Harry Saves the Day, and Dr. Penguin to the rescue!

Being a Mother has its challenges, but it has been especially challenging as of late. We finally have an answer to the question, why my son continually gets croup, has trouble breathing, and has an E.R. visit or ambulance ride every time he gets a respiratory infection. He has Asthma.

I am learning, because I know nothing about asthma. Perhaps, if I had, my Son could have avoided numerous trips to the E.R. for the oral prednisone he so desperately needed to reduce the inflammation of his airway.

There are many things that I have learned about my Son. He gets really anxious and agitated when he is having difficulty breathing. Because he is four, he does not always tell me when he is feeling unwell. He just becomes more active.

He hates taking oral prednisone. I got one of his favorite stuffed animals from one of his favorite books. “Harry the Dirty Dog,” and pretended Harry was taking his medicine. I told him, “Harry does not like the taste either. So he is gonna open his mouth and I am gonna pinch his nose so he cant taste it, then he gets a shot of orange juice for being so brave.”

“I’m gonna be brave like Harry Mommy! Let me try it! Let me try it.”

My Son was able to take his medicine. Let me tell you, I tried it. It is bitter as hell, even with the flavoring the pharmacy puts in there. Thankfully, just like Harry my Son was able to take his medicine.

The penguin nebulizer the doctor gave us to take home was a genius idea. Whoever thought of this was brilliant. My Son was a little scared of the noise at first. I told him, “That’s the noise that Doctor Penguin makes when he is trying to make you feel all better.” 

So begins the saga of Doctor Penguin and his adventures. So I began to do what I do best. Tell stories to my Son of Doctor Mommy Penguin, and her little baby that she was trying to help get better. I talked in the goofy voices that each of the characters have. My Son, laughs and giggles and loves this so much. To make a long story short… It worked! He is now taking his medicines as long as I tell him the stories that he requests.

My Nightwish series, has been put on hold for a while, because I am not working on writing and illustrating Doctor Penguins adventures at my sons request. He has had quite a few adventures this week!

“Tell me a story Mom… read me your book…Oh yea! And please draw Doctor Penguin for me in my book. “

and this is why I am writing children’s stories and YA fiction. It has made this difficult time much easier on us both. Sharing something so unique and special has brought us so much closer. It helped him to understand what was going on inside his body, and why he needed the medicine so badly.  Harry the Dirty Dog might have saved the day, but mama penguin came to the rescue!

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The Giver

On Christmas, my Son was looking at all the gifts he had received. He pulled out one of the books we had gotten for him. Looked through it and then handed it to me and said, ‘Mommy I think my friend would like this, she needs it more than me. She loves Vampires.’ (It was a Vampireology Book)

It just touched me. He gets a concept that most adults fail to learn. The gift of giving. He couldn’t wait to give his friend this gift. I saw pure joy on his face when he was able to deliver that gift to his friend.

You did good Son. This Christmas you made me proud to be your Mom.

To see your soul…

To see your soul...

To see your soul walking outside of your body, is a most unusual thing. There he is with a smile on his face, ready to greet the day no matter what life brings his way. In seconds that all can change. It can happen so fast.

One minute he was talking. The next minute he started coughing and was blue and could not speak. He began motioning to his vocal cord trying to talk. No sound came out. During this time I tried not to show my fear, rubbing his back as I did so many times when he was a baby.

I literally saw my life flash before my eyes. My soul as well as my Husbands soul, walking outside of our bodies wrapped in this package.

I now know what it means for ‘life to flash before your eyes,’ now.

All these memories and moments come into your mind, like a movie playing.

The first time he smiled. His first word. The first time he walked. The first time he crawled. His first Birthday. First Christmas. The first time he found music. The first time he cried, because he understood deaths finality. His first day of school. The first friend he made. All the times I held him in my arms, when he needed reassurance. Or more simply, all the times I held him in my arms because I loved him.

That little chubby face looking up at me when I brought him home from the hospital. The time he smiled at me with his little milky grin when nursing. It was cute enough to make you cry. Just because you were so happy to be in this little angels presence.

This soul. My Son. One part me, one part my husband. The rest of his soul, bits and pieces of other family members scattered thought him. He lives in us and we in him. That is the beauty of life. It goes on.

Its why this little boy means so much to me. He is my soul, staring back at me and looking through me. He knows me better than anyone in this world.

He used to kick me wildly from the inside when I played the violin. He got hiccups whenever I sang to him. He knew how I felt before he was born. He was kicking my ribs, when my Husband and I said our vows. I know he knew how nervous I was. I like to think that he was just as nervous.

One day he heard Ave Maria on the T.V. He looked at me with those big blue, all knowing eyes and said, ‘Mommy they played the song at your wedding.’ I was shocked. But then of course he recognized all the songs I sang to him when he was a baby in my belly.

My child is still a very observant and caring child. Always thinking of other people before himself.

He is my own soul walking outside of my body. It is the most beautiful thing to witness, and yet, the most painful. That is what it means to be a parent.

 

 

8 a.m. Coffee

My Son has started school an interesting and unique journey -and I- a journey of my own.

8a.m.- I start it with a fresh cup of steaming, hot joe from Starbucks.

As I sit and wait for my computer to update I think of how much technology has advanced and changed, and how I find it so very irritating that it takes forever for windows to update, and right now. I wish I would have thought to bring my trusty yellow notepad, and pen because sometimes technology can be so unreliable.

I think of the world’s coffee houses and how many dreams, have lived. How many dreams have been born and died here.

I take some comfort in knowing, that much coffee has been drunk, many late nights and early mornings have been spent in coffee houses around the world, by many different people from all walks of life. Trying to spin ideas, and make new things-much like this piece of technology that sits in front of me.

The world is full of ideas. Ideas are the windows to the soul. All of these things were created by people like you and me. The dreamers. The 8a.m. Coffee drinkers.

Perhaps this is the start of a new adventure, and hopefully in a few weeks the completion of a new book.

Someday when I grow up…

Think back to when you were young…

One of the biggest questions everyone asked was what do you want to be? Pretty big question. But if you were like me, you had an answer to everything back then, didn’t you?

I remember in first grade I knew that answer. I wanted to be a writer. The first piece I ever wrote was a play on several 3 by 5 index cards. It was littered with spelling, grammatical errors, and incomplete sentences. In my eyes however, it was a masterpiece. It sat in a box, tucked in one of my favorite childhood books until we moved, and my Mom gave them to me.

Reading the note cards provided my Husband and I with much entertainment , and by the third card, we were laughing so hard we were crying. Thankfully, my writing skills have improved since then!

Life happens, people grow up. Instead of getting happy, people’s opinions get in the way, and then we hope to get lucky.

Get lucky, and get that promotion. Hope to get a good paying job with benefits. Work for a company that offers a good retirement plan, and if we are lucky, retire by the time we are sixty. That is, if -and that is a big if- we are lucky.

Then life happens. That promotion we were hoping to get, it doesn’t work out. Our luck has not been too good. Times are tough, and with Obama Care in place,  that benefits package the company you work for is increased by $200 bucks a month. You can barley afford to pay your bills, and you will never be able to retire at this rate. Then all that labor you have done for years finally catches up. You get a chronic condition, and that job that you used to be able to do, you can no longer do. You are forced into an entry level job. With no hope of retirement at all.

You are forced to do something for yourself and you family. You come back to the only thing you know how to do.

Write. So you begin writing. The only thing in life that gives you purpose, besides being a Wife and a Mother.

Then you remember the day you grew up. The day that people told you, being an English and or Creative writing major would never make you any money. The day your dreams were crushed. The day they died.

The day I looked into my Sons eyes, was the day I was born. Then I got happy. Not just lucky. I felt the need to write. It hasn’t stopped since. I write stories and poems, for my Son, and he asks me to read them to him. He reminds me daily to get happy, not just lucky. It all made sense. The reason I was here, what life is all about.

Life isn’t about being lucky. It’s about getting happy.

When I ask my Son what he wants to do when he grows up, I am gonna tell him the same thing my Grandfather did, “Do what makes, you happy. Not what makes you the most money.”

I keep thinking about the conversation my Grandfather had with me before nursing school. I wish he was here to talk to me and support me now. He was good at listening. I think he knew me better than I knew myself.

I can’t help thinking about the advice he gave me, and about how he said I would struggle and have to jump through a lot of hoops in my life to get where I was going. He was so right. Right about everything.

I’ve already jumped about through half of them.

Driving in the same car that he used to drive, on the way to the college campus, I started talking to him, asking for his guidance. I just wish I could take one last drive with him.

If he was to ask me today what I wanted to do when I went to college, my answer would no longer be, ‘Making a decent living,” but “living a life of happiness doing what I love with the people I love.”

 

 

 

The Magic of a Book

Yesterday -my family and I- we went to the bookstore.

I live for small moments like this… seeing the look of pure joy and satisfaction on my Son’s face, when he discovers the magic found, within the pages of good book.

He takes off running, towards the storefront of the local Barnes and Noble-and then practically runs towards the escalator.

The second story, holds many magical worlds within the pages- just waiting to be discovered.

My Son takes off running, as he reaches the top of the escalator. He sees the brightly colored children’s section…and begins pulling books off the shelves.

He says, “I want to read this one…and this one…I want to read all of them!”

My Husband and I, know how he feels. Between the two of us, we have amassed a small library. We have a room in our house, dedicated to books and music.

Many years later… I find, I still have the same enthusiasm of a small child; whenever I enter a book store, and hold a book in my hand.

I know that one day, my Son will be too old for me to cuddle and read books to him. (That day is soon approaching. He already can read simple words and prefers, to read simple books all by himself.) But, I hope he never forgets the feeling of finding magic and discovering new worlds, all within the pages of a good book.

Deck The Halls

My Son, shouts out, “It’s Christmas! ” as he sees that the Christmas trees are being brought out of storage into the house. He is three this year, and this is the first year he has been extremely excited.

I have to tell him to “Calm down” because “It’s not quite Christmas yet.”

“Let’s Help Mommy Decorate the tree.”

Oh LOOK Mommy at ALL the DECORATIONS,” His little voice squeals with excitement.

I do have to say, my Son has a good eye and his placement of the Christmas Décor was quite exceptional.

Later after all the decorations have been hung with care my Son asks,

“Mommy were did all the presents go?”

“Santa has to bring them.”

“Where did Santa go Mommy?”

“To the North Pole to get your presents ready. Do you know why we celebrate Christmas?”

“Toys?”

“No.”

“Santa.”

“No. It’s Jesus’s Birthday!”

“So we get to eat cake then Mommy?”

“If you would like too.”

“Christmas is Jesus Birthday!” My Son then goes over to his play stove to cook Jesus a Birthday Cake, and then he pretends his baby doll is Jesus and feeds it to her. From the mouths of Children.

My son was so excited he fell asleep on the couch, and every morning he wakes up he says with joy, “Its Christmas!” I think every day of the year should be celebrated like this with joy and excitement of the good news. Sometimes it takes a child to put things in perspective for you.

So the halls are filled with holiday cheer on this Christmas year, and plenty of cake to celebrate Jesus’s Birthday.

 

Life and Death: Coverversations We Need to Have With Toddlers

It isn’t always easy to understand what death is for a toddler. I know my Son understands it now, and my heart breaks for him, because I understand what he is going through. I went through the same thing when I was about his age.

The first time a beloved animal died, I really did not understand what death was. I remember my parents brought our beloved Dog Mercedes, home in a Garbage bag to bury in our pet cemetery. My parents tried to explain that she was gone and had gone to be with Jesus, (I went to church so I understand who Jesus was) but I did not not understand that physically she would be gone forever. She looked peacefully like she was sleeping.

A while later my Aunt Louise died. Her funeral was the first funeral I remember attending. She looked like she was sleeping, but it was then that something clicked. She wasn’t getting up to kiss me, or take me out for ice cream like she promised me, the last time I saw her. It was then I realized she was gone and was sleeping forever. I remember being sad, and missing her. I wished we could go get ice cream one more time, but I realized it was not happening. She was gone.

My son lost a cat that he absolutely adored when he was about a year old. Grey boy, my Son called him grey-go. Grey-Go had cancer, and he knew he was sick and cried and said Grey go sad. When he passed, I told him he went to be with Jesus and is sleeping forever. I don’t think he understood until a couple of weeks later. For two or three weeks he looked everywhere for Grey. “Where are you?” He would say. When he was about two he told me he was he was sad because Grey-Go went to be with Jesus and he is sleeping forever.

A year later, I know he understands. Sitting at my Grandmother’s memorial service, he is holding onto the bulletin for dear life. It has a picture of his Great Grandma on it. He says it’s great Grammy. He cuddles up to me and sees everyone is sad. He knows. He is a wild boy the next couple days, I then realized it is because he is dealing with a lot. 

The day after, he cuddles up to me in the morning and tells me he sees Great-Grandma in the doorway, and on the ceiling and carries her picture around with him everywhere close to his heart. I’m almost certain at this point it is a way that he is trying to deal with his grief, he doesn’t want her to be gone.

 He talkes about how he misses her and about his third birthday coming up, and how he wants Great Grandma at his party. Later, as he is taking his bath, he gets this sad look on his face and tells me he is sad. I ask him why? He says, Grandma went to be with Grey-Go and Jesus. She not sick anymore. 

Then I recalled the moment that I remembered understanding I would never see my Aunt Louise again and how difficult it was for me to rationalize that. 

We cuddled after bathtime. I held my Son and told him it was ok to be sad. He said Mommy sad too, and I said Yes baby, I am, and it’s ok to be sad. Through tears, we looked at pictures of My Son and his Great Grandmother, and talked about the times we shared together as a family. That is what has always gotten me through. The happy memories that we have shared together as a family. I hope that it also helps my Son too, to be thankful that he got to spend that precious time with her.

 I kissed my Son and Thanked God that he at least got the opportunity to spend some time with his Great Grandmother, no matter how short that was, and remembered how difficult it was for me the first time I finally understood what death was. I remembered what it was like to experience it from the perspective of a toddler.

What does it mean to be alive? Is a question we need to ask ourselves and our toddlers, and a conversation we need to have with them, that way when we have to explain what death is, and what it means, they can understand. More important, is the ability to understand it is ok to be sad, it’s ok to miss someone, and to be sad because you will not be able to make new memories with them.

Choose Adventure

To walk, Or Not to walk after we ate our supper? That was the question of the evening. My toddler wanted to walk. Our home is just down the street from the local pub and restaurant. I obliged and we headed home as my Husband paid the for our food, and left a tip. Our Son excitedly bolted out of the door and out onto the sidewalk ready for an adventure.

Across from the restaurant on the corner of the block sits a building supply company. They have a red Adirondack chair, fit for a king sitting in the corner of their lot. Of course, our Son had to try it. He requested I take his picture on it, and subsequently on every bench we came across on the way home. We laughed and giggled all the way home because, we realized life is ment to be enjoyed. So when you can, walk instead of drive. Laugh and always have fun. Choose adventure. You will not be disappointed!

A Single Leaf

A single leaf blowing in the wind made a scratching sound as it danced down the pavement. As the snow melted, and spring began it was a reminder of fall. Last year decay still left over. Spring showers would not only bring vegetation to the land, they would wash the decay away as well.

I walked down the sidewalk, as my son skipped along following the leaf, making a thumping sound on the newly paved sidewalk.

“It’s a leaf! It’s A leaf,” he shouted.

He chased it, but it was too fast for him to catch. But, he still tried to catch it. Where there was decay he still found life.

 

Writing Prompt: Write about a single leaf. Post in the comment below.