Blog posts by mommy Shana and mommy Jess

Three children, two moms, one C.P. diagnosis....and a partridge in a pear tree.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Fight by mommy Jess

In this place in which we live, where ice still bleeds from the cracks of boulders creating rivers perpetually frozen in time, it would seem like a good location to hone one’s survival skills. And yet we suffer the same blows and weather their impact without the benefit of this granite slated landscape’s assistance.

Pain cannot be contained. Both mommy Shana and I have navigated several odd interactions in the past few weeks that would pop the seams of any bright side bubble we could possibly fashion. Neither of us has the energy anymore to slap a smiley face on things and yet we still find ourselves smiling, laughing till we cry over Jack’s silly dance, Gus’s wardrobe, Greta’s spot on delivery of a belch in a silent grocery aisle.

Look on the bright side I hear all over the place, the siren song urging one to count their blessings is so loud I can barely hear it over the roaring din of the kid’s constant clamor. And yet, like a note intently placed to introduce a new melody, I hear another rising tune. This song holds us hostage by its tightening grasp. It has all the upbeat capacity of Adele’s newest ballad laced with Quaaludes and it’s playing on every station on the dial.

Policies being created to base college applicants on the functionality of their brains, physical therapists chastising us for making informed medical decisions about our own child, little girls dancing in tutus on stages where a spotlight will never find Greta, school boards disinterested in disability services with eyes honed on a new baseball diamond. All of them we could dismiss with a little battle, a little fight on our part. All of them left to wither and wind their way under our skin until finding the spirit to bright side these things into oblivion with logic, ethics, and reason is impossible.


What is worse is I was doing better, so much better for a little bit there. I sat by Greta’s unconscious side after her surgery and did not sob bitter tears that I know make the staff oh so uncomfortable. I watched her birthday, their birthday, approach slowly from my desk-side calendar and shoved the dread and the re-living and the replaying down so far into the pit of my stomach I laughed my way through our bungled birthday party and only for a moment, the exact minute she was born, paused from my job as assistant to her princess party to hold Greta’s hand and trace a finger over a palm that is quickly changing from the chubby fist of an infant into the slender hand of a child, completely ignoring her left hand balled into that perpetually unbreakable fist, refusing to go there. I felt, that night, like yelling “I did it!” as their past two birthdays found me sometime around 6:00 collapsed with grief crying hot helpless tears in a bathroom somewhere.

It takes a certain kind of war to fight off the chill of April, they were right about it being the cruelest month, but yet here we are still fighting but still frozen. Still working to put those pieces back together but still so irrevocably broken.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Wish by mommy Jess


I don’t pray as most of you dear readers know. God and I finalized the details of our divorce sometime in the late nineties.

I broke our mutual silence to pray (or really beg) god to please oh please oh please let Greta be okay repeatedly every night for months and we all know how that ended. But really, even as a kid I was never that good at it. You know how they say you have to believe in hypnotism to become hypnotized? I never believed. I’ve only turned to beseeching the darkness to do the impossible at my most desperate. It is no wonder it doesn’t work. Neither did that birthday wish for my parents to finally get cable television when I was ten despite it being accompanied by the extinguishing of ten blazing candles atop my dairy queen ice cream cake with one perfect breath.

But I do kind of wish on shooting stars and wishing wells and other customary wish-based cultural touchstones. A few nights ago I climbed damp metal stairs on a pitching ferry boat in Maine with Greta in my arms to smell the night air. This was our last hurrah before her surgery to lengthen her tendons and goodness knows what else (they have to see once they "get in there"), a trip to help us forget what awaited us at home. On the top deck of the ship the sun was setting and I saw the stars come out and made a wish, something that sounded a little like a prayer but more like a plea. Who knows who I was talking to; the salty air, the whipping wind, the rocky sea, or the little girl breathing in and out in my arms, her chubby fist wrapped my scarf, silenced by the expanse before us, trusting me to hold her safe above the churning water.

A Wish for Greta:

Universe as you take my daughter from me to that cold surgical suite please let the surgeon’s hand be swift and skillful

Please let the nurses who restrain her while they pump cherry scented gas into her lungs and hold her thrashing limbs be kind

Please let her IV go in on the first try

Please let their words be soothing and her decent into unconsciousness be filled with serenity and not panic

Please let them be able to fix the tight tendons that are always pulling, pulling, pulling past the muscles, past the skin, past the tissue and bending her bones

Please let her wake up

Please don’t let her wake up screaming in pain unable to recognize me

Please let the medical staff be merciful and give her the pain medication she needs without me having to pull a “Terms of Endearment” Shirley Maclaine level freak out

Please don’t make her angry with me for doing this to her

Please let this be the right thing to do

Pretty please?