Happy Spitter Valley
SAHMayhem

Helplessly Devoted

Allow me to come clean, albeit vaguely, for minute or two. 

I am fine -- Jason is fine, the boys are fine -- but several people I love are not. At all. I can't get into details about who and what and when, because these are not my stories to tell, but just to give you a basic sampling of ALL THE AWESOME THINGS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, we have: inpatient rehab, depression, calls to a suicide hotline, impending financial doom, death, loss, suffocating grief, spread amongst several different friends and family members. All at once. BOOM.

Hi! You're welcome! Love, August. (P.S. Fuck you.)

I am not a "fixer." I kind of get bugged by "fixers." You know the type. You tell them your problems and they immediately pepper you with helpful, practical suggestions, and you're like: Wait. Did I make it sound like I was done wallowing? Because I'm pretty sure I'm not done wallowing. So could you please dial it back to sympathetic head pats and save your to-do list of Actionable Items To Better My Own Situation for later? 

(Note: Jason is a fixer, though I have successfully managed to make him recognize this as a character flaw, thanks to the many, many times I have completely freaked out at him for having the nerve to try to solve my problems before I was ready to have them solved.)

That said, when faced with my loved one's problems that I really and truly am powerless to "fix" in any way, I am floundering. And frustrated. I want to help. I want...no. More than that. I want to FIX IT ALL EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW MAGIC KAZAAM.

I know I can't. I know they know I can't, but still. 

On Sunday I promised someone just one thing that I could do. I promised to post, share and email photos of my children every day, for the next 28 days.

Oc-july-201101 Oc-july-2011-2

Oc-july-201103

Oc-july-201102 Oc-july-2011-3

Oc-july-2011-2

08-16-11-1 08-16-11-2

Oc-july-2011-1

I hope that's enough. I hope that helps. 

Comments

Daisy

I am a self-confessed fixer, but to add to the mess, I hate it when people try to solve MY problems. Nope, I'd like to continuing wallowing thankyouverymuch. (Gives husband the side eyes, he had the audacity to suggest a SOLUTION.) But when a loved one has a problem? I just want to fix it.

anon

Even without 'those' problems... Your children's pictures bring joy to the world. Thank you.

E @ Oh! Apostrophe

I'm sorry you're dealing with all of that... those pictures make my day happier, hope they help your friends too.

Heather

So sorry your friends and family are having so many huge problems right now. Photos like these -- especially that last one, which is whoa so cute -- can hopefully give them a little thing (three little things!) to smile about.

jodifur

You know what you did for me when my crises hit, and I'm not assuming I'm in that list by the way, you listened, you gave me coffee, you let me cry, and you sat there and you didn't judge. You told me it was ok to feel bad, and to give myself a break. And I periodically remind myself of that.

And the kid pictures are awesome.

Anne

I know it helps. Hell, it helped ME, and you didn't even know I was having a particularly struggle-filled month/week/day/hour.

I'm sorry to hear you're struggling in the land of wanna-fix-it-but-can't. I know that place well.

Maggie

I am so very sorry Amy. My family went through that specific hell (all of those hellish things, with the worst possible scenario thrown in)this last spring and it's so devastating. I don't know what to say, except hang in there, to you and all your loved ones. Breathe, one minute at a time, etc... The pictures will be a lovely treat for all of us.

Plano Mom

Throwing my hands up in the air at God, on your behalf.

Judy

What a lovely thing for you to do to help your friends and family! A picture truly is worth a thousand words and those of your children are so filled with happiness, joy, elation, innocence, wonder and love that they make all of us feel better and hopeful after seeing them. Thank you!

Jessica

My husband is a fixer, too, and it DRIVES ME CRAZY.

I hope your friends and family's situations improve.

Melanie

This right here: "thanks to the many, many times I have completely freaked out at him for having the nerve to try to solve my problems before I was ready to have them solved." I have had this argument with my hubby many times!
Your boys could certainly brighten anyone's day. I am so sorry that you and your loved ones are going through so much greif. I am sure that knowing you are there and concerned for them is helpful.

Connie

Ugh. We are so in the same boat right now. I'm there with you, girl, and it blows. My best friend and I call that impending feeling of doom "the claw" because we can actually feel "it" (stress, doom, etc.) grabbing us around the head, clawing right behind our eyes and hanging on for dear life while things come crashing down around us and there's nothing to do about it. And I have also not come clean about it on my blog. You just inspired me to do so.... tomorrow.... yeah.

Christine

I'm sorry you and your loved ones are having a horrible time. I think not-fixing is highly underrated, for those times when wallowing is needed. It's also called listening.

But I have to say that Ezra is just gorgeous, and we need to get him together with my baby in twenty-something years time, whereupon they will make unbelieveably gorgeous babies together.

Love, your son's future mother-in-law.

Forgotten

Keeping your family and friends and you in my good thoughts...

And those pics are fabulous. They are all exquisitely beautiful. You make cute babies. :)

HereWeGoAJen

Sending you, and your family and friends, lots of love.

Dawn

Last night I had dinner with 2 dear friends and we discussed 2011. It has been a rough year for almost everyone I know for almost all of the reasons you list above. I hope for you and yours and my loved ones that the rest of this year holds better things for all of us.

Dawn

Last night I had dinner with 2 dear friends and we discussed 2011. It has been a rough year for almost everyone I know for almost all of the reasons you list above. I hope for you and yours and my loved ones that the rest of this year holds better things for all of us.

Amy

August can suck it. 2009: My mom's parents BOTH died weeks apart from each other. 2010: My dad's mom was on her deathbed (and actually died in September). 2011: nothing yet, but every time I see my parents on the caller ID I hold my breath.

I'm sure that reminders of the joy of your gorgeous children will help those it is intended to help. I know my family would have liked to see more of my little girl when we were all going through such sadness.

Barb

HELLO!!!!
Do you read all these damn comments? Anyway, thank you for posting pictures of your children. I come here quite often for a smile.

PS-my family has been having a "this sucks" fest since May.
It's all good.

Suzy Q

Aw, you're going to brighten up so many people's lives by doing this. Including mine.

RuthWells

I'm so sorry you're dealing with so much at once. For what it's worth, pictures of baby tongues are always a good thing.

Heather

Those beautiful boys of yours sure made ME smile, so thank you.

MissRed

I'm so sorry. But those pictures are indeed adorable.

pam

HEY! that teeny weeny kid just gave me the raspberries...wth?

Elise

If ever there were pictures or faces that could cure the world's ills, it would be these pictures of these faces. Sending love and prayers to surround you, your family, and your friends.

ccr in MA

I am sorry about everything hitting the fan at once for you. I hope things improve soon.

Also. "Wait. Did I make it sound like I was done wallowing? Because I'm pretty sure I'm not done wallowing." Me Too! Thank you for putting this into words.

Small concrete problem? Sure, throw me the solution. Big, messy, emotional problem? Just let me talk!

Kate

And I just got back from the "being towed" experience...with my four-year-old in tow...after bedtime. What is going on???

Jean Riordan

Amy, the last 2 years have been difficult for my family for different reasons and going to your blog has often lifted my spirits! Hope your family can see the joy your children bring tonot only their family but sooooo many others! Thanks!

Heather

Lots of good wishes for you and your loved ones. I saw the list of what the people you care about are facing and, well, I have faced a virtually identical list over the past six months, although I would add an inheritance dispute and a medical malpractice lawsuit to mine. It's horrible to want so much to help and have so little power to truly change the things that would make a difference.

Ris

Ah yes, the fixers. My boyfriend is one and it has taken YEARS of freakouts for him to learn to just, for the love of GOD, listen to me and stop trying to fix things. I hope things get better soon and no fixers or freakouts are needed.

Jackie

I think that last picture of Ike cured my headache. Of course, now my ovaries hurt.

Ann

You are a beautiful soul, Amy. I hope the hardships you're going through get easier soon. I know it wasn't some random stranger's problems you were looking to fix with your beautiful photos, but you made me smile in spite of my troubles. Thank you Amy, thank you so much for sharing your lovely little boys' smiles.

Gail Carver

Yeah, August is going down as the crappiest month so far...what's up with that?

Angela

Keep em coming Amy. Because they DO help!

It's always darkest before the dawn right? Cause it's pretty DAMN DARK right now!

Thank you!

Ashley Fitting

I am totally that asshole fixer... I really feel the need to give counsel and honestly? My husband has nailed me several times on it. I'm working on it... Slowly. But I am sorry that things are going south for your nearest and dearest. Hugs from the internet.

Sarah

This made me cry. A coworker of mine was found 13 hours ago alone in his apartment, unconscious and in a diabetic coma. No one knows what happened. No one knows how long he was there [we have 3 day weekends- it could have been the whole time]. His family was on vacation. As I type this, he is currently in the ICU completely unresponsive. My entire company has coordinated a schedule to ensure that he is not alone for even a minute until his family is able to get home and be by his side.

I hate not being able to do anything. I hate feeling so helpless. I hate seeing so many people in pain because we don't know if he'll wake up and if he does if he'll be the same.

Your children are beautiful. I send my love, prayers, and good thoughts to your friends and family that are suffering. Sometimes hope and love is all we have to keep it together- even if that love is from a total stranger.

Sarah

This made me cry. A coworker of mine was found 13 hours ago alone in his apartment, unconscious and in a diabetic coma. No one knows what happened. No one knows how long he was there [we have 3 day weekends- it could have been the whole time]. His family was on vacation. As I type this, he is currently in the ICU completely unresponsive. My entire company has coordinated a schedule to ensure that he is not alone for even a minute until his family is able to get home and be by his side.

I hate not being able to do anything. I hate feeling so helpless. I hate seeing so many people in pain because we don't know if he'll wake up and if he does if he'll be the same.

Your children are beautiful. I send my love, prayers, and good thoughts to your friends and family that are suffering. Sometimes hope and love is all we have to keep it together- even if that love is from a total stranger.

MamaKaren

I have been in your shoes. The only fix I am tempted to offer right now involves me bringing wine, chocolate and/or grilled cheese to your house.

Thank you for posting those awesome boys for us to look at. You and Jason really do produce fantastic offspring.

Ambry

I'm thinking good thoughts for you, your friends & your family. August has been hellish around here too (death, depression, car accidents, etc), so I feel your pain. I know your boys bring a smile to my face, & I imagine the people who know you all personally are overjoyed to see their little smiles. Every little bit helps. <3

Dr.Zachar

Very cute!!

andrea

I've learned that often what people really want to hear is "I'm sorry that really sucks".
So I'm sorry that really sucks. and I hope it gets better.

Jennchez

My thoughts and prayers are with you and those you love. Your boys could bring a smile to anyones face! Never underestime the power of a Childs smile :)

Wendy

I totally have to come out and represent the fixers! Yes, wallowing has it's place, and yes, I am good at listening to people wallow... for a while. But then? It's time to make some changes and fix! Where would the world be if it was filled with all wallowers and no fixers? It would be a bunch of Eeyores lumbering around. The most widely used therapy at this time? SOLUTION-FOCUSED. Come on, can't we show the fixers some love??

Okay, on a more empathic note, it totally sucks to sit by and helplessly watch friends and family deal with hard stuff. Especially when your own grief is probably still so raw.

And also? If suicide hotlines are being called, don't be afraid to take some drastic actions if your gut is telling you to. It is much better to have a pissed off friend/family member than a dead one. Sorry for the bluntness, but 10 years experience as a crisis therapist speaking there... (See that fixing seeping in??) That is one case where you can only allow someone to wallow for so long...

SUPAHMAMA

I hate this for your family. At least you have cute kids to take lots and lots of pictures of. Ike? He's gonna be a hot mess. I CAN TELL THESE THINGS.

krista

do not fix, listen and the work will be done by those angels around your family. Give up your hearts to those powers bigger than you and in time all will be well. Hard to believe, but it is true. I have seen it over and over. God Bless

Lawgirl1982

Adorable, every single one of them. I'll be thinking of you and your fam, makes my problems( trying to sell our house up in Olney...) seem reallllllllly insignificant. But thanks, I needed that slap of reality. Here's to a better fall!

Hayden

I'm sorry that you're going through all of this BS. Way to keep a good attitude, though! You seem to have awesome stress-management skills, I must admit that I envy that. Glad you & the boys are fine, good luck, and may September bring you better days.

allison

Hope all is ok.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (John Gray) gives a really good explanation of how men "fix" and women "connect." This, as a feminist, I believe is true.

Janessa

It's funny because I think of myself as a "fixer" yet I get annoyed and bugged when people try to "fix" me. I guess I just annoy myself then?

Sorry all that crazy shit it happening to your loved ones. Hopefully things look up for them soon. Cute pictures of your kids should at least help a little. :)

maria

the very last few lines you wrote were so beautiful.. Thanks for reminding me about the simple gestures..

Candy

Since August is well and thoroughly kicking the ass out of my family as well (both financial doom AND major health issues), I feel obliged to tell you yes. Yes, Amy, those pictures help. Can't view all that cuteness and not smile. Thanks for sharing them with the world.

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