Friday, July 10, 2009

Things that I'm Wondering About

I'm wondering how my household will survive if I don't. I'm not saying this seriously, in case you're worried. I'm just wondering.

I thought about this as I poured a tiny amount of soap into Sophie's sippee cup thingamajiggy -- the white plug thing that goes into the top so it doesn't spill. Sophie still drinks from a sippy cup because it's the only thing she can balance properly. The little white thing gets so dirty, and no one seems to ever notice it and clean it. Not her aide at school, not my husband, nor any of the helpers I have who have been working with us for at least ten years. I appear to be the only one who looks at the stuff and tries to get it out. As I worked on it today I wondered who would do it if I died.\

And then there's the coffee-maker and who would run a paper towel over the top edge inside, by the filter. That's always filthy.

I wonder who will pull the covers straight on Sophie's bed and adjust her head so that her neck isn't crammed up to the headboard. And who knows, really, how to brush her teeth, particularly the part on the top, under her lip. She hates it.

I wonder about these things and think that my husband will surely be f@#$%$#@@ if I die tomorrow.

And then I think, maybe not. Maybe everything will be just fine. Maybe the fermented juice on the edge of the sippee cup won't kill Sophie or even give her a bacterial infection. Maybe she'll learn to sleep with her head halfway up the headboard and it won't matter. Maybe the boys will let whoever takes care of them know when their shoes are too small. Maybe I'm just a rag, a fishwife, annoyed and embittered at the minutia of life as a mother. Not to mention the incessant mothering that one does for a child/teenager/adult with special needs.

I got this in the mail today, from my little sister.

Perfect, right?


  1. I did an experiment once. I divided up the teeth-brushing in our house man-to-man. I brushed E-Niner's teeth everyday and my husband brushed T783's everyday. Come dental check-up time, the dentist had NOTHING to say about improving E-Niner's brushing. How often does that happen? When it was time to judge T783's, the dentist asked me to hold out my hand so he could smack it. AWFUL brushing job. Just awful. And the thing about it was, my husband got out of that one completely unscathed.

    The moral of this story is that if you ever run an experiment like that, make sure your husband goes too. All that mothering cr@p we do all day makes a huge difference. The minutia adds up.

    And P.S. I wipe down those awful left-over grounds on the coffee machine, too.

  2. yes, perfect. I could have used that today. Just about an hour ago I too was wondering "what if I wasn't here"...i'm still feeling annoyed and embittered in fact. not even sure what triggered it. not very helpful, right?

  3. When I got divorced, I worried about this until my kids were old enough to be able to hold their own with their dad. And when they had both, finally turned 18, I seriously felt relieved, like ok, I can die now. They'll be able to decide their own future. The things I've worried about!

  4. I'm new to your blog BTW- I came across it when you commented on another blog. You write so well and I love the poems and art that you share. Thanks.

  5. It's the little things like cleaning the gunk out of the cup, knowing when shoes are too small, and actually cleaning the butter dish once in awhile, that we, as sons and daughters, never even think about until we have our own kid. In my case, it was that moment of realization that my respect and love for my mom grew about a thousand times more than I ever thought possible.

    As a work from home dad, I don't know how single parents do it. I don't know how my mom handled my brother and I, with all the yelling and beatings and typical boy crap like fires in treetops and flooded car trunks. But she did, and she did it well even after my dad left us. But that's what moms do, it's what makes you special, and it's something that dads can never replace no matter how hard we try or how much we're around.

    I know that if I were to disappear from the scene tomorrow, I would be missed, but if my wife and little boys mom were to disappear, it would be the end of the world. Moms are just different, and no matter what you think your kids are completely missing about everything that you do for them every day, there will be a moment when they're holding their own son or daughter and be totally overwhelmed, and they'll remember back to how you made it through every single day of their crap, and everyone survived just fine. That's when their love for you will triple and you'll get a phone call about absolutely nothing, but it will end with, "mom, I love you". I guarantee you that.

  6. Sesgaia--Thanks for your comments and welcome! I hope you'll come back.

    Mike -- That's an incredibly sweet comment. Thank you. Your mother is lucky to have you as a son.

  7. cut the kids nails. I always say to Nick, "If I die, please remember to cut the kids nails."

  8. E - thanks for the comments about my post. I was feeling awkward anyway. about the little whit plastic piece - I AGREE... on both fronts. yes you're the one who notices and yes she'll probably live through it. Everything you do makes the ones around you feel more loved (even if it's in the back of their minds!)

  9. You have pegged my deepest fear!! My sweet husband is 15 years younger than I and just coming into his own as a human - lol. I run a business and support the family, he is in school and the Guard. I became quite sick with a staph infection and the wheels started turning for him. Somehow he had never considered what he would do if I died!!!? IT ahs struck him now though - poor guy he's a wreck!! He too would be F*&%%ed. I can totally relate to what you have written..all the small stuff - but important stuff. Wonderful deep post!!
    Blessings, Sarah

  10. Hooo boy - did you ever hit the nail on the head with this one. Ever since Maggie was born, my husband and I have divided the labor along very traditional roles, except haveing a special needs child is anything BUT traditional. He is a great, hand on dad, but he would be lost -completely lost - in organizing Maggie's care. The boys are both over 18 now, but Maggie is another story.

  11. Perfect! Love how your mind works! I've often wondered the same things and I always come to the conclusion that all will be fine.

    Happy Weekend!

  12. HA! That note is hilarious
    and true.

    I've thought this out as well and have come to realize that my way is not the only way, it is just one way. All will survive in a new groove, it's just that my groove is so familiar and well, so mine.

  13. I have the same thoughts .....

  14. Yes, I suppose all of those things could be done if you weren't there Elizabeth. But then they would not be done with incredible love. They would not be done by a mother who cares that her beautiful daughter's head is crooked and squished up to the headboard or that her cup that her mouth has to touch is dirty.

    I thank God that you are still here Elizabeth and especially for your mother's love that nothing can replace, especially for Sophie.

    Love Renee xoxo

  15. Oh yeah.
    And I agree with Mike & Renee, too.

  16. Absolutely perfect!

    I worry about this, as well, and was talking about this very thing with a group of mothers in my class on Saturday. But the truth is there is nothing we can do to prepare for our own deaths. Nothing we can do to control what happens afterwards.

    I don't know if that is reassuring or devastating.

  17. G'day there...Oh dear that made me laugh it did. A cold dark wet ...some snow in the air winter's night in Australia ....

    What your sister sent you was gorgeous. I loved it so much.

    So you are you ....and you are impossible to replace but fear not ..should the Universe decide it's time for you to be gone ....everything would rearrange itself.

    Don't panic ..keep breathing ..
    you are obviously a treasure.

  18. So glad to be back reading your blog laughing and reflecting and connecting throught the interlocking tubes of the Internets. You sound stressed a bit, but so wise too. Just keep all I can say....

  19. P.S. Mike comment made me cry in a good way. And as an Aunt trying to take care of my nieces (age 2 and 4), I was horrified to realize I didn't even know that little white piece exists when I attempt to "help" and give them sippy cups. Felt totally inept.



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