Page 3// Don’t Be Ruined

I flipped my little photo desk calendar over today to October to see this photograph:

I loved this day.  So impromptu, which is hard for me to pull off, but ending up so perfect.  Vera still hibernating, just the sleuths on their last Halloween as three. 

Last October was a hard month: an anniversary tragedy, letdowns for Jarrod at work, we misplaced Jack’s Boy Scout popcorn selling sheet leaving us with $500 cash and no sheet to tell us what to buy with it or who to buy it for.  Sadly, these hard things caused lots of disconnect and strife between Jarrod and I.  I suppose that’s normal. 

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Last October did have its high points though….like this day of photographs.  I loved it so much.  Mostly, I just love them.

I wonder sometimes how the stress over the last year will impact them.  They feel it, they’re not stupid.  We try to shield them as much as possible, but its not always an option.  Like yesterday, me crying while shoving my sweet lace vintage curtains that my aunt gave me into a garbage bag to take to the cleaners because they were covered in mouse droppings…some things I just haven’t been able to conceal.  I wonder how those moments will impact them in the long run or if they’ll be in therapy as adults because their mother couldn’t get her sh*t together.

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As much as we try to protect them from too much adult stuff, they still understand things.  I realized yesterday that both boys came up to me at different times and said, “I’m sorry this is happening, Mom.  I’m sure the mice are gone for good now.” Little moments like that make me hope that they won’t be ruined, but maybe they’re learning how to love each other better. 

My parenting approach lately has been to let them see my downfalls…and talk about them.
“You guys, I’m so sorry I freaked when I saw the snake in the garage today.  I’m just so tired of dealing with gross things.  But when I freaked out, I wasn’t mad at you….I’m just mad.  I’m sorry, you guys.  Moms hate stuff like mice and snakes.  Its not you…its me.  Sorry.”

I hope that’s good enough for now. 

Thankful for today:
1. kids that truly love
2. Vera falling asleep so sweetly with me last night
3. quotes that match those moments perfectly
4. people that understand
5. Jack, who has let Sophie sleep in his bed for a month because she’s afraid of mice
6. emails
7. a cleaner coming to help me today: I needed to call in recruits long ago
8. kids that forgive
9. a quiet morning today
10. the school year routine that’s working really well this year

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  1. you know what I keep thinking with each and every post?

    you're doing what nester said we should all do if we were considering doing these 31 day posts. we should write about what we're going through right the present.

    you know what? i read her words, and i thought to myself…."yeah….my blog world can't handle all that i'm going through right now."

    it's not TERRIBLE. i've had harder times…but it's not pictures of a pretty fall door and a dining room table with fake leaves on it.

    i'm challenged by your honesty.

  2. Your kiddoes are so loved and they know it. I think it is a beautiful life lesson for them to see you be real and 'make it through' the hard stuff. What a great lesson to live out Philippians 4:6-7. Love you to the moon!

  3. I agree with the above reassurances, but man do I know how you feel. I just had a vision the day of our kiddos all grown up and them referring to this period in life "when mom was a wreck" – praying for both of us to receive grace in our weakness! Love you! AH

  4. I'm giving you a big squeeze right now. Can't believe it's been a year since all that other crap happened. It has been a hard year. Those kids know you love them. I promise.

  5. AMEN!!! So often these hard times seem to turn into living in the habit of constant dealing…Over the last few years, I've wondered what will be remembered about me.

    You're doing the right thing. I love the love you can see in your own kids, even now!

  6. PS. Alicia, the fact that both Noah and Jack came to comfort you is proof positive that you are doing a whole lot right. They will be caring and compassionate husbands and fathers. Your daughters-in-law will rise up and call you blessed for raising such incredible men.

    Your kids will not damaged by the stress of these trying times because they have you and Jarod and each other. They are developing incredible strength of character that will be a blessing to so many in the future … and to you right now.

  7. Everyone goes through difficult times. Your kids will too. Through your openness they will see that it's ok to breakdown sometimes. It's okay to be weak at times. It's ok to ask for help. It's ok to accept help from others. It's ok to ask for forgiveness from others. It's ok to need the grace of God. It's ok to show the love of God to others.

    This is real life. And it is good.

  8. i saw that quote on IG last night and teared up.

    receive grace, sweetie.
    know that He is on control and HE fills in all of our gaps.
    Lord knows i have millions and HE just keeps loading on the grace and shoring up those holes that i leave all the time.
    i screamed at maddie yesterday. over a dirty shirt(????).
    i mean, i don't have mice infestation or snakes.
    it was a SHIRT!
    the important part is that i apologized, received the grace and today is a new day.

    your children are wonderful.
    they are loved.
    they are SO blessed to have you as their mama.
    no one could do it better.
    no one.
    keep looking up.
    love you.

  9. Sweetie, your kids will not be ruined. During my stressful years, I freaked out at my kids alot (and I still have even when life is good) I have found my children to be the most forgiving understanding little peeps. They freely forgive and offer me new mercy each day. We sit around and talk about my most glorious freak out moments and they don't even remember. You love your kids deeply and give unselfishly to them, they will remember being in the trenches with you. They will remember the mama you will become as you grow stronger and more like the person God is molding you to become.

  10. poor is the child
    who grows up in a perfect home

    i have seen my children
    have major character growth
    through watching Chad and i

    what a blessing
    for you kids to see your pain
    and want to comfort

    my friend

    is a win

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