 

My Kinder team: Anabelle and Jackie



Watching my nieces grow into big people! (Kinsley)

Brinley
Hanging with the Conca kids and Dave! 
My, how my kids adore their 'big kid' friends!
Reading to Ponka on Sundays

Visiting with Santa at Sonshine Preschool for Brinley's Holiday Program
"Friendsgiving" at the Pearson's with the Malms and Rioses

Making Gingerbread Houses in kindergarten! 




Christmas at Nana and Papa's


Nana and Papa

Aunt Kristen, Bella and the kids

Just being themselves. 

 
Swimming together at Nana and Papa's
Papa's Birthday! 

Road Trip to Page, AZ for a cousin's wedding! 

They maybe weren't supposed to be on that wall at the Glenn Canyon Dam….


At the wedding with Nana
Bar Hopping with my kids.
Greeting Ponka at the airport after his return from Vermont where he was in a very bad car accident.

Working in kindergarten at Cottonwood with my amazing team! 

The itty bitties STARTED KINDERGARTEN!!


Gale Tigers!

OMG, they're KINDERGARTNERS!!!!


10th anniversary stay-cation with some of our best friends!

Color Days in Kindergarten! Have I mentioned how much I love their school? 

Wine tour with lots of good friends! 

Little Man Graduated from SPEECH! 

Peanut Pie gets new glasses! 




Mother's Day on Mt. Lemmon





San Diego
Sea World Flamingo children



My handsome, grumpy husband. 

My handsome, HAPPY husband.  
Crazy how much I love this man. Despite how crazy we make each other. :)

Sadly, one of the FEW times I got to see my best friend, Jen this year!  

Jen and Nate (and little Allie's head!)

Ava and Hunter

Aunt Josie


Happy New Year, everyone. 
Make it a good one. 

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