MLM is getting in a back molar, we think, and he was awake and crying from midnight until 3 a.m., then slept in bed with us from 3 to 6. Parents reading this know what quality sleep you get with a squirmy toddler in your bed (ha, ha)! He's also in a phase right now where when he's the slightest bit unhappy, (a) he immediately has a world-ending meltdown, and (b) only Mommy will do. So even though DH wanted and tried to help out, Monkey would accept no such substitute.
So we were all exhausted Saturday, and Monkey missed out on some quality time with his friends and cousins. But it actually was fun, cooking with my best friend and sister-in-law in the kitchen and catching up with some great friends over coffee and french toast. So that's what this blog was going to be about.
Then today, I got my daily e-mail reminder from the Sean Costello Foundation to vote for their Mojo Project on the Pepsi Refresh Everything website. The first words were "Mom, I can't sleep," and the rest is just reprinted here because I couldn't possibly say it better than Debbie Costello Smith herself:
I know that my asking you to vote every day for the past two months may seem annoying, and maybe it's not even clear why we're asking. I have some texts saved on what was Sean's BB and as I was cleaning out the texts on my phone today, I saw one of the last ones that I ever got from him. It said "Mom, I can't sleep." It's personal for me, as you might have surmised already. To win would be a long shot, and would take votes from everyone we know all 3 ways every day, but I have to try. There is no contest in February, so these last few days are it.... I hope these words affect you. Sean lost his life because he was trying to get some sleep. This has happened to many people, including famous people like Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson. Let's keep this from happening to others.As many of you know, Sean was my brother's best friend from age 10; so I have memories of him from when he was a child, as well as the musical prodigy who suffered so profoundly from bipolar disorder as an adult. The Sean Costello Foundation for Bipolar Research is a cause near and dear to me both personally and professionally.
When I read Debbie's words today, I thought how the job of a mother really doesn't change over time. My little guy cries out for me when he can't sleep because of teething, and at just shy of 29 years old, Sean was still reaching out in that same way. I felt renewed grief for Sean's loss and for the heartbreak that Debbie and so many other mothers have had to experience when their children couldn't handle the challenges of bipolar and other mood disorders. I also grieved -- am grieving -- for my own mother, who always had trouble sleeping and lost her life to mental illness and self-medication as well. It will be 10 years this June.
I hugged Monkey a little extra tight today, too, grateful for the moments I have with him now, never knowing what the future holds for any of us.
If you are already voting daily, please accept my sincere gratitude. If you have not yet voted for the Mojo Project, please consider clicking this link, signing up with the Pepsi Refresh project and voting for the next 8 days. [You can sign up for a daily e-mail reminder, learn more about the Mojo Project, and hear some of Sean's amazing music here.]
It takes about 10 minutes the first time you do it, and two minutes to vote for each of the next 8 days. That's 26 minutes total -- half an episode of 'Glee' -- and I'll assure you that I have been voting consistently for the last two months and have yet to receive any kind of marketing e-mail from Pepsi.
It's the final push for this very important grant, since there will be no voting next month, and winning it could mean that other musicians like Sean (and my brother, and thousands of others) will have better mental health outcomes despite their special risk for mood disorders, self-medication, and lack of access to mental health services.
Maybe if we can learn more about bipolar disorder and help creative people get better access to the help they need, fewer mothers will have to mourn because their kids couldn't sleep.