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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Knapp

Putting my "babies" to bed

Updated: Mar 10

goodnight…..

putting my babies to bed…..


my mother with end stage dementia…only 70…too young to be cared for…

my son with severe autism…the cancer survivor…already 20….too old to be cared for…


it was a pleasant day despite the cold rain…

the day started getting them dressed, giving their medication…feeding them… dropping them off before I head into work…


‘kindergarten for old people’ mom says…

‘the studio’ for him…he cannot speak…


after a full day of work, a gourmet meal of chicken fingers and macaroni…

both picky eaters…I don’t care what I eat today…


we settled down to watch a nature film about whales…they both like that…

simple…comforting…no plot to remember…no awkward questions…


tonight the real treat is a music performance…singing…sparkles…dancing…what more could we want…

mom cuddles the cat - no expectations from a cat…no pressure to remember…

he plays with a stuffy…no stress with Elmo…


her talent was words…songs…poems…scrabble games…laughter…dancing…

now she is too confused…jumbled words…forgotten songs…but she tries to hum along anyway…….slowly remembering…


time for bed…brushing teeth…pyjamas…diapers…quiet music…a simple story…a prayer…and a kiss…


I’m not sad…but then again…maybe I am…most of my friends are planning retirements…cruises…graduations…weddings…grandchildren…but I’m putting my babies to bed…

life is good…it’s where I’m meant to be right now…mom cared for me when I couldn’t care for myself…now it’s my turn to care for her…

my son…(heavy sigh)…I am thankful he has lived so long and I still have the privilege of caring for him…it’s not easy…but it’s where I’m meant to be…


tears…streaming down my face…

frustration…another wrestle with him…headaches and misunderstanding…


sorrow…for…what…potential lost…hopes not realized…dreams not achieved…relationship vanished…reversal of roles….I’m not sure….but sad…


but at the same time…a strange joy…a knowing…it’s where I’m meant to be…right now…right here…it’s not always pretty…but life isn’t always pretty…

building character…I don’t want any more character…thank you very much…


I better go to bed myself now…laundry machines loaded…dishwasher, too…coffee set up…doors locked…lights out…hoping they sleep through the night…


silence…for now…


putting my babies to bed…

goodnight…


(written - November 2014; edited - March 2021)



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Guest
Mar 10

I t must have been heart wrenching & tough for you….. but you delivered their care with such grace and love 💕

As you said “It was meant to be”.

I Love peering into your life via your blogs. Kathy. Keep them coming.

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jayandsher
Mar 21, 2021

Hard not to get choked up while reading your truth. 💕

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rochelleb
rochelleb
Mar 13, 2021

Wow. I absolutely loved how you wrote this. So many feelings so honestly expressed. Well done.

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Lila Diller
Lila Diller
Mar 12, 2021

I teared up for you... God bless you and give you an extra measure of patience and grace!

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julie
Mar 12, 2021

Such a beautiful way of bringing us into your world, Kathleen! I know a tiny bit of what you share as a caregiver for my 22-year-old daughter. God bless you!

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