Friday, September 23, 2011

A Letter from Lydia


I’m sort of a head case right now. People keep asking me if I’m losing weight, which normally would make me super happy and want to wiggle my fanny for them a little bit. But today it just reminds me that I’ve forgotten to eat again. If you know me, you will understand the significance of that statement. I don’t forget to eat. That’s not me. Once my blood sugar bottoms out, it takes a day to get me right again and that day is not fun (thank you, PCOS).

Here’s the dealio: We close on a house next week. We start working on it three days later. We move one week after that. We’ve been saving for this house for ten years. It is so exciting and wonderful. But I feel like I’m climbing a mountain trying to get us there. To all the military mommies out there: HOW THE HELL DO YOU EVEN DO IT?

Not one box has been packed. Van loads of items have been purged and de-cluttered and space-bagged into bizarro plastic hoo-haws. But not one box is done yet. And today, Cap'n Coupon let me know that he will have to travel for work for ten of the next 14 days.

So I will be doing this all by myself with three kids. Which I shouldn't complain about. He'll be back in 2 weeks. He's not in Iraq.  But I'm still freaking out a little.

About the kids… They’re being wonderful about all the changes. Actually, let me amend that statement. They’re being wonderful at school. At home, they’re stressed and snappy and exhausted. And then sweet and snugly and wanting to pull up the drawbridge and have a quiet movie night with just us. Probably because I'm all those things, too. My mental state has such a profound effect on theirs. And at the moment I’m struggling to maintain composure and calmness when I want to rock in the corner and randomly screech out expletives.

But the real reason I’m a head case right now is only partially due to the move. The other reason is both the cause of some anguish and the source of whatever strength I have right now.

Two weeks ago, a little boy was killed by flash floods right near where we live in Virginia. He was 12 years old.  His mom is a blogger. She’s one of us. It could have been my family. It could have been my son. But it was hers.

[WARNING: Do not click that link unless you want to cry for hours and hours.]

I keep thinking of her. Of her unimaginable pain. Of her little girl having to go through the rest of her life without her big brother. Of her husband needing to be strong for his family, while mourning the loss of his only son. Of their grace in the face of this horrible tragedy.

I read her blog and her words are so kind. It is all so heartbreaking.

The story of her child’s life and his death has left me feeling haunted and broken.
I find myself crying in the car. I find myself telling my kids how lucky they are to have each other and please stop using hurtful words they will regret saying out loud. Why can’t they understand how lucky they are?

I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for every day that I have them here with me. I hold them tighter. I tell them I love them no matter what. I embarrass them by smooching them in front of their friends.

I find myself paralyzed by The Fear.

I am missing those that are gone so very much. I am thinking about them more and talking about them more. And I feel their presence in my life more as a result.

I’m filled with appreciation for my friends. Womens’ friendships can be so complicated. So very complicated. And yet right now, I’m just happy to have people in my life who understand me and forgive me for being such a douchebag sometimes. And whether they’re near or far or moving to Indonesia (Ellen, I’m looking at you) – they are the family that I chose. And they chose me back.

I’m praying again. After a long break filled with doubts and questions and justifications for why I was not living and parenting the way I should be. Well… Maybe I’m not praying as much as I’m begging for the strength to do a better job.

I feel a little better now.

I cry a lot and then I let the stress and fear subside as much as I can. Because I am the luckiest, most unworthy hooker on the planet. I have healthy children. I am able to care for them and provide for them. We have food and clean water. My husband is a good man and a great father, even if I occasionally have a little trouble remembering that. He has work when so many do not. For the first time in years, no one in our family has cancer or is fighting for their life. Good things are happening. We are weeks away from actually having a family home that is ours.

And I can always find things to laugh about. Inappropriate things. And I can share them with you anytime I want and feel part of an amazing community of like-minded women for whom I am so very, very grateful.

I take to heart the words of the Bloggess in her famous Beyonce the Metal Chicken post:

Perspective. Now you have it.”

The loss of that precious boy will never, ever be right. But in thinking of him all the time, I am keeping my Beyonce perspective. I am trying to see things clearly, to wake up every day and do better. And to get through our move and the next month with my sense of humor intact and without losing my schmidt.

To that effect, I’ll be taking the month of October off. I’ll still be checking in every day and have a few posts already scheduled so you don’t forget about me. Next week will be filled with cool stuff about our trip to Chicago and our shenanigans there.  But after that, I'll be MIA for a few weeks.

But Kate is in charge while I’m gone, y’all – so watch out.

Love you guys,


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. Lydia,

    I didn't think it was possible, but that letter made me like you even more. Not that it packs your boxes or dries your tears, but you've got warm thoughts coming your way from Missouri!


  2. Lydia you take the time you need...I think I speak for all of us in Mommyland when I say we will be thinking of you and wishing you the best. And don't you worry...we'll help Kate man the Mommyland fort. Thank you also for writing about the importance of expressing gratitude. XO--Rachael

  3. You (and Kate) are my hero(es). I found your blog right when I needed it, and whenever I have doubts about my mommy skills I see that one post that makes it better. Thank you for what you do and if you need boxes let me know. (The hubs works at a grocery store and we're close by :0) )

  4. We will miss you but you must do what's best for you and your family. Good luck with these transitions coming up (sometimes transitions, good or bad, can make us a bit more vulnerable and emotional) and enjoy your well-deserved break! :)

  5. The Fear. I get it too.

    Beautiful post. Hang in there. We moved this summer too and somehow, it all happened, eventually. Glass or 3 of wine at the end of the day helped me get through it!

  6. OMG - I am crying while reading this. I don't even want to go NEAR that other link.

    Take care, and good luck with the move. What kind of a**hole scheduled your husband to be gone at this most crucial point?

  7. Hang in there sweetie. The pain of losing a child is so foreign it's bound to strike fear into any mother's heart when the reality of it is brought home by such a terrible tragedy.
    And moving sucks. I already think about how we can convert our home to live in the downstairs only when we are old so we never have to do it.

  8. Good Luck Lydia...

    Thank you for the wonderful post.

  9. Oh boy, hang in there. Try to reject the guilt that comes with losing it when you feel like you have so much to be grateful for. And the guilt for losing it when your stuff isn’t as bad as someone else’s stuff. Because you have every reason to be losing it right now (ha, feel better now?)

  10. Lydia, you are so amazing and wonderful. Good luck with the move and we'll see you after Halloween. xxxxoooo

  11. I refuse to click on that link. I will losing my schmidt. That family has been through the unimaginable...

    Re: moving...we've moved 6 times since J was born and each time we had virtually nothing packed 48 hours before the move. I know everyone says to do it bit by bit, but I think that's impossible with little kids around. (J was fond of UNpacking boxes I'd just finished packing.) So my unsolicited advice is to do what little you can now and then beg Ellen, Kate, and all those besties you mentioned above to take your kids for 24-48 hours before your move and then pack! Pack like the wind! An all-nighter might be necessary but I know you survived on zero sleep. Woot! You can do it!!!

  12. Of course we will all miss you, but we know you will be back and you need to take care of you and your family! After all, what's Mommyland without Mommy running it?

    Biggest moving tips I can give you.. don't pack things according to where they live now, pack them according to where they will live in your new home... sometimes those things change. Also, make sure to pack an essentials bag for each person for the first few days. And unpack the kitchen and toilet paper first! lol

  13. Lydia,
    Good luck with your move! I've packed a whole house twice SOLO and with broken limbs. Not that that equals 3 kids but it was with 2 dogs while my hubs was away on business too!
    Don't stress over boxes. Whatever isn't breakable, throw in trash bags (just don't throw them away!!)

    We will miss you but look forward to you coming back with LOTS of amazing stories!

  14. From a family full of anxiety sufferers, we totally understand you. Even my 5 year old gets so sad when he hears stories like this and then does a quite cry and gets super cuddly for days. This is one of the reasons I have absolutely no way to get him out of our bed at night. We send our best wishes.

  15. BIG HUGS to you. And I will not say the words that people say to me that I hate so much ("oh, don't worry! You're a great mom!!") I think that is condescending and discounts my feelings as silly. I understand your fears and your feelings. Hang in there, and know that you must be doing something right.

  16. Rachelle SlingerlandSeptember 23, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    Thank you, Lydia.

  17. ELLEN LOVE YOU BACK!!!!!!! ALL THE WAY FROM INDONESIA WITH SOME BAD ASS COFFEE TO SHARE!!!!! We will still have some coffee chats . . . it will just be over skype! SMOOCHES!!!!!!!!!

  18. Have a glass of wine (like this and take a breath. I love reading this blog, it helps me even through my worst days. And, that is saying something! I hope your worst days are behind you.

  19. Oh honey, that story broke me. I would share with you the second story that broke me but I don't want to break you any further. Suffice to say, do not read my blog this week.

    I love you. You've got this.

    Also? Lucky hooker... excellent Halloween costume. Make it happen. (and being Julia Roberts is a cop out)

  20. We lost our 7 month old to SIDS 2 years ago. We have a 14 month old now and The Fear is our constant roommate who doesn't pay rent and leaves the toilet seat up. Even though I travel in some sad circles with people who have been through what I have, even I have to "Take a break" from the news or certain people in order to maintain what little sanity I have left. It's all about self preservation.
    Also- tip for the move (coming from a Navy wife)- start packing the kitchen! Every time we've moved its taken us 3x as long to get the kitchen packed.

  21. *lots of hugs* coming your way from Minnesota! I hear you on the moving, I recently did that by myself & it sucks. There's nothing wrong with taking time to spend with your kids in the evenings, especially if you've been downsizing crap &/or packing most of the day. You still need a break. And yeah, don't try to do it alone ... get those awesome friends of yours to either help pack or take the kids so you can do it uninterrupted. *more hugs* And don't worry about the blog, we'll still be here when you get back!

  22. We have moved cross-country four times in the past six years. If you need the ultimate packing to-do list, I've got it.

  23. Awe Lydia,
    How many times can I say that you are 17 kinds of awesome? Due to my fathers death, the birth of my son, and me without a job--- my house is being foreclosed on. I know about the fear. I kinda went all shades of crazy after my dads death. We bought a house together, and lived together so I could take care of him. (guess I didnt do such a good job) Sigh.

    Anyhow we have to move soon. I have been packing but, if "they" were to know stuff on the street. I've seen it happen to a person down the street. I dont want it to happen to us. I know I have some time but its the fear.

    Praying helped me in my darkest hours. God will see you through this. You will see.
    I am like the other reader. I wont touch the link. My prayers to her family but, my brain so fragile to add more to be sad about would put me into the funk. Even less would get done around here.

    Breathe, it will work it's self out.

  24. Lydia,

    As a military wife, I can tell you, I can move because the military pays for packers to pack me. I don't have to do anything to get ready if I don't wanna. But I do try to purge and clean, because otherwise I have to unpack junk I didn't want anymore and touch dirty things a lot.

    As for you, ma'am, you can do it because it has to be done. As a champion procrastinator, I can tell you for CERTAIN that you will succeed! You will get it done by doing one thing at a time. And you are allowed to ask for help from nearby people -- to help pack (it is HARD to pack your own things, because everything has surface meaning and deeper meaning and reminds you of other stuff you want to remember and other things you want to do or think you have to do, but it is actually EASY to pack other people's things) or to borrow your youngest one or two or even all three so you can have more productive time, or to listen. And maybe maybe maybe your kiddoes will see you doing things, and they will do things to help, too. And definitely definitely definitely it will all get done and you will actually be in your new home and unpacking and being a family in the place that is yours. And then in October you will have AWESOME Lydia stories about all of this to share with us.

    You are already succeeding! Really. See you soon!

  25. Seriously, I bet there are plenty of us that are local to you that would be happy to help. Even if you get some creepers that show up, at least they won't know where your NEW house will be! The packing part completely blows, so especially since you'll literally be down a man, reach out to those you know ( or those of us you don't " officially " know ) and the help will come in. Hang in there!

  26. Love you, Lyd & hang in there, gal. Life tends to take a giant dump on us sometimes and it sounds like you are smack dab in the middle of a giant shit pile. If you can, give yourself a time out, drink a box o'wine (or two) and watch "True Blood". xoxoox

  27. Whoops, I also forgot to add that I LOVE Beyonce the metal chicken. I wanna party with her!

  28. Lydia, I feel what you feel. I know this pain. Last week, we buried our 33 year old friend that had just died of cancer. CNACER! I have started a project to help people with this pain. It is called the Dear Robin Project. I don't have a website for it yet, but you can read about it on my blog at Please go there and then write me a letter. I am not a blogger like you, i just do it to make me feel better, so me asking you to go there is only to help you with your healing, it is in no way to promote my blog. You don't even have to publish this comment.

    I pray that you find peace soon. The wieght of grief is too much for one soul to bear.

  29. Okay, you're now my favorite person. I've been through five moves in 7 years of military spouseness, so I know how much it sucks and turns your brain inside-out. It's okay. That same grace you're extending to others? Send some your own way, my dear.

    We'll miss you, but do what you have to do and know that we're all here standing by your shoulder. Much love, grace, peace, comfort to you and to the families out there grieving unimaginable losses.

  30. We love you Lydia! Take care of yourself!

  31. Wasn't life so much easier when you didn't have kids and take every single parent/child's heartbreak personally. As a mom, you can just FEEL the pain the other parent feels and it is unbearable. This is what makes us good parents, but is also crippling. I feel your pain, mama.

  32. Dearest Lydia...I know the pain of the loss of a child - actually children - my twin boys were born still 3 years ago. It's a fucking awful faternity to belong to lemme tell ya. I have The Fear daily since getting pregnant with and safely delivering my little girl (I have a post on my blog called "What to do When Her Baby Dies..." It applies to big babies too...offers some dos and don'ts) and it can be paralyzing. Anywho, here's the thing that I told all my wonderful friends who endured the loss of Joshua and Owen with me...I love that you cry because I'm so hurt. I cherish the tear-filled hugs and whispered, "I'm so sorrys and I love yous." However, your life must go on and the best way - THE VERY BEST WAY - you can honor the loss of any child is to take care of yourself and your family. Be kind to each other, don't sweat the small stuff, say "I love you" lots and hug your little guys a little tighter each night before bed...

    My blog is

  33. Without having paid for the copyright to use this line I dare to say it anyway..."I love you man!" Lydia, may I suggest packing as many boxes as possible while the kids are unconscious. Sleep is for wimps (said in jest because I get none and it makes me feel like a Super Power when I'm craving it worse than sugar). Caffeine is my friend when moving time is here and my husband is off playing war games. HUGS to you Hun. Those special kiddo snuggles and hugs seem to make it all ok during these times for me.

  34. DO you need assistance packing this weekend? I had a trip planned to watch a football game and well those plans fell thru. As my better half (best half actually) said your place is only a few extra hours in the other direction & I figure you'll let me in if i bring a t-box for you and a nice case of something for the Cap'n.
    Let me know all meetings end at 3... would be there by midnight?

    Scotty D (George)

  35. I have moved across the country 7 times with 4 children this is what I have learned...
    #1 label, label and then label some more- you will never remember whats in that stupid box!
    #2 Give each child their own oversized packing box ( a wardrobe box works good) and let them pack their own bedroom, even the little one can help mom throw it in the box and they can onlykeep out their most favorite, must haves. You can packthe crap out that huge box and move it a dolly if necessary. Games, books on the bottom stuff animals on top.
    #3 Don't try to be super mother!! ASK FOR HELP!!!

  36. Well I did click on the link despite the warning and now my heart is breaking into a million billion pieces for her.
    I understand your fear for your children, I work in a hospital and so often no matter how old the child is...5-75 if the mom can be there she is. The fear never goes away...scary huh?
    I hope your move goes seamlessly and we'll see you when you get back!

  37. Oh Lydia, honey. I am right there with you these days. A dear friend of mine had her baby boy, only 2 months older than mine, killed by his father. I've been filled with so much pain and anger at her tragedy that some days I can hardly breathe. But then I remember that my baby boy is happy and healthy and his Daddy would never ever hurt him and that throws that whole perspective thing in there. I too seem to be praying a lot more, or really just begging. But I don't even know what for. So I don't have any wisdom or anything, just some sisterhood and love. Hang in there, Mama, we can do this. And of course, we'll miss you :)

  38. Lydia: WE have been there. My best friend's son died when I was pregnant with my first. IT's been 5 years and every milestone missed puts us right back to square 1 - this year it was Kindergarten. Our kids were supposed to be best friends too! It blows, and I'm sorry that you're going through this. No one is wired to accept burying a child - it's just not supposed to be that way. As for the move - We have moved 6 times in 7 years...all the packing happens AS OUR SCHMIDT is getting schlepped out of our house - we have given up on organization ... but we do purge and clean RIGHT BEFORE the big event so it's easier. More stuff than I like to admit has been packed in trash bags (tupperware being the most embarassing!!)

  39. Lydia, I wish I could share a glass of wine with you; you say all the things in my head out loud :) I hate packing more than anything in the world; it's probably why we've stayed in the same house so long, lol! We pretty much do "just-in-time" packing, so I think you're good.

    I did read Anna's blog, on another blogger's recommendation, and have been thinking of her and her family all week. Breaks my heart, because of course, it could happen to anyone. Including me. I shamelessly used the story to scare the schmidt out of my 13-year-old who thinks he's invincible. Yes, desperate attempt to mitigate my own Fear.

    Thanks for making me laugh and cry; we'll miss you in October but know you're doing what you need to, and will be back. We hope. You'd better be...

    Take it easy --

  40. I hear you, Lydia. You're amazing and wonderful, and you will get through this. In a mere decade, it might even be a funny story. *hugs*

    I have my own story about loss, and I'm almost sleep-deprived enough to post it, but this is really not the place. Loss and grief are terrible things that remind us of the value of each day and moment. It's a hell of a thing, but there it is.

  41. THE FEAR sucks. Take your time and we'll be here when you get back. Thanks for the reminder that life is precious and thanks for making us laugh...and occasionally spit coffee across the room while simultaneously peeing ourselves.

  42. Hang in there, Lydia. You are an awesome mom (Would a non-awesome mom worry so much? I don't think so!). And the packing will get done - it always does. It will suck - but it will get done.

    I think The Fear is always so much worse when there is all sorts of other stress going on. My Fear imagination has never been more vivid than during our several cross-country moves.

    I agree with the other people who reminded you to ask for help! That's what friends are for - and you know you'd help someone who needed it. So, don't be afraid to ask for a hand now that you need it. If I lived near you, I would totally come pack up your kitchen!!

  43. Big HUGS to you and your family, take care of yourself, we'll be right here when you get back!

  44. And still we rise.

    I don't even know you but I think about that quote often in my ridiculously busy life. And I hug my kids closer, and thank God for watching over our household and protecting us. Because that is the smartest, best thing I can do for my family.

    (And I can't click that link. My heart breaks for that mother, but I just can't.)

  45. Have a t-box and try to relax. Love you and have a safe move!

  46. Hi - I know how you feel about the tragedy - our friend's 3-year-old daughter died suddenly after being hit by a car just 2 weeks ago. It's so horrible, but they have a huge community of friends helping them out because they're such awesome people. We're using a site called - not you, but someone who's not moving w/3 kids & spouse away, could try to set it up. People are delivering meals, helping w/shopping, child care, etc. Hey, while you're at it set it up for yourself!! :-) Good luck

  47. Hi Lydia.... Thank you so much for your post. Once again, RFML has made me feel like somewhat of a normal mom! We are going thru our own crazy transitions here. We are renovating our kitchens and it seems as though we will be without a kitchen for, ummm, a while. Our fridge is in the garage next to the microwave. We have "upstairs house" and "downstairs house" because in our lovely split level 1950s house... The kitchen is our access to the down stairs. Our kitchen is currently a plastic wrapped figment of my imagination. Long story short.... Life is chaos to say the least. My daughter started kindergarten, my son is in Pre k, and I've chosen this perfect time to start a new job. So when you do curl up into a ball in the corner and start shouting random explicits, please know I'm probably in my own little corner doing the same. You aren't alone. Deep breath and hug your kids.

  48. Hugs from southeastern Virginia! Congrats on your new home and I know you will get it all done, one way or another. My heart hurts so much for the mother who lost her son that I'm crying without even going near her blog. I'm going home after work and hugging my kids a little tighter today, and trying to be a better mother everyday.

  49. First...{{{HUGZZZZ}}} I'm not going near the other blog while I'm at work. Someone will call while I'm in mid-blubber and I'll be completely incoherent. Not the professional rep I'm expected to be. Right now, I feel the FEAR creeping up on me.

    Moving...hate it. Hope I don't have to worry about it again for a very long time. I hate packing and it makes me cranky. Have a movie night with your young'uns...lots of popcorn...extra butter. You'll get through this and I'm sure you'll have a hilarious story to tell about it upon your return.

  50. 1. Don't apologize to us -- you do what you need to do and we'll be here when you're ready. We'll miss you in the meantime and we look forward to the new material.

    2. Take a deep breath and remember that everything is funny after the fact. Even if you're laughing while crying.

    3. Ask for help. Take the help. I so wish I lived closer so I could help but maybe it's good that I don't because I'd be all stalkerish without meaning to.

    4. I would love it if there were "like" buttons on the comments. I know. . . I know. . . way down on the priority list and that's okay. Your followers are almost as funny as you and Kate.

    5. Take the snuggle-fests with the kids. They're only willing for a short while. Besides, it's more fun than packing ;-)

  51. Ohhhhhh. Lots of tears.

    I clicked on the link. I have read Anna's blog before. She has commented on mine. I did not know this happened. I am so sad and heartbroken for her.

    Dear sweet Lydia, you just take your time. We will be here when you get back.

  52. We'll miss you, hooker. Stay strong, you can do it! Just know you have a alot of friends out here thinking about you. We know what you are going through and we know you'll make it through.

  53. Sending you a big hug, Lydia, because you're juggling way more emotional balls (yes, I said "balls") than one person should have to manage. Even though we'll miss you in October, you take as much time as you need. We'll try to be kind to Kate.

    BTW, I did click on that darned link and was very saddened by Jack's loss. What hit me hard was the post from early September showing him and his sister on their first day of school, WHICH WASN'T THAT LONG AGO! How quickly things change. Earlier this year, we said goodbye to a good buddy who died at the age of 10 from a rare adrenal disorder. He was diagnosed in fall of last year and passed away in the spring of this year. In between, there were a ton of tests, medical procedures, tears, hugs, potty jokes to cheer him up, and more tears.

    I think I'll hug my kids when they get home from school today. Love ya, Lydia.

  54. You can do it, I know you can, and here's why. I did it, with 2 boys (one of which was 6 months at the time, and still breastfeeding). I had 13 days, from the time I was told my apartment was falling apart to moving day in a brand new apartment, still in the same city, different suburb. I did it all, by myself, because my husband was gone everyday between 8am to 11pm, and guess who wanted to SLEEP when he was home. Pssh. Seriously, though, I did it, and that means so can you. Lots of Hugs!

  55. Take all of the time you need. We're not going anywhere. As for the woman who lost her son, if you are able, ask her how she is, if she needs anything, and let her talk to you about him. Four years ago my son became very, very sick. He was touch & go for nearly a year. Just as he got better, a friend's son suddenly became ill & passed away. I can't express how that changed my universe. What I have learned is that mothers need to talk. They need to remember, regardless of how painful. They need to be able to cry. As fellow mothers & women, we need to remember too. It is not only okay, but necessary to keep our children alive with our words, even when they are no longer longer with us. My friend still cries when she talks about her son, but she needs to talk about him & as her friend, I need to listen & remember him. Then I need to hug my own son & never let go.

  56. *Teary*
    The FEAR is why I take my Prozac religiously.
    I definitely wish you the best with the whole closing, packing, moving cluster. Looking forward to some hilarious posts on settling into your new home (after October, of course).

  57. There are no words. Just love and lots and lots of hugs.

  58. I'm from Pittsburgh, and we had flooding take four lives a few weeks ago. The stories of these people and their families are haunting. Particularly because the area that flooded is one most of our city community (and particularly moms with kids)use every day. I was at the intersection that flooded three times in July, taking my cats to the vet. Would I have tried to drive through that, because I hate when the cranky vet tech gets mad at me?

    Yes, perspective. We need to value our children each and every moment, and live our best lives by making good choices. Sometimes that means sucking it up. Sometimes that means playing it safe.

    Good luck to you in your move! Isn't that the third level of 'Inferno'?

  59. The move will happen. It may not be orderly and neat and there may be two or three days spent working 18 hour shifts at a time in a complete mode of panic. But it WILL happen. And then it will be done. And you can spend the next year (or until the next move) attempting to find stuff again.

    That's how we do it in the military.

    Perspective really is a scary thing. I still look at my children sometimes and wonder why do *I* have them, when I know of so many people who can't manage to get pregnant who would just so infinitely better than me at all of it. And yet, have them I do and love them I do, so do my best I must.


  60. I know *exactly* how you feel. I lost a sweet friend a few months ago. Her & her three daughters died in a flash flood. I have found myself trying to live every moment fully. Re-evaluating my life & where I'm at & am I fully giving my all to my little boy. Hugs to you & that little boy's family. As for the move- just start chucking shit in boxes! LOL. That seems to be my M.O. :)

  61. You. Are. Awesome. Seriously, I laugh and cry and think reading about your adventures in Mommyland. There is no greater loss for a mother than to bury a child, my prayers are with her and her wonderful family.
    As for you non-packing. Suck it fancy. Now pack a box. Just one. Then tomorrow pack two. Good Luck.

  62. The fear... terrible paralyzing daily fun. Never goes away just gets more irrational. RFML regularly makes me feel human, even after MAJOR parenting fails! So BOO for making me cry after midnight, but you made me laugh so many times that I'll give you this one. Love, laughter, and friendship... Angel

  63. K. This MAY seem creepy but I promise it's not. I live in Richmond, and I have family in Northern VA. Do you need some help packing/moving? If you're within an hour of me I am more than glad to come help out. My 17 month old son might try to Unpack some of the boxes, but I can bring enough cheerios to distract him. I mean it. Email me at I rent and we are saving for home too, And we've moved every year since 2006 so I get it (and have some mad packing skills).

  64. Hugs... we all get a little paralized by the fear sometimes... I remember the first time I got to hold my little monkey... all 2 lbs 15 oz of her and hardly being able to breathe... and even though she's about to turn 5 every once and a while I look at her and see that fragile little thing she was and I'm amazed that she's here and healthy... and then she looks up at me and says, "Mommy, let go! I wanna go play!"

  65. Oh Lydia. I'll miss you in October. But I get it...and The Fear lives in all Mother's hearts and minds. Take it a day at a time...a box at a time. YOU CAN DO IT. Now smile. :)

  66. Lydia, I admire you so much! I'm getting ready to move in a week (oops, 6 days), and this is the first time I've moved with a child (1 year old). I've been paralyzed on how to do this. Hardly anything is packed. I don't know how to do it AND take care of my son at the same time. With three kids? I couldn't imagine. But we'll do it. We moms always figure it out SOMEHOW.

  67. Lyds- We love you even more for being a NORMAL mommy (well... sorta normal, as are we least those of us who read and love ya'll qualify for the sorta bit) who might need a break sometimes, and I don't mena a mommy-timeout in the bathroom with the door locked and little fingers pressing their way under the door. And....I think I can speak from experience that everybody who has trials has doubts sometimes. Even when they have great faith in Him, The Fear is related to The Doubt. And... both are assuaged immensely by those prayers that are begging primarily for strength to overcome, both the doubt, the fear, the lack of time, the lack of energy, the lack of anything else. And when The Fear and Doubt are beaten back a little bit (as they repeatedly have to be) then a magical thing comes to fill their space. Like a vacuum being filled (or so I've heard... not actually sure where my vacuum is right now), our spirits cannot hold hope and fear at the same time. But, when we ask Him to help us take away the fear, His love, his Hope, which combined create the optimism that we need to function as parents everyday, refills us.

    And that's knowledge from a mommy who is often empty, whose own chronic illness creates the inability to get up some mornings, who has a stairclimber and a wheelchair and missed ballroom dancing....but who truly loves her life 95% of the time. The other bits, I leave to Him... and reading your guy's posts, which help fill me with laughter and the realization that EVERY mommy has days like these. Oh, and I think you should let the random chick come help you pack up. Because there's nothing like moving to make you lose your mind. And everything else, since it's in a box. I'd come too if you weren't an eight and a half hour drive. -Tamar (

  68. I love your blog, I love both of you. You are amazing, and you're going to be fine. No matter how it all turns out, it'll be FINE. Did I mention that I think you're wonderful? You have lots of hugs and happy thoughts coming at you from MA. (State abbreviation a total coincidence? Hmm...)

  69. I read the story in the paper, but I don't think I can bring myself to read the blog because of The Fear. It's bad enough as it is without subjecting myself to more reasons why I should smother my children.

    Good luck with the move. Tie a jar of peanut butter around your neck and eat a spoonful every so often.

  70. Love you, Lydia. Enjoy your much needed and deserved "break." Thanks for the reminder of what's truly important in this life. Looking forward to your return!

  71. Thank you for caring about our family. xo

  72. I am coming to RFML a little late. But ... I live in Virginia as well ... and it's in the same part of the Commonwealth. I remember those horrible floods and hearing about this accident. I remember hugging my then almost-5 year old tighter. I know THE FEAR. But I also know some of what his sister is going through ... I had an older brother who was my bestest friend all of our lives. He has 2 years, one month and 6 days older than me, but it was as if we were SUPPOSED to be twins. We just had that type of connection (and of being the halves of a while as weird as it may sound). I still can't completely think about losing him on 5 May 1999 when he was 32 years old. How his 6 1/2 year old daughter lost her Daddy, his 26 year old wife became a widow and how our parents lost THEIR only son. My mother went nuts for a while, my dad became stoic and I - 30 and in a failing abusive marriage - became the "rock" for everybody else. I like to think that because of that FIRST loss that I tried to hold family more dear. And like his mother, I had some weird presentiment about what was coming ... I had called literally EVERYBODY at the beginning of February that year to discuss what we all wanted done when it came time to make those decisions - "because SOMEONE needs to know". And the weird presentiment he had that made him tell me "I won't be able to take care of the arrangements when Mom and Dad die, but I will be there for you." See, 3 years, 1 week and 1 day after my brother died, our mom died as well. When I was sitting at her bedside in the hospital ER, holding her hand and watching the machines breathe for her his baby girl came in with her mommy to say goodbye to Grandma. My dad told her that "Grandma is with Daddy, now." And she just matter of factly replied "No, Daddy is right there (pointing to a spot exactly in between my dad and myself)" and it hit me THEN that he literally meant that wouldn't be able to take care of it because he wouldn't be there - but I felt him there with me nonetheless.

    I love the blog ... I really do. Thank you for reminding all of us that we are better than we think at this whole Mommy thing, that other people at least are as insane as we are and that other children come up with improbable names for stuffed animals.

    1. I just got chills. Thank you so much for writing this comment.




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