"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." - Shel Silverstein

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Case of the Missing Blogger

Hi friends! Remember me? Yeah, ummmm... Hi! You may have noticed I have been absent lately. I'm back to explain the reasons for disappearing on you.

First, my life has become wonderfully busy. Rissa is four, almost five and attending preschool again this year. Four days a week, three hours a day, in the middle of the day. My goal every morning, starting about 9:00, is to make sure she is ready for school by 11:30. Why 2 1/2 hours to get ready for school, you may ask? My extremely busy-can't sit still-always into something she shouldn't be little Rissa is a handful, especially when she knows she will be going to school. I guess there's just something about knowing she has somewhere to be that makes her want to create as much havoc for me as possible. Add to that the fact that I am still watching Sully during the weekdays. He is now 18 mos., is very mobile, and also loves to get into all the things he shouldn't. He and Rissa also love to fight over toys. There are some days when I think they don't actually play with any toys because they are too busy trying to get the one the other has. Throw in the (thankfully) occasional doctor's appointment or other activity of some sort, and all I want to do with my spare time is veg and watch Netflix!

Second, pretty much all of the people whose blogs I follow, and those who follow mine, are friends with me on Facebook. It just seems easier to type out a quick status update and read other's statuses rather than compose a whole blog post.

Third, and this is probably the biggest reason, our life has become strangely... normal. Don't get me wrong. By no means do I consider the life that Rissa, Jeremy and I live to be normal. What is "normal" anyway? What I am trying to say is that Rissa has overcome a great majority of the issues that were present when she was born. She still has her g-tube, still doesn't eat very much by mouth, still has some physical issues (hips), and still has some developmental delay. But she is more "normal" now than she ever has been before. For this reason, I just don't feel the need to blog about my daily life like I used to. I think it is quite average and, honestly, a little boring.

When I first started, I had several reasons for blogging. First, I needed to connect with other parents who were going through similar things I was at the time. Life with a fragile, immuno-compromised, technologically enhanced baby is so isolating. In the first year of Rissa's life, I found myself, a natural "people person", drawing away from others. I needed to keep her healthy, so we stayed in the house more often than not. But it just became so difficult to have to explain to others what was "wrong" with my daughter. Exhausting, really. So I avoided social situations, probably more than necessary. When I started to connect with you guys who actually had a clue what trachs, g-tubes, and AFO's were, among other things, I couldn't believe how much I started to feel like a human being again. Connecting with others who understand what we are going through, no matter our trial, is essential for our mental health.

I needed a good way to communicate with all my friends and family members; a good way to update them on how Rissa was doing; a good way to share pictures and videos with them. Blogging was a great way to do that! Even though I have been admonished recently by a few family members for not blogging regularly, those same people are on Facebook with me, and I feel like that way of updating them is more efficient and less time consuming. Sorry Dad & Arnie!

I also wanted to document this new life Jeremy and I were thrust into. I wanted to look back and remember all that we had gone through, all that we had accomplished, all that we had survived. More importantly, I wanted something to show Marissa when she gets older. Something to show her how far she has come, how hard she fought, everything she overcame and survived. I want her to be proud of who she is. By showing her all that happened in her first few years of life, she can hopefully feel a sense of pride in where she is at that moment.

Blogging has been a great way for me to vent and sort out all my inner feelings about being the mom of a special needs child. There is a lot to be angry and bitter about in this kind of life. There is a lot to grieve and be disappointed in. There is also a lot to find joy in, and a lot to give one perspective about the truly important things in life. Blogging became a journal for me, a way to write down how I felt about my new normal. Good, bad, and ugly.

Please don't misunderstand me and think this blog is finished. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination. I will still post from time to time, mostly when Marissa has something big happening in her life such as surgery, first day of Kindergarten and such. I thank all of you for sticking with us, cheering on and praying for our sweet girl. I'll be back, just not with the frequency I used to.

And, at the risk of this post sounding like a commercial for Facebook, if any of you out there would like to keep up with all the latest Rissa happenings and I'm not blogging enough for your taste, you can find me on Facebook (Alicia Cortez). Send me a request! There are also so many groups I am a part of on Facebook, so many ways to connect with other special needs parents. And, many businesses for special needs products, like g-tube pads, people have made pages for on Facebook. Facebook is AWESOME!!

OK, that really was a commercial for Facebook. Maybe I can convince them to pay me for advertising?

I leave you with the cutest school picture ever taken...