Showing posts with label perspective. Show all posts
Showing posts with label perspective. Show all posts


life lessons from a feeding therapist

A few weeks ago at Brady's therapy session with a nutritionist/feeding guru from Early Intervention she fed him and observed him. She pointed out what he is doing well, what needs work, how to help him eat better and get him excited about using his mouth.

At one point he started grabbing for the spoon. She told me to fetch another, one for him, one for her.

A few bites later he reached for the bowl. She said oh, you want to feel it huh? OK, let's give you some to touch. This is food, honey, go for it.

And then she did the unthinkable. She spooned out a massive amount of mushy baby food onto the tray for him to play with. And he did. He rubbed it, squished it, got it everywhere. His hands, arms, neck, ears, hair and chair. Sticky and stiff and deplorable I was thinking, um, lady, are you gonna stay and clean this child and my kitchen up?

Upon reflection I realized how mess averse I am. Which is laughable and outright shocking if you saw my house.  I exert so much mental and physical energy attempting mess prevention and cleaning messes. And the sick thing is, I am not sure if it does any good.

The messes happen on days where I sit back, turn a blind eye and read blogs for two hours an hour, and the messes happen if I follow the Littles around with a proverbial whip screaming  

              One Toy Genre at a Time! The Legos and blocks and animals and trains are not friends. 
              Put one away before you get the rest out and don't even think about taking the cushions off
              the couch; so help me I will throw away this whole house and you'll never see another 
              toy again as long as you live!!

I think in life we humans spend a lot of time seeking ease, comfort, trying to avoid literal, emotional and psychological messes. We are always trying to get organized, make things easier, make more money, reduce stress. And yet, the messes keep on coming whether we try to avoid them or not. Maybe there is a takeaway from Brady's therapy. The life messes; the hardest situations teach us things. I think when we get in the middle of the mush we develop sensitivity, neurons connect, people connect.

Maybe we should be a little less afraid of the mess. Maybe, like with Brady, the mess is how we learn.



In between rolling out pie crusts and casserole assemblage, today I read Katie's post over at Amazima blog. She's 20 years old. She moved to Uganda to care for orphans.
She has adopted 14 and daily cares for hundreds more.
She doesn't know what she's doing half the time.
She's performed medical procedures (that she learned how to do by googling it) without anesthetic on brave children because there was no one else.

She tells people who contribute to her cause of feeding, clothing and healing these children in Uganda that she will send an email thank you because the 44 cents for a stamp will feed a child 3 meals.

Her father visited her last year and saw the horrible conditions she's living in with her kids and said "that's it, we are getting you guys a toilet seat." She broke down in tears and said "no, we need that money for medical supplies and food for all the kids."

Today as I prepare a feast of what would be epic proportions for most of the people on this planet, I am a bit sickened, hugely humbled and unspeakably grateful. I wish I could send all of the food I am making to Katie to disperse among the hungry right now.

I can't ship the contents of my fridge, but I can and just did send a little -- and I mean little-- money to her and her people. To buy more food. 100% of it goes to caring for the poorest of the poor. Please, read this blog, and if you feel moved to show thanks with some giving... well, it certainly helped me feel just a tiny bit better today.
More importantly, it helped some others a lot more.



**If you are my brother or my father, or father-in-law or any male or any female for that matter who doesn't want to read about female things like bras and stretch marks, now would be a good time to stop reading. **

Ha! The word "bra" will probably make it so my parents can't read it anyway because they have a really powerful content filter on their internet. I should use this chance to start swearing.

Today I'd had it. I have been wearing some stretched out, too big, sports-bra like nursing bras for a year and a half. (Which are great when you first have a baby. I highly recommend Bravado nursing bras.)

But with the wear and tear they are so bad and I am so (search, S, search for delicate, polite word) ooh, how about deflated? Yes, I am a tad deflated in the chestal area and the bras were so gross and loose that it's not working for me.

Let's face is sisters: 19 months of nursing takes it's sad, sad toll. A please-don't-go-braless kind of toll.

I needed help.

I gingerly entered the Nordstrom lingerie section and gulped. I didn't want to pay $50 for a bra. But I would if I had to, dangit. The nice girl measured me and brought in samples. And here I was. Standing in the too-well-lit dressing room faced with the reality of a post pregnant and still nursing body.

Pro: I can see my collar bones and my biceps aren't so bad from lifting a toddler everywhere all the time.

Con: I think I have about fifty more moles (I hate that word) than I did three years ago. Where do these suckers come from? Why can't they find another body to posses?

Pro: I don't think the Halloween candy has affected the size of my butt this year.

Con: Post-nursing chest is not cute. In fact, small is great. It makes it easier to exercise and fit into small dresses. I don't need "big." But, well....

Pro: There is nothing stuck in my teeth from the granola bar I ate on the way to the mall.

Con: I have so much extra skin I should name it.

Pro: Underneath the extra skin I have a 4-pack of tummy muscles trying to show through and knit themselves back together.

Con: It's hard to notice the 4-pack through the haze of stretch marks.

I stood, there trying on bras, contemplating my scars and skin and irritated that no matter how hard I work, how much I take care of myself, the havoc babies wrecked on my body is irreversible except with major surgery (which I won't get into right now.)

Some woman are proud of their baby-battered-bodies. I once heard someone talk about her stretch marks like a rite of passage, a battle wound she proudly wore for her children. What a great perspective huh? I totally don't have it.

I thought about someone else with scars earned for another human. I know it seems completely bizarre to start thinking about Jesus inside a dressing room trying on bras. But there is something so humbling about looking at one's naked body, that it made me pause.

Just like I used my body to do something for two persons who could not do it for themselves (namely, get to earth) He sacrificed his perfect body to do something for me that I could not do for myself. I can't become who I need to be without his sacrifice. And his was much more painful than mine. And he is not ashamed of his scars.

I don't want to resent the body I have. It did something truly miraculous.

All motherhood is miraculous, and I find power in the sacrifices we go through. At different times we may give up sleep, food, showers, intimacy, our space, our brain cells, money, privacy, opportunities for career growth, conveniences.

I wouldn't have it any other way. But sometimes I want to have my cake and eat it too.

Fast forward 25 minutes and too much money later. I have two bras that lift, contain and above all FIT, and a resolve to stop giving a crap about the things I can't change.

I won't say I am proud of my scars and excess skin, who will hereafter be called "Vanessa," but on the other hand, I wouldn't change a thing.