Thursday, June 30, 2011

And Also World Peace Wouldn't Suck.


I wouldn’t wish my first few months of motherhood on anyone.

Not a word of that stupid What to Expect book applied to Owen.

I used my ICU time wisely, thinking up ways in which get that book as far up the author’s rectum as possible.

One day, I’d be sure he was going to make it. And hope he’d just die and get it over with the next.

When his surgeon was encouraged by an x-ray or lab value, I would allow myself a tiny inner fist pump.

When his surgeon was alarmed by a downturn, I hid in the corner of my bunker to wait out the battle.

And on June 30th, 2003 we met with the great wizard for what we thought might be his last excursion into our baby’s insides.

The dead kidney had to go.

The fundoplication was necessary to protect those beat up lungs.

The feeding tube was a no brainer as Owen preferred gag/retch/aspirate over suck/swallow/breathe.

This was a good day. A great day. Like our favorite day so far since we’d been at Children's.

We trusted his team of surgeons a squillion percent. That’s a lot. And they were gonna fix him.

We weren’t worried. We walked around the city. Ate lunch. Shopped. I bought a pair of sandals.

We knew that this was our ticket home; with an actual baby.

We didn’t peer into the baby’s future. That was too scary.

That was eight years ago today.

And I’m thinking about what I might have wished for my son, if I’d dared a wish on that day;

Maybe that he could ride in the car without scolding me for talking. I shouldn’t talk in the car. It’s no fair. He can’t hear me.

Maybe that he wouldn’t fake it when spoken to;


“Owen, what did I just say?”

“I don’t know.”

Maybe that he wouldn’t burst into tears out of nowhere; “I miss my friends!”; because they all live so far away and rarely see each other outside of school.

Maybe that he didn’t have to watch his four year old sister whizz right up the rock wall thingie when he can’t pull himself up an inch.

Maybe that he could make a friend at the playground without me explaining him. Translating for him. Comforting him when the kid gives up on him.

That day, eight years ago was easier than most days now.

And I’m finding myself wishing that fixing him was as easy as removing a sick organ.


Figures the one day I actually venture into blogland is an important date in Owen's  history.

And I see that Sprite's Keeper's spin of the week is Wishes. 

So we can all blame her for the above mushiness.


  1. This post leaves me speechless. Your 'squishiness' is hard to read (because I want to beat up every kid on the playground who gives up on your son.) and spirit lifting (that he has YOU to be his advocate).

    I do know that my dreams and wishes are limited. I take comfort in knowing that I can't wish for them the wonder that's in store. How's THAT for squishiness??

  2. I'm blowing on a dandelion, here, for you and your son.

  3. Damn you for putting the blame on me and damn me for feeling the guilt.
    I wish more people were as honest about their reactions to life/death situations as you were. I would have wished exactly that way too. For life and for death.
    Gut puncher as usual, and happy birthday, Tulpen family. You're linked!

  4. You know he's perfect just the way he is.

  5. Why didn't anyone tell us being a parent is so fucking hard?


  6. You were overdue on killing me with an Owen story. Thanks a lot. Glad he's yours.

  7. I found you through the spin cycle and you made me cry!

    Thank you for your honesty. I have a son with autism and some days I wish I could fix him so much it hurts. But I can never admit that to anyone, for fear of what they would say or think. I'm not supposed to want to fix him, people say. They just do not understand at all.

  8. Happy birthday Owen. You never know how things will turn out, so it always is hard to wish for something in the future.

    Excellent spin!

  9. I hated What to Expect When You're Expecting.

    I'd rather read your words.

    Any day.

    Big love to you and your beautiful boy.

    p.s. I think last year? He secretly wished to have sweet dance moves.

    Oh yeah.

  10. I HATE what to expect when you're expecting. Nothing applied to me either.

  11. Somehow I've missed that Owen and my Violet are exactly the same age. She was born June 6, 2003. I seriously wish I lived by you b/c in all and complete honesty, Violet wouldn't give up on Owen. 1: because he's a kickass kid 2: b/c I'd be shoving him in his face every time I saw you and I think your a kickass woman (and YES you'd think I was just as awesome in person, thankyouverymuch). Also? What to Expcet is the devil incarnate.

  12. Yea that book author needs a kick in the taco. I'm also not above kicking mean kids at playgrounds. Jerk faces

  13. one day when Eddie was about 3 weeks old and my husband had gone back to work and the boy was on his third our of nonstop screaming and i hadn't showered in 2 days or eaten anything in about 4 days and my house was a wreck and I wanted to just start walking away from my life but it was 100 degrees out and I was too weak...on that day? I took What To Expect When You're Expecting and I threw it out the front door. My husband found it and simply put it in the trash.

    Stupid fucking book.

    Also? Sigh.

  14. Christ allfuckingmighty I'd fix my kid in a heartbeat and she isn't really all that broken. But those first months of fearing that she'd toss her cookies and then be hungry and hypoglycemic then quickly decline and die while I failed to pay attention because I was oh, say, sleeping or something - I'm not really gonna ever get over that. Now that I know she had a stroke and has CP and all that has followed . . . I doubt I will ever come to a place where I'd say I wouldn't fix her. Fuck all these glorious lessons.

    I fucking love you!

  15. I love this post, and I love you for writing it.

    I'm absolutely certain that, one day, Owen is going to be about on his own. He's going to love and feel loved. And all of these difficult days today are going to show their value.

    Until then . . . I'm certain that the road is a very, very difficult one. I'm glad he has you.

  16. Happy birthday to your lovely baby boy :)

  17. I hate that book too, it has not applied to a single one of my kids. Sucks but also makes us appreciate a million little things much more than those who can find their child in every chapter of that book.
    Happy Birthday to Owen, such a fighter (he and his mom).

  18. I love honest moms, who talk about how hard it is, and don't pretend it's all sugar & sweetness. Owen is a lucky guy to have you on his side!

  19. What Jen said, "I wish more people were as honest about their reactions to life/death situations as you were." Only I wish I were not just as honest, but as brave and as accepting, and as able to see the big picture and humor.

    On days where I wonder how I can make it, when my son is sunk into depression or riddled with crippling anxiety, I think of you and am inspired to try be that kind of mom for him.

  20. Oh god. I haven't been here in a while, and then... now I am all teary eyed and choked up. At work. Thanks a freaking lot.
    You'll never fail to move me. I should have know that by now.

  21. I think you've hit on a goldmine my dear - new book: "What People Won't Tell You When You're Expecting."

    Might be the end of the human race, but future women deserve the truth, right?

    Honest. Think about it. There are a hundred moms who could kick in a chapter...

    Miss you. XO

  22. I'll be waiting to read your version of What To Expect..., and hope it has all of your colorful language in it.

    I love the Squishies.

  23. I love your humorous twist on a difficult subject.


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