Today we went to a carnival.....today I realized more than any other day I have an 8 year old and a 5 year old. Or as they like to say "almost 9" and "almost 6."
E1 has been tall enough to ride all the rides for quite some time and today, at 42" short, E2 was able to ride numerous rides. E1 was bored on baby rides when just last year she was all smiles. E2 loved the independence of being able to ride without a companion. Today, we did not bring our stroller. And tonight, I cry. I am sad that our stroller days are over. I actually told the hubs, "We need to adopt a third. I need a baby. Now."
They are growing up and I love all the new adventures we can experience because they are older, but I hate that cartoons are being replaced by "real" TV. I hate that bedtime is getting later because a full day of activities no longer exhausts them by 7:00 pm. And I really hate all the damn opinions that come with more mature girls.
8 year olds suck. I am saying it and I am mean it. What a crappy age. 8 is young, but old enough to know better. 8 is immature, but mature enough to understand peer pressure. 8 needs help, but only wants independence. 8 is a daily struggle. My beautiful, bright, brown eyed girl struggles each day with wanting to be older, but still needing her mom. She goes from sweet and kind to a pre-hormonal raging bitch in 30 seconds or less. I hate 8. Every single day I wonder if my little girl and I are going to hang out or if my "pre" pre-teen is going to come down the stairs with the best resting bitch face I have ever seen. I hate 8. Playing with toys is fleeting and the board games she chooses makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a fork. 8 is tough. She is not ready for the pre-teen topics and pre-teen life, but she is outgrowing her little girl life quickly. 8 makes me cry on the regular. E1 is putting together her world, her family, and my glossing over responses no longer cut it. She needs details. She wants to understand her new world, but her heart is still so young. I really hate 8.
On the other end of the spectrum, 5 is still a favorite age of mine. E2 is happy, young, naive, and it is blissful. It is the great age of complete sentences, the ability to do small tasks on her own, but the age when a hug and a kiss from mom cures everything. E2 getting older has thrown me off my game this year. It is hard to admit, but when you're kid starts therapies at 22 months it is hard to imagine a time when they are all caught up or a time when what needs to be accomplished will have to come in its own time. E2's to do list was extensive and for the past 3, almost 4 years we have slowly checked off milestones. Somehow I have nothing left to check off. At 5, she speaks beautifully, rides a two wheel bike, socializes with friends, makes her opinions known, eats typical food, wears the right size clothing for her age, recalls her days and retells the stories, and now she swims. E2 argues with E1, reminds me when I forget something, cries when she is frustrated. A year ago, the world around her had no meaning and now - she is a part of her world. I love watching her get older, but to know she starts kindergarten has me crying like a newborn baby. I don't even know how we got here. I don't know how I will log on to the district website in a few weeks and register my baby for kindergarten. Homeschooling is looking like a great idea (again). I cannot "lose my baby." I know I must. She is ready and if you don't believe me, my almost 6 year old will tell you she is ready.
Growing up sucks for the mommies.
Stupid 8 and 5 - soon to be 9 and 6.
Stupid preschool graduation soon to be kindergarten
Stupid second grade soon to be third grade
Stupid no more strollers
Mama wants her babies back.
Well, babies that sleep through night because I am in no mood to be awake at 3 in the morning.
And...pray for my husband. Three women under one roof is no easy feat.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Two days ago I gave blood as part of my bi-annual check up. I sat in a chair and stuck out my arm so the phlebotomist could take my blood. The phlebotomists for the most part are nice, but holy hell they are chatty. The people that work at a cancer hospital try so hard to make the patients happy. They are as nice as Disney employees. So Chatty Cathy over here with a damn needle in her hand, aimed for my vein, proceeds to tell me I need a type and screen for my procedure and they are going to take extra blood. Um, hey lady - I don't have a procedure. She says that I do. We go round and round like 3 year olds with "Yes you do" and "No I don't." While we are arguing, I email my nurse (whom I love) and ask her what the hell. As I am typing the email, Chatty Cathy says, "Well - the only other reason we do a type and screen is for someone who has been here a long time. Have you been a patient a long time?"
Have you been a patient a long time?
Yesterday, I went for my follow up appointment with my oncologist. I was not nervous because Nurse A had already called me to tell me I was fine. My doctor's other amazing nurse came out to get me. We chatted while my vitals were being taken. As I verified my date of birth, Nurse C says, "GIRL!! YOU'RE ABOUT TO BE 40!" I laughed and she then said, "Wow, I have known you a long time."
Wow, I have known you a long time.
I am healthy. I am alive. My remission status is stable.
I left the hospital, called my mom so she would stop freaking out, and then cried. I cried for the very reason I smile. It has been THIRTEEN years and while I am so thankful, I am terrified at the same time. Thirteen years ago, a different doctor told me I would be dead within five years. I was 27 at the time. And now thirteen years later, it is that memory I hold onto. The memory of being told I had five years to live, max.
Turning 40 means the world to me. I never thought I would see 40. I never thought I would be a mom. I never thought I would have a life. To face your own mortality gives you a perspective you cannot undo.
For thirteen years, I've woken every morning thankful.
For thirteen years, I have prayed nightly for another day.
Nothing good comes from fear except for my desire to live and then to make the most of each day.
When I let my preschooler miss a day of school because she wants to stay home.
When I take my girls for frozen yogurt.
When I play Candy Land.
When I decorate like crazy for birthdays.
When I go over and beyond.
When I travel.
When I laugh.
When I smile.
When I am truthful.
I do all these things because at one point in my life I thought I would never get to and because I never know if it will be the last time. From an outsider's perspective, this is morbid. I understand this. From my perspective, it allows me to really think and consider is this really how I want to spend my day.
When I discipline my child for being sassy.
When I limit her screens and social media.
When I make the girls learn life lessons even though they are throwing temper tantrums.
When I say no.
When I get aggravated.
When I let my emotions get the best of me.
When I stand up for what I believe in.
I do all these things because at one point in my life I thought I would never get to and because I never know if it will be the last time. I do all these things because I am true to myself. I am honest with myself. I live each day for myself and for those that are important to me.
I have one chance to make sure my girls become phenomenal women.
I have one chance to teach them independence, self worth, and kindness.
I have one chance to be a parent.
I have one chance to be a wife.
I have one chance to be a friend.
I have one chance to be a sister, a cousin, a niece, an aunt.
And I don't know when that one chance will end.
There are days that I make a fuck ton (in case you're wondering that's more than a shit ton) of mistakes.
There are days I take risks with my own life and then think to myself you're an idiot.
There are days I think too much and act too little.
There are days I act without thinking.
To hear the words "long time" from people at a cancer hospital is both exhilarating and startling.
To hear the words "long time" let's you know you are beating the odds. In fact, you are kicking the shit out of the odds.
To hear the words "long time" makes you realize the last thirteen years went by so quickly.
To hear the words "long time" gives you the realization that each day, each week, each month, each year is a gift.
I made a promise to myself, my family, my friends, my children to give it my all and in this house we don't break promises. Not ever.
I am strong in my faith to know I still have more time and I still have great things to accomplish.
But I'd be lying if I didn't say the thought of tomorrow never coming is what keeps me awake at night and what keeps me going each day.