Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just some random ramblings...

So, eye patch that Landon has been wearing is going well. It's doing its job and Monday when we went back for a check-up, we found out that instead of seeing at 20/400 out of his right eye, he can now see 20/100. Yahoo! Improvement! I wish I could say the contact situation has been as easy. What a pain in the butt contacts are! I don't wear them, so I'm going into unchartered territory, but Mike wears them. However, he's been having a horrible time getting the contact in Landon's eye. It's at least a 15 minute ordeal every morning. It shouldn't be this difficult. I'm getting better at it and now Landon prays loudly every morning before it's time to put it in, "Please God, don't let this take forever!!!!!"

I'm being attacked by Kindergarten clutter. Geez louise, the papers that a Kindergartener can generate is astounding! They both come home with several papers and then they do these art projects around the house. I'm forever finding scraps of paper, drawings, and crayons. I love that they're creative, but I wish they'd clean up their creations without being reminded. And, they want to save everything. I'm pretty sentimental, but I know that I don't need 50 sheets of paper where they've practiced writing the letter B over and over again. Convincing them of that is another story.

Lately the girls have been fighting a lot. I don't understand this. I can't understand why one minute two little girls could be so happy and content with each other and then the next minute, they're out for blood. I'm lacking experience in this area since I was an only child. People with sisters--please explain why best friends become gladiators over a Barbie. Thanks.

And finally, I started teaching Olivia to play the piano. She's really into it, but she insists on playing the same 2 songs over and over again. This is where a piano teacher that isn't ME would come in handy--she needs to be urged onto bigger and better things so that her family doesn't have to wear earplugs.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


The other day while we were driving, Olivia and I were talking about her upcoming eardrum surgery and that while she's asleep, they're going to be taking pictures and impressions of her mouth to make her new teeth. I always feel it necessary to let her know exactly what is going on with regards to her cleft related stuff. I'm direct. Maybe that isn't good in some ways, but she appreciates knowing. Olivia does not like the unexpected.

So, a few minutes after our conversation, she says to me, "Mommy, I'm so lucky."

After I asked her why she was so lucky, she replied, "Because I get great teeth and I don't have to wait for them to come in. I don't have to worry about them getting loose and pulled. I'm lucky."

I never thought about it that way.

From the day she was born, I knew we would have a conversation similar to this one-- one where we talked about the differences between her and other kids her age. But, I'd always invisioned it to be on the opposite end of the continum. You know, where she was crying and saying, "Why can't I just be like everybody else? Why do I have to do this?"

There have been other times recently where I've experienced moments of relief when it comes to Olivia. The only way to explain it is to think about having a backpack on with big, heavy rocks in it. I put this on the day she was born and have been wearing it for the past 6 years. It was really heavy that day, and over the first year of her life as we reached milestones and came through surgeries, little by little rocks disappeared from my backpack. The ones deep down in the bottom are the ones that hold my fear of whether or not she'll be made fun of, if she'll like herself, if she will be able to answer questions about all she's been through with confidence instead of being a shrinking violet.

I'm not saying that all of my big, heavy rocks are gone. As her mother, I don't know if they'll ever be gone. I think they'll always remain--even as small pebbles, but when I see her making friends in Kindergarten, it becomes lighter. When she can look on the bright side about a surgery or procedure, I'm able to breathe a little better.

What I want for Olivia is what every parents wants for a child. I want her to be happy, successful, content, and self-confident. Unlike other children, she's going to have a harder road at times, but my prayer is that I can make sure she never feels the burden of the rock filled backpack.

My job as her mother is to carry that for her--whether I feel like I can or not.