storyteller and all-around creative distraction

the most heartbreaking thing

This has never been a very personal blog, apart from telling you how much of my novel hasn’t been written, or some adorable thing my child did. I feel much more comfortable masking my personal life in writing by wrapping it up in fiction.

There are things I want to write about, but none of them are describing what’s going on with my dad right now, especially when I hardly understand most of this to begin with. Writing about all of that, how fast things can go from one thing, to another, to another, makes me feel kind of panicky. So instead, I’ll carefully skirt around what you’re probably most curious to know, and tell you everything else…

I want to say that it was nice to catch up with family again, even if it is under the most stressful of circumstances. I’m always surprised at what a BIG family we have, when you add us all together, my dad’s side, my step-mom’s, and even my mom’s side, closer than ever even after she’s been gone thirteen years. We’re a regular circus, let me tell you!

I’ll tell you that Dylan spent four days in the ICU waiting room, and came home snotty with a temperature of 100.5, which isn’t even a real fever (is it?) and now I’m worried he might have swine flu or that flesh eating bacterial infection you get from hospitals, when really, it’s probably just a cold from playing with his cousins and random strange children. And now he’s cranky and needy, and hugely spoiled on attention from the past week.

But he seems to have gotten even smarter, cuter, and a little more mature in the past five days, if that’s even possible…

Which leads me to say that this child needs to potty train! I think it’s not his choice anymore. He turned three in July, and he’s way too smart to be wearing diapers like a baby. Just like all his other growing up steps, giving up bottles, moving to a big boy bed, giving up his binky, we’ve had to just give him a firm push towards it (= make him do it, lol!). Because left to his own devices, it’s looking like he’ll be quite happy to wear diapers until he’s in college.

I want to say that I’ve always been more of a thinker than a talker. I’ve been called shy, but as a child, my teachers called me reserved, and I think that’s much more fitting a term for it. So even when my dad’s nurses say, “Talk to him, he can hear you,” I still don’t have much to say, not after the first or the second or the third time. I don’t say much under normal circumstances. So I sang a couple songs instead. I never sing for anybody without begging, so maybe that counts enough.

I’ll tell you that for as long as I can remember, I’ve been prepared to receive a phone call like I got Sunday night (and that alone is enough to make me feel terrible.) Maybe that’s partly because I’ve already lost my mom, and that I know these things – parents – don’t last forever. Some barely live long enough to see their own children reach adulthood. The other part is that people have faults. People have bad habits, and lifelong bad habits have consequences.

And I’ll tell you that three year-olds say the most heartbreaking things sometimes, and of course they don’t know what they’re saying when they say it – in fact, from their point of view, it’s all quite simple. The most heartbreaking thing I’ve heard all week is when Dylan said, “Grandpa just needs some x-rays and some medicine, and then he’ll wake up, and be all better, and we’ll say, Yay!”

7 thoughts on “the most heartbreaking thing”

  • Laura, I won’t push for any details on your dad’s condition, but know that my heart is with you. Whether you’re prepared (and I’ve been preparing myself for years)or not, losing a parent, or even the treat of losing a parent is difficult.

    As far as Dylan goes, that is absolutely precious and sweet, and dripping with the heartbreaking innocence of a sweet 3 year old.

    I wish you luck in the potty training battle. J was the same way. It wasn’t until after his 3rd birthday that he agreed to finally put on big boy undies. We’d stay home all day and play the kitchen timer game. I’d set it for 20 minutes, and when it rang, we’d run to the bathroom and try. If he even squeezed out a drop he’d get a goodie (sticker, m&m, whatever). Even with all that bribery it took a good 4 months before I felt confident in his ability to NOT be in a diaper.


  • Thanks Angie!

    That kitchen timer idea is a great one! We’re really going to try that after things settle down a bit. I think we’ll do candy treats if he’ll even sit on the potty (we haven’t even gotten that far!) and then something bigger (a matchbox car or something) if he actually goes. I like the timer idea though – that’s something fun that he can feel like he’s participating in 🙂

  • Oh Dylan. That is the most heartbreaking thing.

    It is always hard to know what to say, but I would like to tell you I consider you a friend (that must be weird considering how limited we really know each other), and my thoughts are with you.

  • Lunar, thank you! I totally understand the value of online friendship – I married one of my online friends, lol! It must be hard to know what to say, since it’s hard for me to even know what to write. So thanks! 🙂

  • I’m sorry about what is going on with your dad and I’ll continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    My sister is starting on potty training with my neice, who will be three in November. Haley has a very strong indepedent streak though. If you ask her if she has to use the potty or say anything at all about it, she refuses to even consider it. But if she decides on her own that she needs to use it, she will. She just wants to be the boss in the potty situation. 😉 Good luck with Dylan. I don’t have kids, but as the oldest in my family I can remember my mom potty training my younger brothers and sister. They all get there eventually, on their own time, even if it takes longer than all the experts think it should. 🙂

  • Ack, Laura, that sucks about your dad… but from what you’ve said (or not said), it seems like something he’s done for awhile has put him there. Sigh. I hope everything turns out for the best. 🙁 I have to say I’ve prepared myself for a similar phone call. Mum is a rampaging, crazy alcoholic… you know how that goes.

    As for being reserved, LOL! Oh boy, my husband is always on my back about not “talking about my feelings”. Seriously, what a girl. I jokingly say I’m the guy in our relationship. I just have such trouble, I guess that’s why I force myself to blog. Creativity is my main way of expressing things, I guess.

    Dylan is just too cute for words. Don’t you wish you could bottle up that innocence and just keep it forever?

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