Friday, November 16, 2012

Learnng To Play Again

When Little Man and Jameson we little, I was an awesome mom.  Not perfect by any means, but I spent a lot of time and energy planning meals, activities, playdates and games to keep my boys learning new things and having loads of fun in the process.  I let Little Man use an entire bottle of glue on one piece of paper and only put one bean on it if that was what he wanted.  I let them play in dirt and water and paint with pudding.  We made rocket ships out of cardboard and spent hours flying them around.  And I played with them on their terms, not mine, with real joy.

When Jameson got sick, the play stopped.  I was never home and when I was, we would snuggle and read a book and go to sleep because everyone was too tired.  For four months, Little Man not only lost his best friend and brother, but he lost me, too.  I was gone; even when I was home, I was a skeleton of a person, filled with fear over what what happening with J, guilt over not spending time with Little Man, sheer exhaustion from the overwhelming anxiety of it all and inability to sleep.  I was a mess.

When Jameson died, I think in some ways, it was a relief for Little Man, because at least Mom and Dad were home again.  But it was so different.  The grief.  The silence.  The dynamic had changed completely.  I feel like my playfulness died with Jameson and I didn't know how to "be" with just Little Man.  For months, he played alone while I sat on the couch and watched him, trying to just make it through the hours without crying, without shutting down, without completely falling apart.  I could fake it for a few minutes here and there, but it wasn't the same and we both knew it.

I was a crappy, crappy mom.   Poor Little Man went from having an awesome mom and the world's best brother, to being a lonely, only child with a shell of a mom.  I'm getting better, but it still isn't like it used to be.  I don't know how to play like we used to.  It seems foreign to me.  I don't even feel like I'm the same person and it sucks.  I wish I could just be that happy, awesome mom again.  But I'm not.  I love my son so much and I have such awful guilt over not being able to just get on the floor and play with him with ease and joy like I used to.  And this is hard and scary to write this out and share with you.

I'm working hard to be a good mom, but so often when we do play now, it is totally on my terms.  And I want him to look forward to playing with his mama.  So this weekend, I'm completely going outside of my comfort zone and doing something that I'm not looking forward to at all.  Something that I never saw myself doing.

I'm learning how to play Pokemon trading cards. And I'm praying for a joyful spirit, too. 

Baby steps... 

If any of you are seasoned Pokemon moms, please give me some hints here.  I'm totally confused so far. 

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