A bit about motherhood

I told Charlie I'd post a photo of my every day on my blog and am afraid I haven't done that due to technology/internet-access issues (some of the hotels we're at have only one computer with internet for everyone). Here I am standing beneath the Lion Gate in Mykines, which we visited on Saturday, March 13th.

Me standing beneath the Lion Gate in Mykines

I've been reading Vicki Forman's This Lovely Life: A Memoir of Premature Motherhood. I started reading the book on the plane ride from New York to Athens and it's hard to know where to start writing about such a beautiful, sad, affirming, loving book. Vicki writes so clearly and so gracefully about Evan and Ellie, who were born weighing just a pound at 23 weeks' gestation. What to say about Ellie dying at 4 days old? About the long hospital stay and the five surgeries for Evan, a child with multiple disabilities, before he came home? About Evan passing on, on July 24, 2008. 

I need to finish This Lovely Life before saying much more. Except this: Motherhood—and how much more, mothering a child with many, many challenges—certainly takes us all on roads we never could have imagined, much less thought we'd be walking on. It requires courage and fortitude. It often comes with tears. It often feels like the days are harder and triumphs so very few, and it's not like we have arms like this shield, adorned with the head of Medusa, and once carried by a hoplite soldier:

Shield in the museum at ancient Olympia, with Medusa the Gorgon
Mostly what I feel we have is love and an awful lot of patience, perseverance, and some instinct that tells us, gotta do all we can do to keep this child going. No matter what it is we have to do, no matter what our own situation, or where we are.

Jim gave Charlie the phone when I called yesterday. I heard Charlie first saying "no" when Jim asked him about talking. Charlie did come to the phone and gave me a succinct "hi mom."

All this mother needed to hear.

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Comments
10 Responses to “A bit about motherhood”
  1. Niksmom says:

    Of allyour posts so far this trip, this one moved me to tears. I thinnk, perhaps, it is that I can relate so well to those feelings.
    Beautiful picture of you under the Lion Gate, BTW.

  2. Leightongirl says:

    Thank you, for bringing me to Greece, a homeland of my own in my own way.

  3. M says:

    on the topic of reading books: my copy of “gravity pulls you in” arrives this week. very excited. kyra. dr. chew. two of my favorite autism writers. i pre-like it, so i’m an easy sell in terms of my reaction.
    travel safe, eat happy things, have much fun.

  4. Leila says:

    Hi Kristina, I bet you miss your boys (Jim and Charlie) like mad, but enjoy your solo time and this wonderful opportunity to be in Greece.
    I remember reading Vicki Forman’s blog, she is such an amazing mother and writer. I can’t begin to imagine what she went through.

  5. Justthisguy says:

    Yup, “Hi, Mom.”
    I mind a guy flying an F-15 along the coast here, a few years ago. He was flying level, and then lit burners and flew straight up out of sight. It was an obvious “Hi, Mom!” (the noise was magnificent)

  6. Justthisguy says:

    Yup, “Hi, Mom.”
    I mind a guy flying an F-15 along the coast here, a few years ago. He was flying level, and then lit burners and flew straight up out of sight. It was an obvious “Hi, Mom!” (the noise was magnificent)

  7. emma says:

    “hi mom” is so great!!
    I may have to get the book, I was reading some of the blog posts by the author, eloquent.
    I could use that shield I think.

  8. emma says:

    I just remembered, my SIL hand colours (with watercolour) prints from antique newspapers and books, for a while I helped. The Lion Gate is awfully familiar……I think I’ve hand coloured prints of this rather a lot in the past.

  9. autismvox says:

    @emma,
    now that you mention it, I could use the shield, too. especially as the Medusa turns those who look at her to stone.
    hand coloring of prints, would love to see some…..I have been taking a lot of photos, though not so many as last year.
    @leightongirl,
    thanks for your beautiful book. it’s been a very good companion to this trip, in a place that I feel more and more drawn to.
    @leila,
    I just wish our ‘tight team o’ three’ could do this trip! maybe when Charlie is far older……
    @justthisguy,
    now that’s saying hi!
    @niksmom,
    I’m so glad I brought “TLL.” the title itself says so much!

  10. autismvox says:

    @emma,
    now that you mention it, I could use the shield, too. especially as the Medusa turns those who look at her to stone.
    hand coloring of prints, would love to see some…..I have been taking a lot of photos, though not so many as last year.
    @leightongirl,
    thanks for your beautiful book. it’s been a very good companion to this trip, in a place that I feel more and more drawn to.
    @leila,
    I just wish our ‘tight team o’ three’ could do this trip! maybe when Charlie is far older……
    @justthisguy,
    now that’s saying hi!
    @niksmom,
    I’m so glad I brought “TLL.” the title itself says so much!

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