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It Helps.

Scarlet has this stuffed polar bear. Actually, I have this stuffed polar bear that I got as a gift back in my dating days. Scarlet has adopted him as her own and who am I to get in between their strong friendship? He is gigantic and yet he has found himself along for the ride for many errands with us. She even named him something spectacular – Fruskia. Just..Fruskia. I have no idea where that name came from. I know we once told her that one of her stuffed dogs was a husky and I believe Fruskia is a play on words from the husky origin. It’s spectacular, though. And Fruskia is quite amazing too.

On one of the hardest nights of the NICU – either the one when I came home empty-handed after spending all day planning for Desmond’s homecoming..or maybe the one in which the doctors thought he had high blood pressure. On one of those hardest nights, I lay on the couch, completely spent and done. And I just held Fruskia. Just held him tightly. It felt soooo good. I couldn’t remember the last time I held a stuffed animal tightly against my heart, but I imagine it’s been awhile.

As I held Fruskia, Cassidy streamed a live webcast of a Phish show. Now I’m not an original Phish fan, but I’ve grown to love them based on experience and exposure. I probably know all of their songs by now. As I held Fruskia on that hard night, Cassidy streamed Phish in. The sound of the music made me feel like everything was ok. If things were horrible, we wouldn’t be listening to Phish. It did bring me to a brighter past in which we didn’t even have kids on the brain, much less on hospital monitors…to worry about. And I wouldn’t give up my present for ANYTHING, but gosh, the past is sweet to revisit. Once on our cross country trip, we hit a freak blizzard type weather event as we traveled through the Rockies. Cassidy calmly gripped the wheel and played the Dead. We arrived safely on the other side of the Rockies – in some sunny and warm valley somewhere in the West. I realized that day that the Dead’s music has healing powers. I realized recently that Phish does too.

As you know from my previous blog post, my grandfather died this week. And I have a sinus infection. I’ve been a bit foggy and not just a little bit down. My mom had to go to Florida alone to be with my grandmother and have a small, special funeral for my grandfather. It was frustrating to think that we all weren’t there, but it was done in the way it should have been done. To cheer my mom up, I sent her funny iPhone pictures for days.

The second picture was courtesy of Scarlet wanting to dress up her brother while my back was turned.

The second picture was sent to my mom last night. Within seconds of sending it she told me she had been crying in the airport and my picture made her crack up. My initial reaction was to only focus on the first part of her statement – her crying alone in an airport. Extremely uncool and the stuff of nightmares for a daughter. Then I decided to focus on the second part of her statement. She cracked up! I made her crack up! Or rather, Scarlet and Des made her crack up.

And that’s just the way it is with these little ones – they’re the glue that holds us together during our horrid adult times.

Today’s adventures were so delicious I had to call my mom to tell her. There was when Scarlet wanted to go to her favorite little cafe and even though it was only like 4:00 pm on a Friday and they were totally open, I told her they were closed. I had a sleeping and soon-to-be-hungry baby! I wanted a cold drink I didn’t have to pay for. I had work to do! So I lied. And she quipped back: “Mama, I see someone in there. They’re not closed.” That line used to work!!!! Kids are too smart these days.

Before that incident, I had taken both kids to my postpartum doctor’s appointment..which isn’t exactly a fun time. Scarlet enthralled the waiting room by shouting about if I was going to take my clothes off in the doctor’s office. Des enthralled the doctor by screaming his head off during my exam, and he never screams his head off. Then when we were leaving, Scarlet told the two receptionists, in detail, about the birthday cake her Aunt Lindsay is going to make her on Monday. And as we walked out, she waved like a queen and yelled very loudly to a very crowded waiting room: “Bye! Bye! Bye, everyone! Bye. Bye! Bye. Bye! Happy Birthday! Love. Love you. Bye! Bye.”

And they all looked up in amusement or confusion or annoyance or delight and one by one they all shouted out, “Bye!” to the nearly three-year-old girl with the fuschia sundress and the red shoes over one blue sock and one neon orange sock. Oh, and there was a sticker and a piece of cookie in her hair.

That’s my girl. It’s the little things that help. And the big things.

It’s the Fruskias of the world. The healing music. The goofiness. The rainbow and chocolate birthday cake. The socks.

The children.

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