Monday, November 14, 2011

He makes me smile

Time is flying as you can see from how long it’s been since my last post.

My little guy is 16 months old now and I am completely in love with him. He has the best little personality, complete with a range of emotions from happy to sad to angry and everything in between.

He started daycare a couple of months ago and it was terrible. He wailed and screamed for almost 2 weeks straight at daycare. It broke my heart. I was a wreck all day at work and counted the minutes till I could go “rescue” him. He was so upset about being left by me that he was a disaster all day, every day. I wish I could tell him, hey, I sympathize; I was a wreck when my mom used to leave me at school for the first while and an even bigger wreck later in life when she passed away! It never gets easier, my little friend!

The lady who runs the daycare almost kicked him out after a week because she had never seen such a bad transition and said I’d have to hire a private nanny or quit my job and stay home with him. And then one day, he turned and everything was fine. He realized he could have fun all day and that I would faithfully come pick him up every afternoon. A huge sigh of relief from me…

Now, he is having a great time at daycare and I have adjusted to being back at work. I absolutely love the time I spend with him in the morning before work, the afternoons & evenings and weekends. I love to see him smile & wave bye when I drop him off in the morning at daycare and I love to see his face when I arrive to pick him up after work. It’s fascinating to see all the little things he’s learned that day, which brings me to the title of this post…

He makes me smile. He does things to impress, entertain and mimic me. It’s absolutely fascinating to have this little person who is so dependent on you and can’t even really talk or walk yet going out of his way to get a reaction from me. It makes me smile larger and with a sweeter feeling than I’ve ever experienced before. This is love, someone told me. I smile, laugh and/or clap at him and he beams back at me. He is so happy to see my reaction. We have connected and have so much fun together.

On the flipside, he also gets into mischief sometimes and I have to say “no” to him. What a sad little face he puts on! And sometimes, he even looks away in shame. It breaks my heart and I have to try so hard not to smile and give him a mixed message.

So this is what it feels like to be on the “other side” as a mom and not a child. It’s an amazing experience and I am so thankful to be having it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Goodbye, old friend

I had to say goodbye to a dear old friend this week. I'm surprised I didn't write more about him before on my blog.

He was my 18 year old cat. This poor guy has been through thick and thin with me. I can't tell you the number of times he sat with me while I cried. He'd gently lick my hands, cuddle up to me or give me the most understanding looks (I know, sounds bizarre, but animals can totally tell when you're upset).

I adopted my cat when he was a kitten from the pound. He was a bit of a runt but I knew right away he was "the one". One of the main reasons I adopted him was because I'd become an insomniac after my father passed away and then my mother started to show signs of Alzheimers. I'd sit up at night, unable and not wanting to sleep. My father passed away overnight and I found him the next morning in the living room. Some people mentioned my mom might pass away soon after because of how much she missed my dad. I really didn't want to have another dead parent on my watch so the insomnia began. I'd sleep a little here and there but jump awake at the slightest sound. Occasionally, my mother would have a bad night where she would try to run away to "go home" or come bursting into my room to demand her stuff back that she believed I'd stolen. Yep, nights were long and lonely. And that's where my little friend fit in perfectly.

Cats are naturally nocturnal so my new little buddy would hang out with me during these difficult times and keep me company. I also had a horrible fear of my mom needing an ambulance one day and I was terrified to wait for an ambulance by myself so my buddy would be there for me then too. I also purchased a cordless phone for my bedside that year (a bit deal back then) so I could have a portable phone if and when the day came. I was ready!

My little buddy also kept my mom company during the day when I went to school and work. She loved him to bits and took care of him like a child. I'd often come home to find the two of them cuddled up on the lazy boy watching a soap opera. Animals are so good for people's health and really help put ill/anxious people at ease.

Of course, there were times where I'd come home and couldn't find the cat because my mom had let him outside for fresh air and then forgotten about him due to her Alzheimers. You know how it goes...the phone rang so she went inside to answer it and then forgot the cat outside. She used to do this with many things, including putting a pot or kettle to boil on the stove and then going out grocery shopping. I can't tell you how angry I used to get at my mom for this. The cat was an indoor cat and we live in a big city so it was quite dangerous to just leave him outside. Thankfully, I'd always find him in the backyard, safe and sound.

Sadly, this week, I had to let my buddy go. He was really showing his age and had begun to drink tons of water, pee a ton and track pee-soaked litter all over the house (a big concern for me with the baby). It turns out he had severe diabetes which would take thousands of dollars to get under control as he'd have to be hospitalized for a few weeks. The vet advised that even then, I had to remember he was 18 years old. So, I let him go.

It was terribly sad and I sat with him while they put him to sleep. Eighteen years of memories flooded my mind, flashing through like a slide show. Letting this cat go was a huge deal for me as it was like I was letting go of an era and moving on with my life. I know I might sound crazy (and one person actually thought I was nuts years ago because I referred to the cat as "he" and not "it"). But really, this cat had been there through it all. From insomnia to insanity, from horrible breakups to deaths, he was my friend and I will miss him. Rest in peace FB.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's been a while

It's been a while since I posted here. I've been quite busy at home with the little one and totally understand now why people say they "go to work for a break"!

I looked back on my last post and was surprised it was so long ago. My father-in-law did pass away...the day after that post. He was a lovely man and I miss him terribly. Honestly, he was the nicest person in that family. Always made me feel welcome and at ease. He was the best father-in-law you could ever ask for.

My DH was in shock for quite a while. He didn't seem fazed or bothered by his father's passing and that was kinda freaking me out a bit.

But, a couple of weeks ago, DH finally broke down. It made me cry for him. He told me how much he missed his dad and how he wanted to call/visit him so many times and then would realize he couldn't. He also said he'd see something interesting (like a neat car or whatever) during the day and want to tell his dad about it and couldn't. Or he wanted to tell his dad about something he accomplished but couldn't. And there's nobody else in this world that cares as much about these little things as his dad did.

DH GOT IT. He finally got the emptiness that I've been feeling all these years. Nobody cares about you as much as your parent and nothing feels as good as a proud parent beaming at you. You can tell anyone else in the world what you accomplished that day and it won't be the same.

DH still has his mom but they're not very close. His dad was his best friend and now he's gone.

We sat quietly together and I cried a bit, telling my DH how I worry about our child going through this pain one day when he loses us. I also acknowledged it's part of life and that's how it goes but it's so hard to imagine inflicting this pain on someone else. My DH was sad about this idea too and worries about our little guy "being on his own" one day. He even went as far as suggesting maybe he needs a sibling to lean on in the future. WHOA. Hold that boat for now. Not ready for that but also, as some readers know, your siblings aren't always supportive or present!

My son is SO attached to me. We had a bit of a hard start since he was very fussy and colicky and I had little support but we're pretty good now. I see how much he loves me and I am loving him right back. It's overwhelming somedays how much my son needs me and how he cries when I'm out of his sight. It's amazing to be on this side of the equation... being the parent instead of the child.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcome to Club O

My DH's father is gravely ill. He will probably pass away this week. He became suddenly ill a few weeks ago and the doctors advised today that there's nothing else they can do. I've cried a few times today not only because I really love my father-in-law but also because of what my DH is joining...Club O.

My DH has no idea what he's in for. He seems to be in shock and hasn't broken down yet about his father's condition.

I've been part of Club O for some time now and know the gutting pain you feel when you lose a parent. I just hope I can support my DH as much as he needs when he joins.