Trapeze Artist

Heading In

In addition to Perry turning 5 yesterday, it was also his first day of school.

Ever.

It was a storm of emotions for me.  I am excited for Perry.  I know this experience will change him, improve him, and help him.  I can appreciate the break.  I will have time in my day to replenish my sanity.  I am ready to move into this new chapter of our lives.  However, just as I had to grieve the end of pregnancy, I have grieved the end of having a little duck by my side at all times.  I have had, at all times, a side kick for almost 12 years now.  Each has become almost an appendage of me.  The end of that is like an amputation.  There will definitely be an adjustment period.  But I am ready for it.  I have loved Marley and Brodie’s growing independence.  I love joking with my boys as I would a friend.  I love that they get the jokes.  I love that Cale is beginning to be more responsible.  I love that Perry is beginning to show some signs of independence, as well.  I know that the only way for that to happen is for everyone to grow and move forward.

But then there is a whole other side to this change, a scary and worrisome side.  I think every parent worries about their little peanut when they send them off to school for the first time.  It was that hard + a dose of extra strength worry.  There are 3 major differences with Perry as compared to our first 3.  One, Perry has a problem behavior, screaming.  I am fully confident that the teachers have dealt with this behavior, can deal with this behavior, and are kind enough to do it in a reasonable fashion.  But it wears on you.  There is the worry that someone could treat Perry badly because of this or any other bad behavior.  Second, is the worry we have had since Perry was a baby, teasing.  When your child is diagnosed, as a little infant, with some major disability, one of the things you cry buckets of tears over is how life will look for them.  Particularly, how cruel people will be to them.  I have already experienced it as he has stood by my side.  While those incidents have brought me to tears, I am also aware that I was there as that extra comfort or to get him out of “self-esteem destroying” harm’s way.  I won’t be there now.  The 3rd difference is perhaps the worst and scariest.  Not only will I not be there for Perry, but he can not communicate these things to me.  He would not come home and tell me Michael hurt his feelings when he called him weird.  Or that Tommy won’t stop pushing him.  Or, god forbid, that his teacher or other adult is unkind (or worse).  It is an extremely frightening thought for us.  While it is probably a guise, there was a false sense of security when we sent the older 3 into the big world, that they could tell us if someone was hurting them.  With Perry we don’t even have that imaginary safety net to catch us.  We are jumping to grab the trapeze bar and hoping, to all that is holy, that our jump isn’t too short or that our timing isn’t off or that our hands aren’t too sweaty.  Basically we are hoping that everything will go perfectly.

Yesterday we left the platform.  Took the leap. Now we hang in mid-air.  It will be a long time before we can see that bar, much less touch it.  For now I’m just going to try and enjoy the flight.

Classroom Work

Into the Abyss

Handsome

In just under 4 months, I turn 40.  I’m not really excited or upset by it.  It’s a big birthday, but I already view myself as 40-ish.  Matt and I have had the “what do you want for your big birthday” talk.  Several things have been discussed, but there is truly just one thing that my little heart wants more than anything.

This one little thing can bring on the waterworks like nothing else.  It’s something I have HAD to discuss in several conversations with complete strangers, yet, rarely talk about with those I am close with.  Even in those sterile conversations, when I have to discuss it, I feel the dagger turn in my heart.  Right now, this very second, as I write this and the tears well in my eyes, my stomach aches and my heart hurts because it is so painful for me.

What is it I long for?  What can be such a taboo subject for me?  It is the one thing that means more than anything to me.  What I have dedicated my life to doing.  The job I chose, even as I studied to get my masters, for which I knew I may never use.  It is what all parents yearn to hear as their babies begin to babble and put language and meaning together.  I want to hear Perry call me “Mama”.

Yes, you read that right.  My youngest little man, who will be 5 next week and starting school, has never called me Mama.  Well he’s said the word.  He CAN say Mama.  This isn’t his hearing loss and language delay at work.  If you ask him to say it he will repeat it.  However, this is about more than the mere word.  This is Perry connecting me to a name.  My name.  My role in his little life.  My role as his Mama.

There were never any cries from the crib after nap or in the morning or after a nightmare for, “MAMA! MAMA! MAMA!”  There has never been a call for, “Mama”, from the other room for me to come and turn on a television show, get him water or help him with his trains.  There was never a moment when he crawled into my lap or into my bed and whispered, “Mama” in my ear.

Understand, he has never called any of us by name.  Second only to my selfish wish for him to recognize me as his Mama, I want him to call Matt, “Daddy” and Marley, Brodie and Cale by their names.  I want him to call us his family and understand just what that means.

So, with 4 months left I’m sending this out into the universe.  Maybe I will get my birthday wish.  Maybe I will hear my baby call me Mama.

Note To Self

Essence

NOTE TO SELF:

Remember your worth.  Forget your imperfections.  Don’t disregard yourself.  Don’t be treated like an afterthought.  Respect nature.  Value quality.  Find your voice.  Shout it.  Whisper it.  Speak it.  Thank those that help you.  Thank those who don’t.  Be grateful.  Be humble.  Be gracious.  Be heartfelt.  Move forward.  Move onward.  Move vanward.  Make no time when no time is given.  Silence negativity.  Shut the door on rivalry.  Wear your heart on your sleeve.  Say your truth.  Know your principles.  Live them.  Accept others.  Allow others to accept you.  Stretch.  Reach.  Grow.   Run through the grasses.  Play in the sunshine.  Smell the flowers.  Follow the trail.  Make your own path.

Lighter Load

Just What I Wanted

For almost 12 years now I have been carrying a HUGE massive bag around.  First, just as a diaper bag, but then as my love for photography grew, it had to be a multifunction diaper/camera bag.  While Perry is still not potty trained, I have high hopes that starting school and re-inforcement from the special education teachers will push this along.  Regardless, it was time to pare down the crap I was carrying around.  I wanted a bag that pretty much just protected my camera.  I wanted a bag that I could throw into my bike bags or into another larger bag.  I wanted a bag that would be timeless.  I found it with my ONA bag.  Love this baby.  I chose the leather because it has already started aging and getting nicked up with character.

Closed Up

It fits my 5D mark iii with my 35mm lens and battery grip, 2 small change purses, a Picky bar, USB cord, a battery, and my phone can slide into the back pocket, no problem.  The strap has a clip that I can hang my keys onto and the side pockets are great for hanging sunglasses from them or toss a pen in.

Just Enough Room

If you are looking to carry your desk in your bag, this is not the one for you.  If you are looking for a bag you won’t mind taking your camera everywhere you go, this is it. It fits everything you need without giving you back or shoulder pain by the end of the day.  I haven’t taken it on Pearl yet, but I will soon, school starts next week.