I Try

I try to be positive, to live in the moment, to not worry too much.

But it doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s too much. I can’t shut my brain off. I can’t stop worrying. I can’t help but feel sad.

(*Disclaimer to my real-life friends of girls who are friends with Olivia—please don’t feel bad after reading this. It is what it is. It was coming. Don’t feel bad, promise? If you will, stop reading.)

Olivia had her first Girl Scout meeting of the year last week. We go strictly for the socialization; I could care less if she “gets” anything out of it but that. It was really fun for her last year and she really enjoyed it. But after that first meeting, I could tell that the girls are different now. They’re older. They’re interested in painting their nails, boys, shopping at Justice, talking about friends. Olivia’s interested in Disney movies and playing ring-around-the-rosie. This was going to happen sooner or later; I was just hoping for later. Don’t get me wrong, they love her. They say hello and give her hugs. They will watch over her and protect her, of that I’m confident. But they aren’t interested in her anymore. They’ve moved on. And I get it, I really do. I’m actually amazed it’s lasted this long. But at the same time, it’s devastating. I treasure my friendships so much and I just feel like she doesn’t have any friends. Maybe she doesn’t mind, maybe it’s not even on her radar. But it’s on mine. I feel like she should have at least one or two best buddies that she can count on. And I don’t think she has that anymore. At the same time, I am friends with their Moms and I don’t want them to MAKE their girls be friends with her or invite her to things. What could be worse than that? I really don’t want that either; that’s just going to make the girls resent Olivia. There’s no good solution. It is what it is. And I think that’s what makes me so sad.

I was in school today and read Olivia’s “About Me” poster. She wrote “When I grow up, I want to be a Mom.” It broke my heart into a million tiny pieces because she’ll never do that. It made me happy because I’m hoping it means she wants to be like me, but still saddened me. There’s nothing I can do about that though, can I?

She wears orthotics, she wears a scoliosis brace for 12 hours a day, she wears glass, she works so freaking hard every day of her life. I don’t want it to be so hard for her. Some days I feel sorry for me too. I want her to be a Mom. I want her to have a best friend. I want her to have and do so many things that she’s not able to. Not to mention when I’m lying awake at night worrying about what will happen to her when she’s an old woman and we’re gone, God willing we all make it that long. Who will take care of her? Who will make sure she has the stuffed animal that goes with the movie she’s watching and get her Oreos and not the generic kind? No one understands her, knows her and loves her like I do. What happens if I’m gone? The emotional toll of being her mother is sometimes so heavy I feel like I can’t breathe.

But I try. Every day I try to focus on today. Today she is happy. Today she had a friend to eat lunch with at school. Today she jumped for the first time. Today she has her stuffed Genie and Abu while she watches Aladdin. Today she has her Oreos. Today she has me. Today she is loved. Some days that just has to be enough.

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15 responses to “I Try

  1. Tiff, you are an inspiration to me! I love you!

  2. Oh, Tiffany. I have tears right now. It’s obvious that Olivia is loved today, and will be tomorrow. Maybe things will be different for her than for others, but that doesn’t mean that different is bad and that her life isn’t or won’t be fulfilling. Today! That should be everyone’s motto.

    ((hugs))

  3. Wow Tiffany! I am speechless as the tears roll down my face. I had no idea….and your my cousin…wow. I have such wonderful memories of you and your sister as I would watch you when Mom and Dad would go bowling. We would have so much fun…. and now we both have 3 kids. Even thou we are years apart, my youngest is 9 and I can’t imagine going through what you live everyday. You are so amazing and God has made you so very strong! Anyone is blessed to have you and your family in their lives. I would love to catch up with you guys sometime and I know Blake would love to play with your kids. Send me a message sometime if you would like…..would love to hear from you! Love to you all!
    Annette

  4. I get this. This fear of no one ever caring for your girl the way you do. I feel it too and I do my very best to give her every ounce of love I can right this minute so she can take it in and maybe, just maybe, it will be a shield for her if ever there comes a time when she’s not getting it.

    You do this for your O too. She feels your love. She basks in it, glows and radiates the love you pour on her. We’re all doing the best we can with the days we have.

    It will never be enough but it’s the best we can do.

  5. Tears, very real tears are welling up as I type. You are truly the reason Olivia was put on this earth. She is blessed to have you as a mom. I am blessed to call you my friend.

  6. Although I’m only starting on my journey I truly feel your pain. As I read your post I cried for you and for me. We share a lot of the same fears and loss of dreams for our daughters. But we are strong, and that strength we gain from our strong daughters. You are an amazing mother and human being, don’t ever forget that!

  7. I want to be a mom….
    that just about crushed me for you…

  8. I have been OBSESSING about who will take care of V when I am too old to, or dead. And I am “only” 33. I still have a good 60 years in me 😉 I have the internal conversation…. maybe my older daughter will want to take her, but I don’t want her to feel like she has too… or maybe if my son has a wife, she will want to take care of her, hopefully she is nice…maybe I will have grandchildren that will want to take care of her… what if my older children die before her, they are after all, 3 years older…

    Such morbid thoughts… but I can’t shake them. And BTW, I don’t think Olivia wants to be a mom, I think she wants to be HER mom. Can you blame her? 🙂

  9. Olivia knows friendship and she knows love. She is so lucky to have yu, and I can see the love she shares with her Daddy and her brothers through your pictures. It isn’t the same, you are right, but it is what it is, and you are a wonderful mother.

    I was hoping that the feelings I have about Claire’s future might lessen. Hoping that I won’t well up at wedding speeches and new babies because they remind me of things she might not experience. As awful as it is, at least we can all share the pain with each other…

    Thanks so much for your honesty. xoxo H

  10. You are such a wonderful person, Tiff, and an incredible mother. YOU are what she needs. You are enough.

  11. I have felt the same things, and I too worry about what will happen when I am gone. But we do our best in the NOW and know that our kids know we love them and we are doing our best. Hang in there!

  12. I think I can relate to Olivia when it comes to girl scouts. Except I was a major tomboy one year and the girls had enough with me! At least they are still being nice to her, thank goodness.

    Trust me, she doesn’t need girl scouts. She needs a loving family and she has that. 🙂

  13. I love this post. I was thinking this week about a lot of the issues you raised here!

    On another {comical} note… being a mom is so freakin’ hard. It might be a good thing for her to not have to tackle that too!!! (That’s what I tell myself with a glass of wine and some giggles!) xoxoxxo

  14. Tiffany. You did it again. Put all my hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, dreams…all of it…into such a beautiful post. Crying, laughing and thankful for today!

    Olivia (my Olivia,11 yrs) just made Julia lunch. Julia wouldn’t eat until we all had our food, she had thanked Olivia (“O-ee-uh…O-ee-uh…Tat Too!!!”) and Olivia had acknowledged her. It’s enough for today.

    Thank you, my friend, for perspective. You ate amazing.

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