I can’t do it.
It is something I frequently hear from my 3 year old son. Mainly when asking him to put his shoes on.
“I can’t do it mama.”
Yet. It is my standard response. You can’t do it yet. In time Luke will learn how to loosen his shoes, slide his feet in and velcro the strap. Right now that seems like the hardest thing in the world. When I ask him to try his face screws up, he attempts to squash his whole foot through the already fastened shoe and resorts to either crying or sulking. It’s normally accompanied by a second round of protests trying desperately to convince me that he can’t do it. And he can’t. He hasn’t worked out all the steps required and 90% of the time he hasn’t even attempted to try. He’s told me he can’t do it, sat and sulked and cause this normally occurs a few minutes before we are due to leave the house I give in instantly and put his shoes on his feet for him. Always trying to remind him “yet”.
I can’t do it.
I can’t deal with the pain not having my baby with me brings.
I can’t deal with being a mum to a baby who died.
I can’t cope with the constantly wondering what if.
When I sat and hugged Luke the other day when he felt defeated at not being able to put his shoes on himself I recognised the feeling of being defeated. As I pulled Luke onto my lap and started showing him for the hundredth time how to loosen his shoe and push his foot into it I realised what I’ve been telling him is true to my own battles.
I can’t do it YET.
I can’t yet deal with the pain not having my baby with me brings.
I haven’t found a way yet to be able to deal with being a mum to a baby who died.
I can’t yet cope with the constantly wondering what if.
In the same way I haven’t given up on Luke’s ability to put on a shoe, I shouldn’t have assumed I won’t one day be able to find a way to better deal with my heartache.
School summer holiday started with two hospital trips and seeing everywhere on social media the posts about only getting 18 summers with your children. I didn’t even get one with Lexi. Whilst I try to make memories and every minute count I’ll try to remember too that we can’t run away from our reality. There have already been days this summer when the balance of feeling sad completely out weighs any happiness I’ve been seeking. But there has too been days surrounded by friends, camping in torrential rain and thunderstorms where I have felt more alive than ever.
I shall be reminding myself to try and focus on my accomplishments rather than my faults this summer. I will be relishing 6 weeks without having to repeat “shoes on” 20 times. I will be attempting to give myself a break from the pressures I’ve put on myself and trying to let myself live and grieve. I haven’t got it all worked out yet. But I am still trying.
And to celebrate the start of the school holidays I’ve bought Luke and Annabelle crocs! Maybe Luke can wear them forever cause he is adorable how proud of himself he is, when he finally manages to get his own shoes on himself.
Don’t forget the power of yet. Whatever your struggle, rather than thinking you can’t, think I can’t yet.