So I have been toying the idea of documenting a day or two in our life… just so I can see what happens and others too.
I started thinking about how my days go when I wrote my post on feeling so inadequate and overwhelmed.
I jotted down a few days and am just now going back to edit it all so it’s readable 🙂
8 45 up Change LA, brush teeth, use restrooms…. diaper blow out again this morning- do NOT like these new diapers (just a note, we cloth diaper except at night)
9 LA in playpen, let dogs out, feed cat, feed dogs, clean up any glasses, underwear, etc left around house… do dishes in sink from night before, take out trash, put some laundry away, refill diaper wipes, start diaper load heat up some food for me to eat. Ugh another dead cockroach on the floor (stupid rain drives them in) at least it’s dead!… take care of that… other random chores that pop up in morning, can’t even remember them all!
9:30 sit at computer with food to eat…. try to eat, email, facebook, etc…. While LA is in her playpen
9:45 LA starts to fuss and mom calls. Put LA in bouncer in prep for Sesame Street…. make bed and move folded laundry on bed while I talk to my mom. Try to prepare some oatmeal for LA while talk to mom…. Scoop up the dirty laundry and take a few moments to coupon sort, while talking to mom….
10 Sesame street starts, I sit with LA and attempt to get her to eat breakfast (she is on a thing where she will only eat Cheerios in morning, nothing else!)… LA will only eat Cherrios at 10:07 I give up and go to finally get to eat my pasta…. cold 😦
10:07 start working
11-11:15 Sesame street ends… LA is ready to get out of bouncer. Take her out, change morning poopy diaper, get her dressed, get me quasi dressed (casual not PJ clothes), shift laundry around…. seems to be cooler outside so decide we will take a walk with her new car
11:45 Back from walk and LA is playing quietly I try to take a potty break myself, call Dr to confirm time for check up later on…. put on real clothes and more deoderant… was hotter than it looked out there…. take 60 seconds to update this (I timed it he he)
11:50 quiet play is over… she is following me around making milk sign and trying to raspberry my leg… this usually means sleepy and/or hungry… we go in her room, I put baby clothes away and clean up (realizing that another load needs to be done, sigh) while she plays quietly… hopefully unwinding. The nap routine has begun
12 She is done playing on her own… story time “On the Farm” 3 times…. nursing…
12:15 she is not asleep but seems to be done nursing. I put her in her crib with a quiet book and her sleepy music on and leave. 30 seconds of fuss and then quiet play. I go check laundry. I start to try to figure out dinner… this quiet on own time used to last 15 -45 minutes before she’d start calling me… this time 4 minutes. She’s not crying yet, just talking so I continue trying to figure out dinner. Really want her to sleep so she’ll be fresh for pediatrician at 2 30… of course there is 20 minute drive there….. and we both still need to eat
12:26 screaming… I figured out dinner though… I think
12:45 she’s asleep…it didn’t take all that time but I wanted to be sure. I need to find food.
12:45-1:15 “wasted” some time…. fixed lunch… checking email…..putting things away from b-day party
1:15 eating lunch and folding laundry while I watch some grown up tv, while folding
1:26 the moment I pick up the second piece of laundry I hear her cry. I am convinced she does not like me to fold laundry and has a sixth sense when I’m doing it.
… I get her and get lunch set up…. fold half of laundry while she eats and then she’s “all done”
1:45 try to fold laundry while she plays
2 quickly change diaper and out the door to Dr’s appointment…. hope she sleeps a bit on the way there
4 back from Dr’s appt… go by grocery store to p/u for mom plus milk Dr suggested and meat on sale with coupon I have…. spend 40 bucks… saved another 40… good deal
4 45 back from grocery store…. LA had diaper leak in store we are both covered… wash her off and change her, put her in playpen while I unload car and try to clean me up…. unload groceries and look at starting dinner a bit, transfer more laundry and get the last of laundry in washer
5:15 start dinner, stopped by LA wanting to nurse
5:30 start dinner and fold laundry while veggies saute
6 dinner is simmering… laundry is half way folded (not counting what is in washer and dryer)…. have to get some phone calls made for work before it gets much later.
6:15 Got about 15 minutes of work done before Steve came home. LA was excited to see him but no longer wanted to play on her own. Steve gave me some more time to work
6:30 work on dinner
7 sit down for dinner…
At this point in the evening it gets fuzzy because Steve is here…. I finish dinner, we eat, I clean up…. feed the dogs. Play with LA, give her a bath… sneak off to use the restroom alone, to clean up the kitchen a bit. Steve does some scanning, plays with LA, goes through paperwork etc….
9 LA in bed… I work a bit and Steve prepares some paperwork. We’ll probably watch AGT (America’s got Talent) results before we go to bed.
Goals I wanted to complete- All laundry washed, folded and put away…. it’s all washed, a little more than half is folded and put away.
I wanted to get LA’s birthday things put away… .about half is put away.
I wanted to go to Dr’s appointment and have nice dinner- Check!
I wanted to get at least 3 hours of work done- Check!
I wanted to get the clothes sorted and put in my closet- not even close
I wanted to get LA’s clothes put away- half way done
I wanted to get some quality time with LA- eh… quasi, we had a nice walk and some good snuggles but nothing really great
8:15 – morning stuff, brush teeth, change diapers etc,… you know same old same old
8:40 LA goes in playpen… feed kitty, doggies, move laundry, do dishes from the night before… call mom and E…. fix food in attempt to eat
9″15 LA watching DVR’d Sesame Street….. start to work, check two emails before realizing that if we’re going to moms group I have to get dressed and get LA ready….
9:30 start to work for real (after getting dressed and getting us packed up, LA can change after Sesame)… while eating… work, eat and call labcorp about blood draw for lA (which I later realize we will not do, but I called because I had questions for them)
10 get LA dressed and out the door for mom group!
10:30 arrive at mom group… LA plays, I chat… mostly about stupid sleep and blood test for LA
12 we leave playgroup… on the way home we stop at Target to exchange a birthday duplicate and get stuff for Daddy
1 home- she drifted off in the car before Target so I know she’s tired but she seems to have second wind so we both have lunch… I let her play while I try to find some paperwork for daddy
1:30 I think we should start trying for nap again… diaper change, story, nursing
1:55 still not asleep so I leave her quietly playing in her crib … I go digging for that paperwork, which I still haven’t found 😦
2:05 screaming…. I go in, nurse her… drat the dog followed me! I would have had her asleep but doggie nails on laminate wake her up
2:15 back out in living room, she’s asleep…. paperwork digging…start looking at dinner plans as well
2:20 wonder if I should yell at my my dog for continuously barking OR strangle the UPS guy for carelessly ringing the doorbell AND knocking
2:20 look for paperwork… fold laundry
3-4 work and deal with insurance/paperwork/refi phone calls and what not
4 LA up…. get her, change her, snack, nursing…..
4:30 leave to go to grocery store for stuff I forgot… head to mom’s house to help with ear candles
5:45 head home
5:55 or so arrive home to find back of house and bedroom flooded… Steve arrives shortly after and we clean until like 7ish
7ish start dinner
7:45 dinner in oven and I take bath…. Steve is most fantabulous husband ever in that he totally understands that without one or two relaxing baths a week minimum I might go insane. But I try not to let them get very long too often 🙂 I think he bathes LA while I take my bath
8:10 out of bath…. fix dinner for everyone…..this is WAY too late for LA dinner but we did just have a flood 😦
8:45 start putting LA to bed
9 LA asleep, come out to watch Project Runway with Steve… LA not asleep
9:20 we all go to bed… LA is having a hard time going to sleep, is it the new milk? (Dr suggested we try whole milk and she’s had a bit the last two days with snacks and meals)
10:30 LA is asleep, unforunatley Steve is too… no time for us 😦
My goals for the day-
finish laundry- made progress but not done
Finish cleaning up living room and birthday mess- not at all
Clean up kitchen and make nice dinner- yes!
Help out mom- yes!
Moms group and QT time with LA- yes!
Target and paperwork errands- yes!
work work- only a little… not as good as I’d like…definitely not 3 hours
Clean up birthday stuff-
Work at moms-
some journaling or blogging
9:30 LA up… nice to sleep in but less time to do stuff… get up brush teeth etc
9:50 put LA in bouncer for Sesame Street… feed cat, start diaper laundry, fix oatmeals
10 try to give LA oatmeal – it’s a no go (she is not a breakfast eater)
10:15 I feed dogs, eat my oatmeal, clean up a bit from flash flood last night
10:30 start work work
11:15 Sesame Street is done and the beginning of Sid… she’s ready to get out…. I keep working
11:45 she wants to nurse and cuddle… not sure she’s ready for nap, she did sleep in
12 we go into bedroom with toys so mommy can attempt to hang up laundry while she plays quietly in preparation for nap
12:05 realize this will not work… she wants me… we go in nursery and read stories….
12:30 she’s not asleep so I leave her in crib with quiet toys
12:36 this is not working, go in nurse some more, read book….
12:50 she’s not sleeping…. consider bringing her back out but she has sleepy eyes and is obviously tired…. leave her in her crib again, one more time and then we’ll eat lunch, try to work
1 crying…. go in and pick her up… eyes closed instantly, nurse to sleep… hang around a bit to be sure
1:15 fix myself lunch and get things ready for when she’s up..work and eat
2:40 she’s up… get her up, fix her lunch and feed her
3- restroom, get me dressed, get her dressed
3:15 out the door to do chores for mom and run errands
5:30 arrive back home with LA
A day that is not going well-
7 LA wakes up and wants to use me as a human pacifier, I try to convince her otherwise ( she should really sleep till 8 or 8 30 for schedule, as should I). at about 7:20 I give in and she begins to go back to sleep. Until….
7:20 The cat jumps on the bed, LA sees him and shouts “NeNe!”
We are up
7:25 restroom, brush teeth, let dogs out, change diaper
7:30 LA in playpen (in excellent mood btw) I feed cat, feed dog, feed me (cereal), go through laundry, clean up kitchen, sweep floors
8 sit down at computer…. catch up on emails, lots of catching up, keep trying to work but things interrupt…. at this point I can’t even remember what…. but the interruptions continue
8:15 get LA out of playpen… she plays on her own in room. Stop her from climbing all the way up in her shopping cart…hard to work when my child seems convinced that the higher she is the more fun is to be had.
8:30 put LA in bouncer with Cheerios and put Sesame Street on and try to work
9:00 start to work, finally
9:30 Sesame Street is done, LA is NOT happy. I get her out and she decides I must hold her, she cannot be put down, she cannot play on her own. She does not want to be played with, just held. I decide this is an indication that nap needs to happen…. I thought it would be more like 10 bc that would be 3 hours after up time but she is obviously tired
9:30-10:15 try to get her to go to sleep…. she falls asleep several times but every time I put her down she screams, leave her with a quiet toy a bit
10:15 it’s awfully quiet in there… I go to check, she’s “reading” a book (cute! That’s my girl!)
10:30 screaming… well 15 minutes worth of work isn’t bad
10:45 she’s not asleep…. I readjust my strategy. We are going to take a shower… well, I am, she is going to play in the spray and have a bath…. fun for her and relaxing so we can try round 2! Plus we both get clean
11:03 we’re both clean… she’s happy but I don’t know about relaxed… I try sleepy time, no go. So I figure I’ll fix her lunch in the kitchen while she plays…. this becomes a disaster as she’s ONLY intent on getting the dog water, a battle that we continue
11:15 I go in and do the nap routine again and put her in her crib… I hate hearing her fuss while I get her grilled cheese finished, soon all is quiet
11:25 she is playing quietly in crib…. I’m about to just pack us up and go to have lunch with Imma since she’s not sleeping and I’m clearly not working… we might as well get out of the house.
12 after picking up lunch for me and Imma (my mom) she still has energy! how is this possible??? We have lunch with Imma and my daughter is pleasant and happy….
Honestly after that point I don’t remember. I think we stopped at Target on the way home…. I think she did take a nap but only a brief one. I remember the rest of the day was full of interruptions and phone calls and really nothing got done. Except taking care of LA, which isn’t a waste really.
I think what frustrates me on days like that is the stop and start…. it’s so frustrating to get partway into a project and stop. Then you end up with a bunch of half done things hanging about.
I am not a big believer in forcing a schedule on kids. I think it’s better to watch for cues and all that. But LA tends to be pretty predictable (most days). Nap about 3 hours after getting up. Although some days it’s more like 4 hours after… on those days she tends to take one nap that is 2-3 hours. I do not know if this is because she is trying to transition to 1 nap a day already. I do know when she takes a longer nap or takes 2 naps she sleeps better at night.
Another note is that the days that I logged were actually really good, productive days. I found that logging my activities as I went kept me on track…. kept me from feeling so very “in the weeds.” Maybe it’s something I should do just for me every day.
My last observation is that the last two weeks have been very slow work work wise. Usually I do 15 hours a week. But due to a staff conference and other things going on there hasn’t been enough work to make 15 hours out of it. So I have had more time to be mommy and wife…. I’ve really enjoyed it. My conclusion is that if I was just mommy and wife I’d have more time to do that, not feel so lost and even have more time for me or crafty things. It’s work work that gets in the way. And while I like work work, both for the job itself and for the fact that it gives us the extra edge so I can stay home I would be able to relax and do more without it. In the last two weeks I’ve gotten several projects done and nearly caught up with my bigger to do list. Almost at the point where I could tackle those big project, you know, like cleaning out closets and such lol.
Anyway, not the most exciting post but an idea in very, very basic terms of what some days are like. Now these are days where I’m trying to “do it all.” Sometimes out of necessity or scheduling there are days that are all LA days (I like those), there have been a few mostly work days, and even one or two all house wife days…. totally different those days 🙂
My dearest LA,
What a year we’ve had my little love! It is hard for me to watch you totter on stiff little legs across the floor when I so clearly remember that just a year ago you were this squirmy, precious, pink bundle in my arms. My days were spent in amazement as I studied how your lips moved, how you squeaked, how sweet you felt cuddled against me and how I was sure you were smiling at me already. Now my days are spent chasing you about, coming up with ways to make you giggle, bursting with pride when you master a new anything or with your fist wrapped around my finger as I help you across the floor. It’s a strange mixture of sadness and joy to watch you grow.
What a difference a year makes!
You still astound and amaze me every day. You are a miracle unfolding before my very eyes and I can’t help but feel blessed that I had anything to do with the wonder that is you.
So if you see me sniffle a bit or look whispy around the edges please understand that I love you very much the way you are (and wouldn’t change you for the world) a part of me is mourning that tiny, squirmy bundle. The days just slipped by so fast and I tried so hard to slow them down. I reminded myself daily that each day was a gift and that you were changing with every passing moment… but still time marched on. I know that in a year or two or twenty I’ll wonder where my one year old LA went. But right now I can’t help but marvel at how we got from there to here.
You’ve been a busy little thing in the past 12 months! Learning every day, growing and changing…. all under my nose.
I love that each day I learn more about you… I can see that you are sweet and giving. You are always so excited to give one of your toys to others or to share your “yummmmm” lunch with me or Daddy. I love that you are so loving, your face lights up when you can give kisses and already you give the worlds best hugs. Plus, you seem to know just when I need one, clever girl. You are so observant, I’ll always remember how even as a teeny tiny thing you would raise your eyebrows and take in the world around you. This attention to the world has made you so very bright and so eager to learn. You are so social and just exude love. My little ray of sunshine.
There are moments with you that are imprinted on my heart. Every time I close or open the car door you give me that same giagantic grin, the one that says “Oh hello Mommy! It’s just SO good to see you!” It melts me every single time.
How you nuzzle against my breast when you fall asleep and your lips puff out into this adorable little pout as you relax into sleep. How even in sleep you will reach out and clutch my shirt, my hair, my finger suspecting that you will be moved but still wanting to stay close to me.
You are so adventurous. This makes me so proud of you and so afraid for you…. every bump and bruise breaks my heart. I fear for my own survival when bigger things threaten you…. I’m not sure I’ll make it. I now know what my mom meant when she said she would take it all for me and more.
So loving, you call me when you see something that tickles you…. like Elmo on TV. You dance when Daddy comes home and giggle when I snuggle up next to you at the end of the day.
It is a bittersweet thing to watch your baby grow up…. I try to remember your tiny weight in my arms for midnight feedings. I try to imprint how your body curves around mine now when we cuddle for naps. I try to take pictures and videos but I also want to just watch you and soak it in without the digital aspect in my hand or over my eye.
Part of me wishes I could go back in time to when you were a newborn or when you were just learning to sit upright (you’d bobble around like a weeble lol) or when you’d first learned to roll over (you were so proud of yourself). I now think that heaven is being able to go back and relive the “Best of” moments in your life… if that’s true than I’ll get to spend a lot of time with you. You and Daddy and our family (extended and all) is my best 🙂
I expected to celebrate your first birthday with tears and bittersweet sadness instead I was smiling the whole time. How could I not smile when you had so much fun!? You didn’t love the cake like I expected but you loved having your friends and family here. You played and smiled and waved and just exuded happiness and love. It made me proud to see how confidant and happy you are.
All day I kept thinking “A year ago this time…” I remembered the anticipation. The moment they placed you in my arms. Daddy’s and my nervous ride to the birth center. How your grandparents glowed when they held you. It did make me misty but I smiled as I watched that same little girl crawl around loving her first birthday party. We’ve come a long way baby… and while I may have a moment of sadness as I watch you do something that “big girls” do (like taking your hairbrush to brush the doggies fur lol), it is quickly followed up with pride and excitement for you. You are so very “you” and that amazes me… astounds me that I had anything to do with it.
So while I miss your tiny, simple days I look forward to exploring zoos and playgrounds. I can’t wait to show you this amazing big world we belong to. And I look forward to what you will teach me about it.
I love you so much my little LA and I hope you always, always know it!
It’s amazing how she has come from this:
*professional pictures taken by Brentwood Photography www.brentwoodphotography.com
So, I’ve noticed a change since LA was born. (Guys you might want to close your ears, or cover your eyes, or what not for this one). Pre-LA I never really had mood swings before my special girl time. Maybe, a little anxiety or fat feelings. But nothing extreme. To be honest I never understood how other women could let their emotions run away with them so much. I’d think “Gee if you know you’re hormonal just shut up and discount it.”
That was Pre-LA. Post-LA I understand much more. The first time was when LA was about 7 months old. I thought I might be going crazy. I wondered if Post Partum depression could start so long after. The only time I felt “right” was when I was with her…. the rest of the time I felt awful. About nearly everything. The only two people I thought liked me were my mom and my daughter… and I even wondered if they thought I was doing an ok job. I was so relieved when I realized that my crazy thoughts were because my “friend” had returned…. although I was hoping this was a one time hormonal shift that would NEVER happen again.
So it hasn’t been quite as bad as that first time… and it hasn’t been every time. And I’m learning to cope. I think a large percentage of it is hormones… but I think a good portion of it is just regular mommy anxiety. We all want to be the best at what we are doing. It’s an important job a big deal.
And for mommies, like me, who are used to seeing progress at the end of every work day it can be frustrating to not see that. Some days are just treading water.
So below is the post I wrote 2 months ago…. I didn’t post it because the next day I felt better and it seemed so down. It’s pretty much how I felt yesterday as well…. and I feel better today. But it will help someone else to see that it’s normal to feel this way on occasion. Or maybe it will just help me if someone else comments that I’m not crazy and they feel this way some days too 🙂 So either I’m being selfless or selfish, either way… below is my whiney feelings of inadequacy on a hormonal stressful day …. :
Ugh. <- That is how I feel.
I have now felt this way for the past three days. I’m not sure if there is something misfiring in my head, if its the situation or its some kind of weird post pregnancy hormonal imbalance (can those happen 10 months after baby is born?)
Usually I’m a Glass Half Full kind of girl. Heck, I started this blog with the intention of focusing on the positive, even when I had my momentary negativity bursts. But for the last few days I just feel like a complete total failure… in every category pretty much.
Want to move to Ireland and hide out in a shack by the sea.
I am trying to keep up with work… which I feel like I could do more with. I wonder if I could handle going full time but I hear it is a major undertaking and I’m worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it (especially with what you are about to see below).
I feel like a total failure housekeeping wise. I am not a super neat freak… that gene skipped from my grandmother, over my mother, and apparently over me too… not quite sure where, if anywhere, it landed. I really, REALLY like things to be neat and put away but when it comes down to cleaning something else again or playing with my daughter or working the cleaning seems to come last. Usually I feel like this results in a santitary, although slightly cluttered, home. “Clean enough to be sanitary, messy enough to be a home” is something my grandfather used to say. Lately though I just feel like a failure…. I have a tendency to keep things that are meaningful to me. And since I don’t ever want to be on the show Hoarders I try to go through things every so often and downsize. With LA in life I have not been as good about getting to things like that, because I don’t have time. So I’m trying to just get rid of things the first time… I’m trying. Not always successful but I’m working on it.
So while I see projects gathering dust… sometimes literally. I’m also battling bugs. Usually I’m a bug killer of the first degree. If I saw even one bug I would completely bomb the house. Two things have changed this. My husband thinks I could be over doing it and with LA around I have not bombed because I’m worried about the pesticides. We’ve been religious about the border outside and inside, keeping things up etc but there are few mornings I don’t wake up and find one dead somewhere… which makes me feel so dirty. I realize it is most likely because we have a large deck in the backyard and they live there and I need to put more poison down but still. Also, it seems that spiders (my arch nemesis) have decided to launch a full on invasion. I kill them on site and check the corners regularly but they keep turning up. I know this is life in general…. but it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong.
It doesn’t help when two of my closest friends have homes that always (no matter when you drop by!) look like they are ready for their Home and Garden Photo Shoot… and they both have kids! Sigh… inadequecy.
With all of this comes my concern that I’m not doing enough with LA. Am I spending enough time with her, am I too lax with her naptime, should we be doing this or that?… I try to repeat my own advice that I often give to friends which is “If you are worrying about it then you are probably a good mom. Bad moms don’t worry.” But still.
Then, of course, there are the money concerns. We’re making it work. But the summer is tough… birthdays, holidays, the dogs annual check ups, home insurance and other things make it a challenge. Speaking of home insurance it has gone up…. (thank you Rick Scott). And it irritates me because I don’t actually believe they’d really help if we needed them and if they did help they would drop us as soon as humanely possible. So I feel like I’m wasting my money. I have a whole list of “when we have a little extra money we need” and none of it is fun stuff. And I don’t see a reprieve any time soon. I tell myself that there are possible breaks… a promotion for Steve, the lottery, a random stranger we don’t know leaving us suitcases of cash because of a random good deed one of us did, or the publication of my book (of course I’d have to have time to finish writing it first!).
In my previous life I would get a glass of wine, a good book, maybe some chocolate and take a long hot bubble bath. If I still felt crappy I’d take a nap (you can’t worry when you nap). I’d allow myself to mope and after that I’d start doing something. In this life, there is no option for indulging in a mope, no nap and very little time to get things done.
In a cruel twist of fate there is a MAJOR worry gene running rampant through my family. This causes a certain loved one of mine to worry about things that are not of use to anyone. She worries about floods in other states, any disease, any recall, anything. She once called to make sure I was driving with my doors locked because a woman in Ybor had been pulled from her car and raped… and I was no where near Ybor. I know this worrying is out of love but I do not want my life controlled by worrying about things I have no influence over. So then, and here is the cruel irony, I worry about worrying too much!!!
I know this is all pointless and I’m probably not sucking as much as I feel like I am… but this is how I feel right now.
On top of which I feel fat… I feel like I never look nice. I have lost the baby weight and an additional 8 pounds, but it seems that the 10 extra pounds (that were supposed to be lost before I got pregnant) have all migrated and multiplied. So while I’ve lost weight I feel flabbier. I need to work out, but when?
And besides ME feeling all of this I’m terrified that my husband will think I don’t do enough… that he’s judging the house, or that my friends are. I honestly thought when I became a stay at home mom I would be able to take care of baby and keep the house clean. I knew it would be lots of work and not easy…. but still. Maybe it’s the PT job that is the extra ball juggling that makes it tough… maybe I’m just bad at it. But it seems I can only do one or two things well a day. I can be a good mommy and employee but not a good housewife. Or I can be a good housewife and mommy but not a good employee. It’s frustrating bc I’m used to being someone who can do LOTS.
Reading back over it I suppose it doesn’t look so bad… and when I’m not feeling so overwhelmed it seems manageable. I think maybe it’s like how servers get “in the weeds” when you just can’t see the forrest for the trees. You’re in it so deep some days there doesn’t seem a way out. If I think about all I have to do or the time it takes to do it than I feel bogged down. Just taking the time to write this blog makes me feel guilty because there is so much else I need to do. But I recognize that taking 15 minutes to do this makes me feel better…. it’s something I can do for me. I really want to take the time to REALLY write but this at least keeps my wheels turning and all.
So… enough whining… I’m going to pour myself a glass of apple juice, turn on some happy music (Hello Glee!) and get to work while the baby naps!
So I have several posts that need to be edited or written but I woke up this morning and felt that I needed to write about 9/11. Like everyone else in this country it’s on my mind today.
As I logged into Facebook I saw post after post and video after video about the tragedy that changed our lives and our world.
This was the first that I clicked on
I love that the song focuses on love.
Like every other American I remember where I was. I was just shy of 23 years old and standing in front of my very first classroom of students. I had been teaching for less than two full weeks.
The principal popped her head in during Bible and said, “A plane has struck one of the World Trade Centers, pray.”
I paused. I assumed she meant a little Cesna or something…. I couldn’t imagine a large plane. The students didn’t pay much attention at that point. But I also didn’t know how you could accidentally hit something so large.
About an hour later she appeared again and said, “Another has hit. This is no accident.”
The kids all started getting squirmy. I don’t think they understood but our tones were telling them something was going on. One of my students had family in NYC and another had a mother traveling home from up North.
There were so many questions and I knew nothing. I only knew the sick feeling in my stomach was increasing.
Finally I paused the lesson and told them to work quietly while I checked the internet. I promised to share with them what I found.
I typed in “World Trade Center” on the computer and the articles were quick one sentences. “Terrorists have hijacked at least four planes.” “New York and Washington DC have been attacked.” “World Trade Center on fire and people are jumping from the windows.”
There was false information about car bombs and more planes but what struck me wasn’t the short commentary but the pictures. Pictures of huge, gaping holes in the buildings. Of bodies flying through the air. Of terror and smoke.
Almost before I could process it myself I tried to figure out what to tell the students.
That was one of the most difficult things in my whole life. But I also knew that I couldn’t sugar coat it or hide much, this was something they would grow up with and see all over the news when they arrived home.
As the next half hour went on we were silent. Finally one of the boys asked if we could try the television in our room. The TV was primarily for tapes and DVDs, it never got much picture. But I said I’d try.
The instant I turned it on we got a grainy, snowy image of the towers with commmentary. After about five seconds one of the towers began to fall. The screen than filled with smoke and we couldn’t see any image between the destruction of the tower and the poor quality of the picture. I felt horrible, how had I managed to turn it on the moment something like that happened. How did that even happen?
The children were upset. I was upset.
Soon students started being pulled from class. We gave up all semblance of normalcy and I read aloud to them. I allowed them to work quietly and they all went to lunch in silence.
I began to worry about my then boyfriend who worked at one of the theme parks. Then I worried about my step father who worked in a bank. I started making calls…. to anyone. I was terrified.
Watching the video above just had me tears because I remember those feelings.
The tragedy was ours as a nation but it felt so personal. It felt like such a deeply personal attack and I didn’t even know anyone directly who was there. One of my brothers closest friends lives in New York and contacted us to tell us he was ok…. how he fled over the Brooklyn Bridge to escape the debries as the building fell. Another of my close friends let us know he was safe.
Still ten years later it’s unbelievable. But amidst all that tragedy there are so many beautiful stories of people going up the stairs to rescue those who could not get down. Of amazing acts of herorism and valor.
For those who attacked us and caused such tragedy they also showed the world what the men and women of this country are capable of, they showed the world (and us) the good in us. I was stunned by the image of the firefighter going up the stairs, when they knew the other tower had just fallen. Of the stories of co-workers who carried thier wheel-chair bound friend down countless stairs. The stories of last minute phone calls home to tell loved ones what was going on still move me to tears. I’m so proud of those men on the flight who took down the hi jackers over Pennsylvania.
What I’m saying isn’t anything new… it’s what everyone is saying today. And that’s because it’s true.
But, I look at my daughter and I hope…. I hope she never has to live through a day like 9/11, either as a direct participant or as a watcher, like me. I pray that she never has to witness something worse. And I’m afraid because I don’t feel confidant that she won’t.
I know it’s a common parent concern, what type of world am I leaving behind for my child?
And while I worry that there may be more violance and senseless acts of terror…. I will choose to focus on the fact that the world I am leaving her is full of heroes. Ordinally men and women who are full of love. Who will step up and act in extraordinary ways to help strangers. Men and women who will move mountains and risk their own lives for her.
And I hope I can raise her to be one of those people who will do the same for others.