Thursday, December 22, 2011

and it's the holidays

I haven't been around these parts much lately.  Work, the holidays, work.  I'm sure you all can relate.

Have no fear though.  I hope to use some of these days off to catch up on my reading and commenting.

In the meantime ...Happy Holidays! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

life is how you look at it

I'm sitting here working my way through the muck of it all.  I'm trying to take each day, day-by-day or even minute-by-minute.  It's a good way to survive.  Maybe the only way.   I think I'm pretty good at trying to balance and keep things in perspective.  I've written about it before - always maintain perspective.  A search on my site will show a quite few entries all going back to perspective.

It's good.  How do you know if things are good if you don't experience the bad?

So my resolve through this muck is to keep things in perspective.  This week I received an email from the room parent of my son's class.  My 2nd grader's classmate's father was just diagnosed with a brain tumor.  In short order he went from "something is not quite right" to a hastily scheduled biopsy of a brain tumor. 

My problems are not of that magnitude.  And I just have to keep that perspective.  There is a part of me that feels guilty to look at other people's tragedies as something good for me - but it is.  It keeps my perspective.  Now, more than anything, I need that.

I have my health.  My kids have theirs. 

I have a good job.  It pays well.  My boss is great.  The work is stimulating.  The work can be overwhelming but a great distraction.

I have friends.  Lots and lots and lots of supportive friends.

Look at that list.  I really shouldn't complain.  And I will try not to.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

giggles and chuckles

Last night, as per my usual routine at Henry's bedtime I went in to lie down with him.  I plied his book out of his hands ("It's way past your bedtime buddy..."), put the CD player on (a playlist of some favorite pop tunes given as a party favor from one of his friends) and hit the lights.

After he finally settled in and scooted over, I tucked his big, blue blankie all over him and lay down for snuggle time.  Often I am conflicted during this time.  Usually it's a long day and I still have things to do, or I just need my down time.  But not last night.  Last night I was keenly aware how short-lived this time will be.  Part of this is simply a function of his age.  Of course, the other part is knowing that there soon will be many nights when he will not be in my house and I won't be able.

We knocked heads as I laid down, my glasses cracking against my nose.  We both agreed that I should take them off which, of course, I did.  And then the conversation ensued.

Henry: So can you not see without your glasses?

Me:  No, I can see, just everything is a little bit fuzzy.

Henry:  Can you see my hand?

Me:  Yes, I can see your hand?

Henry:  What am I touching?

Me:  You're touching the wall.

Henry:  Okay what am I touching now?

Me:  You're still touching the wall.

Henry:  Okay what am I touching now?

Me:  You're not touching anything.

Henry:  Okay, what about now? 

Me:  Ssshhhhhh sweetie.  I can see okay - it's things like, see the clock on your wall?  I can't read the time.

Henry:  What am I touching now?

Me: Ssshhhhh.  You should be looking at the back of your eyelids. 

Henry:  What am I looking at now?

Me:  The back of your eyelids.

There is a pause.  No response - I must have got it right.

Henry:  What am I looking at now?

Me:  Ssshhhhh.  Come on now - you need to settle down.  You should be looking at the back of your eyelids.

He laughs and tries to talk more.  Slowly I start scratching his back, still my baby I'm trying to soothe with the essence of touch. 

Henry:   Giggle, giggle...

I continue scratching - and the giggles continue.  At some point there's a nice hearty chuckle.  Then two.  Then more.

Henry:  Giggle, giggle, chuckle, chuckle...

Henry:  Giggle, giggle, chuckle, chuckle...

Henry:  Okay now mama can you give me a ma-sausage? 

Me:  A what?

Henry:  A ma-sausage.

Me:  Oh, you mean massage?

Henry:  Yeah, a massage.

Me:  Okay.

And so I do.  First the shoulders, then the neck, across the arms.  Gently trying to coax him into relaxation.

Henry:  Did you get trained on how to give a massage?

Me:  Oh - nope.  Sure didn't.

Henry:  Then how do you know how to do it?

Me:  Um, I don't know.  I just do.

Henry:  Well, you're good at it.  Now, can you go back to doing what you were doing before when you were dragging your nails on my back?

Me:   Sure sweetie pie.

And I do for a few minutes more but it's clear that this could go on forever and he needs to get to sleep.  He senses my departure and wraps his arms tightly around my neck.

Henry:  No mama - don't leave!

Increasing his grip tighter and tighter he starts cackling with laughter.  The challenge is on.

I wiggle and squirm managing to get my legs over the edge of the bed.  I struggle trying to break free of the long limbs and sharp elbows but he is holding on strong.  Like a game of chicken, as I'm pulling free, away from the bed dragging him with me, he finally releases knowing that if he doesn't, he might just land on the floor.  Of course I wouldn't let that happen but he doesn't need to know that.

I turn and give a quick kiss goodnight and a final tuck-in careful to not become ensnared again.  Until the next night.

Friday, December 2, 2011

minute by minute

One of my biggest problems is that I think too much.  I just can’t turn my brain off.  It is especially challenging when there are a bunch of unknowns.  I dwell and imagine, usually the worst case scenario.  I try to predict and plan.  I try to understand what to expect.  I can’t do that right now.  All I can do is live minute by minute.

One minute I’m incredibly sad, crushed under the blanket of sorrow in my loss.  The next minute I can’t get out of this relationship fast enough.

One minute I can’t believe I’m here.  The next minute I feel okay.

One minute I’m searching the local listings wondering if there is anything I might possibly be able to afford.   The next minute I’m accepting the reality that we need to sell our house before I can do anything.

One minute I’m stubborn and determined to make him “own” this and make it happen – this is his choice.  The next minute I’m the one calling the realtor and scratching out a draft of a settlement agreement.

But there is no minute where I envision anything ever returning to some semblance of my old normal.  And these are the minutes where my thoughts spin wildly out of control.  These are the minutes that produce so much anxiety I can’t eat or sleep. 

The outpouring of kindness and support has buoyed me up.  I feel lighter with the weight of the secret no longer occupying my thoughts.  I no longer have any minutes of shame.  For that I am most grateful.  Reminders that I am strong, that I will be okay help boost my confidence, even if it is only for a minute.  It keeps me moving forward.  And that’s what I need most – to move forward – minute by minute.