Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sorrow

I have been remiss in my blogging lately, and I know it. Forgive me if I haven't felt inspired. This post has been bubbling in my brain, and I have been debating whether or not to write it, but I feel like I can't NOT write something about it.

Two weeks ago in my town, a women driving home from work noticed that her 13-month old baby in the back of her car had stopped breathing. She pulled over and called 911. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, and the baby was pronounced dead. The horrible, tragic reason this happened? The baby's mother mistakenly thought she had dropped the baby off at daycare before she went to work, so the baby suffered from hyperthermia.

I cannot fathom what this family, this mother, is going through, particularly just after the Mother's Day holiday. So many times since this story came out, it crosses my mind, and I catch my breath in grief and pain for her. Statistics say that such a tragedy can happen to anyone, that 51 percent of children who die in vehicles are left unintentionally. I have seen some of the comments people have written in online newspaper articles about this story, and they are ugly and hateful. It's not for me to judge this woman, who I am sure is judging herself more harshly than anyone else ever possibly could.

All I can do is pray for peace for her and her family. And yet, at the same time this grief that I have for someone I don't know, is interlaced with the guilt I feel about my own parenting. Always. I have three precious children whom I would die for. Would die if anything happened to them. If I were the cause of something terrible happening to them? I don't know if I could go on. And yet. And yet I complain about them. About the fact that they seem to relish doing the opposite of what my husband and I ask them to do or not do. That they are just being children. I get frustrated and yell far more than I should. Say things when they come downstairs at 6:30 in the morning like "You should still be in your bedroom until the green light comes on on your clock at 7 a.m." instead of "I love you." And I feel like an asshole as soon as it comes out of my mouth. I love them more than anything, and I want them to know that. And yet. It is a grave responsibility - the responsibility of another human being. The responsibility of keeping them safe, nurturing them, of loving them, of teaching them how to be the best person they can be.

So I have these emotions whirling through my head simultaneously, and please forgive me if I am feeling like it is not quite so important to post photos of whatever I happen to be wearing today or tomorrow or the next day. I am grappling with how best to get my arms around everything. The constant struggles with guilt. The struggle with being with my children yet also wanting time - NEEDING time - for myself as well. Those oh so subtle reminders from my own mother that I may be selfish for trying to take that time. Recognizing the gift that my husband and I were given, 4 years ago today, when my Gavin, Simon, and Scarlett were born. And I don't even really know how to end this rambling post, except to say, if you pray - please send up a prayer for this family who is suffering so much right now, and if you don't pray - send good thoughts their way. And maybe a few for me while you're at it.

EDIT: I feel like I should say I wrote this a few days ago when I was really struggling with the story. I just wanted you all to know I AM having a better day today, especially since it's the kids' birthday. Thank you thank you thank you for your love and concern. I appreciate it more than you know!!

Peace and Love.
Shannan

4 comments:

pyjammy pam said...

It's so sad. The husband of a friend of mine (who lives in the same town as you) responded to that call and so I have thought about this family a lot lately too. So tragic.

I hate that you are feeling this way on a day that should be joyous for you and your family. Please don't feel bad for not giving yourself 10000% to your children. That isn't healthy for anyone. Your love for your children comes through even in posts about what you're wearing. :) xxoo

Sarah said...

That story breaks my heart and kept me up for the entire night after I heard the news. I'm not sure how you ever get over that guilt. I've always maintained that in order to be a good mom, you have to take care of yourself too (go to the gym, wear a cute outfit, etc.) It's hard to get over the guilt though - I know. Happy Birthday to your babies. Four is a better age than 3!

Jenny @ Spry On The Wall said...

When Audrey was first born I watched an Oprah show about a woman who had accidentally left her girl in the car (again, thought she had dropped her off at daycare before work) and the child died of heat stroke. It was awful, I was haunted because as much as I wanted to judge her, you just can't, it's something that could happen to anyone. I don't know how you would go on from that. But I wanted to tell you I understand how you are feeling right now. I only have one soon-to-be-4-year-old (next month) and I'm a total shrew sometimes. Yelling and almost pulling my hair out. I did run across a fabulous quote in last week's US Magazine (see how I brought the heavy back to the fluffy) from Mark Ruffalo - he said something to the effect of "If you aren't yelling at your kids then you aren't spending enough time with them." And honestly that's true. It's a delicate balance and I'm not the best at it. My frazzled often wins over the laid back, but we all just need to give ourselves a break. Happy Birthday to your kiddos! xoxo

April G said...

I understand so much of what you are expressing in this post. A friend shared a news article about children unintentionally left in cars a few years back, and I swear I barely slept for days I was so haunted by it. My heart breaks for those poor mothers.

I'm glad you're feeling a bit better today, and of course HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your adorable children.

We're only human, and I think perhaps it's just one of the facets of motherhood that we simultaneously love our children and would die for them, and struggle with irritation and annoyance after spending a long day caring for them.