Monday, January 28, 2013

Just Open Your Eyes.

To understand that life is beautiful, you must have experience pain, seismic events, catastrophe and struggle.  Then, you must go through the pain, feel it, and emerge on the other side.  Forever scarred but wiser and clearer.  It is then, and only then, you see true beauty.

Beauty in the love between siblings. The kindness of Bridget making a bed on the floor for Owen, because he was out of his bed, and "he likes to lay on the floor Mumma."  There's a Spongebob pillow, a blanket for the base, and another blanket she had carefully laid on top of him, and he lays calmly in his floor bed that she has made for him, contentedly sucking his thumb.

Before bed, after baths and teeth brushing, wrestling the Ipad from Owen's hands, he prepares to flop on the floor and kick and scream and thrash in the detox of Ipad from his system, and I grab him, and hop into bed with Bridget.  His back to my front, laying on top of me, one arm around him, his belly, and the other around B.  My babies.  He breathing stabilizes and slows quickly and I can feel all 50 pounds of him get heavier as he relaxes on me.  My touch, relaxing, calming, my breath as his, just as we were 5 years ago when he was still inside me.  My baby boy full of life changing surprises.

And my other baby, my baby girl, underneath my arm, and I'm running my fingers through her hair, fingernails against her scalp, as I slow to a stop she grabs my hand and puts it back on her head.  And the three of us lay there, in a little twin bed, our breaths and bodies intertwined, as only a mother and children could be, the plastic starry sky shining above us.  And there is beauty in this, this fleeting moment of childhood and love and routine.  The quick deterrent of flops and meltdowns, the gathering of my childrens' bodies in my arms, as I gather the pieces of their lives, hold them together, put them back together, make them feel safe and loved and protected, as only a mother can.

The confession of loss, of love, of sadness.  The admittance of wrong and the vulnerability of truth and grief.  The beauty of someone baring their soul, full of amends and regrets.  The glimpse of what could have been.  The slow, painful grinding noise of gates closing on an old life.  To know I'm not loved by some, but hated, and the beauty of truly accepting of that.  The skin, once thin, is stronger through the scars, and to feel the truth hit me, and yet ricochet off instead of embedding under my skin....There is beauty in pain, because there is beauty in truth and raw emotion and acceptance.

There is beauty in watching your child struggle and make mistakes.  Watching her flippant reaction and as her consequences increase, watching the burden of her decisions begin to weigh more heavily on her until she breaks, and cries, and then accepts her mistakes and learns to embrace herself, not as perfect or broken but merely as herself.

There is beauty when she looks at me with her eyes shining from tears and says "I don't want you to be disappointed in me Mumma.  I want you to be proud." It is beautiful to watch her learn and grow in front of my eyes, in one mere day, as she realizes how her choices can impact her life and her relationships.  And through this humanness, she also opens herself  to ask questions about her life and her future.

She learns not to condemn herself for something that is merely a part of her - her personality, her liveliness, her openness, her confidence and lack of fear.  Just as Fragile X is a part of us, and Owen, it's not wrong or bad, it  And it is beauty to see that I can teach her.  Teach her that 'we are who we are', and our perceived 'defects' are often nothing but our true strengths.  To be 'chatty' is to be outgoing, friendly, fun, spunky and confident - now let's learn when to harness it and learn where we can let loose.  And understand that regardless, she will be accepted and loved.

And it dawns on her that her consequence was a not a result of 'who she is' but her behavior.  And we discuss ways to use her strengths for good, 'not evil,' and I see her grow.  I see her learn, right in front of me, so many life lessons in a short time, and I see beauty.  Beauty in my children, what I have created, and beauty in me.  In what I can do, and how I respond, and how I can be both a firm and loving parent.  I can see the beauty and strength in me, never more apparent than in the hard times, the difficult times, the pain-so-searing-it-will-break-you-times - and then the 'show 'em what you're made of' times.

And we lay in bed, under the stars, we three, she whispers "I love you so much Mumma.  I love you as much as you love me."  And we talk about the sign for infinity, a "Number 8 laying on its side," going around and around and around, never ending, and I tell her I love her more than she knows.  I hug them close, and we breathe, and I recognize the beauty of this moment - a finite moment in an infinite love.  Life is not easy, it is cruel and unfair and unkind, and even that is beautiful, because it reminds us of our humanity.  And it rewards us with these moments, and we know amidst the pain - because of the pain -there is beauty.



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