Ten years ago, my life was soooo simple. Looking back, that is. In reality it was always something. Ten years ago I had three baby boys, ages 3, 1 and newborn.
I was breathing a sigh of relief that The Captain had returned from Iraq safe, sound and just in time for the Little Brother’s birth. I recall my biggest worries being potty training and sleeping through the night. Now, don’t get me wrong, these are huge deals when you are a sleep deprived Mommy trying to convince someone that going on the potty for a few M&M’s is the deal of a lifetime. Said child was not and has never been that gullible. Also, sleep has never been that popular with any of The Brothers.
More experienced, perhaps wiser Moms would tell me this time will be over before you know it. Another favorite, “just wait, this is the easy part.”
Today I am pondering how this statement, suddenly, became my truth. More specifically, how this truth has affected my whole person, both inside and out. With three baby boys, the effect on my appearance seemed more cosmetic. My insides matched my outsides, shall we say. Inside I was frazzled, thinking, what the heck am I doing, I may never sleep again, and will my rear end forever touch the back of my knees when I walk?
Physically, you could see, I was frazzled and I was sleep deprived. This was obvious from my deer in the headlights look, accompanied by the most striking ebony circles and cloud like puffs that surrounded my eyes. Never did I believe that these would be the good ol days.
Fast forward ten years and my face has a much different look. Yes, I still have a bit of that deer in headlights look but for other reasons. Three years ago, it was from wondering how I was going to care for two children with special needs. I was just really wrapping my head around autism (well at least trying to) when we discovered our new baby would have an extra chromosome. Autism and Down Syndrome, what were we going to do?
Three years later and we are still wondering what we are going to do. Again, it is different. That scary time, three and a half years ago, now seems like the good ol days. Scary times that were filled with hope.
Where are we now? Well, now that look of bewilderment is still from wondering what we are going to do. Now our Sweet Baby Girl, Madeline, whose unknown beauty and joy, caused us anxiety and fear is gone and in the truest sense of the words, we wonder, what are we going to do?
Instead of the puffiness of sleep deprivation from ten years ago, the softness is gone. Where I once was round and puffy and naive to death, loss and grief, I now have lines and the sharper features that come with the loss of such innocence. Such grief leaves your whole being in a perverbial Deer in the Headlight state as you wonder what became of your softness, hope and innocence…once upon a time.