Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up



Hope Every Mom Out There Had a Happy Mother's Day!!

I remember Mother's Day being a bit depressing for me. In particular, I'm reflecting back on being a single Mom with CB, after my separation from her Dad. For almost 2 years I was a single parent (though she did spend time with her dad too). There are many hardships involved with single parenthood... both financial and emotional. When you are the parent of a non-verbal child with significant cognitive impairments and severe autism it is even more isolating in that even when you're in your 2 bedroom crappy apartment with your child, you are still aware of how alone you are. Like, other than the sound of her Barney DVD playing over and over and over again and occasional squeals, you are constantly with someone yet very alone. At least, I'm just speaking for myself. Luckily, I wasn't alone for too long. Though it felt like an eternity at the time. I found out loneliness feels like a physical pain.

So, my birthday, CB's birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day... days that involve the excitement and participation of a child are not as full of joy when your child has no clue as to why this day is any different from any other. At least with Christmas, I get together with my own family of origin. But Mother's Day... well that would have been a day that a SPOUSE would make the "big deal over me" for CB. With my separation, obviously my soon-to-be-ex was not going to make me breakfast in bed or fluff my pillows and buy me flowers from CB. So a few early Mother's Days were spent totally alone, as my family of origin were 3 hours away and I was completely on my own. It wasn't the worse thing in the world, but I can't deny it could have been better.

With that back story, I will let you know how this particular Mother's Day went down.

After a very long week full of multiple play dates, speech therapy (2x/week for baby Rella), my husband having 3 late night functions, soccer practices, grocery shopping, errands, cooking and cleaning to entertain on Saturday, etc... I got to have several hours on Saturday hanging out with my MOM.

I invited her over for a light lunch which included tea sandwiches, fresh fruit, pasta salad and Bloody Marys. My husband, Dr. Fabulous, had the kids out so my Mom and I were able to lounge on our balcony and enjoy the breeze, sun, and view. It was really nice.

Mother's Day proper began with the typical 6:00 am ceremonial "waking of the grown-ups," followed by Dr. Fabulous making me a very simple, but appreciated breakfast. The kids gave me a great little gift from a local potter we love in our town.



Then I bathed 4 children, packed up medication, changes of clothes, diapers, wipes, and the kitchen sink and loaded the car with 4 kids for our 2 hour drive up to the Northern part of the state to see my in-laws. We all get together on Mother's Day and congregate there.

This year, we went out to brunch at a nice restaurant. Not my favorite venue with all 4 kids, mainly because of the behavior of the baby and CB. It was an insanely large and crowded restaurant where you felt herded like cattle, waiting in long ass lines at the food buffets. After getting 4 plates for your kids together, you finally wait to get your own food to find all the hot food is gone - waiting to be replenished and there isn't a clean available plate for miles. The cost was 40 bucks a head on top of it. CB hung in there, but she has a hard time in these environments. At one point she tried to kick the table over. At another point, she hocked a giant spit ball across the table directly on everyone sitting across from her. We were able to keep her relatively contained. She held her own, but it's never free of stress on some level to be out with her.

We ended the day returning to my in-laws, drinking some wine, ordering pizza for dinner and hitting the road later than we expected, getting home after 10 pm.

There were no spas and flowers, certainly not much R & R. But I'll take having Mother's Day together with a family over those few Mother's Days where I sat alone feeling the wind blow through me. I guess my expectations of Mother's Day have lowered quite a bit. Or, perhaps I just try to remind myself of what really is most important. Not to be spoiled, but to belong with family. Not to feel sorry for myself over what I don't have, but appreciate the everyday gifts of what I do. And to know that being crazed, tired, busy, and often annoyed is better than being invisible and hollow. Not to be pampered, but to be needed, wanted and loved. The every day, chaotic, simple, imperfect love of family.

11 comments:

erin said...

I love the photos! Looks like you had a wonderful day.

Stressful and together is better than calm and alone, is what I always say.

Miz Dinah said...

Ah the joys of being a mother. You've got more on your plate (I mean ceramic bowl) than most and you're rockin' it. :)

sheree said...

GREAT post, Alicia! I agree with you 100%.

I am so glad you had a nice Mother's Day :)

Barbara said...

Oh I know how you feel, those lonely nights where if you ever wonder if your children even notice that it's next day even..

When my daughter was growing up, I had a lot of those single mom days, my boyfriend at the time who is now my husband, went through a period of not wanting to deal with me or his disabled daughter. Thankfully he quickly outgrew that!

I can remember waking up reading everywhere about mothers day on television, newspapers, even on my neighbors face as I glance through our window as I watch her smile and kiss all her children who bought her flowers as I look over at my boucing, screeching, feces covered, daughter ripping every book I owned apart, binder and all! I just thought there should be a medal for us type of mothers who just roll with the punches and go on with our day like it's just another day.

I'm pleased to hear you had a better mothers day this year!

We tried going to out to eat, my daughter lasted a womping 3minutes before a meltdown even a swat team couldn't handle happened.. my youngest son on the other hand did quite well except for a minor incident where he attempted to strip and bit our waiter.

Needless to say, we enjoyed our night home much better, my daughter sat on the floor enjoying the bubble machine we bought her for christmas while spinning excessively, my youngest spent his time flapping and watching spongebob, and my middle son gave me a card saying "To Super Mommy, we all love you, happy mothers day!" All of those years that I felt alone or had times where we couldn't go out to eat was worth it just to read that card :-)!

I think each of us who are mothers to special needs are super mommys, so we deserve this day!

Happy Mothers Day to all, sorry I'm alittle late!

Richelle said...

I really can relate to this post, Alicia. This was my first year as a single mom on Mother's Day. Aside from the occasional scream or various other vocal stim, I didn't hear much in my house. I am fortunate to have my family close by and got to spend some time with them also. Hearing your story reminds me that there may be a special man out there that may accept me and my daughter someday. I'm glad you enjoyed your special day!

Michelle said...

Great post. BTW, you look GREAT in that first shot! LOVE IT!!! Again, I say crop out the rest of the family, blow it up and hang it in that awesome foyer :)

Alicia DiFabio said...

@ barbara -- omg, i am laughing so hard im almost peeing myself re. your son trying to strip and bite the waiter!! LMBO!! I always feel sad for the moms out there who work so hard and then feel bummed on this stinkin' mothers day... but the great thing is when moms like you find the HUMOR in it! without humor, we are lost :)

Always love when you comment! A.

Alicia DiFabio said...

@richelle,
Though my time alone was close to 10 years ago, i remember the loneliness so well. My heart aches when people are alone on mothers day, holidays... ANY day really but im glad you had family to hang with :). And YES... i sound like a cheezy cliche, but I kept my standards high and got one of the best guys out there, who accepted and loved CB and took on the responsibility of a lifetime of raising her as his step daughter. He is the best husband and father in the world. There ARE good guys out there, and they are worth waiting for :)

So nice to hear from you!!! :) A.

Alicia DiFabio said...

@richelle,
Though my time alone was close to 10 years ago, i remember the loneliness so well. My heart aches when people are alone on mothers day, holidays... ANY day really but im glad you had family to hang with :). And YES... i sound like a cheezy cliche, but I kept my standards high and got one of the best guys out there, who accepted and loved CB and took on the responsibility of a lifetime of raising her as his step daughter. He is the best husband and father in the world. There ARE good guys out there, and they are worth waiting for :)

So nice to hear from you!!! :) A.

tiffrutherf said...

I totally love the way CB given the "do I have to be here" teenage look in the second to the last pic.

Boy your blog hits home everytime!

Unknown said...

yes i love to see bare naked little giris bare bum yes it is so good

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