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This may be TMI, but it’s true

November 7, 2011

Celebration aside, Amos’ birthday is actually quite hard for me. It has nothing to do with him, but it is all centered on the day of his birth. I was alone. Sure, there were people who offered to be there with me, but I figured that single people have babies all the time: it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But no, apparently no single people have ever given birth at Rochester General because EVERYONE I saw all day asked me where my people were. My husband, specifically, but if I’d gone into it (which I didn’t, because “he left me when I was 5 months pregnant” isn’t that good of a story), they would have asked about my sister, or my mom, or my friend, or anyone that I’d met previous to that day. No where in sight. No biggie, right? I was having a surgical birth–I just lay there, it’s not difficult. But just fending off all the questions was surprisingly hard. Then having to watch my new helpless pitiable baby just lay there on a table naked and screaming while I got stitched up because I couldn’t hold him and I didn’t bring anyone to hold him…. It was horrid. Not only had I failed him in so many other big ways, but I failed to even welcome him to the world. The bright harsh cold operating room world. He was all alone over there screaming. Poor baby. To say the least.

That was the worst, and the pain radiates out from there. The broken family hurt. The never actually lived with his dad sting. My recurrent overwhelmed mother issues. He doesn’t have a chance spinning out. I think I’m doing OK, and then whamo! Something hits me and I realize that my kids are missing out on something I just can’t do.

If you look up the name “Amos,” it is sometimes listed as meaning “burden.” I hope he, and all my kids, never get the feeling from me that they are a burden. Other sources list Amos as “burden bearer” or “to carry” and even “borne of God.” I sincerely hope these are the meanings that resonate with Amos: that he is strong enough to handle anything. The way Peter plays with him sometimes, he is going to need that strength.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeannette permalink
    November 8, 2011 2:51 pm

    I look at the many kids and teenagers I have met and had the privilege to teach, and I can distincty remember a storybook unit I had started. The first day of the lesson, I set up 25 books around the room at different stations, and for the entire classtime, we spent reading and discussing the
    Illustrative books. Several books were just fun and entertaining, others had patriotic messages, while others taught life lessons. A couple of books spoke of things being different, and how it’s okay to not be exactly like our peers–but the book that got the most discussion was a book about divorce. I made a unplanned diversion from the lesson when I realized, from a show of hands, that half of the students’ parents were divorced, and decided to have a class discussion about divorce. I could see in their eyes that divorce was a new concept for some, while others grew up never knowing their dads in particular. I asked one Senior, Tim, how it made him feel, and I will never forget his response. He said, “you know, I have friends who have both parents who live at home and they don’t give any attention to my friends. Their parents are mean as hell. But then I look at my situation and I think to myself, “my mom loves me, and I know I mean the world to her, and that’s enough. Knowing I’m loved and feeling loved is better than what a lot of people have in their lives.”

    • esodhiambo permalink
      November 9, 2011 1:24 pm

      Ahhhhh–that is a sweet and thoughtful kid. I’m crossing my fingers that my kids will get there and that it won’t be too painful for them in the mean time.

  2. Jo Pfaff permalink
    November 8, 2011 3:05 pm

    I feel you Emily. Oh the sting of reality that being single brings. I had the hardest time forgiving myself for making the choice to turn Jaylene and myself into another statistic. As I have lost my gma and the rest of my family relations are not dependable it is very easy to feel alone. Embrace your extended family, gma’s, gpa’s, aunts, uncles they all make adifference. Thanks for sharing your vulnerability it makes it easier.

    • esodhiambo permalink
      November 9, 2011 1:25 pm

      Support certainly helps. Jaylene is lucky to have you–I can’t think of a more devoted mother.

  3. April permalink
    November 9, 2011 12:57 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You’re the best mom I know and very thoughtful in your parenting. There are things you can’t give your kids because they’re out of your control. The things which are in your control you provide with a wisdom I wish I had.

    • esodhiambo permalink
      November 9, 2011 1:26 pm

      I’ll do my best to live up to this–I may need a What Would April Think? bracelet, though.

  4. Meredith permalink
    November 15, 2011 1:18 pm

    Hey there, I am a little behind in the blogs – but I have to echo everyone’s sentiments here: You are an amazing mother and person! I feel like you are always thinking of enriching and fun things to do with your kids that make them know they are loved. Your kids are so blessed to have you as a mother — any kid would be sooo lucky to have you as a mother.

  5. Naomi Sloan permalink
    November 20, 2011 10:52 pm

    This post made me cry, Emily (well, choke up. My contacts are too dry at 10:30 at night to really let me cry). I’m sorry for the burden that hangs heavy on your heart. But I’m glad you have such remarkable children, and that you are filling all of Amos’s subsequent birthdays with fun and happiness and every other amazing thing that you do as a mother.

  6. December 8, 2011 8:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Emily. I know some of those feelings too. You are fantastic and always so patient and kind and up for anything. You have a wonderful family and you give them wonderful experiences.

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