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When It’s Hard

This is something I’ve thought about writing down a million times. I usually stop myself because I’m not sure I can get through the details. You’re used to reading my posts that I try to make fun and relatable, but the reality of my life feels like it is anything but relatable.

I assume that the general consensus is that being a parent is hard work…”hard work.” When you watch your child sleep at night, it really is like looking at a piece of your soul right before your eyes. You imagine the life they will have, you make plans for school, you try to teach them to make friends, to be fair, to help them hone and develop the skills that will allow them to be the kind of individual who can positively impact the world and those around them. All the while you have a front row seat to their happiness, as well as to their hardships. Watching your child struggle physically, emotionally, mentally and otherwise can be a painful, and helpless feeling.

Before Robert was born we knew there was a chance he would have some medical issues. We could not know how severe they would be until he was born. The seedlings of fear and worry set in early.

This month he turned three. He is a phenomenal little boy. He is funny, clever, a great learner, and the best little companion (in addition to being wild and way too rough with his little brother). He has also had three major surgeries (as well as many minor), countless infections, hospital admissions, therapy, doctor’s visits, sick days and has never eaten a piece of chocolate cake. He had a feeding tube placed when he was a year old and continues to rely on it 100%.

It is really difficult.

There are many, however brief, moments where I feel as though I have clarity. I can say to myself, and believe that it is going to be OK. I can look around and feel blessed and gracious for the life we have. I can watch him play and not think about what his future holds. These are very precious to me. I hold on to them so dearly. I keep them in my pocket to grab on to whenever I forget. But sometimes I forget. And that’s okay.

For much of the past few years I’ve felt as though I’m treading water. I’m in the middle of the vast ocean. There are storms that come and go and all the while I’m desperately trying to keep my head above water. And I do. And its hard, but I do it. I do because I know that if I let myself slip, I don’t know that I have the strength to make my way back up to the surface. Some days I see a small island. I swim to it. I lay down and feel the extraordinary relief that comes with the realization of how exhausted I’ve been. It gives me hope, and I am revitalized to swim again.

I believe our lives are meant to try us. To bend, manipulate and work us into the best version of ourselves. This is an uncomfortable experience. If you were to ask me how my life has changed the most since having Robbie I would say this:

Before Robbie, I was looking at life through a telescope. I would constantly think about my (me, me, me) future. Get to A to get to B to get to C etc. Far reaching, but very narrow.

In loving, and caring for Robbie I’ve learned what it means to survive, emotionally and physically. I now feel like I can navigate life in the same way you would navigate a forest with a compass. I am aware of all directions, but I know that to continue heading North, I can only take a few steps at a time before I have to stop and reexamine. For me, this has proven to be a much more manageable, and hopeful path.

I think that if we let it, life can make us feel that everything is dire. I can’t believe that is how it is supposed to be. We are supposed to know happiness, to know joy, to laugh and to laugh often. The heavy burdens we bear may not disappear, may not become less important, but they can be lightened. And I believe they can be through a honest quest for joy.

So when you make it to your island, have a pina colada. There will be plenty of time to swim later.

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6 thoughts on “When It’s Hard”

  1. Beautifully written Kasey. Just beautiful. Having been through my own difficult set of trials, I can sort of relate to how you feel. Having said that, facing my own trials is nothing compared to how I would imagine it feels to watch any struggle that is related to yours/my child. We love you girl!

  2. Stunning. Thank you for a glimpse into your everyday. You are incredibly strong and I admire you more than you know. You are the momma he is supposed to have and are truly amazing. And if you every need a pina colada partner count me in (in 7 weeks).

  3. For one so young, you speak with such an old soul, and a heart of great strength. God was very wise in choosing you to be Robbie’s Mom. You are a remarkable woman and I feel quite blessed to know you. And I’ll happily buy you that Piña Colada, any day, any time!

  4. Yes. And yes.

    It’s supposed to be hard. And we’re supposed to laugh and find joy.

    You’re succeeding is such a beautiful and lovely way.

    I love you.

  5. Really tender account of motherhood. Life is hard. You bring joy to Robbie and all around you. Keep dancing with your Super Hero!

  6. My dearest Kasey Heavenly Father knew Robbie needed a mother like you. He needs your positive attitude, your unconditional love and your belief that he is the most wonderful and perfect little boy in the world. There will never be a time when you will be sorry he is yours and you are his. And while he is growing up in the happiest of situations, look at you. Your ability to express your feelings impacts many many people. You face your world with courage and joy. You are much loved!

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