Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My kiddo's first Christmas Present:...

....O.K. it's mine too...

Dear Educator,
Thank you so much for teaching my child. I am so grateful for all of your work. The leniency and understanding you have shown while working with my special needs child.
You are such an intricate part in their healing and helping form the person they will be. For that I and my husband are exceedingly grateful.
We continue to being devoted to you and your classroom, and when we have opportunity love to help, enhance and support you and your class whenever we can. Please continue to ask, and we will continue to do what we can, when we can.

As the holidays have arrived so has more anxiety, more difficulty concentrating, more loss and anger and feelings of shame. Imagine how a child of shame feels every time an adult asks “have you been good this year, is Santa bringing you anything”. Many children wiggle under such a question. My son/daughter stays awake at night stewing, worrying, raging, and stressing over these simple things. It is something they can not turn off.

As images of “families” and special times of warm feelings and goodness to all touch all of us so deeply via media and community activities, this season reminds my child, what they lack. Much like looking in a window, watching things from the outside, we are still working and teaching him/her how to get to the other side.

During this season, we are giving our child, no our family a gift. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, we do not do Homework in our home. Call it religious if needs be, we truly want the extra time and energy used for family time, and service. They will be learning, they will be reading, I might even have reports for the to hand in…but, they will not be completing any sent home work, unless they want to.

Thank you for being part of my child’s healing,
Happy Holidays,
The Crapo Family

Monday, November 21, 2011

Screaming into the Wind…..

Sometimes things suck rocks. Most the time things SUCK ROCKS…
I hear it all the time….”How do you do it, or “I don’t know HOW you do it”…these comments are referring to my family, my life, my children…often by people that don’t know the HALF of it. And then there are the people that DO KNOW the half of it…and they ask that too, but secretly they know the answer….”I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA HOW I DO THIS….I JUST DO.”  

and there you have it.

Christine every Monday has been doing a beautiful job using her Mondays talking/writing  about the 12 things Happy people have in common. Even though I LOVE to bust her chops…cause I love her so dern much…I also LOVE that she is doing this….
I have a deep everlasting BELIEF that though we sometimes have very little say in our circumstances , we have a very REAL choice in how we react, and what our attitudes can be in that process.

  Some-days I choose to be happy my jaw aches from the clenching and bearing, some days the weight and the fear,the pure exhaustion of the daily mountain of shame, grief and sorrow, kick my tush into the back of my walk-in- closet for a good cry. Then I CHOOSE to walk out of that closet, wipe my nose, and take that mountain step by every loving step.

Today was therapy day today. It is a day where I am sure my kids therapist feels like some BIG things were accomplished, and after her hour of time and energy is put in…my kids are released back to me. Big Feelings in tow and raw nerve endings hanging right out in the open….I can’t tell you how many-a-melt down we have had right in the parking lot at that darn/blessed office.

Today my little Scoobs had a moment. He has type 1 diabetes, and he had been given candy by the secretary at the office, whom forgets every blinking time, he is diabetic. I prompted him to check his blood sugar, he lied and said he did…and then took off like a bottle rocket, chugging down the candy as fast as he could, out the office door. FABULOUS…
I chased after him, and he buckled into a tight ball refusing to relinquish the candy. On the side walk. In public. Screeching like a banshee/abused child. I LOVE my life, sigh.
I just sat down by him, right down on the side walk and started singing the fist song that came to my mind…”The Candy man song” from Willy Wonka…and I sing poorly.

I was belting that bad boy, while my son/incredible slinky gagged down his pez as fast as he could, while whole families, mothers with children, passed by us on their way into the office…I smiled and just waved them by….
Laughing to myself thinking….I am sure they were thinking “well at least we are not THAT messed up.”….See, I do spread JOY wherever I go.

After the candy was fully consumed, we went through his pockets and found some extra cool tidbits…he sobbed, I hugged….we got in the car….and a block before we got home..I asked who wanted to race?...the boys got out and raced my stop, start vehicle. All the way home.
We got home, got kids down for naps, and revved up for more drama, and anger.
I needed self care, so I proscribed pouting and anger in my rocking chair in my bedroom…so I could rest my achy head cold ridden body on my glorious bed.
He was allowed to tell me how much he hated me, glare, pout and be mad, as LONG as he needed to in that chair.
Twenty minutes into it, I peeked at my little miserable Tiger, and asked if he needed to snuggle. He nodded. For the first time, ever. My Son took a nap with me, inside my arms. I wept , and snuggled and dozed….my heart thumping happily right next to his sweet smelling head. It took us eight very LONG years to get here. For us BOTH to want this.
This joy would not be so sweet, if the hard hadn’t been so DAMN HARD.

I was thinking about what keeps the positive, positive when everything is so CRAP filled.
My answer is God. If you are not religious, it might simply need to be HOPE, since for me, GOD and HOPE are synonymous.
I have to find HOPE every single day. I HAVE to seek it out…chase it, or let it come to me.
Much like the wind on your face, you can’t see it, but you can feel it.
Much like the wind, you can SCREAM into it…and it stays there, still gently blowing and letting you know it is still there, sometimes it is not so gently reminding you it is STILL there…even if you YELL, SCREAM…or just simply stand there and wait for the reminder, it will come.

Sometimes I scream into the wind, because I so desperately need to feel it on my face.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Miracles found in the Moments of HEALING…

A couple of days ago, I posted this little tidbit on my Facebook page:

“Sweet Moment with Cookie today....
I have a habit, whenever I see someone standing outside with a sign as I go into a grocery store...I always buy an extra bag of bread and jar of peanut butter....That way on my drive out of the parking lot, I can slow down and give this person, whomever they may be...food, that may last a day, or two...many will say, giving homeless or needy people cash, "they will just buy drugs or alcohol", maybe, but they are also HUNGRY, soo many of our nations homeless people in this country are suffering from being mentally ill, and there are no resources...so today when I slowed down and handed the food out my window...the van got very quiet.
Cookie had a tear trickling down his cheek....I asked him "what he was feeling", and he(this sweet little boy who knows what true hunger is) said...."Mama, he was cold and hungry, and you gave him something to eat and even if his coat is dirty we still can be friends, and if we all do that for everybody's, than not everybody's gonna be hungry and sad no more."
Amen Baby Boy.”

You see that was only part of the story. As many people were kind and commented on my parenting, my heart, I was not fishing for those compliments. This is just something I do and have ALAWAYS done, as it was taught to me as a small child. FEED Hungry people, I guess I just took it for something that I did…my reason for posting it was my complete JOY, and how very VERY touched I was by Cookies reaction.
You see, Cookie has MASSIVE food issues. He always has. He was known in his Orphnage for wailing for hours until they fed him. Feelings and Food go hand in hand with my little guy. When he first came home Early Spring of 2010, we didn’t go out much. Food would magically appear in the house after he went to bed (thank GOODNESS Walwart was open 24 hours that first year).

The second or third time he had gone to the great Mecca of food (the grocery)….I had bought bread and peanut butter like I always do. And much like I always do, I handed the food out of my car window to a lonely girl holding up a sign, with a little dog, they both looked worse for ware. As she said “God Bless”, I replied “Right back to you Sweetheart”…when a slow steady wail began out of my backseat. I drove a little ways and pulled over, thinking Cookies was hurt, nope, he was dead panicked that I had given food away. POTENTIALLY HIS FOOD..and that was NOT O.K….


This was Cookie, at Two Years old, eating in his crib, in Haiti. How OFTEN I FORGET, WHERE and HOW, and what survival lengths, emotionally and physically my children had to take to make it home to me....

It has been almost 21 months since the kids came home. For months I would have to have identical bags ….so he could hold onto one bag with the P.B. and Bread while I handed one off. Secure in him knowing his bag was still his…After months and months probably 60 shopping trips…as we drove into the parking lot that day, my Sweet little man noticed the man holding the sign and said, “Boy he looks Hungry Mama, we should remember the Peanut butter and Bread.”
So. We. Did.

As I loaded the cart, I waited for him to remind me to get him his bag too…but he didn’t…he was too excited for the hand off. Too excited to fill someone else’s need beside his own. My little boy began in Hungry, Lonely, and very Needy place, survival the only thing that mattered. His hair was orange, I never thought we would be able to get the brown stains of malnutrition and fever from his teeth, nor the constant anxiety and fear about food that were like stones around his heart…
That sweet moment captured so very many things for me.

The foundation we have slowly, painfully, patiently been building. I so often forget and lose hope that anything is getting through and reaching my children from tough places.
....and then they so very generously, reach out and touch and teach and remind me…what love, basic, human love and kindness…can do.

...."Mama, he was cold and hungry, and you gave him something to eat and even if his coat is dirty we still can be friends, and if we all do that for everybody's, than not everybody's gonna be hungry and sad no more."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things that make you go Hmmmm…

..and then want to pull your own hair out
strand by strand,
while driving through Death Valley
and listening to the Chipmunks,
and Justin Beiber, wait,
now that’s just redundant.

I am talking about our kids faulty thinking…
Crazy talk.
Crazy Lying.
Crazy Behavior.
Crazy Belief System….

Frickity, Fracity…C-ARA-ZZZZZZZYYYYY

I should know, I live in this land. The simple sentence “Seriously?...SERIOUSLY?” is now my favorite “say it in my head” saying.

Insert today. We were all buggin’ from a sibling’s birthday. Sabotage was on the Loose….
Church not being an option, croupy coughs rampant, we decided to dance anyway.

We got the kiddo’s dressed and since snow has showed it’s pretty little (unwelcomed) face, we busted out the coat box.

Everyone was suited up and headed towards the van,and Cookie decided to play the “I can’t find it game”
….you know the one where he really knows exactly what he should be doing but wants to control the situation…

“Yeah Buddy”
Deep heart felt sigh, “I can’t find my coat you gave me (three minutes ago) I guess I am going to have to wear my Buzz and Woody Sweatshirt.”

Sing Songy I sung “ Try again”….
And he did , he came out in his two year old brothers coat…..

And I smiled, and sung “Try again”….

And he came out in his Sisters pink with heart shapes all over it Fleece pullover…

NOTE: If it wasn’t sooooo DANG cold I may have just rolled with that, but it was REALLY cold outside.

At this point, Hubbie, called from the Garage “what is taking so dang long, everyone is in the car.”…
and Cookies smile widened.

I marched into the Laundry room, exactly next too his cubby, but thrown on the floor in pure sight was the coat.

I picked it up, Danced and sang and Said, “COOKIE LOOK ! I found it!!! YE-HAW, lets go!”

His face fell, he mumbled under his breath about his Buzz and Woody Jacket…but he put it on and we left…

Four Hours later, we have driven around, looked at mountains, snow, possible new cars, we drove and drove and watched movies in the car.

Kids got hungry and needed to stretch their legs, so we decided to eat at a restaurant.
So we asked to sit far away from other people (Since our kids were sick) and went in.
Ordered, ate, without very little drama…Hubs sat with the boys in a booth, I had the girls in the next one.
Afterward, Hubs took kiddies out to van, while I waited to pay the check.
Diva ran in, remembering she forgot her jacket…Tragedy averted.

We drove the 1 ½ home, everyone’s in good spirits, very little bickering…close enough to bedtime, to land home, jammie-up the shorties, brush some teeth and catapult them into dreamland.

Five minutes into “Operation Bedtime” ….Cookie comes to me with a hand covering his mouth in a enormous smile.
“Um Mommmm…”

“Yep Bud”

“Ummm, welllll, I kinda left my new Coat ($50 Costco coat) at the restaurant…on accident, so I guess (Hand now totally covering an eating crap kinda grin)…I will have to wear my Buzz and Woody Sweatshirt.”
A confident little boy puts both hands on his hips as he shrugs his shoulders in an Innocent “Oh well” gesture…

This is where the “Seriously, SERIOUSLY”…gets screamed in my head.

I had to sit in silence for a minute , grid my teeth, and try NOT to lose it…and also NOT play into the game, and also NOT let him think the B.S. he just pulled and the fact that he left a perfectly GOOD, WARM coat in a freaking Chili’s 1 ½ hours away….didn’t bother me.

I was not successful.
Like Epic Failure.
I yelled, and put my hands up in the air…and was MAD.

Then I sent him to bed…..

Later (like 10 minutes, I pulled my own stuff together) realizing a Coat, wasn’t as important as he is…and went to do some repairs. The natural thing is, he doesn’t have a coat anymore. The Buzz and Woody Sweatshirt, will not last him long in this weather.
He most likely will need to earn the money to buy a new Coat,what a bummer.

My calm question, was answered
(my favorite it thing to ask my kids in retrospect, so they have the power and control to analyze their behavior, and the outcome of their choices made.”

”Did this work for you.”

“No Mom, it didn’t…now I don’t have a warm coat.”

Did you think Mommy was being mean to you by having you wear the warm coat?”

“Yes, I left and lost my new one, because I was mad at you for not letting me wear Buzz and Woody.”

"Did it work for you?”


Still, we don’t have a coat, and still I want to pull my hair out….

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Forgive yourself everyday….

Every hour, every minute, every second if needs be.
Because what you are doing, is SUPER HUMAN…

Heck Super Hero’s wouldn’t put up with the Crap we, do….they would be all…
“I am so over this Green Lantern…that kid ate through Spidy’s web…and check it out Captain America…that cape is soaked in Urine.”….men, sheesh…. Such wannies.

Seriously. There are nights (like this) I lay awake and break down my day, regret, ways I could have done things better, moments I pray I didn’t regress there trauma…and there are days “I so totally rocked it dude.” I wish I had more days like that.

Please. Please, please PLEASE….know what rock stars you are.

That even if you don’t believe in a God or heaven…there are angels, Spirits…the Universe is cheering on the kind of healing you are doing…because what you do while you neglect your home, your friendships, the PTA, the CEO…or whomever you used to try to impress, you are changing the world. You are changing the fate of generations to come….You are stopping a cycle. At least we are trying to. Right?

We might lose some along the way. It will hurt and feel like failure, but it isn’t.
Know that deep down in your hearts Mama’s that many of us know this pain…we can’t save some of our children. We still have to breath in and out, we still have to get out of bed every morning and know we are warriors. Do Dr.’s save every patient? No. But they keep on healing, and helping and using their strength and knowledge to help those that they can.

They also wonder, what they could have done better, or if another Dr. may have been the answer.
Your child was sent to you, you are the best kind of medicine. No one will do better, help them or heal them more than you. Yet just like a cancer, any kind of Medicine may not be enough. Soul Cancer is so very hard to know the out come, because no one knows how deep it goes in each child.

But we keep on trying, keep on fighting this enormous battle. There are no medals. The wounds and scars we endure, and are invisible. We make enormous mistakes…but we get up the next day and begin again. In that battle Mama’s, forgive. Forgive yourselves completely, Forgive that wounded child that hurts and rejects you so deeply.

Forgive the pain, the disgust , the physical repulsion you have at times toward your child. It. Is. O.K. that we don’t like them. Get sick of the Drama. Want to run away. Scream. Reject, push away, wish they were normal, resent, and miss our old lives…am I missing anything?

It is O.K.

Forgive yourself. You are doing what most would not. Could not. You are doing the best you can. Reach out when your legs, heart and head can’t carry you…that takes strength and bravery too. My dear friend “M” did that today. She phoned a friend and was talked off of a cliff. WE ALL KNOW THOSE CLIFFS AND MOMENTS…and we need to forgive ourselves for them.

Tonight as I run through the day. My kids have been CRAAAAZY.
The havoc and chaos we have faced the last two days leaves my house in shambles, me unshowered, the laundry room looking like a science experiment, yet…I cooked with my kids today. I hooped to M.J. (their favorite) and pulled two kids out of major rages.
No one can see those accomplishments from the outside…no one can understand my inner ache and sleeplessness while I cheerfully walk around Wal-Mart singing and dancing to prevent entitlement arguments with the children shopping with me…

You. Are . Amazing.

Please right now, let go of that inner dull ache that is eating up your heart.

Do it right now.

You are doing the best you can. You are a Wonder Woman. Forgive yourself daily…It’s like putting on a fresh pair of Big Girl Panties..and going out to fight the World.

Fresh, Secure, and Rocking it every step of the way.