Wednesday, May 5, 2010

30 days of Aaron Jr.

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This is Aaron Jr at a pet shop. This scene was making me laugh so hard.

Aaron has been taking it up on himself to get food when he is hungry. It is usually getting a yogurt or something out of the fridge, but this time, he wanted bread with butter and jam on it. The top two photos are the ones I took as soon as he made it... the bottom photo is after he tried to eat it and decided it was pretty yucky. WAY too much butter. I remember when I was about his age making a sandwich with even more butter than this... I, too, had to learn the hard way that there is such a thing as TOO much butter.

Here Aaron Jr is having his very first computer time... EVER. I have tried to keep him from discovering the fun he could have on the computer playing games on the PBS kids website, but his eyes have been opened and he loves it. He played A LOT that day... but luckily, since that first time he has not played it and he has not even asked to play it for about a week now. So... at least he is not addicted... YET.

Yet another example of Aaron being able to turn ANYTHING into a mustache. This is one of the stickers you pull off of a new DVD case to open it. :)

Aaron Jr feeding a worm to his toy dragon.

So... I have had a difficult month. I won't go into the reason(s) why it has been difficult... but I got pretty down in the dumps. A few weeks ago, I was as low as I think I have ever been besides when I lost Aaron. I won't go into all of the sorrowful details about why I was low or what my emotions were doing at that time... but I will say that I was down for the count.

Anyhow, during that time, Aaron Jr was as patient as he has ever been with me. I was not being the mom that I want to be and that was only adding to the heartache I was experiencing and I was feeling guilty on top of everything else. A couple of times within a couple of days, Aaron Jr begged me to go outside and dig for worms with him. I kept putting him off and telling him we would do that the next day, but then I wouldn't feel up to doing anything. So, he would ask if we could do it the next day.

Finally one night, I was sitting with my son and I watched him as he watched TV. I felt so guilty. I realized right then and there that I needed to snap out of the sadness I was allowing myself to feel. So, I decided to take my own advice from my posting titled: What Has Helped Me Through The Grief & Sorrow. The part in that posting where it says to LIVE FOR YOUR CHILDREN; LET THEM CHEER YOU... I decided to take my own advice and, at that time, if I was not wanting to live for myself, then I for sure needed to live for my son. So, I decided that night that I was going to dig for worms with Aaron Jr the next day. Not only that, I was going to set a goal to do something every day for 30 days that would make Aaron Jr feel special and that would let him know that he is important to me. Something together just the two of us that would show him that I love to spend time with him. I decided to call it: '30 days of Aaron Jr.' And not that I would stop at 30 days, but I needed to set a goal and then once it was done... it would just be the way it was and it would continue after that.

So, that next day came and it took every ounce of my determination to leave the house and take Aaron Jr out to the garden to dig with him. So, we gathered his little toy shovels and his beach pail and we started digging. We found worm after worm after worm. And let me tell you, you have never seen a child so excited OVER and OVER and OVER no matter how many worms we found. Each one might as well have been the first one we were finding. We spent a couple of hours out there in that dirt and I have to admit... I had a blast with him. I always have a blast with him... but this was at a time when I hadn't been feeling much joy. So... my plan was working... focusing my time and energy on Aaron Jr instead of my own heartaches... I was feeling joy... and I knew it would only get better from there if I stuck to my plan.

Aaron had been asking if he could plant some flowers... so I decided to make it one of our '30 days' experiences. We went to the store and bought all of the supplies, then we came home and we painted the pots. He always has so much fun when he is exploring and creating.

Then we put soil in the pots and we planted the seeds.
Shhh... don't tell, but the two smaller ones are for both of Aaron Jr's grandma's for Mothers Day.
The large pot is for Aaron Jr. He can't wait for the flowers to start growing. If only Spring would finally come, it might get warm enough to let anything grow. :)

I have to admit, since starting this '30 days of Aaron Jr' plan, there have been days where things have been busy, so our time together is spent in the car talking while we are running errands or coloring together or whatever... but ever since trying to put my focus on him instead of myself... I have been happier. The circumstances that brought me to a low place have not changed... my own personal life and trials are still the same, BUT... they don't matter right now. What matters to me right now is making sure I don't miss out on this precious time I have with my son. What matters to me right now is making sure he has a Mama who is happy and who lives life smiling and laughing... a Mom who is strong and doesn't allow bumps in the road to keep her down. HE is what matters right now. And let me just say... I am not only smiling and laughing to try to convince myself and others that I am okay anymore... I am actually feeling okay as well. The joy is not just a mask I am wearing anymore... the joy is coming from within again.

This is something I have had to do a lot throughout my life, even very recently... and it is a promise the Lord makes to us all:

'cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee...'
~ Psalms 55:22

He is waiting for us to 'come unto Him'. He is ready to take our burden, sorrow, grief, pain, sin, heartache, etc from us. Why is it so difficult to give up those things to Him? Why do we suffer longer than necessary by holding on to those things as though they are too precious to give up? I know I do that sometimes. But those things only hold us back. They are all things that we experience, and by experiencing them, we grow... but once we experience them... we need to not allow them to fester and conquer us. We need to conquer those things and it is the Lord who helps us conquer those things. I am so grateful for the Savior. He truly is my strength.

This totally works, I am living proof:

'Pray always, that you may come off conqueror...'
~ Doctrine and Covenants 10:5

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Valeri said...

So beautifully written. Thanks for the challenge. I think every mother feels to a degree as though she doesn't spend enough time with her children. I love that putting your focus on Aaron Jr. has made you happier. You are truly inspiring, Leslie.

Karey said...

These pictures of him are so cute. He looks so happy. Seeing your children happy is definitely a good reason to be happy yourself. Love you and Aaron Jr.

Mindy said...

You were definitely inspired... you found the perfect way to make your life and Aaron Jr.'s life happier... and you're inspiring others while you're at it! I am always in shock at how fast Aaron Jr. is growing up. What a handsome boy!

Kristi said...

I am glad that you took those first steps to pull yourself from the despair. I am glad to hear that you are doing better and moving forward.
Aaron is so fun. Bring him up soon!

Haley said...

Thank you for your testimony and example!

Brandi said...

I am so sorry you had a bad month. It is the Utah weather :) It makes me sad too! Hang in there you have so many cheerleaders reading--and I am sure anyone of us would do anything for you. Hang in there girl.

Jane said...

Keep happy my friend.



Brandy said...

You know that I wouldn't even try to imagine your sorrow each day, but you always amaze me. You certainly have much more happiness to give than any child could ever tire of. 30 days of Aaron is a wonderful idea and I'm so grateful that he makes you smile. Keep posting your activities, as I may steal them to entertain my own bundle of energy!

Scott and Andrea said...

I was having a hard night and I thought I should check Leslie's blog, because it always makes me feel better. It worked again. Thanks for bearing your testimony in so many ways.