Happy Mother’s Day…from Holland

First off, no I’m not in Holland. I’ll explain that in a second.

Secondly, I just want to say I hope this doesn’t turn into a long rambling post of nonsense. This Mother’s Day just has me in my thoughts and feelings and I wanted to try and share some happy thoughts with everyone.

So, most everyone in the special needs community has probably heard about, if not read, this poem by Emily Perl Kingsley called, “Welcome to Holland.” For those of you that have no clue what I’m talking about, take a second to read the poem here.

We learned about this poem the day that we found out that Apollo wasn’t going to be the “typical” child that we had originally thought. The neurologist that came in to explain to us just what exactly the significant amounts of calcification found on his brain would mean for us and his life mentioned this poem. When you’re in that moment, that devastating moment of grieving the life that you thought you were going to have, it doesn’t really sink in. This didn’t fully resonate with me until much later. I’ve read it a million times now and every time it touches me a little bit deeper.

We’ve been “living in Holland” now for almost three years. And while it’s not the life we expected, or planned, it’s pretty dang amazing. Sometimes I have to actually say that out loud to really remember how truly blessed I am. Because is it difficult? YES. Is it stressful? YES. Is is crazy? YES. But, I have three beautiful and sweet children and an amazing husband. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I can pretty confidently say that I would not be sitting here so calmly writing this talking about how great this life is if it weren’t for my amazing partner in all of this. This might be “Mother’s Day” but I will never hesitate to say that I would most definitely not be the mother that I am if it weren’t for my husband.

He’s been there to pick up the slack when I just can’t do it and I have to go hide in the bedroom and be alone for a minute, five minutes, an hour, sometimes more. He doesn’t judge me. He doesn’t get angry at me. He just gets it. And he’s there. He’s just worked an 8 hour day busting his butt out in the heat (or the cold) and then he has to come home to an insane wife that is about to lose her mind if she doesn’t get some moments of quiet sanity. Some days I don’t even say anything, I just disappear. And he just understands and lets me have my moment. If you missed it before I’m going to say it again…he’s AMAZING.

And in all of this I can’t not talk about my other two wonderful and precious kids. They’ve been living in Holland right here with us this whole time. And while they don’t necessarily have the “expectations” that a parent has, they could’ve had a very different life as well. But thankfully they know no different than this life they’re living right now. They know that Apollo is different than other kids, but they also know he’s their brother and they love him just the same.

Apollo demands a lot more of my time than Atlas or Lulu. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t weigh heavily on me sometimes. Like the guilt I feel when I have to tell them yet again, “hold on, I’m feeding Apollo” or “not right this second I’ve gotta talk to Apollo’s doctor” or “I’ll be back in a little while I’ve gotta take Apollo to the doctor” or during these COVID-19 days, “Apollo has a FaceTime therapy session, I need you guys to stay in there and not be loud, ok?”

I try to make sure that they feel like they get just as much of my attention as he does. I try to make them understand that Apollo is different and needs help with a lot more things than they do. And honestly, they’re totally cool with it. They even blow my mind sometimes when they offer to help. If I’m feeding Apollo (for those that don’t know, he eats through a feeding tube that goes directly to his stomach and I have to sit there and hold the tube/syringe through all four of the tubes of formula plus the two of water – THREE times a day) Atlas and Lulu have gotten to where now if they need me to do something for them they’ll just say, “mommy, i need {so and so} and here I’ll hold Apollo’s food.” It’s pretty amazing that a THREE year old does these things. We have to remind ourselves all the time that Lulu is just three years old. She’s such a little mama to her “pollo man.”

I feel like I’ve started to ramble on like I wasn’t going to do, but if you can’t tell from what I’ve said so far, I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. I love my kids more than life itself and I’m so lucky to have the husband that I do. And that’s how I want to celebrate this Mother’s Day. Thinking of all of the wonderful things in my life I have to be grateful for.

I’ve been through some dark times mentally and emotionally in my life, especially in these last few years, and it’s not always easy to climb out of those dark places, but you’ve just GOT to keep looking up and moving forward. It doesn’t take much to feel sorry for yourself and find the bad in things, but finding the good in things is SO much more rewarding.

And there is good in everything. Trust me.

Sometimes you just have to look a little harder, but it’s always there.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing women out there who are doing the extraordinary task of keeping little tiny humans alive! Or giant humans! Or those cute and furry non-humans! You’re amazing and don’t ever forget it!

3 Comments

  1. You and Poe are one of the best mommies’ and daddies’ I have ever been blessed to know. And I’m so very proud to call you and the 3 precious lil amazing miracles you brought into this world FAMILY!!
    I know that each of you have a very special and challenging job, on a minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day basis, as you live the amazing thing we call life!
    You each live such a beautiful testamony through the life you live. Each one, from Poe daddy to precious Apollo, play your own part, with your own special jobs that are carried out, daily…
    All together… Being one of the most loving, admirable, respected, patient and kind lil families I have ever been blessed to know! Not only as friends… But as a whole new family for me to love! I cannot THANK YOU ENOUGH LORD, for allowing me to be a part of this family!
    So on this Mother’s Day, I am an X-TRA BLESSED MOM!
    I love and miss you all and I pray God continues to keep all my family, far or near, big or small and old or new, SAFE FROM ALL HARM & FILLED WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF LOVE AND HAPPINESS…
    ON THIS DAY AND EVERYDAY!!
    AMEN! 💞💖😘💖💞

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  2. You are such a WONDERFUL MAMA! I love you and Pie soooo much (and the babies.)….just to say, I have known Poe a very long time and I definately agree …HE is one of the finest, honest, hard working and grateful young men I have EVER met! Happy Belated Mother’s Day😊 Mrs. P

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