Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Dreaded Phone Call

Yep as a mother of three rambunctious, entergetic, athletic, T-E-S-T-O-S-T-E-R-O-N-E filled boys, I am quite perplexed that the dreaded phone calls are not a weekly occurrence in my household. If someone were to walk by our house at any given moment it would sound like a WWE arena. In all honesty I may have encouraged the boys to duke it out on their own a time or two! I know......look at them they look so loving, and sweet.......never judge a book by its cover is all I am going to say.

Anyway back to the topic......moms of school age children you know we have all gotten one of those calls from the school principal or VP and the minute you hear "Hello Mrs.                       this is                        the principal from                        elementary." Immediately I mean the split second I hear hello the first thing I say is "great what did my kids do now?" Yep I don't think they are hurt or in trouble or sick, I think wait till their father gets home. WELL my phone call last week was NOT one of those calls. My husband and I were on our way to a canyon to do a teambuilding hike with his work team and we are about 5 minutes away from the canyon when my phone rings. Now mind you I never answer my phone, NEVER answer my phone when it comes in as unknown. Nor have I ever gotten a call from a school that came is as unknown. So it rings once and I look at it 'UNKNOWN' it rings again and I go to hit the ignore button and then.......I get a gut wrenching tug and something is telling me to answer it.
I answer the phone "Hello" and immediately feel sick to my stomach. This was not a normal call and the minute she tells me she is the school nurse I know something is wrong. This is what I heard from the other end of the phone. "Hello this is                         the nurse from              hurt.........911............ambulance..........emergency soon can you be here?" CLICK
I am sure there was more to the conversation but that's what my mind processed and all I was thinking about was how soon can I get to my baby? Mind you we are on the very opposite end of the city a good 45 minutes away and with traffic it felt more like 3 days away. That's a dreaded phone call no parent ever wants to receive. As a firm believer my first instinct was to pray and to ask for prayer. I love FB and the power of reaching people who you know will drop to their knees and begin praying for you. It was the longest drive across town EEVVEEEEERRRRRRRRRRR! Nobody was driving the speed limit, it felt like we were the only drivers in the world who were trying to get anywhere and we hit every stinkin damn RED LIGHT!! My nerves are shot I am a nervous wreck and I want to just jump out of the moving vehicle and RUN like Forest Gump to get to my child. Then I begin to get text and Facebook messages saying that prayers are going out. A wonderful sense of calm started coming over me. Being faced with the unknown concerning a loved one is the worst.
Then in the drivers seat is my calm, cool, collected husband. We are such opposites its not funny. Here I am thinking the worst and here he is thinking its probably a little scrape and they are making it out to be way worse than it really is. He can see my state of complete and utter desperation so he immediately goes into distraction mode. He begins asking me to dial this number, write this text, send this message. It was just the distraction I needed and he was killing two birds with one stone. Regardless that he was working at that moment it was what I needed right then and there to stay from jumping off the deep end. Even with the slight distraction I am still waiting on the school to call and tell me if and where they are going to take my son. I am in full mommy mode and being faced with the unknown my mind was racing a million miles a minute. Tons of crazy, insane, unimaginable things go through your mind. Not a fun feeling for sure and I felt so helpless.
So in all of this craziness and chaos I learned something.......I by the way am a firm believer that everything in life is a teachable moment and in those teachable moments we should be able to learn something, whether we choose to learn or not is up to us. So what did I learn? Well I already knew that Mason had a big heart, but what I learned from that 11 year old boy with a big heart is that I too should have a big heart in times when I want to put my own personal needs, wants, and desires ahead of everyone elses.  
We reach Mason at the school before they could get him in the ambulance. As we sprint into the school we immediately see our big little boy in a wheel chair, his head wrapped up covered in blood, bloodied shirt, shorts, and spatters of blood from head to toe, and the first thing Mason says is "I didn't want you to see me all covered in blood mom!"
A tear starts to roll down my cheek, here is our 130 pound 11 year old middle born child who just went through a very traumatic and painful event (but he can't remember any of it) and who is very uncomfortable and he says "I didn't want you to see me covered in blood mom." WTHECK moment. Another tear slides so slowly down my cheek.....he is more concerned with how I am going to react and be able to handle his situation than he is about himself who is actually in the situation.
SIDE NOTE: I have a little back story here, and those of you who know me know where I am about to go. I don't do well with blood especially when it is a loved one. I have passed out once in a dental clinic while the dentist was showing me something in one of my children's mouths and once in a post operating room while one of my children were coming out of surgery. That one still is a joke and often a dinner conversation as it produced a CODE BLUE in the clinic. A situation that started with Luke in the recovery bed and Clark and I sitting next to him turned into Luke in a recovery bed, Clark in the middle and I in a recovery bed on his left.
So here is my son more concerned about my well being than his own. How many times on a daily basis do we put our own wellbeing, needs, desires, and wants in front of others' that might need it more? I'm not talking about the occasional 'ME TIME' that's a whole different blog in and of itself. I'm talking about being in situations where we "think" our needs are more important than someone elses who might really desperately 'NEED' us to put their needs first. Not going to lie God was right there with Mason and I calming us both. I was able to keep calm and from going totally psychotic in the moment of seeing my son in the state that he was in, and Mason was able to remain calm, cool, and collected in his event because he was thinking about my needs.
Oh but that's not it. In my absolute chaotic, nerve wracked state I forgot about my youngest child who was going to be getting out of school in a few hours, getting off the bus and going to a locked house without his older brother there to let him in. So as we were getting checked into the hospital Mason asks me in a panicked voice "what about Luke, I'm not going to be on the bus with him, he's not going to know where I am, he's going to be locked out of the house all alone and scared." Ugh I sink down in the chair on the verge of tears in my messy emotional state and have.............
Nothing like a little punch of humility to go with your basket case emotional self. Here is my child who only has 11 years of life experience behind him thinking about someone else's well being instead of what he is going to endure in a few minutes. The touching the poking the prading the testing the shots the stitches.......nope he's not thinking about that he's thinking about his little brother and how scared he will be alone not knowing where the rest of his family is. WHAT THE did I not stop to think about Luke? Yep I won't be winning 'MOTHER OF THE YEAR' any time soon.
Thankful for a very wonderful, loving, caring neighbor who was already on top of Luke's well being. She had already reached out to me to let me know that Luke would be taken care of. The school was called, Luke's teacher was notified and he was in wonderful hands. Ugh being a mom is no walk in the park, being a mom who can't handle blood down right stinks, but being a mom who can be humbled in situations of the unknown is remarkable. You never know when you will be thrown into unpredictable situations, but it is the support and the people that have your back that are going to get you through it. I thank each and everyone of you for the prayers, concern, encouragement, calls, texts, emails, messages, hugs, offers to help, and the ones that wouldn't take "no we are fine for an answer." We are beyond blessed for all of your generosity. Thank you to the staff of                     Elementary that took care of Mason and all the kids in his class who made cards, called to check on him, and left encouraging messages. We are truly humbled from this experience.

This kid is a beast and has a heart of gold. I wouldn't have been so cool in his situation.
  He was such a strong kid and was such a trooper through the whole event. I am amazed that he is MY child. Treatment for a concussion, 8 stitches, some tests, and 5 hours later we are on our way home.
He still has a smile on his face! Man I love this cat!
Side note and another tangent: My fear of blood is a real thing. I researched it to find out in case I needed to start wearing a life alert bracelet for it! :) It is called Hemophobia which is the extreme and irrational fear of blood. Severe cases of this fear can cause physical reactions that are uncommon in most other fears, specifically vasovagal syncope (fainting).
For kicks ask my kids about it one day, it is quite comical after the fact.
Just another day in the crazy lives of the Gilleo five, but I was none the less a very humbled person at the end of the day. I LOVE my family and as a mother it's not a good feeling to feel so helpless. Thank you God for comfort, healing, and the lessons learned today.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Three Little Words That Can Pack a Punch

Sure the words I LOVE YOU are three little words that roll right off the tongue , but what do they truly mean when they are said over and over and OOOOVVVEEERRR? Do they loose their value? Do they become part of your everyday ritual that they loose their meaning? When those words come out of your mouth do they seem like the are necessary just like the breath that you took to say them? Are they as easily spoken as ordering your daily coffee.......a grande Americano chai hazelnut caramel macchiato, half-caf, half decaf, one equal, one raw sugar, 2 Sweet'N'Low, skinny organic soy breve with no foam, hot a little hotter than normal, extra whip, and leave room on the top so I can add my own extras!!!! I think the three simple words I LOVE YOU become so simply brainless words that they just come out without thought.

Until you have kids and they begin to say those three little words to you.......I WUV YOU!! Oh man that pulls on a mommy's heartstrings like no other. But then as they get older they say it more often and more often and MMMMOORRREEE OFTEN. You can't help but think your child has become an amazing ventriloquist as those words come out of their mouth with little to no effort. Then they learn to use those words to their advantage when they 'WANT SOMETHING'! Then you begin to wonder if they know the true meaning of those three little but oh so powerful words, or do they just say it out of habit and out of routine and out of hearing everyone else say it? We have to instill a meaning to go along with those words.....we can't let them become habitual like changing our underwear (unless your a teenager then it becomes more of a quarterly event), or like making our bed, or like becoming a necessity like sleeping, eating or learning. Then one day out of the blue your child comes and pops up on your lap, throws their arms around you, pecks you on the check and deeply, and meaningfully spews out I LOVE YOU!!! Talk about tug on the heart.....or one day you will be having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day you know the kind of day where if anything could go wrong it does, and you are desperately trying to hide it from your children but they know. You go in your room and crawl in the closet behind all those clothes that you keep holding onto that you know you will NEVER EVER be able to fit into and start to sob uncontrollably not because the clothes won't or don't fit but because it's one of those days, and okay the whole clothes situation isn't helping, so you start to sob harder. You forgot to take tissue with you into hiding so you have to make a life or death decision to either wipe your nose on the shirt you have had since high school that clearly doesn't fit three kids and a marriage later but you can't get rid of because at one time it made your boobs look really really good, or you have to come out of hiding to get some tissue. Okay you decide its best to not use the shirt that will never get used again and come to your senses and remove yourself from your little tantrum corner and that's when you notice the little letter laying on your pillow. You see the words I LOVE written over and over and over again on these little heart shaped pieces of paper and all of a sudden you realize you cannot possibly be having a down in the dumps day. My children have all gotten into the habit (UGH there I go again making it a habit, when it should never ever be a habit) of saying those three little but oh so powerful words "I LOVE YOU" several times in a row just to make sure in case we missed the last thousand times they said it. These three little but oh so powerful words cannot be taken or said lightly.

A couple of weeks ago my husband went on a week long TDY (Temporary Duty Assignment) to California, I know that sounds rough huh, yeah let's not feel sorry for him. Anyway he has been gone on several TDY's over the past few years and more times than not I welcome the little break. I kind of get a little vacation myself well minus the mom/dad duties that follow me 24/7. I tend to slack on my duties as a mother and on keeping myself presentable. I often make the kids tend to their own meals, hey in all fairness they are 15, almost 12 and almost cereal for 15 meals straight didn't seem to bother any of us. The vacuum and broom also had a little R&R, if I don't feel like getting dressed I won't and I save a weeks worth of makeup by not putting any on. During this time of separation I go back to the saying of "absence makes the heart grow fonder." I like the way the Roman poet Sextus Propertius says it "Always toward absent lovers loves tide stronger flows." This can't be any truer for our little spats of time away. I also think that it has helped us grow in our love for each other and to not take each other and the time we have together for granted. Every time my husband leaves on his TDY's and comes home, it seems like we have been apart for months. Okay it doesn't help that I am a single parent of a teenager, a tween and a 7 year old who acts like a teen during those TDY's. That could quite possibly be the reason for the length of time to feel like an eternity. Upon my husbands return we have lots of alone time, deep conversations, and we pass those three simple but powerful words I LOVE YOU back and forth like we are children and each of us has to say it last.
This time one of our conversations really struck my heartstrings and left me speechless.

The words "I love you" what do they really mean? Sure I love me a big steak and potato dinner, I love coffee, okay that's more of a need and an item of protection for my family than a love. I love the beach, and sunsets, and wine, okay another need for my families protection. I love my man in his uniform (blues really get me going), I love the smell of a freshly bathed baby, roses and chocolate. But what do we really mean when we utter those three little but oh so powerful words? I.....LOVE.....YOU....
 For some of us we long deep down inside to be able to say those words or to have those word said to us, but yet we can so easily take them for granted.
 I know I am guilty......oh so guilty from time to time. My husband on the other hand is a man who lives by these three little words and often times I just say it back because he said it to me, or I will say it because if I don't he's not going to know that I love him right? But it's the meaning behind those three little words that makes all the difference in the world. I......LOVE.....YOU

So this thought brings me back to the conversation my husband and I were having upon his return. As we were looking into each others eyes in the moment of being back together he says those three little but oh so powerful words....."I LOVE YOU." I look at him in a state of wonder and ask him "why do you tell me you love me so much?" Without taking a breath or blinking his eyes he took my face in his hands and says "because if something were to happen to you or me right now I would want the last words you heard from me to be I LOVE YOU!"
He wants the last thought, the last picture, the last words to me to be quite simply how much he loves me, but not only how much he loves me, how much I am loved. In the end he wants me to be surrounded by his love, the love of my kids, the love of my friends and family....LOVE period.
BIRDS CHIRPING...................................................................................................................................
I know I am still speechless.......How could I have missed this importance to him for all these years? How can I so simply respond to his words of love by quickly saying them in return? How could I so simply say those words he holds so close to his heart so nonchalantly like I am saying hello to the mailman? How in the world can I be burdened by hearing those three powerful but little words for the umpteenth time when all he is thinking about is having those be the last words I hear out of his mouth?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Marriage Sucks!

Now before you all start tweeting, texting, emailing, instagramming the latest gossip of a marriage in trouble please let me explain the title of this blog. I think it is so easy for people to glamorize their marriages, I know I am guilty of posting romantic pictures of my husband and I in some far off place holding each other tight locked in a passionate kiss, or posting sentimental here say of how much we are in love or showing the world the flowers HE surprised me with just because. So yes, I am guilty of shouting on the mountain top I am in love, BUT yes there is a but.....all that doesn't come without daily work, effort, struggles, ups, downs, sometimes more downs than ups, "I'm sorry" yes lots and lots of sorry's. There are many days that I feel marriage is overrated, I wonder how the Jones' keep it all together....oh wait the grass is not always greener on the other side. The Jones's yes you know that family we all so want to keep up with and they seem to have everything so perfectly perfect in every sense of the word, and I wonder how they do it. Then I realize there is no PERFECT marriage in the sense that they have all of their ducks in a row and none of them ever stray from that damn row.


We can all go back to the day it all began and we met our significant other, our soul mate, the love of our lives and it reminds us of the way we felt when we were in each others presence. The way we looked at each other with such passion, love and desire. The way we touched each other and how it made our hearts skip a beat, the way it made us feel when little love notes where placed all over in surprise locations just to remind us how much we are loved. The days of holding hands, wanting to cuddle, needing to be touched and desires of wanting to be in their arms forever. All those things came so naturally and were a part of our every day functioning. Then we got comfortable with one another I mean really really comfortable. So comfortable the things we feared doing in front of the other just started happening because we were so comfortable. Things like belching, using the bathroom with the door wide open, cleaning out our noses without trying to hide it, scratching privates, you know our true human nature started to shine brightly with golden halo rings around it. Not that that is a bad thing, it's good to be comfortable with the one we love, but somehow being comfortable took away from some of the romance, and we are left to wonder when did things stray south?

It begins to seem like we are treading water and trying so hard to bring that initial feeling of love back that we are missing the new love that has been created. So he doesn't make my heart pitter patter in the mornings, well he does but not it the sense of pitter patter bat the eyelashes. It's more the feeling of beating out of your chest because he's such a happy chipper let's get this day started morning person and I'm NOT!! Or when he tells me I am beautiful for the 7 millionth time it begins to feel like a broken record player, and I roll my eyes because after all he married me and he is obligated to tell me I am beautiful right......wrong! When I scratch his head, or rub his shoulders, or place a kiss on his neck it doesn't take him back to the feelings he had for me twenty years ago, it takes him to the feelings of love he has for me now. Why are we constantly seeking the love that we had when we first met? We are not the same people we were ten, fifteen or twenty years ago why should our love be the same? We so want to put on blinders to the way we are loved, loving, and wanting to love that we are missing the wonderful love that is blooming and growing right in front of us. Why are we not seeing it? Life that's why.

Then we decide we are not complete until we throw some kids into the mixture and if you really want to test your marriage this is the perfect way to do it. Nothing is ever the same after little Johnny comes along and it's no longer just you and him it's now we three then us four and if you haven't learned after becoming a party of five then you just keep going. Don't get me wrong I love my kids to death and I am so grateful for the blessing of them because more than anything in the world I wanted to be a wife and mommy. But yes......another BUT there is no lying about the change of dynamics children will place on your marriage. Date nights what are those, quite long amounts of bedroom time just the two of you.....ummm sure if your sleeping. You begin to always think little eyeballs are staring at you from under the door. Then when they begin to talk they will knock okay bang on the closed locked door and yell "I know what you guys are doing in there" and if that isn't a mood killer. Then they reach the age where they really do know what you are doing in there but yet they don't knock or announce their presence AND you forgot to lock the door and well yep alone time FAIL. You begin to see that life no longer is revolving around marriage but around being parents. We start to drift and it takes a moment in time to wake us up and draw us closer so we are not just running through the motions. After all it was your love that created the kids in the first place. Once again a new love is being formed and you no longer see him as that sexy single stud you did twenty years ago. You begin to grow a new love for the man as you watch him interact with your kids, your heart fills with joy when you see him on the basketball court as he teaches his boy for the first time how to dribble a basketball, or at the park teaching him to ride a bike or out back throwing a football or in the bedroom teaching him how to be a man and how to throw a punch in case one day he needs to protect himself. At this moment in time the man of your dreams has suddenly become the hottest man on the planet. See that love that you felt all those years ago has not gone anywhere, it's just changed its a different kind of love you just have to notice it. It's when we begin to convince ourselves that that love is gone that marriage sucks. Marriage isn't easy and it seems like the days of our young love are gone and that this is what we get for the rest of our lives, but it doesn't have to be like that. We just need to open our eyes to the new love that is forming, growing, and changing to see that our hearts have always been full of love just a different kind of love. Marriage sucks in the sense that it's not perfect, and it is a work in progress, and it takes daily effort from both of us. Let's think about it for a minute.....there are approximately 7 billion people in the world and the two of us, the two of you, the two of them found each other.......


There are days that yes marriage just stinks, just like being a parent sticks and you have convinced yourself you don't know what you are doing, being a grown up stinks, and we continue to ask where is never never land, being an employee stinks doing hard labor for little pay, being a boss stinks having to dictate who does the hard work for little pay, but it's what you do with that day that makes every other day of being married, a parent, grown up, employee, boss all so worth it.

Marriage is a two way street.....not my way or his way it's OUR way. When he comes home after a long day at work and sweeps me in his arms and kisses me and tells me I'm beautiful even though it looks like I have not seen a shower in days, I smell like the skunk met his match with the sewer, and I am in mommy yoga pants that have gone out of style years ago.....the man I met and fell in love with twenty years ago hasn't left the building and thinks I am beautiful even at my homeliest how is that not the best marriage eveR?