Thursday, September 23, 2010

children will listen.

Scott and I have been making a concerted effort to keep things light and carefree at home, despite the underlying stress and sadness that we feel about his mom. Max and Cameron are too young to understand what is going on with their Nana. They are too young to understand how sick she is.

My kids are way smarter than I give them credit for.

This past month Cameron has really struggled in the mornings. I’m talking huge meltdowns, kicking, screaming, and throwing anything she can get her hands on. It would break my heart if it didn’t stress me out so much. This little girl, she has a set of lungs that would make Jessye Norman proud. On the days when Nana is not up to coming over, Cam asks “where’s Nana? I want Nana!”. I am honest with her, and I say “Nana’s not feeling well, she is at home resting”. Cameron seems to understand what this means, and she nods and repeats “Nana not feeling well, she sleeping”. At night Cameron doesn’t want to go to bed and the theatrics continue. But I get it. She intrinsically feels that something is wrong and wants to just “be” with Scott and me. I don’t blame her for that (though I do need her to get some sleep and give me some down time).

Max has been very whiney lately. It’s hard to know what is causing this with all the changes he is dealing with. His sleep has been inconsistent, and he has been requiring a lot of sensory input to self-regulate. He’s not sure what to think when I pick him up at the end of the day instead of his Nana and Bumpa. What’s interesting is that even with all the chaos, he is making a tonne of progress. Over the past month he has started using the toilet for BMs consistently (seriously, this is a HUGE deal – it is zero fun cleaning up the poopy butt of a 4.5 year old). He has started requesting to go to the toilet as well (instead of us having to prompt him 100% of the time). I can’t remember the last time he had an accident from a #1 perspective either. We’ve also been hearing a lot more words and short sentences, like “I love timbits!” and “I want more toast”. Amazing stuff when you consider where he started.

The challenge through all of this is that it isn’t going to get better anytime soon. Scott and I are doing our best to hold it down while also being supportive of his parents, dealing with our own sadness individually, staying connected as a couple, all the while making sure Cam and Max are getting everything they need (and that nobody gets forgotten to get picked up at the end of the day!). It’s a lot.

I try to stay focused on the fact that this is not a unique experience. I’ll admit that some days it seems like we are the only ones in the world who are going through this, (but that is so far from the truth I am embarrassed to even admit that I’ve felt that way for even a second).

It’s the cycle of life.
I just wish we had more time with Lorraine.
I wish she didn’t have to suffer.
I wish she could see Cam's first dance class.
I wish she could see all the hard work she has put into Max come to fruition as he grows up into a fine young man.
For someone of such small physical stature she will leave a huge hole in our family.


  1. Carol G.7:08 p.m.

    I don't know Lorraine but starting now she's on my prayer list every night.(Can't hurt).Hugs to you guys.

  2. Thanks Carol. She can lose all the positive energy she can get!

  3. Caroline11:01 p.m.

    Ahhh, K, I sure wish this were not what was happening in your family. Well, not the parts about finally learning full toilet training (YAY!) and loving the Gramma, and all that good stuff, but the pain and the ruefulness.

    I have walked where you are walking, and I know it's hard. There are sometimes moments of great grace, and I hope that you can manage to seize them when they happen, and help your kids to do so too. Sometimes bittersweet, sometimes really painful in addition to the beauty, but real life and a kind of experience that will grow little people with a true sense of what's important.

    Miss Fae thing wasn't much older than your Max when Llew died, and he was sick from just after her third birthday. She has in some ways grown up to be the most compassionate of all four of my kids, along with the most serious and the most independent (which may, of course, be a product of the fact that I was 43 when she was born, and far too old to put up with any of that crap you take so willingly in your younger parenting days) She's certainly as funny (and sarcastic!) as any of the others, with an enormous capacity to have fun and be a tremendous friend. So, although it certainly hurts a child to see their parent or grandparent go through the terrible journey that is cancer, it doesn't have to "hurt" them, in the sense of permanent harm and emotional disability. I should add that I didn't shield Fae from knowing what was up with her Dad, although I didn't specifically set out to educate her, either -- she just observed what was going on, naturally learned a little more each few weeks, and seemed quite able to take it in. And, although I didn't hide anything from her, and she was intimately aware of the changes taking place, I didn't ever make a point of drawing it to her attention, either -- I just answered questions honestly (if succunctly) when they arose. Now, aty just turned 15 (so 9 years later) there is a great lot of it that she doesn't even really remember.

    I too am keeping Lorraine in my prayers, and you and your family too. It's quite a balancing act, and it would seem that you have a really good grasp of what it is and how you need to deal (different for everyone) Just keep on keeping on, do the best you can, help your husband and your kids and your parents in law deal as best as you all can, it's all you can do.

  4. Anonymous9:30 a.m.

    Re: Max requesting, this is great. I do not know where he is in terms of receptive skills but perhaps the use of social stories can help, we lived the same experience with our kids when GrandPa left us and social stories (change in routines) worked very well.