Birthday parties, cemeteries, and carbon monoxide scares – oh, my!

Today was definitely not perfect. It had its good moments, for sure, but it was mostly emotionally draining.

It started with a birthday party for one of Max’s friends. Max would not let go of our hands. He repeatedly asked me to go in the foam pit with him even though Daddy was in there and I had already explained that I couldn’t get in because of my back.

Then, he refused to sit down and eat with the other kids. It did not feel right to just let him continue playing in the foam pit when he was supposed to be celebrating his friend. Plus, Chris wanted a break from the foam pit. In true three-year-old fashion, Max did not care about politeness or what his Daddy wanted or needed.

Something in me just kind of snapped. I had had it. I am very patient with him most of the time. I spend the vast majority of my life talking him down and convincing him to do things. But I was tired. I was stressed. Much as I love my friends and their kids, it is sometimes not easy to be around them or any other group that includes kids since Lucy died. Much of the time, it is fine. But today, several younger siblings of Max’s friends were there. That was the group Lucy was part of. She was a second child, a younger sibling, too. I looked at these kids and tried to picture Lucy crawling and toddling around with them and laughing. They are all still here, growing and enjoying life and she isn’t. They will all get older and she won’t.

I wasn’t brooding incessantly over these things, but they hovered in the background of my mind, occasionally creeping to the foreground. One of the younger siblings is a girl and she reminds me of Lucy a bit at times. No one will ever replace Lucy, but I want another daughter so badly. Lucy will always be my daughter, but I am not going to get to watch her grow up and share mother-daughter activities with her. And I still want that.

Anyway, I snapped and said we just had to leave. I grabbed the bag and told one of my friends that Max was being difficult and we just had to go. We practically ran from the place, even though I thought I heard someone call my name behind me. I felt so bad. The more I thought about it, the ruder it seemed. But I had just had it. I couldn’t stand listening to my son fuss and whine while I missed Lucy for one more second.

Max was upset, but we were all pretty quiet on the drive over to Super Target. I told Chris we just shouldn’t say anything, because we were both upset and it wouldn’t be fair to Max. After we calmed down a bit, we explained about politeness and respecting Daddy’s needs. Also, about how our friends are very important to us and that it is an honor to be invited to celebrate someone’s birthday with them. I told him how he would be glad someday that he had known all of these children since he was born. I wished I had that growing up and that’s why I wanted that for him.

I must have taken it too far, though, because he said, “I messed it all up.”

My heart melted, “Oh, no, baby, you did not mess it all up. They are still your friends. You are you and we love you just the way you are. We will figure out a way to help you feel more comfortable in social situations. It will be ok.”

Everything seemed ok after that. The trip to Target was fine. But I just grew more and more depressed. Why in the world didn’t my child want to play with others? Why was he stuck to me like glue? Why is it that one of my children is dead and the other one is antisocial? Can I please just have some normal?? What have I done wrong???

Chris sensed I was having a hard time and convinced me to take a break. He wanted me to go have a nice, leisurely lunch, but I went to HEB and bought flowers (Had to wait in line forever behind someone who wanted cigarettes. The cashier couldn’t get the cabinet unlocked.) and headed to the cemetery instead.

I bought pink hydrangeas. My friend Denise recently planted a pink hydrangea at her home on Prince Edward Island in honor of Lucy. Prince Edward Island is one of my favorite places in the world. It was the home of L.M. Montgomery, my favorite author. She wrote “Anne of Green Gables”, my favorite book, which is also set on the Island. I love that there is something in honor of Lucy there. Plus, the pink hydrangeas are delicate and sweet, like my girl. So, that is what I chose.

I managed to overshoot and end up in Georgetown and had to turn around. Sigh. The cemetery is in Pflugerville. I lost my mind and thought Round Rock came before Pflugerville. I need some sleep.

I finally arrived. Luckily, the sprinklers weren’t on this time. I set down the flowers and just talked to my girl. I poured out my heart to her. I told her everything I feel about her and everything I feel guilty about. I’m not usually one to feel close to people at their graves, but I felt close to her there. Probably because, for once, there was nothing and no one to distract me. No people, no IPhone, nothing. I finally had some private time with her. Even when we said good-bye before they took her from the house, there were five or six strangers standing around watching. We were too shell-shocked to think to ask for privacy. The only other private moments I got with her were right before they closed the casket and even then, Max was howling for me at the other end of the chapel where Chris had taken him.

I finally tore myself away, feeling a bit better. I felt like I had cried myself out anyway. It was so peaceful and lovely there. I’m glad we chose that spot, even though I wish it was closer to our house.

I grabbed a quick burger and headed home. Max was still in fine form, but we made it through the rest of the day. He was playing outside. We were about to get him to bed.

And then the carbon monoxide detector went off. The firefighters came. (At least, they didn’t need the siren this time.) It turns out the levels probably went up because Chris used our new wok to cook dinner for the first time. He thinks the wok ring caused it. The levels were very low and going down rapidly while the firefighters checked. We will probably have the gas company come out and check to be sure, but everything seems ok.

For the grand finale, Max pooped and peed his pants while the firefighters were here. At least, he did it outside. (We had decided to stop making him go potty at designated times and see if having accidents and “being in charge” of his pottying would help him start going on his own. I’ll let you know how it goes.)

So, that was Saturday. This introvert really needs a quiet Sunday. Here’s hoping.


1 Comment

  1. Denise Bruce of Ingleside said,

    June 24, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Oh ❤ I'm so happy to have something here for sweet lucy. My friend is planning something else for this spot and I have another idea. I"ll post a picture as soon as it's all finished ❤
    I'm sorry the party didn't work out well. Rilla is the same way, she's just turned 8 and is coming out of her shell. It'll happen. I'm still praying, Sara ❤

    Denise of Ingleside

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