If We Had Eleventy Billion Dollars

We didn’t buy any lotto tickets in the crazy frenzy of the giant jackpot last week. The buzz did spark some fun conversations at work and home though. Someone asked me what I would do first if I won, and I immediately thought of books and my classroom wish list. Most people chuckled and said, “wait, wouldn’t you quit your job? Then you could spend that money on something else.”

Huh. I guess if we won a boat ton of money, I could quit my job.

I brought it up with Cortney one evening asking him what he would do if we won the lottery. His answer was so adult and responsible: pay off any debt we had, replace his truck with something that doesn’t need a new transmission, and look for a bigger house. His answer surprised me not at all.  He’s a practical guy who wants to take care of his family and our immediate needs first. But it started me thinking about what I would really do with all that money…you know, once I did the adult thing and paid off those student loans.

If I won the lottery

If I won the lottery I would…

Get my PhD in English Education. According to my “retirement planning guy” (yes I have one because I am an adult, dang it), I have about eleven more years until I can retire from public education. If I didn’t have to work, I would still teach. In fact I don’t think I would want to leave my current job at all. However I would probably go part-time or retire earlier so I could pursue my PhD without having to work while doing it (which is currently the plan when we do have the money to pay for the credits). My dream is to teach future teachers.

Go on a Honeymoon. Ok, so Cortney and I did go on a honeymoon, but it was not the stuff all-inclusive, swim-up-bar dreams are made of. Remind me to tell you about the Mystic Sea “Resort” some day. Ugg.  After 10.5 years of marriage, I think we deserve a romantic getaway. We have been through some heavy shit in these years, but we are still laughing and loving and I wish we could celebrate that in a big way.

Take the Kids Somewhere. This one I might not do immediately. I mean, Alice is a little young to care whether she is in our living room or at Disney and to be honest? She would probably prefer our living room floor at this age. But eventually I would love to take our kids someplace awesome. Maybe not even Disney, but somewhere that they would remember and love.

Start Classroom Libraries. Since I would keep my job teaching middle school, I would use some of that eleventy billion to help start/expand all the English teacher’s classroom libraries in my district including my own.

Make Big Donations. I would also make sure to give some of it away. One place I would contribute to is the Book Love Foundation. Penny Kittle has worked to help teachers build their classroom libraries across the country–including mine. I would also give to the American Cancer society in memory of all of the loved ones we have lost or who have suffered from cancer. Postpartum Progress would also get some dinero because Katherine Stone and her tireless efforts to inform and break down the stigma of postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders quite literally saved my life.

Start a Scholarship. If I had the funds to back it, I would start a scholarship for students in my district. It would require an essay about reading and a book that changed their life.

Beef Up the College Funds. It really goes without saying that we would put away money for all three of our kids’ post-secondary educations. Am I right? School is important, yo.

All of this would be after paying off our current loans, getting newer (more reliable) vehicles that actually fit all of us at once, and moving to a house where I can open a cupboard and not have a serving dish almost take me out (true story. It hit the stove top instead and took some of the paint off).

And of course we would sock some away in savings. Because we are responsible and don’t want to end up on one of those reality shows about people winning the lotto who are now living out of their car.

So what would you do with a boatload of money? What dreams would you bring to fruition? What worries would you appease?

 

Art on Mondays

What do you want to be when you grow up?

2015-04-21 18.14.30

An artist.

And I will live with you and do art on Mondays.

Forever.

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Eddie is now one step closer to that dream of doing art on Mondays.

His piece was chosen for his school district’s spring art show.

It was on display with other pieces from students in grades K-12.

He is very proud.

And so are we.

Although that part about living with us forever is still up for discussion.

With my Big Black Boots and an Old Suitcase…

Ten years ago I had no job.

It was summer and I had finished up a great long-term subbing position at the beginning of June, but there were no substitute teaching positions during the summer months. I had yet to find a “real’ teaching job.

Ten years ago I had no relationship.

I had been dumped after a five-year relationship in the spring and I had been barely getting by on a wing and a prayer (also know as Doritos and booze) for months.

I was depressed, but I didn’t know it.

Then in July of 2003, after four months of sulking and one month of being unemployed, a friend from college emailed me that he was moving from Michigan to Santa Monica, California in August.  He had a place lined up, but would love a roommate if I wanted to come too.

I laughed at first. Yeah, right.

And then I looked around at my tiny house.  The one next-door to my grandparents that I was renting from them. The one where I ate cereal and Doritos as my only meals and some days didn’t get out of bed until 4pm.

The one I shared with my cat.

That spring all of my plans for the future gone right down the toilet.

I no longer had dreams of marrying my long-time boyfriend. I had sent out and stopped by a combination of over 100 schools looking for a teaching position and hadn’t heard from even one. I couldn’t live on $65 a day subbing (sporadically) for another school year.

Why should I stay in this tiny town? I asked myself.

I had been back from college for almost a year now; what was keeping me from packing up and moving away and trying something else?

It was so unlike me, but I went online and applied for about ten different teaching positions in and around the Santa Monica area. I also emailed my friend and told him if I could find a job offer, we might be in business.

And then I got three emails and a phone call from four of the districts I applied to in California. Three of those four wanted to hire me right there sight unseen.  No interview.  No practice lesson. In fact, they would fly me out there and help me move in.

With my big black boots and an old suitcase…
I do believe I’ll find myself a new place.*

I started to get excited.  As in call my parents and try to decide whether or not to take my cat with me across the country kind of excited.

I emailed all my friends and family and told them I was moving to California at some point.

I started thinking about how one moves across the country. Via moving trucks? On a plane? Yeah, I was not bringing the cat. He would die of the trauma.

We can live beside the ocean,
leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
watch the world die.

My friend, Cortney, emailed me to tell me good luck and that he thought it was a cool idea, but that truthfully he would miss me an awful lot. He was the only person (other than my mom) to convey such a feeling. That I would be missed if I left.

I remember thinking he was sweet and that I would surely miss him too. I mean, he was such a great friend.

Less than a month later, this happened.

And a week after that, my current school district called me for an interview…and I got the job.

A couple weeks after that Cortney was not my friend anymore, he was my boyfriend.

I didn’t move, obviously. I decided to take the job in my current school district (where I had done my student teaching and several long-term substitute positions).  I decided to take the plunge on Cortney.

It’s been ten years since I made that decision.  The decision to stay in the tiny small town I always said I would leave.

When I went to college, I had determined that I would meet a guy from somewhere and go to that somewhere.  I was not going to follow the pattern of marrying a guy from my high school and having his babies and living my whole life in this hick town.

Until I did.

Not because I didn’t try to NOT end up this way.  But because this is the way I was supposed to end up.

It’s been ten years and I rarely think about the chance I had to “get away” from this life.  Probably because I never wish this life away. Even when it sucks, I never wish I was somewhere else with a different guy with different (or no) kids.

I never don’t want this life.

Sometimes I don’t think I am doing a good job at this life I was gifted, but I never ever wish it away.

Not for all the white sands on a Santa Monica beach.

*Lyrics from “Santa Monica” by Everclear

a rough start to our journey

It’s been two weeks since I announced publicly that Sluiter Nation is looking to add a new member.

I wish I could say things have been all happy and butterflies since this announcement.  But not so much.

I quit my birth control a few months ago because it was giving me horrible cycles.  And now I have acne like a 13-year old.

But that is manageable.

I got a pretty bad cold a couple weeks ago, but I recovered, and that has nothing to do with this.

Or does it?

I still have the cough.

But it’s not a reasonable cough that is all congested and then I hack it up.

No.  It is a rattle that I can hear and feel, Cort can hear, others can hear, but pretends that it doesn’t exist when I cough.  It just stays put and makes me look like a big cough-faker.

What does this have to do with making a baby?

I’m getting to that.

So I have this cough.

And zits.

And now?  I am starting a new cycle and my OB would like to see me try this pregnancy with no anti-depressants (I am currently on Celexa, for all you note-takers).

We talked about this in August at my last appointment, and I talked about it with my General Practitioner, and I talked about it with my Therapist.

Fear not, it has been discussed.

I know how to wean off the meds safely.

I also know that both my GP and my Therapist are standing at the ready because they would both like to see me on something.

“A healthy mom comes first.  Then a healthy baby can follow.”

But we all understand where the OB is coming from.  Why take meds if you can get by without?  And they all agree that pregnancy hormones could very well “even me out” to where I won’t need them until postpartum again.

And thus began The Wean.

Halved my dose until I was ready to do a half dose every other day.

I am on every other day right now.

People?  This is hard.

So hard.

At first I only had physical side effects that were annoying at best.  I had sort of a fuzzy feeling in my head, headaches, a tightness in my back, and an occasional “buzzing” sound/feeling in my brain.

I still had this cough the whole time.

I continued to taper.

My back got worse and worse.  It’s a pain in my upper back, most the left side, behind my shoulder blade that feels like someone has a knife in my muscle and is twisting.  And while they twist, the muscle rips and simultaneously wraps itself around the knife.

It sucks.

And it’s there constantly.  No medication makes it feel better.

There is also exhaustion.  Sheer exhaustion.

But I continue to taper my antidepressant.

Wednesday was my first day with NO dose.  I was surprised at how Ok my brain felt.

Today?  Everything crashed.

My pain in my back and neck is worse.

I could fall asleep on a dime, I am so damn tired.

My cough is less productive, but the rattling is still present.

And my mind?

Today I had to put my head down on my desk more than twice to control the Raging Bitch Monster that was welling in me.  The very same Monster that took over my brain when I had undiagnosed PPD.

Tears welled in my eyes as I felt an urge to lash out at everyone.

Just like before.  But this time I saw the Monster coming.

Everything today sucked because of this dumb Monster.

And just because I knew what it was, didn’t make it less terrible.  In fact, knowing it was coming and who it was and that just by NOT taking my meds as usual, I had opened a door to let this Beast in?  Pissed me off.

So I am emotional and ragey because of detoxing and I am emotional and ragey because I can see it’s NOT going to be Ok.

Today was hard.

And my back still hurts.

And my cough is still there.

And now my wrist hurts.

I have an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner on Monday.   Things need to be sorted out.

Because this is not a happy way to start our journey toward Sluiter Baby #2.

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Tomorrow I will post the first in my three-part series on how I built Sluiter Nation: The Blog including Tips for Blogger, Switching to WP, and all things Social Media in Between.

Mommy Pants, Vis a Vis Markers, and a Basement Project

Getting my Mommy Pants was a nightmare.

People have been telling me since I got married that I would look GREAT in a pair of Mommy Pants, but I was reluctant to get myself a pair.

Yes, I had watched other people wear them—my own mother had a pair that was so perfect for her, I could have sworn she was born in them.  Many of my friends also had the latest, greatest Mommy Pants style, and sometimes I found myself envious of them.  They looked so comfortable, so much fun.  They seemed so “in”.

And then one day in February of 2007, I got a shipping notice that my Mommy Pants would be arriving around Thanksgiving of that year.

Wait.  What?  I hadn’t ordered any Mommy Pants. Or I didn’t think I did.

I was stunned.

Suddenly, I did not want anything to do with Mommy Pants. I wasn’t in the market for them and I certainly didn’t think they fit my style at that time.  They looked great on some people, but not on me.

to read the rest of this post, head over to Mommy Pants, where Cheryl (one of my partner’s in crime at The Red Dress Club) has invited me to share about my Mommy Pants moment.

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I am also mocking reviewing Vis a Vis overhead markers over at This Blogger Makes Fun of Stuff.  If you have ever used an overhead, or been witness to one being used?  You really need to weigh in on how I feel about these markers.

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Back here in Sluiter Nation?  We are working on our basement.

I don’t have much to say about it except that it sucks and it’s awesome at the same time.

Pictures?  Ok…

 

first they found mold. black mold. no good, I tell you.

but they put the tub in anyway! Score!

then they ran electrical and plumbing and fixed the mold. win.

then dry wall was hung and a layer of dust fell over the Nation

primer was applied by the fabulous Mr. Sluiter

we bought paint

we painted. that shirt, by the way, has been worn to paint every room in our house.

this will be Eddie's room hopefully within the next year!

that's right...I painted the bathroom orange. BOOM!

This has been the past two weeks here in Sluiter Nation:  a constant state of construction.

Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited that this is finally happening.  We have been saving and saving and planning for six years.  It was time.

But I don’t do well living in a state of limbo.

So I may be hard to live with lately.

Maybe.

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I have a new book review and a GIVEAWAY going on at Katie’s Bookcase!  Just in case you weren’t sick of me sending you all over the internets today.

Syndicate? No, SEND-A-KATE!

Let me start this by saying I am not asking for your money.  Cool?  No money is being asked for here. Ok?  Ahem.  Anyway….

my BlogHer jar

 

 

It’s official.

Cortney bought me a ticket to BlogHer in San Diego at the beginning of August.

And that is as far as the Sluiters can go with funding this huge endeavor.  That is why every post I have syndicated on BlogHer (three so far!  Dang!) and every sponsored post you see on this blog?  Is money going toward my trip.

Even though I believe in my writing ability?  I know it’s probably not possible for me to save up the close to $1000 I will need to make this trip happen in that small of increments.

So I have applied for some help.

One that is for a sponsorship through a company is announcing this weekend.  With over 200 applicants, it’s sort of a long shot, so we will see.

The other is for a grant through Mom Central–a $2000 grant to be exact.  My application was accepted and right now, on faceboook contest apps, they are holding public voting.  Voting is open until April 15 and people can vote once every 24 hours.

To vote for me, click here and then click the big, green VOTE button.  It’s that easy.  Every 24 hours.

Clearly if I win this grant, I will get more money than I need to go to BlogHer.  With whatever is left, I plan to take a writing course and put the rest into The Red Dress Club. I believe that ever since I began linking up with their prompts, I have been producing better writing, and since becoming one of the hostesses?  A whole new world has opened to me.  I credit those ladies with pushing me to be the best writer I can.

I really need to get to BlogHer.  I want to be a better blogger.

Oh, and Nichole, Natalie, and Tonya will be mad if I drop out of our roomie pact.

So please?  Vote for me every 24 hours!

And if you love Thirty-One and all their SUPER cute stuff?  You can go shop now!  I am having an online party!  Click here and go over to “my events” on the right and choose to “shop” at Katie Sluiter’s party!  I would really, REALLY love if you did.

Top Ten Tuesdays: Sluiter Nation Fix-ups

This week’s Top Ten is all about the things Cort and I would like to do to our house aka the physical Sluiter Nation.

We bought the Sluiter Nation casa exactly six years ago.  I moved in and six months later, after a lovely wedding, Cort moved in with me.

We have made some improvements on our house, which we bought new, but not very many.  Most deadlines we gave ourselves came and went because of lack of money or time.

Whatever the reasons, we still have a list of things we would like to do…aside from pack up and move to a larger place.

#10: I want to NOT see our weird neighbors.  Or more specifically, I want them to not see us.

See that larger “shed” back there?  Yeah, that belongs to our weird neighbor, Scary Terry.  We watched him ignore the instructions when he built that thing.  He had left over parts.  Also?  The roof caves in every winter.  To “get ready for winter”?  He goes inside and bangs the dents out.  This is the least of his weird.  I want a fence.  A tall one.  That you can’t see through…although you have to admit my drawing is fantastic.

#9 While we are outside…I would like to landscape the backyard a bit.It’s hard to see right now due to the snow, but we have a great backyard.  Cort has mad lawning rearing skills, yo.  I would really love to have a berm or something that, um, hides that large pole which is technically on our property.  Also a nice little flower bed next to the patio would be quaint.

#8 A Second Bathroom.

We have been excited about this bathroom since we moved in.  We even got the matching stuff for it as a wedding gift.  Five and a half years ago.  I have paint colors picked out.  I am pretty sure they don’t make the color I picked anymore.  Nevertheless I want this done.  WE want this done.  Before we have to have 12 adults and 1487979874232602 kids at our house this coming summer.  Yeah.  One bathroom won’t hold all that.

#7. A Big Boy bedroom for Eddie

Again, technically this room has been a “room in progress” for the past six years.  You can see how far we have gotten. Stuff we don’t want to look at or think about live here.  But instead?  We would love for our little man to live here.  Some changes may need to happen.  Like why do we have all those boxes?  yeah, I don’t know either.  And please ignore the fashionable tacky dust ruffle that is serving as a curtain so neighbor kids (aka Scary Terry’s offspring) don’t come and take a gander at our treasures crap.

#6 Organization

I didn’t even bother to spruce this picture up.  I mean, you can see my unmentionables hanging there to dry.  I think that spruces it up all on it’s own.  Anyway, this is our laundry room/storage room/my office.  It is sad.  Granted, it is MUCH more organized than it used to be (see my tubs with the labels for Eddie’s clothes.  Yeah, I am awesome).  We would like to finish this room–not just for looks but for functionality.  We need a shelving system.  We need this room to WORK for many different things.  Right now?  it is sort of a cold, scary place to be.

#5. Speaking of Organization…

I know one of Cort’s big wishes is to finish dry walling the garage and seal the cement.  I know he would like to get some sort of organizational system in here as well since we have a gallon of crap to fit in a pint-sized pail.   Oh…and two new vehicles would be nice too.  Just sayin’.  ya know, if we’re wishing here.

#4. Tile

I just really hate linoleum.  This was put in before we had a chance to choose otherwise.  It’s in our bathroom and entryway too.  I hate it.  I discolors.  It gets funky spots.  It’s just ugly.  Tile, please. (oh and I would also like new carpet.  We put the carpet that is in the basement in after we moved in and it is AWESOME.  I would like that throughout the house.  This “factory” shiz?  Sucks the big one).

#3. A face lift for our side lot

Ok perhaps we don’t need huge crazy flowers and a random happy little family trollop-ping through the yard, but it would be nice to get this cleared of the brush, leveled and then seeded so I can add pretty landscaping later.  Having the yard would just be nice.

#2. A bigger deck…and a way off from it.

Ok this was my craptacular attempt at creating stairs going DOWN from our deck.  As it is right now?  You can only get on and off the deck by way of the slider in our dining room.  Annoying seeing as we created a lovely patio just below with some lovely patio furniture.  However, if your hotdog is being made on the “upper deck” since it’s close to the kitchen, you would have to go inside the downstairs slider, go upstairs, through the kitchen and out to said “upper deck” to get your tasty wiener.  Then you would have to turn around and make this odyssey again to sit comfortably on the patio with your treat.  Now imagine if you forgot to get chips and dip.  Seriously.  it sucks.

Love the deck.  Hate the inconvenience.

#1. A family room we can use as a family

Our family room was the first thing we “finished” when we moved in.  It has soft, squishy carpet, warm colored walls, and awesome art (Pearl Jam and REM concert posters that are custom framed).  But there is just too much crap lying around too.  Take Cort’s Corner, for example.  While I like our desk and printer “stand” much better than what we used to have, there is still just too much lying around to let a toddler loose in here.

And what you can’t see in the top picture is the huge rack of video games and dvds that are just waiting to be pulled off shelves and tossed about.  Something needs to change.  We are super close to this being a great family room.  We just need a little more work put in…this is actually on the To Do list for Christmas break.  And when Cort gets a job (because he SOOO will), we would LOVE to get rid of the ugg-o furniture and get a nice, comfy sectional that we can all pile on for family movie night.  And maybe get a TV from this decade.  Ahem.

We love our little house…we really do…but there are somethings that we would like to make better.

How about you?  Is there anything YOU would change about your house?

Is This Thing On?

The auditorium is completely dark.
The audience sits in anticipation.
There is shuffling of feet.  A cough.  A few sniffles.
Everyone waits, unsure as to why they are even here in the first place.
And then?  A single spotlight shines on the stage illuminating what appears to be a soapbox.
From off stage, I walk slowly and climb up carefully onto the soapbox.
I tape the microphone that is set up for me…
Um.  Hi.  Is this thing on?
Um, like I said.  Hi.
I don’t usually use this platform for soapbox speeches, but I feel compelled today, so I thank you all for being here.
I need to talk about teen pregnancy today.
There is a lot of the pregnant going on in the teen world.  And I am not Ok with it.
In fact, I am all kinds of upset about it.  Remember, I am a teacher.  I am witnessing 14 year olds becoming parents.
FOURTEEN YEAR OLD CHILDREN HAVING CHILDREN.
Sorry, I had to yell that because that is what I am dealing with.  How do I respond to these students?  Huh? What do i say?
I’m sorry?
Bummer, dude?
Congratulations?
Holy ham sandwiches?
So I just give them a shocked look.  Although I don’t think that helps anyone.
And then of course they ask me tons of questions because they know I have a toddler.  I don’t mind sharing (you all know that), but really?  Why are they not asking their MOMS?
I try to let these girls know how sad it is to have to give up your childhood at 14.  I didn’t give mine up until 31 (some would say I am still holding it close).  My most crazy and fun time was my 20’s!  they won’t have that!  they will have have high schooler before they are thirty.
How did this happen?  I thought I had it figured out.  I thought it was just the girls who came from homes where no one was educating them or talking to them or monitoring what they were doing.
But then I heard of other pregnancies.  Of ones from kids whose parents I KNOW talk to them and expect college and academic success from.  Who have high standards, but not impossibly high standards.
So what is it?  Why did I not end up a teen mom, but these girls are?
I tried to think about how my parents talked to me…um, they didn’t.  I don’t remember one solitary conversation about respecting my body or to not do anything that could get me pregnant.
I vaguely remember a trip to the library when my youngest brother was “in the oven” about how babies get in and out of mommies’ tummies.
I remember my parents being skeptical of boys.
I remember purity crap they tried to feed us in school and church because they weren’t allowed to talk about any other prevention.  I also remember girls getting pregnant with that purity promise on their finger.
Why? What is the difference between the success stories and the teen moms?
Luck?
I can tell you my not getting pregnant was not luck.  I somehow had it ingrained in me that I was better than that.  That I was worth more than that.  I didn’t have a ton of self-confidence or self-esteem.  I was mocked relentlessly in middle school for acne problems, but even when the boys started noticing me in high school?  I never gave in.  I dated, but I didn’t make babies.
Why?
I don’t have an answer to that.
But I wish I did. I wish I knew what to say to those girls I teach to make them know they have so many options other than that guy.
I want to be able to teach Eddie NOT to pressure girls or to BE pressured by girls (let’s face it, they are as much to blame as the dudes.  Girls are not just innocent victims here).
I want him to respect all people’s bodies including his own.  Look but don’t touch.
How do I do this?
And then back to my current problem…how do I show these girls support without condoning what has been done?
If I help them out and get all their work together and ask them how they are feeling, I get accused of supporting what has happened to them.
If I show any sort of hint of disapproval, I am accused of being all judgey and cold.
I feel sorry for these girls.  I want better for them.  But I feel sorry for those babies too.  Is this going to be a cycle?  Are they going to grow up lacking some sort of self-awareness or self-esteem too?
Or maybe that is not even it.  I know girls who got pregnant in high school and they love their life and everything is great.  And they wouldn’t change it.
But…
I still see teen pregnancy as a problem. I do.
Does this make me bad and judgey?
But I want to help those who get pregnant succeed.
Does this make me condone teen shenanigans?
Help!
I want to fix this problem.
Because, yes.  it is a problem.  Teen pregnancy is a HUGE FLIPPING PROBLEM! And so is not knowing how to handle it!
And you know what?  I am going to flip it off for my Friday Flip-offs.
Whew.  There.
Thank you for listening to this rant.  I needed to get that out.
I nod one last time at the audience and then cautiously climb off the soapbox.
I turn one final time unsure of which way to exit.
I smile sheepishly and trot quickly off stage.
The spotlight is cut.
There is a pause.  And then?
Applause.

Kludgy Mom is the brainchild behind the flip-offs and Momma Kiss has been hosting the link up.  Go forth and read the vents.

He is My Boy

First?  Because Ann didn’t get back to me within 48 hours of being announced the winner (and I couldn’t find an email address for her), I drew a NEW winner of the Gussy Giveaway…PINKFLIPFLOPS!  You are the new winner!  Email me at ksluiter (at) hotmail (dot) com and I will get you hooked up!

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Yesterday was a glorious day.  It was the kind of day we live in Michigan for.  It was a boating/beach day.

We frolicked in the big waves, soaked up the warm sun, and played on the sandy beach.  We had fun.

We were on the beach for a good four hours before riding back to the marina.  It was a rolly, wavy, day, but we loved it.
 
We all returned home wind blown, a little sandy, and very much exhausted.  But very happy.  And very grateful to friends who are like our family.
As expected, after his bath, Eddie was WAY tired after missing his nap–save for a snooze on the boat out to the beach and back from the beach.  So I rocked him and he was out by 8:00pm.
I popped some popcorn and Cortney and I settled in with our computers and the History channel and some water to re-hydrate us from the big day.  All was well.
Until 10:00pm.  It started as just a small whimper.  Usually if we hear a little moan or whimper it just means he’s rolling over and we don’t hear another peep.
This time the whimper turned into long, sad moans.  I looked up at Cort and said that I would go see what the deal was.  I figured he lost his pipey in all his blankies and lovies and just needed it back and maybe also a little pat on the back.
When I walked into his semi-dark room I saw him lying on his back just wailing.  He was frantic.  He was afraid. And his eyes were still closed.
Bad dream?  Night terror?  It’s hard to tell when they are this small and can’t tell you.  So I picked him up and tried to give him his pipey and rock him.
He screamed.  Terrified wailing screams.
He was shaking.  He was gasping for air.  He was TERRIFIED.
So I brought him out of his room into the living room where the lights and TV were on.  I tried to hand him to Cortney, but he screamed harder.  He reached for me.  He shook because he couldn’t catch his breath.
I took him up in my arms and he put his head down and stopped crying.  He was still shaking and gasping for breath, but he wasn’t crying.
I thought maybe he could be rocked.  We went back into his room and rocked back and forth, back and forth.  He quieted.  His eyes closed.  He clung to his blankie.
I gently set him back in his bed.  As I was walking back down the hall?  He started screaming again.
Cortney tried this time.  Eddie bawled while Cort rocked him.  He screamed when Cort tried to lay him down.  He bellowed as Cort brought him back out into the living room.
And then he saw me.  And reached frantically for me.
I took my little boy. And he quieted.  And snuggled down. We hunkered down in my chair together until he fell asleep.  Then I took him to his room and rocked for a little while.
He woke up one more time, but Cort was able to sooth him back to sleep for the night.
But you guys?  In that terror?  He wanted ME.  He clung to ME.  
Most days he doesn’t care which parent has him.  He has even had times where he has preferred Cort.  But for the first time?  He only wanted ME.
Although I had visions of the night being LOONNGG if he didn’t stay sleeping and wouldn’t let Cortney console him?  something in me smiled that my little boy wanted his mommy when he was scared.
It settled something deep inside me that he could only feel safe enough to close his eyes if he was near me.  It made the momma in me sing.
This is what I longed for all summer.  It is the connection I had hoped to foster with my little boy.  It was the one goal on the To Do list that really mattered.
And after last night?  I can indubidably say that that goal?  Has been checked off the list…and I am quite enjoying it.
And my little boy?
He is MY little boy.  And I?  Am HIS momma.  We have a bond.  And it is strong. Indubitably strong.
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