Please Don't Leave Me…

** To my dear friends…this is a very long post filled with lots of details, intended for my kids. Please feel free to read it, but I apologize in advance for its length and it will not offend me at all if you don’t have the time to read this one. 🙂 xoxox
Dear Kids,
When I was little, my Dad, your Gramps, worked very, very hard. He worked for himself, had an office in our home and kept extremely busy. We hardly ever saw him. People would ask us what our dad did for a living and we wouldn’t know what to say. He did pretty much everything, we thought! He flew a plane, built houses, owned pizza parlors and mobile home parks….what do you call such a man? After a while, we learned to call him a “Developer” because, as we realized when we got into our teens, that everything our dad developed did very well, so it seemed a fitting name. 🙂
We were a blessed family. We had beautiful homes to live in, drove nice cars, flew in Gramp’s Cessna, and wore lovely clothes. But we never really spent any time with our Dad. During the school year, Dad would work away in his office from 5 AM until dinner and then would turn in early. During the summer months, Dad would fly us up to Tahoe for the summer and then commute back to the Bay Area, spending most of the week tending to his businesses and then the weekends up at the Lake. Those weekends were wonderful times, spent on the boat, sking, picnicing and being together. Those weekends definitely made up for the time without my Dad during the week.
As I turned into a pre-teen, I started to realize how little my Dad and I saw eachother. I think he realized it too, because he began taking me on little “dates” to the ice cream shop, out to a movie or dinner. I enjoyed those times. I was a young girl who was desperately needing male attention and, as most young girls do, I needed it from my Dad. I have some very fond memories our our outings together.
As I grew into a teenager and then eventually a college student, I think my Dad didn’t really know what to think of me. I had changed some, had friends I don’t think he thought were that great and I had decided to become a teacher- a job that I think he highly respected but didn’t think was very fitting finacially for me {which he -about the financial part- was SOO right, ha!}. I think at that point in time, we had the farthest distance between us. I really rarely talked to him and I don’t really know if he knew how to talk to me, so we pretty much conversed only when needed.
My parents got married later in life. My dad was 40, my mom 30. It was his second marriage {which gave me two very wonderful older siblings!!}, and was in the height of his career years. He was an only child raised by two very hard working Depression-era, German parents and he was taught that you worked more than you played, you played less than you slept and you slept very little. I think, if I had to give the philosophy a name, I would call it “The Wollmer Philosophy”, for this is what he instilled inside all four of the Wollmer kids. We are all extremely hard workers, a very strong, determined, type-A bunch.
So here I am today, with my own kids. I am 33 years old, married to a wonderful man, have a small home, stay home with my kids, but still work very, very hard. I am proud to say that my dad and I have a wonderful relationship. I love him very much. Despite the fact he worked a lot when I was young, I can say he meant very well by it. His generation was taught that if you loved your family, you provided for them. Judged by his ability to provide, I can say that he loved his family very, very much. As an adult, my Dad is very important to me, and I call him or go visit him often. Today I would say that we have a loving relationship and you kids are blessed to know him and have him as your Gramps.
But, I can’t remember very many intimate, one on one times from my childhood, that I would crawl into bed with him and cuddle, or have him tuck me in, or read a story. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few times, but not very many. The whole cuddling thing wasn’t really his style, first of all, but mainly everytime he would try, he would start to fall asleep or try to keep himself awake by chewing his tongue and rubbing his head. His stories would get all jumbled up and he would tell the same part over and over. Ha! Those are good memories! 🙂
Mumsy did most of the evening time rituals. God bless your Mumsy! 🙂 I would cherish those times with my mom. She would read to me, pray with me, cuddle me, sing to me, laugh with me. I think I loved those evening moments more than I did any other time in the day. Even when I lived at home, right out of college, working as a elementary substitute teacher, I would ask my mom if she would, “kiss me goodnight”. It was always a special time for me.
Sorry kids, for the little trip down memory lane, but a couple nights ago something happened that has made me think about my childhood, The Wollmer Philosophy, and the importance of being tucked in. You see, as of this week, it has been one month since I have launched my little hoodie business. I have sewed SEVENTY FIVE hoodies in less than four weeks. Seriously, I wonder where my brain has gone. I have sold almost half of them. I did all this during your nap times and after you went to bed at night. The Wollmer Philosophy has kicked in full swing and I have done very well by using it.
I have never been a huge night owl, but somehow I have managed to function off of very little sleep, sewing until about 3 AM and then getting up with you kids as soon as one of you makes your morning peep. 🙂 My bedtime routine with you has been rushed…quick bath, brush teeth, pray, kiss, lights out. Then I run over to my sewing machine and sew away until my eyes can barely focus. Its been an interesting ride. One that has come on suddenly and has met a huge financial need that our famliy has had for several months now. I feel that God has brought this little venture into lives. It seems to be just the right timing.
But this week, I seem to have hit a wall. You see, I had plans to start my etsy shop this week. I have been so excited. I worked extremely hard to build up a little inventory, had your Dad help me with a logo, worded the listings “just so” and organized a little photo shoot to show off the hoodies well. I conned your Dad into shooting the pictures, despite the fact that he has a very full schedule himself, and has been sick with a horrible cold for almost three weeks now. We took the pictures, and then I sent them off to Uncle David to be edited.
Here is where we ran into trouble. On Tuesday, Uncle David called me and talked to me about the pictures. We discussed my vision for them and he in turn said five words that really, really frustrated me{sorry David, not your fault AT ALL! ha}… “You might want to reshoot.” ACK! Really?!? After all that trouble? And here I was wanting to start my store up ASAP, and how was I going to find time to get Brandon to reshoot plus get all my models together? I hung up the phone and then started sewing, only to have my sewing machine start making some funny noises. I ran over to my Viking lady and told her about it. She issued some further distressing news… “You might not have the right machine for what you are doing.” WHAT?!? The machine I would need would be a couple hundred dolla
r upgrade, not exactly pocket change.
I left the sewing machine store depressed. It was late, I had been working on this for weeks, I was tired, hadn’t slept much and my little family was at home eating frozen pizza for the upteenth time this month. On my way home, I stopped at my friend Alisha’s house to pick some things up. I sat down on her couch and blurted out all my frustrations. She listened quietly, nodded and then said, “You might want to slow down.”
What?!? Slow down? Is that in “The Wollmer Philosophy” ?!?
She went on to remind me that way back in the beginning of all this {a mere 4 weeks ago!} I had agreed to go to a Ladies Conference in Sacramento, which was being held in a short 3 weeks from now, and sell my hoodies. If I started my etsy store, was I going to be up to sewing like mad to build up some inventory for the conference? What was that going to do to my family? Was my laundry going to stay in a giant pile for all those weeks, my kids eating frozen, unhealthy food {so NOT me} and my husband forgetting what I look like? Was I ok with that?
I realized at that moment, that I was not. I had five hoodies pinned and ready to go for me to do later that night, but, I have already sold enough to keep me floating for a while. Alisha was right, I needed to slow down.
So I drove home and walked in the door. Your wonderful, loving, incredible Dad {you have the best one kids, don’t let anyone ever tell you different!} had gotten you both ready for bed, gave you your baths and was reading to you. Evy, I kissed you goodnight and then walked into your room, Jake. You were sitting on the bed waiting for me. I climbed into bed with you and held you. We prayed, we laughed and I even read you a couple of stories. Then I kissed you and started to climb out of bed. And then you said it,
“Mommy, please don’t leave me. Lay down with me, Mommy.”
It crushed my heart. With tears running down my cheeks, I remember how important my night time routine was to me as a child, and I realized that yours had been severely ignored. I climbed back into bed with you and held you. I laid with you until long after you fell asleep. I watched you breathe and smoothed your hair away from your face. I thought about some friends of ours, who have a 3 year old girl -just your age-who at this moment is fighting cancer and being treated with chemo. I thanked God for a healthy baby and I silently scolded myself for letting this last month slip away from me. I determined  in my mind I would not do that again.
Kids, I will always battle the “Wollmer Philosophy”. Since it is in your genes, you might too someday. It’s not that its a bad philosophy, it just needs to be met with balance. I am proud to be a Wollmer. I am proud to be, what your Dad calls, “a machine”. Ha! 🙂 I don’t mind one bit that I am a hard worker. But I don’t ever want to forget that I am your mommy. And that your Daddy works very hard and we have sacraficed a lot for me to stay home and be with you when he can’t.
You are my pride and joy. You are everything to me. I hope that my little hoodie business does well, so that we can take occasional trips, have some extra clothes, or – who am I kidding- pay the PG&E bill. ha! But I don’t ever want it to take the place of the times when I lay down with you at night, pray with you, read with you, cuddle with you. I want you to have those memories.
So after much prayer, and realizing that the pictures and inventory needed some more time, I decided to postpone the opening of my etsy shop until next month sometime. I also decided that this weekend, starting Friday, I would go on a little media fast. Our family will spend as much time as possible together, laughing, praying together, reading, eating home cooked meals. I want to enjoy my babies for a while.
Kids, I’m sorry. I hope you can overlook the messy house, the stressed out mom and the yucky food. And to my wonderful, ever patient, God-given husband… I hope you still love me. I hope you can forgive how cranky I have been and I hope that we can spend some quality time together this weekend. I love you very much. God gave me a treasure when he gave me you.
I love you all so very much,
My precious babies, early in the morning a couple mornings back. Jake, you set up a tea party for Evy in her room and taught her how to use a fork and knife, verbally walking her through the whole thing. It was so darling. Nevermind that she fell off the chair right after the last pic. 🙂 I don’t ever want to miss moments like this one.

9 thoughts on “Please Don't Leave Me…

  1. I love the honesty and vulernability of this post… You are an amazing mother and I am glad to have you in my life. You set a good example and a timely reminder for all… even those "Non Wollmers".xoxo

  2. Very nice Amy. I am really proud of you and the woman, wife, mom you have turned out to be. Your thoughts are right on. I have a saying on my desk that Lia gave to me a few years back "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain". Love Uncle Jeff

  3. Amy, this is so beautiful. Moved me to tears… is so short and we should never take it for granted. Your business will be a success b/c you have your priorities in order… have strong faith, an amazing family….and you my dear are simply wonderful. Love & hugs to you.

  4. Amy,Thank you so much for sharing your heart! I appreciate the outlook you have on life and the desire to be a good mother…. I look back on my life and see so many mistakes that I made when my boys were young like Evy and Jake – I often get so frustrated when I hear young moms talking about "can't wait" for this phase or that phase of their children's lives…… It passes so quickly and once these days are gone – you can't bring them back!May God bless your endeavors to help financially – and may He richly bless you and your relationship with Brandon and your children!Thank you for sharing and being so transparent! I love you!Susan

  5. You're a great mommy Amy! Your family is very blessed by you, and so are we! I'm so proud of you and your priorities – your kids are the best ministry that you will ever have! You're a great mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend – you are a blessing to so many! I love you – keep up that great job and I know God will bless you in every way!

  6. big knot, lots of tears after that. you are a wonderful mother.your kids are going to appreciate that little letter one day, absolutely beautiful that you can pour your heart and soul out there like that.thank you for sharing it with all of us and letting us see that it is ok to step back and breath.

  7. love it! i think we all have those wake up moments when we realize our priorities have gotten out of whack. good for you for realizing what you need to do and doing it! you are amazing!

  8. Amy- Thank you for the comment, Love you too! And I will definitely ask Brandon tonight! I can't wait to hang out with you both and the precious babies. I read all of your very long post and I loved it. I commend you for being so passionate about life and family and all that you wrote about. It my goal to be completely opened about the things in my heart too but sometimes it's hard because you feel like people will think you are too sensitive/emotional. And I loved the tea party pics! Precious. I would love to have a tea party with those babies!

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