This song reminds me of you….

10175063_793742077349631_3317996618424081003_nI enjoy the quiet. Very much. When I was a younger person, I’d spent some time in a hospital that was supposed to help me. Mostly it taught me the value of quiet. It taught me to love the misfit. I remember walking back into my house for the first time and distinctly realizing, it would never be that quiet again. Now, I have five children. Four of them boys. It’s almost never quiet and my brain almost never rests. I fill it with music hoping that the loud won’t push me over. It does until it reminds me of something. Like my brother who took his life this November or my friend, who was my Santa, who died far too soon. It reminds me of things I can’t talk about and things I don’t want to talk about anymore.

Kevin, my brother, lost his fight November 12th. He and I had just really sort of rekindled a relationship in the last couple years and only online. He was born after my parents divorced and is my half-brother. I’d only known him briefly as a child although I remember both he and my brother, Sam, fondly and often. I still can clearly see their little faces running through the house or car track. But Nyle, our father, built a wall between us. One I didn’t realize was there until many, many years later. I often think about what might have been, had he not bought all those bricks.

Kevin sort of looked like Matthew. He wrote like he was mature beyond his years. He drew lovely things and loved his children fiercely. And his wife. He loved her so very, very much. He loves her now and always. I like to think he loved me too. He wanted a family. He wanted Matthew and I in it.

He messaged me the Tuesday before we lost him. I didn’t make time to message him back. Gotta go and vote; I cannot make myself talk on the phone tonight. And then, I just forgot in the craziness of the election. I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive myself for that. It will be very hard to let go of that regret.

I think about him every day. I check his wall. Check in on his wife. His mother. Hindsight makes me wish I’d of done it before now. Instead, I look in on a life that I honestly didn’t know anything about. It’s a too late moment; every single day. The too lates about kill me. I see Batman, too late. I stumbled on photos, too late. Timehop mornings, too late. It’s one of those lessons you hear but don’t know until it really is too late.

I pray he’s with God now. Without pain, happy. That he can hear my “I’m sorry” and watch down on his family. I am sure what I feel doesn’t even touch the surface of how his wife, his mother, his children feel. He was my brother. He is my brother.

Rest in peace, Kevin.

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Why I go to every game (I humanly can)

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If you’d told me 20 years ago that I would spend the majority of my life transporting children from one practice to the next, I’d of laughed in your damn face. It would have been one of those boisterous belly chuckles that say, “you’re effing insane, I will NEVER be sports mom!”. And I would have been damn wrong. WRONG.

God blessed me with four sons and one hell of a daughter. She is every bit as athletic and sporty as they are. She runs fast and tries hard. She plays lacrosse which happens to be both the fall and spring season for us. The boys play baseball and football. Those to fall in the spring and fall. And sometimes summer but only if we’re really lucky.

This fall all three big kids play. Drew baseball and football. Davis the same and Devlynn’s playing in a fall lacrosse league. We’re busy. Happily busy and we go to every single game we can. We can’t wait and try not to miss.

I’d overheard some people talking about how they’d not seen some parents at the games or how they didn’t want to come to every game to teach their children they can’t be in all the places all the time. I didn’t include myself in that conversation but it made me think.

The year Davis fell in love with baseball, I’d miss almost every Saturday game for work. His team went to the playoffs and won and I narrowly made it in time to see the win. Something he remembers to this day; that big win with his favorite team. He remembers that I was there too. That I made it. And I will never, almost not make it again. Because yes, my job is important but it will never be as important as my son.

I quit doing photography like a crazy person a year or so after that. This year I’ve started accepting clients but fewer and on my time because it’s important to me that my children know they’re my priority and that while I do have to work to pay for this crazy schedule, I will do whatever it takes to get there. Because I want my kids to know I’m there for them, for whatever they need.

That doesn’t say I won’t miss a few or that I don’t feel like it’s important to teach children that you can’t do all the things all the time. They know I have to work and that their dad has to as well. They know that this week I have to go to one’s game instead of theirs. They understand because I’ve made it a priority to make them a priority. They understand because I’ve tried to teach them that we are a team, a family and we do the best we can to support each other. And while mama could definitely use some “me” time, I know there is going to be plenty of free hours when they go to college, when they move out and when they’re grown. These days are precious and I don’t think I will ever find myself regretting that I missed doing someone’s logo but I know I will regretting missing them play something they’re so passionate about or them getting their Cub Scout award. I about died when I had to miss Devlynn’s first homecoming. It is not a feeling I want to repeat.

That said, I know my stance on this isn’t for everyone. I fully believe you do what’s right for your family and I will do what’s right for mine. Without judgment. I will be the first to abundantly thank you for taking my child to practice or their game when I can’t because well, I still believe it takes a village and I am happy to build mine with you. I think we could all benefit from being kinder and more helpful with each other. It takes so little to change a person’s day or to keep a mama from losing her godforsaken mind.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on attending (or not attending) every game you can? Uplifting or damaging? What works for YOUR family?

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

What are the chances?

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There aren’t many things as scary as putting your child onto a plane to go to a foreign country with people you don’t really know. Devlynn and I had planned for her mission trip this summer for what felt like years. Passports and shots and packing, we had the support of so many people who it was just a seamless adventure getting her up and ready to go. She was the first to raise all her money, I had her passport processed right away and shots were done in June. Even so, all the preparing doesn’t prepare you for what it feels like to let her go and let her go I did.

Walking her into the building, I felt my stomach flipping. Nervous and excited I worried her stomach ache was more than just nerves. I worried she didn’t have enough money or enough clothes; that she’d lose her phone or her wallet or her way. In my head she looks 4 and in my heart I was putting my brand new baby on a plane that was going far away.

They arrived safely and everything seemed great until the news started reporting about a tropical storm. And then, when that tropical storm turned into a hurricane I thought I would vomit right then and there.

What are the chances of a rare hurricane hitting Belize the week my daughter is there?

My faith isn’t the strongest. This isn’t news.  I struggle with the idea that God is silent to many, myself included, when you expect an audible sound. I often forget that God’s people are not God and use their mistakes to punish him and I struggled, profoundly, putting my daughter on a plane with people that I didn’t 100% trust anymore, because of history and because of doubt. So knowing my daughter, my most precious thing was in a storm with all my doubt was the worst case scenario.

It was a long night of checking the news. Smart phones are the devil sometimes. And I knew the storm wouldn’t go directly over where they were. I search Instagram for damage photos and found that the area the team was in was mostly just flooded. And I cried, a lot. Because I was scared. And I wanted to call her but I couldn’t and I knew, I just had to let it go.

Nothing like a hurricane to test your faith.

She was fine. Her team was fine and her Belize story turned into one of clean up and help. I felt glad they were there to help clear the damage. I am sure the people who lived there needed the help. She survived, with the best mission story ever and I survived too. I admit though, I couldn’t get her off that bus fast enough.

And the trip was good. She got to see that despite having less sometimes (or having to wait, yay large family) she really is very rich. And she made friends. Lots of new friends for which I am grateful. She has struggled since her two best friends moved away. But now, it seems as if her dance card is full. And she’s attending youth group again. So maybe, she’ll grow up with a group of people who love her. People beside me and her dad of course.

She and I weathered a pretty important storm and came out richer I’d say. What are the chances of that?

Summer is almost over. What was supposed to be a summer of leisure turned into a whirlwind for sure. I am both sad and happy it’s coming to a close and I am both dreading and looking forward to the start of junior, 7th and 4th grade. Oh and preschool! With a new teacher! One I’ve not met yet but am so excited to add to our education family. I will miss our Miss Joy and Miss Sue though.

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.