Okay, so I only have five more days to go until I get my children back home with me. It's like I have a clock in my head and I can hear the click, click, click of the seconds slowly passing by.
I got to have them for two nights for the 4th of July. I just couldn’t soak enough in. Dropping them back off at their dad’s was harder than I thought it would be and I didn't think I would ever be able to catch my breath again.
It’s been a series of trying to keep busy long enough to take my mind off things so I can breathe for a minute without feeling like I’m going to start crying again. Just breathing is hard sometimes. It's like a huge piece of me is missing and I feel panicked.
It’s not that I just miss them—there is a lot of other emotions and thoughts going through my head that make me worry.
But, during my time with children on July 4th we had some awesome moments when I got the confirmation I needed to know that my children are going to be okay.
Jude took charge of setting up the canopy Robby bought. He helped carry heavy bags from the car without complaining too much and he gave me enough hugs to last a week.
Veronica told me something I didn’t know could come from a teen girl’s mouth—she’s happy with herself just the way she is. She is planning to go to camp in a few weeks—it’s a camp just for children with Arthrogryposis, which is what she has.
She loves that camp because she gets to be herself while she is there. No one asks why she wears leg braces or what happened to her. They are just kids for a week getting to have a normal camp experience.
At the end of camp, there is a ceremony where the campers write their name on the camp sign and they get to make a little speech if they want. Veronica told me she already had her speech ready and she wanted me to hear it. So, while I carried her on my back to take her back to the car after fireworks, she recited her planned speech in my ear.
“People always say I have a good attitude and they don’t understand why I’m not mad about my legs, but I’m happy with being different. I like being different. I don’t want to be any other way.”
I was stunned. Most people go their entire life and never have that sense of clarity about their self-image, self-worth or self-esteem. But at 13 years old, she gets it.
It seems simple when she says it—“I’m glad I’m different. I don’t want to be like everyone else because that would be boring.”
Yes, it would be boring and sometimes I have to remind myself that while I may think I would like to have a boring life without all the drama, I know that a life worth living has to have the lows so you can truly cherish the highs.
This isn’t so much a low point for me right now—it’s just a place I had to be in order to truly treasure those little moments and hear what is going on around me.
While it may sound creepy, I watched my children sleep the morning before I to dropped them off again. I watched their chests rise and lower with each breath and I felt comfort in their peaceful faces. I haven't had a moment like that in a long time--a moment where everything just stopped and got quiet and I took in the reality of the miracle of their lives and mine.
And yes, I’m really mad and sad sometimes, but I thank God for giving me those little moments of clarity to see what truly matters and to never take this crazy life for granted. Because crazy can be good--it's not boring, and as my daughter says, who wants to be boring like everyone else?