Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More on parenting ...

Some of the stories I share today may be repeats, and if they are, I'm sorry. But they are bouncing around in my head and so I need to get them out.

This parenting gig? Some days it's hard. And then just when you've got it all figured out, the kids change and enter a new phase. And when I was pregnant with my second child, I remember thinking, this is going to be breeze. I've done it once, so clearly I'm an expert now. Oh, my poor naive self. I had no clue back then. The second (and the third) would be so very different I'd feel like I was a brand new parent all over again!

But you push through the hard moments because there are so many beautiful, wonderful moments.

And the truth is none of that changed once I was diagnosed with cancer. There were still hard days - but suddenly the hardest part wasn't my little guy hitting. Or the oldest talking back. No, the hardest part was the side effects that really knocked me down some days. But there were also some sweet moments in there.

I'll never forget when I could hug the kids again after surgery. My son was the first one to get a hug. Even he lit up to finally get a real hug from mom. And then I went and gave the girls each a hug right away too. My 12yo had hit a phase where she didn't really want hugs from me, but she did not turn that hug away that day. I teared up.

Speaking of the 12yo, this summer McDonald's did their Monopoly game to win prizes. My 12yo was relentless about getting to McD's to get as many pieces as possible. I won't lie. I was annoyed by this. And then my mom called - the kids had been with her - and she shared with me that my daughter told her she wanted to win the grand prize and then she'd use the money to pay my medical bills. I was blown away. And also, felt guilty for getting mad at her for asking for McD's all the time!

One day, and this was a bad day. I was in bed, in a lot of pain and also very sick. And I was just crying and crying. And I had told my husband I was going to quit chemo, that I couldn't go on anymore. It was one of the lowest points I hit in the process. At some point Eric had to get up. And I was still crying {although calmed down some} when my 9yo came into our room. And she climbed into bed with me and was holding my hand. And - a moment I'll never forget - she looked right into my eyes and said "Mom, I wish I could make your cancer come into my body so you won't have to hurt anymore." I couldn't even respond I was so touched. It's supposed to be my job to take care of her, to take her hurt and pain away, and there she was, ready to do the same for me.

Speaking of my 9yo, one day I mixed up sidewalk paint for them. And this? This is what she painted on our driveway:

"my mom is a surviver"

My 6yo has also been extra loving to me through all this. He'll come up and rub my arm. But before he does he double checks to make sure it's not the side that hurts. He has shared his favorite blanket with me and given me well-loved stuffed animals to cuddle up with. And I'm here to tell you, there is nothing sweeter than a little one (yes, I still consider him little) sharing their favorite things with you, because they don't like to give them up very easily usually!

Another precious story about him: we were talking about Christmas. He was excitedly telling me all the things he wanted Santa to bring him! And then he stopped. And kind of looked at me and said "But you know mom. I think Santa should bring you the most presents because you had cancer." This is no small thing to say for a 6yo boy who cannot wait for Christmas morning to come.

Those are the moments I will forever treasure in my heart. The truth is more than one day I got out of bed for them. They kept me going, even in the lowest of the low moments. And while they are not perfect, (they are kids after all!), they also showed so much love and kindness and strength this year.


  1. This is beautiful... And you're right--it's a tearjearker in a good way. Your kids are so lucky to have a mother like you. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Tearjerker.... OMG..... Brandie, dearest.... I think you can dispense with everything in that Guilt post! Maybe putting it out there and then letting us in (brave soul) allowed some of that guilt to dissipate? I take back what I said about you being a good mom. You are AN AMAZING MOM and you have AWESOME kids.


  3. That was so touching Brandie. What beautiful children you have!!


  4. Ahhhhh, see my amazing daughter you and Eric have done a wonderful job with parenting and it truly shows in your wonderful children!! You have always been to hard on yourself!

  5. Those children are a precious gift. They are going to be amazing adults one day (no hurry though, guys!) & I hope we are still friends on that day so that I can hear new stories that make me cry.


Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)