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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Facts of life

This little hiatus that I’ve taken has been a new adventure in the sense that settling into a new place is taking longer than I assumed it would, giving my brain a creative break has not fueled more creativity and not everyone is on my bandwagon of rest, recuperation, relaxation and focus on self. (They’ve focused on myself and not themselves.)

Here are a few facts I’ve learned – and relearned – recently.

image It’s true: A writer has to write everyday. Given the fact that I’m a writer and have been for about 16 years or so, I thought taking a break from the trade would give my brain a rest and fuel some type of creative boost. I was so wrong. My creativity hasn’t increased, but on the other hand my realization has. For instance, would I have noticed that woodpecker’s persistence had I been consumed by deadlines, obligations and moving? Now if the blog post ideas, chapters for my book and eloquent query letters would flow from my brain I would really be doing something.

image If you keep going in a circle you’ll always end up in the same place: Absolutely nowhere. I’ve realized this applies to all areas of life, but it really applies when dealing with individuals who only see things black or white (devoid of gray) or who only see things their way. If there’s someone you’ve known for quite some time who never sees your point of view, continually makes assumptions about what you think or believe and never realizes their contribution to discord then it won’t do you any good to keep dealing with them. Period.

There’s always more to the story. I was reading an article in one of my favorite magazines, The Oprah Magazine, about Keys to a Healthy Heart by Dr. Oz. One of the keys he points out is that we shouldn’t take calcium by itself because when taken alone it can promote calcification of the arteries (according to a 2010 study), which may increase the risk of heart attack. Take your daily calcium with magnesium and vitamin D. There’s always more information we need to know about something. For instance, as moms we find that are children may have a stomach ache, but we have to evaluate the rest of the symptoms to make a strong conclusion.

A mother’s love is severe. That may seem like an odd word to use to describe a mother’s love for her children, but you should understand in a moment why I’ve made that choice. Yesterday I had one of the most intense feelings of fear ever. Three of my children (I still haven’t figured out how to word that since I have four children with one being an adult) have been sick lately. It started with Anna who had a small cough late Thursday night. The next morning, she awoke with a fever and since then there have been coughs, fevers, stomach aches and everything in between going on with her and two of her siblings.

DSCF5334Yesterday afternoon the girls were feeling better and getting a little restless. After verifying that the weather was warm I told them they could go walk in front of our building on the sidewalk and admonished them not to go behind the building and to stay where I can see them. Their instructions weren’t new, but it is the first time I let them go out without their brother who was laying on the couch with a stomach ache. I was laying in my bed (my bedroom is right off the front door) and I felt myself getting drowsy. I immediately got up because of course I didn’t want to drift off while the girls were outside.

I opened the front door and yelled for them. No answer. I figured they were in front, which is right outside of our living room window, or on the side, which is right outside of another window. All the places they can be. I yelled a little louder, this time calling one of their names. Still no answer. Again I yell: nothing. I step out onto the sidewalk and look down the breeze way to the back of the building and look up and down the sidewalk. I’m thinking, “I must have dozed off; they must be back inside.”

I rush in and say to my son, “Are the girls in here?”

DSCF5101 “No, I don’t think so. I thought they were outside.” He doesn’t look away from the television.

Before I’d slipped my feet into my slippers now I donned some sneakers and in my pajama pants, tank top and bandana – true stay in the house attire – I went to the main sidewalk and looked up and down. I didn’t see hide nor hair of the girls. I called Amareah’s name again, I looked on the side of the building that we can see from our windows and nothing, I ran and looked down the hill where some of the kids play and still nothing. By now I’m yelling her name, I go down the sidewalk to the back of the building where two other apartments are and look up and down the back. Nothing.

By now I’m thinking if someone grabbed them they could be in any one of these apartments; how would I find them. So many images and thoughts went through my mind so quickly and my adrenaline was steadily increasing. I had to calm myself from panicking and breaking down because I had to find my girls. One final call of Amareah’s name and I saw them round the corner in front of the neighboring building.

They were strolling, I was near panic. I yelled/talked/asked at Amareah who was still quite a ways from me, “Why did you go so far?” She couldn’t hear me and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I ran between the buildings and waited for the girls, holding my head and crying. Amareah rounded the corner with her young sister close to her heals, “What did you say, Mommy?” I could already hear the tears in her voice.

I usually try to keep my emotions in check with my younger children, but yesterday that wasn’t the case, “Whyyy did you go so faarr?”

DSCF5018 I can’t remember what she said, but she started saying sorry and that they’d stayed on the sidewalk. The part of the rules that she’d forgotten was not to go pass the building next door. She said she came as soon as she heard me calling and it dawned on me that I had told my newly, feeling well daughters not to run.

“I couldn’t see you, I have to see you.” By now I’m sobbing, Amareah is crying and we’re holding each other while Anna, the baby of the family, stands near with her thumb in her mouth and tears in her eyes. I hold onto them and give them hugs telling them how much I love them, that they scared me and that I have to see them.

By now I can barely catch my breathe, the controlled panic that I’d held while looking for them, which was probably no more than a few minutes, dissolved. I called a friend who has one of the most soothing voices and who is also a parent telling him that I am just trying to calm down. I explain what happened and was able to get myself together. In walks Anna who I’d heard crying.

“Why are you crying?”

“I don’t know,” she says. I smile and reach for her. I comfort her and then ask about her sister. “She’s in her bed.” We both go to Amareah and lay on her bed hugging her. I tell her I’m not mad at her and that I love her very much.

During this entire drama (yes, Andre is still on the couch watching television) I realized how deep the love for my children runs and how severely I love them. Out of all the facts of life I’ve learned over my little hiatus and major changes in life this one is the most important. Regardless of deadlines, creativity, moving, hiatuses, sickness and everything in between, I AM MOTHER. And that’s the entire story.

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