Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dear Drunk Driver,

Dear Drunk Driver,

It's been 15 months since you hit us. I know this because my baby, who was 4 weeks old and in the car, is now 16 months old. I know that because I have been in pain for 15 months. I have been through physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, and three rounds of cortisone injections in the last 15 months. I have been on pain killers for 15 months. And I am still not fixed.

I have trouble lifting my right arm due to the damaged disks in my neck that have left me with painful nerve damage in my arm. It's painful to put on a jacket or fasten my own bra. It's hard to lift my own children. My arm is weak. I've woken up in the middle of the night unable to feel my arm or tell if my hand is touching something. Thanks for that.

I am now 2 inches shorter than I was before you slammed into us. TWO inches. That's about 1/2 and inch for each disk that you damaged. My spine is still a bit twisted. While it's no longer this bad,

My hips don't sit even and I wear down the botton of the shoes on my right foot faster that my left and the clothes I wear always end up twisted to the right of my body.  I have had chronic headaches since the accident.  For months they were so painful I couldn't get out of bed some days until the handful of painkillers finally set in.  This made me unable to take care of my children. 

So tell me drunk driver, were those few beers worht it?  Did you have a good time with your buddies?  Was it worth it not to wait until you were 21 to drink?  Was it worth it not to wait a few hours until you were sober before driving home?

For the record, I don't wish you harm.  I don't want your life to be ruined by this event.  You were just a kid.  But I do want you to learn.  I hope this has been an aweful experience for you too.  I hope you kow how lucky you are that no one was killed that night.  I hope you realize that God was with you.  Yes.  You.  You were so lucky that we were all in S.U.V.'s and that the car you hit head on after you hit us was a Hummer.  You were blessed that night just as we were.  But I hope that this shook you.  I hope you NEVER make this choice again. I hope that when you got out of your car and saw that you hit a car full of babies that it shook you. I hope you understand the repricussions and that you don't think yourself the victim.  I hope you understand why you went to jail and why it's hard to get insurance now or why employers may pass you up because of your history.  And I hope you take all these seriosly and accept your responisbility for them.

As for me, I am still working on recovery.  Pain free days are few and far between and surgery may be in my future as all the therapies we've tried these last 15 months haven't yielded results.  There's been improvement, but I'm not fixed.  I'm tired of doctor's appointments and pain killers.  I'm tired of not being able to sleep or waking up in pain. I'm tired of having to think about how I'm going to carry my baby.  I'm just tired.

So please drunk driver, promise you'll never do this again.  Please know it's not worth it.  Please tell your friends how hard this has been.  Now that you know better, do better.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wrap it up! A year in review as inspired by @daddyrunsalot

2011 was quite a year.  The plate was full but thankfully in many great ways.  After the suckage that was 2010, it was a relief to start filling days with happy things.  Sure there were hiccups and stubles but comparitively it was a great year.

So here is the year in review.  This idea was stolen borrow from my twin John (@daddyrunsalot) over at - who I adore!  It's a glance at the last year of my life in blogs, which I know you've all be eagerly waiting for!

Great blog month where I wrote about My Modern Family, My baby growing too fast, my strong opinions on a mother's right to breast feed wherever she wants, sporting my Coach diaper bag at the welfare office, the day I contracted Cooties, coping with my father-in-law's suicide a year later,  the ingredients for a great husband, and I responded to an article I was quoted in for The Chicago Tribune in which they called pregnancy bed rest a myth.

For such a short month, February offered up an abundance of blogs for my readers!  I started the month by coming to terms with the fact that I drive a mini-van.  I then wrote one of my most popular posts which was a recipe for Pizza Cupcakes.  I blogged about my hatred for mornings, declared all of my boys my Valentines,  realized that I needed to get my sense of humor back, took a good hard look at my post baby body and threw up in my mouth a little,  got a Stylish Blogger award, got mad at the grandma who took over my body,  created a grattitude challenge to thank all the people who were amazing to my family the year before,   questioned my own parenting (so you don't have to), and I took a good hard look at why I didn't grow up to be a mermaid.

I started March reflecting on the fact that at that time a year before I could have died and my baby could have died.  I became a skinny brain surgeon,  I realized a was a little fish in this whole blogging thing, I saw my 4 year old's heart, and I wrote my number one most popular blog of all time about what strong ass bitches my family pumps out!

April garnered fewer blogs.  But I was able to still declare my hatred for the dentist,  I said goodbye to my grandpa almost a half year after he died, I got irritated by bad customer service, and I got lost in paradise!

As the year continued, the baby got busier, and I had more on my plate I didn't get to blog as much.  Ah, the life of a parent!  But in May I wrote about turning 35, tried to keep you all tuning in, wrote about my Maui memorial, I was able to declare my love for a support group that has heloed my husband and I deal with his father's suicide,  I summed up what it's like to live in a house full of boys, and rejoiced in having a normal day. 

I apparently was feeling overwhelmed with being a stay at home mom in June.  While I was only able to crank out two blogs the entire month, they were good.  The first was about the imbalance between what happens on Father's day vs. Mother's day.  The next is one of my favorite pieces I have ever written and it has since been in my top 10 read blogs of all time!  It's more of a thesis on housewivery's history.

July offered up some highs and lows.  My first blog was a rant on the demons that haunt you when you raise a child with any type of special need. Then I slid right into the battle between myself and the mirror, I wondered how the music I listened to growing up got to be considered "Oldies", and I let it all out when I declared that every mom just needs a good f$*#!

I went back to work in July so August was my first full month as a working mom again.  The first of two blogs I managed in August examined my thoughts on getting back to "normal".   In my second offering I shared our philisophy on parenting and the lessons we have learned (so far).  You're welcome.

Somehow in September I upped the blog count!  I am always amused by the search terms used to find my blog and how absolutely random and quite often filthy they are- and how they lead people to me!  SO that was my first blog.  Then I took you into the dark underworld of baby fight club, shared what makes my marraige perfect, I showed my boobs on an x-ray,  said goodbye to my beloved All My Children, and did my fisrt and only (not so) wordless Wednesday.

The remainder of the year was a downword blogging spiral with little to offer.  But what there was, was amusing!  October was a detail of all the things mommies don't need now that they have kids.

We ended the blogging year in November when my husband suffered a second loss due to suicide when his childhood best friend took his own life.

I am comitted to getting more of these blogs out of my head in 2012.  Even though the writing got slim towards the end of 2011, the blogs were all there.  They were just trapped in my little mommy head while I learned how to juggle three kids and a job.  But I haven't forgotten you my dear readers!  So look for more in 2012 and thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Larry The Toll Booth Guy

Since I've returned to work,. I've had to adjust to sitting in traffic on the way to work and on the way home.  most days it's not too bad and I manage a half hour commute.  But sometimes it gets heavy and I get stuck in an hour to an hour and a half of traffic.  But I recently found a remedy to make the traffic bearable.  I have an iPhone so I'll pull up my Netflix app and listen to stand up comedy routines while I sit in traffic.  Yes, I'm that crazy lady alone in her car laughing her ass off.

A few weeks ago I was listening to a comedian who had a piano brought out on stage so he could read some of his poetry.  He didn't play piano so he asked if anyone in the audience did.  Several people responded with raised hands and drunken hoots and hollers.  Ultimately Larry was chosen. 

Larry walked on stage slowly and at his own pace.  He was a heavy set gentleman in a T-shirt and hoodie, shorts, and tennis shoes.  He had a dopey look on his face and an even dopier laugh.  Some would say that he may have been enjoying a treat of the green leafy variety before the show.  He sat down at the piano.  The comedian asked his name and what he did for a living.  He answered that his name was Larry and that he was a toll booth collector.  Classic comedy fodder.  The comedian and Larry exchanged a few jokes and chuckles back and forth.  Easy money for the comedian as Larry just sat and giggled at every witty comment with no retort.  Just a stupid look on his face.  God love him.

Then it was time for the poetry.  This comedian's shtick was to read funny and obscure "poems" while someone played different songs in the back ground.  All of it was unrehearsed since he pulled his piano player from the audience each time.  Whether the player was good or bad, this was a classic comedy formula.  There is no way this wouldn't end up funny!

So he asked Larry to play something smooth.  And no one saw what came next.  Larry the toll booth guy was a classically trained pianist!  He played beautifully.  Exquisite even.  I was blown away!

It's been weeks since I listened to this show.  And I keep thinking about Larry the toll booth guy.  I, just as everyone else in that crowd, took one look at this guy and expected that we were in for a performance of chopsticks or Twinkle Twinkle.  But we judged too quickly.  Who knew this portly fellow with the stupid grin and the blue collar job was sitting on this amazing talent.  And why wasn't he using this gift?  It made me wonder how many of us stop using our talents.  What happened that made us abandon our dreams and stop using our gifts.  Why aren't we the things we wanted to be when we were little.  Didn't they tell us that we could be anything we wanted to be?  Did Larry really dream of being a toll booth guy?  Methinks that he didn't spend hours practicing with a coach to be a toll booth worker.  Methinks those hours were spent at a piano. 

I know my current profession wasn't my childhood dream.  I also know what took me off course.  I became a mom at an early age.  Dream chasing stopped and paycheck chasing began.  While I'm good at what I do and it definitely takes care of my family, it's not what I dreamed and it's not what I feel I was born to do.  So where do we go from here?  How do I get back to the place where I chase my dreams?  Are we all Larry?  Are we all sitting on our gifts?  Are we all hiding such incredible talent that no one can see?

This comedy show I listened to on my way to work one morning left me with many questions.  It also reminded me not to judge people by their appearance or even what they do for a living.  We are more than our clothing and we are more than the title on our business cards.  Let us not ever forget that.

Thank you for the unexpected lesson Larry the Toll Booth Guy.