It can take a lifetime, a life of many years, to accept the incongruity of things: that a small moment can sit side by side with a big one, and become part of the same.
— Rachel Joyce
When things get really crazy and hectic, as they have been since the beginning of February, and I start to hyperventilate and have anxiety attacks in regards that all is on my shoulders, I have to force myself to stop and focus on the story of my life. If I had two months to live, what would be my focus, what would I do, what wouldn’t I do, what would be important?
Sometimes I feel as though I have to change the world. Everyone needs to know about Olivia, her Cri du Chat and how having a child with special needs doesn’t have to ruin your life. I need to write a book, stop the R-word, be the best teacher/mother/wife/friend/daughter/sister in the whole world or else. Then I remember what’s important…what is the real and true story of my life.
It’s having friends over on a Friday night, sitting in a circle, playing Cards Against Humanity, drinking, eating pizza and laughing in our pjs and sweats feeling totally comfortable in each other’s presence. It’s realizing how lucky I am to have so many wonderful friends in my life, no matter how rare it is that we all get together. I know they’re there.
It’s having Olivia practically jump into my arms at the end of the day because she’s so happy to see me. She bursts into my arms, excited to show me the picture she colored in art class today, to tell me about the food they cooked in cooking class, the song she sang in choir.
It’s a walk with the dogs and Matthew on a Tuesday afternoon talking about how the human race started. He’s a deep thinker, my Matthew, and an innocent question of “where did the first human come from?” turned into an hour-long discussion on evolution and religion and watching a documentary together to help explain it all. It’s realizing that even though he’s only 8, his soul is much older and evolved than we imagine. It’s seeing the adult he’s going to be and knowing he’ll be amazing.
It’s chatting with Gabe about soccer, basketball, school, teachers, baking, cake decorating, friends, grades, college, girls or whatever else he’s willing to share with me. I soak it all up and take in each morsel he’s willing to give. I try not to overplay my hand so he will want to share again. Teenagers are finicky you know. It’s Gabe asking me to play basketball after school and laying in bed watching Walking Dead together on a Sunday night.
It’s a rare hour alone with Matt where we can catch up on the day, veg out together, have a meal together, laugh about the kids or have deep conversations about what’s important to us. It’s sitting across the table at breakfast, eating granola and sipping coffee, and staring at his gorgeous face realizing for the millionth time I’m the luckiest wife around.
It’s the smell of Olivia’s hair and the way she laughs and her gorgeous smile and her constant requests for me to “do again”.
It’s Gabe’s dimples, his witty sense of humor, how I’m the first one he talks to about everything, the way he makes sure we say goodnight even if I’m not allowed to tuck him in anymore.
It’s Matthew’s sweet face, his ever-growing long limbs, his kisses and hugs and thoughtfulness. He tells me he’s lucky that I’m his Mom and I feel as though my life is complete.
It’s the smell of Matt’s cologne, the weight of his hugs, the love that radiates off of him towards me and the kids.
It’s all of these tiny yet huge amazing and precious moments that make the story of my life. And life is so much better and happier when I can stop and remember this very thing.