Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Mom is Wise

My Mom and I were chatting on the phone the other day - they are now back in Northfield (Olivia has finally stopped crying herself to sleep - thank the lord) - and we were chatting about Avery and some of her latest antics. And she said "Maybe it would be easier on you and Avery if you just accepted Avery for who she is, Avery is Avery" and at first I just dismissed it, I wasn't angry with her, but I didn't really spend a lot of time internalizing what she meant. 

I don't spend a lot of time sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of our little Avery.   I share the stories and I share our challenges, but I can imagine as you read them, you find yourself laughing, she is funny, she does funny things, but there is a lot more to it and a lot more to our sweet Avery that I haven't shared with the WWW.  I am thinking that might change a little bit, I need to document our journey together, I don't want to over share, I want to respect her privacy but I want to be honest and share our story.

I love her, man, oh man, do I love her.  I love her so much it physically hurts, and sometimes my heart breaks that things just haven't gone the way I dreamed they would.  I feel a tremendous amount of guilt even admitting that.  I know that I am beyond fortunate to have a healthy little girl, one who can run around and play, one that can communicate with us and wrap her arms around my neck and say "I care about you Mommy", (she says that now because on Friday she said "I don't care about you" and I fussed at her and told her that hurt my feelings, so now she says "I care about you Mommy") and one that goes to school and absorbs the lessons they teach her.

I know that children are different and I know that it isn't fair to compare them, and I can openly admit that I have failed at this for the last few years.  It is very hard to not compare Olivia and Avery, they are both girls, very close in age, yet they are so very different, it isn't fair to them, and I need to work harder at respecting them as two tiny individuals, and embrace their differences, because I love them too darn much to hurt them, and my fear is that comparing them will end up hurting them.

It hit me last night, while I was talking to Brad - that my Mom's words were very wise.  I need to start accepting Avery for who she is. Avery is Avery.  I need to realize that the simple things may be more difficult with Avery, that getting her to brush her teeth and dress in weather appropriate clothing may take 90 minutes a day and I need to plan for that, and stop fussing at her for 90 minutes. That transitions are tough on her and I need to prepare her better.  That things have to be JUST so, or she might lose her mind so I need to be better about communicating with her to understand her needs so I get it right, or at least help her through it when she does lose her mind. That when her dress gets wet, she is likely going to drop to the floor and start freaking out until you remove the wet article of clothing. That her hugs warm my heart.  That saying things north of 20 times to her is likely what its going to take these days for her to start or stop doing what she is doing or not doing. That just thinking about her little voice makes me smile.  That she is loyal and is committed to Lambie and Monkey and can't to sleep without them.  That she loves skirts, dislikes pants, and will be happy to wear leg warmers when its 45 outside just so she can avoid wearing pants. Avery is Avery.

I was strolling the aisles of Target this morning (Target is peaceful on Sunday Mornings - note to self, while Target is almost like a religion to me, we need to get back to church!) and came across this book - "bloom: finding beauty in the unexpected" by Kelle Hampton - this story reminds you that "perfect" is an irrelevant term, and that a mother's love is powerful.  I need to let go of the perfect and love a little more. It isn't going to be easy for me, I find myself fussing far more than I would like and I need to just stop the fussing and focus on the positives. Avery has done a great job of staying in her bed for the last week, and I need to celebrate that, instead of focusing on the fact that we have had to go into her room several times a night - we are still making progress, so I need to focus on that, and celebrate that Avery is now doing a great job of staying in her bed.

By no means am I comparing my situation to having a little beauty with DS, I am just hoping that I can gather some momentum and inspiration to be a better Mommy to both of my beauties, and a good start is accepting them for who they are and embracing them as individuals. I will be sure to fill you all in on how the book turns out, I am already really excited about all the photographs - Kelle Hampton is also a photographer, so they are fantastic!

PS: I can't wait for my Mom to call and say "So, your Momma is wise..." I can just hear her now.


Theresa said...

Do you ever read Kellie's blog? I'm not a follower, but I do read it from time to time. Her story about when her daughter was born had me bawling when I read it. I think I was pregnant with Maggie at the time so I was a tad over sensitive to baby issues anyway, but I can totally respect how honest and open she is about the feelings she had and still has from time to time. And I totally agree, she is an amazing photographer.

Jeni Dwyer said...

I look forward to reading more about Avery.

I've been reading Kelle's blog since Nella was around 6 months old. I'm happy you picked up her book. She is inspiring and honest. Being a parent is hard!

3guysandagirl said...

I could have written that post myself. Cameron is the same way. I think I'll take your mothers advice too. Logan and Cameron are two VERY different kids. Logan is easy going, sensitive, gentle and kind. Cameron is headstrong, willful, determined, stubborn, and wears his emotions on his sleeve. We love Cam for it, but it makes things that should be easy, difficult. You're not alone in your situation or your feelings on it. Hugs to you.