Over the weekend, as we gathered around my parents’ table for dinner, my kids, Kenny, mom, and dad decided to play a new mealtime game:
Let’s make fun of Becca!!!!!
(is the working title, I believe).
I have anxiety, and anxiety + pandemic + virtual school + the impending election + 2020 = MAJOR ANXIETY
My kids have taken to teasing me about my hypochondria; my hyperbolic reactions.
So, over dinner, one by one, they told stories. They did imitations.
“Zeydie,” Beau said, with a twinkle in his eyes. “Is Beau’s head the same on this side as it is on the other side? I think it’s different. And he sneezed! Does he have COVID?”
Trust me: my kids were not making fun of the virus. They were making fun of my reaction to the virus. How, despite our continued isolation from the world I manage to worry, often audibly, with every achoo and ache.
I am working on this.
As we sat around the table at the end of another exhausting week, my dad decided to regale the kids with the “syringe” story. How there was a time when Belle was younger and very sick and I was so concerned with her fluid intake that I was giving her Gatorade from a syringe. 5ml of sustenance at a time. He could not remember the details. Neither could I. But the syringe story is an inside joke, another way that my family makes light of what has been, at times, crippling anxiety. It is hard for us to watch each other suffer. We look for the light.
This morning, I had the idea that I should share some old posts, perhaps from Septembers past, as so much has changed since I started this blog 10.5 years ago. We have all grown; so has my audience. And so, for anyone knew to this Land of Mom, I figured I could provide some old, silly, relatable material. From back when I was a new mom. From different times. Scary in their own ways, albeit simpler.
I found a silly post from this date in 2010, but, to be honest, it was not worth sharing. Baby Belle had grown out of her tights, Kenny was comparing her to Melchior from “Spring Awakening” and I think you had to be there.
I did stumble upon a post from this week during September of 2011 and…
THE SYRINGE STORY!!!
So, as our first trip down memory lane, allow me to welcome you to to a sick day from a time when Belle was 18 months, I was 26, and things felt very hard. And, as a bonus, I’ll throw in a few other post from other Septembers past at the bottom. In case you’re thirsty for some nostalgia. But not too thirsty.
Just, like, 5ml.
When I peed on that stick, and, miracle of all miracles, got two lines to appear, I knew that I wanted to be a mother.
I knew that my life was only beginning
and that in living my dream, I would find joy and love like I’d never before imagined.
I knew all of that.
But then, there were also things that I didn’t know.
So. Many. Things.
Basically, all the things that I have done in the past 6 hours, since I first woke up this morning.
Today, I saw my child sick.
And when the emergency care nurses on the phone line told me that she could be seen by her Pediatrician, but only if I could make it there in 15 minutes, I ran…
….to get ready. Ran to throw on clothes over my pajamas. Ran to my sick daughter.
Today, as I raced to get out the door, I had to ignore the fact that my daughter had gotten sick all over my bed.
All over her beloved stuffed animal.
All over my shirt.
Today, I put a fresh shirt over my disgustingly dirty shirt, to get to the Pediatrician on time.
Today, I didn’t make it on time.
Today, I managed to make it to the other doctor’s office just in time to wait an hour for her to be seen.
Today, I fought back tears.
Today, I told a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner that I did not agree with her plan. I told her that I thought she was wrong.
(Today, I was right.)
Today, I got my dehydrated daughter to drink one small cup of diluted Gatorade by squirting it in her mouth with a tiny syringe, one milliliter at a time.
Today, I did the laundry. And I didn’t mess it up.
Today, I couldn’t fight back the tears any longer.
No, when I peed on that stick and saw one line become two, I never imagined that I’d be sitting in a doctor’s office, with tears in my eyes, and knots in my hair, and poop on my clothing. I never imagined that motherhood, in all of its amazing, love-filled, beautiful glory could also, sometimes, feel
(and please excuse me for this/pun inteded)
pretty darn shitty.
But, I did it.
And after my shirt was changed
and hair was combed
and proper Pediatrician was called
and correct medicine was given
I held a sleepy, sick baby in my arms and read her a favorite book.
And sang to her.
And, my little girl looked up at me,
her tired eyes half closed
and said “Sunshine”.
A new word.
And then I was OK again.
So what I didn’t know then,
way back when when we were just two people with two lines,
was that the little person that was beginning her journey with me
would be my sunshine;
and always, always make me happy when skies are gray.
Some other posts from some other Septembers: