Article Courtesy: Chrissy Kelly, life with greyson + parker
Many people that run a marathon end up running another. Maybe it’s because the second you cross the finish line- people are there to take care of you. You go from sweaty and hot to freezing cold and wet- so people wrap you in a cozy thin tinfoil blanket. You are offered cooling leg sprays, massage, energy goo packs, energy bars and drinks. You even get a fricking medal, and the option to get your picture taken holding your fricking medal. You walk by other runners and everyone congratulates each other freely. Everyone knows they accomplished something big and something amazing, and that the hard and painful work leading up to it was worth it.
I think life would be a ton easier if we applied those same marathon finishing principles to many other aspects of life…
Like cancer. The patients should be given a bag full of loot on arrival- trash mags and comfy cute socks, lemon drops, a list of suggested cancer ass kicking songs to listen to. A community of people should be there after every chemo session, cheering the warrior on- throwing confetti. Whether you know the person or not. You are amazing! You can do this! Screw you CANCER!
We need to take care of each other going through hard times.
Getting laid off, finding out its autism, a painful divorce, or any one of life’s road bumps and ditches. We should all gather in a room. Congregate on couches with pillows and blankets. Talk about life and hope and the present and the future…drink coffee or cocoa or wine and eat cupcakes and just be amazingly human with each other. We need each other to cheer us on.
Remember my Super Cuts fiasco a few weeks back? As I was sitting in the chair, I notice a woman walk in. I want it all chopped off, she said in answer to the stylist asking what she wanted done. And as her hair was being wet down and sectioned off, she started to cry. I heard her say, I’m getting divorced. And she was clearly in the middle of a moment. A horrible future painful moment type of memory- and I felt like I should say something to her. I wanted to tell her she would be okay. I wanted to tell her that I didn’t know divorce pain- but I did know pain…and I could promise her that she will come out on the other end of this life thing. I would remind her that this thing- it’s not bigger than she is.
But I gave myself every excuse to get out of it. You are a stranger. You will freak her out. Saying something isn’t your place. Mind your own business. I regret staying silent. First of all- I should have told her NEVER GET A MAJOR HAIR CUT AT SUPER CUTS!!! Her hair was so pretty and thick and long. But second, I should have hugged her and said something to her. Maybe she would have looked at me like I was crazy- but I should have done it because that’s the kind of person I want to be- regardless of how my actions are received.
Today I needed a marathon finish. It was so hard, and there were quite a few moments I thought I would snap. It started out innocent. I had Physical therapy while the boys did Behavior Therapy.
Everyones in therapy for something. The exercises I do are mind numbing. I like BIG. Run 10 miles. Hard core cardio. Spin. Kickboxing. Big moves, big results. The exercises I am doing to heal my shoulder are tiny. Some of them feel ridiculously tiny and made up.
I look around and see everyone else- also doing tiny little things to heal. And I realized, to heal my shoulder, there is no one big thing I can do. I need to do these million tiny little things that add up.
And then I thought- Oh wow. That must be a theme in my Life- because autism is exactly the same way. No one big fix. A million tiny things. Little light bulbs daily. So many hard but worth it things in life can’t be done or undone with one grand sweeping thing. They must be accomplished in a million tiny little pieces. Anything good is worth the hard work.
After therapy and lunch and some playing, I put Parker down for a nap. Less than an hour later I hear noises on his baby monitor. It sounded like crying- but it certainly wasn’t Parker. I know my babies cry like the FBI knows finger prints. I listen closer- it sounds like a tiny little baby. Not my Parker. I wonder if I am getting feedback from a neighbors monitor. The sound continues…this terrible muffled cry. I think Parker must be having a bad dream and making strange noises in his sleep, so I run into his bedroom. He is laying there awake, and he can barely breath. Each attempt at an inhale is labor intensive. He is scared and confused, and so am I. I grab him from his crib and yell for Greyson. I text Michael- Call the doctor. Parker can’t breathe. Going now. And we take off. Speeding and praying Hail Marys. She is a Mother, she gets it.
I ran into the doctors office where they brought us into a back room immediately. The doctor tried to check Parker’s blood oxygen levels but Parker fiercely fought her. The more upset he was, the harder it was for him to breath. Each attempt at an inhale made a high pitched whistle and each deep painful exhale sounded like a bark. It was Croup and his larynx and trachea were swollen. Parker got two shots of a steroid, while we waited to make sure it opened up his airways. That hour in the patient room was torture. I finally got Parker calm and relaxed. Greyon- keep the lights on. Greyson, close the door. Greyson, don’t climb on the stool. Greyson, Close the drawer. Put that back. Don’t jump on that. Greyson- COME BACK IN THE ROOM!!! Each request was getting louder and mightier. I was afraid I was going to start screaming at the top of my lungs.
It was hard. So incredibly hard. And time dragged on, but finally Parker started to take full inhales again. And then he started jabbering and pointing to pictures on the wall while smiling and laughing. He was back- my happy little Doodle. I was so relieved.
They watched the cars and the sun- and I watched them. Soaked them up completely. I opened my arms wide and welcomed the hard times, the horrible moments, the crying and tantrums and everything less than stellar that comes our way. A scare like tonight reminds me- that nothing else matters but them. They can breathe- how lucky am I? It’s all so incredibly stinking worth it.
And the remaining 2 hours we still had until bed time? We did it. And I did it so I could tell you I did it, and therefore remind you -that whatever it is- you can do it too. In ten years I probably won’t remember tonight. I won’t remember how scared I was. It will be one of a million tiny little things that fill my parenting bucket up full.
And it may not have been nipple chafing cream and a warming blanket- but I got a tiny almost-not really- little marathon finish tonight. I holed up with gobs of chocolate and took many deep breaths. And before Parker went to bed I grabbed him and we slow danced to Crazy Love by Van Morrison in the dark hallway by our front door. I rubbed my nose across his little face and breathed him in completely. Relieved after the stress of the day. He gently placed each hand on either side of my face and looked at me so deeply and intently that I know that it was love. Crazy love for sure.
Whatever it is you are going through- I’m here for you. I’m cheering you on. Neither one of use are alone. I’m placing the blanket on your shoulders right now.