Thursday, April 14, 2016

Darn responsible kids

The boys and I have been running ragged for quite some time now...  Honestly, it has become our norm.  It's what we're used to. What we expect.

However, there have been little cracks lately. Like Sam telling me for the past 3 weeks that he doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning or go to school because he's so tired. This is my child who LOVES school!

In fact, just this morning, he complained and complained and refused to get out of bed until 10 minutes before we had to leave... Which, of course, then made everything frantic to try to get out the door on time.

So... Tomorrow I don't have school.  I decided to do something I have never done.  I decided that we were going to sleep in and the boys were going to be tardy... Just because.

I almost didn't tell the boys, but then the teacher in me kicked in and I had to make sure they weren't going to be missing any important tests or anything...

And that's when it happened.

Sam complained......and complained... and wouldn't stop complaining. I would make him miss PE...  Even though he was having a sub, what if his teacher left something important... He would have SO much work to make up!!!

And I lost it.

I just couldn't believe he was complaining over the ONE thing he had been asking for EVERY morning for the last three weeks.

And as my brain was exploding... telling him "Fine. Fine. I will get up early but that I didn't want to hear him complain about being woken up early especially when we had stayed up late." (9:30. lol Late for them)...I caught myself.

I realized that I was actually proud.
Proud that I was dangling the carrot and my son still chose the right path (Honestly, not the path *I* wanted tomorrow morning - it's my day off.  I wanted to sleep!)  But still...

This was an easy decision.  This was a why would we be doing anything else? decision...  Because that's how I raised them.

Doesn't change the fact that I wanted to sleep in. *sigh* Here's to responsible kids *glass raised*

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Who knew circles could be so scary?

So I went to get my diagnostic mammogram today...
I've prayed... SO many prayers...  Many of them just for comfort.
I have cried every day since last Wednesday.
I have seen how horrible cancer is to families... to moms with young kids...

I decided that after telling Todd and R. and seeing their reactions that I needed to limit the worry, so the only other person I told was my principal... and only out of necessity.

When the tech brought me into the exam room, she showed me my scans.
There they were... circles...
Six circles on each breast.
SIX! On. EACH. one!

She described how these were the areas of concern and that she would be taking multiple scans and if the doctor didn't get all of the answers she wanted, she would come and take more scans.

By the last few scans, I was placing myself into the machine.  The tech joked, "What you think you're a pro now?"
I smiled and said, "Just a fast learner."
I already knew this wasn't something I wanted to be good at...

After she was done, she sent me back to the waiting room.
Waiting sucks.
There were probably 4 or 5 other women waiting too.
No one made eye contact.
Eye contact is intimate. Eye contact can reveal things.
As we all sat in our hospital gowns...This was not a place for eye contact.

Finally they called my name.
The doctor shook my hand.
She said, "You had lots of areas of concern.  Have you had any areas of tenderness on your breasts lately?

You know those times when your brain is lagging behind and it takes a while for you to process what someone is saying to you??
That was me.
I think I was mentally preparing myself not to lose it... Then she was asking me a question.
All I could do was shake my head no.

"Good.  I was hoping not." She said. "I have examined your scans extensively and despite how hard I looked, I couldn't find anything."

Again, it took me a minute.
"So I'm good?"
"Yep." she said smiling. "These are the kind of meetings I like to have."

For all the stress I've been through lately, I think I would like to forgo all meetings... Esp. ones with circles.

Monday, April 4, 2016

What do you see in the sky?

As I was driving the boys to meet R. this morning, we were talking about the sky.
I comment on how gorgeous the sunrises are most mornings or I might just simply say "Dear Lord thank you for this beautiful morning."

This morning I said, "Look how the clouds are sprinkled across the sky."

Colby says, "Do you know what clouds like that make me think of?"
Me: "What?"
Colby: You see how the bottoms are dark.  I think that represents the darkness and evil in the world. There's a lot it scattered all around. And the sun represents God.  The sun is touching all of the clouds, just like God touches all of us... and just like when God touches us and changes us, the sun changes the dark clouds to light."
Me (holding back tears) "You're right, son. What a beautiful analogy!"

I'll never look at scattered dark clouds quite the same again...

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Filling the gap

It's late and I'm tired.
I was actually physically ready to go to bed about 3 hours ago.
But I'm up.

You might wonder why...
Yes, I do have too much on my plate right now...
But sometime you have to push those things that overflow your plate aside.

Like for your nephew's birthday...
Who so sweetly asked me, "Aunt Dawn, You know Curious George? I want a Curious George cake."
So... of course, despite the fact that I had my 4 hour final exam this weekend and a thesis paper that isn't finished and is due in 2 weeks, I make him a Curious George cake.

And as I wander the aisles trying to figure out what a 4 year old little boy who loves Curious George would want for his birthday, I think about my momma... and how she would stay up late and always came through sewing up whatever themed thing we loved at the time.

It hurts my heart that my mom didn't know her grandchildren, but even more that they never knew her.
So... instead of going to bed when I was tired... In honor of my momma, I sewed this.

I hope when my nephew lays his head snuggled next to ol' George, he will know that I sewed it for him because there is a gap where a grandma should be...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The unexpected comfort

On Monday, I got my first mammogram. (Have I mentioned turning 40 sucks??)
The tech cautioned me that if there are any concerns, they would call me for a follow up because it is better to check it out early.
I nodded. ("Technicalities", I thought "They tell this to everyone."

But when they called me today (2 days later) to tell me that I have "dense breast tissue" and they would like to schedule me ASAP... It didn't feel like a technicality.

It felt scary.
Down right scary.

In fact, it took all of me to keep the tears from falling out of my eyes before I got to my car.

I called Todd.  I needed some reassurance that this is normal and I'm fine...Even though I didn't feel fine. I'm scared.  
All three of my aunts (from both sides) have had breast cancer. They have all survived it... but they had it.
So Todd tells me that he is sure it is fine... that there's no reason to freak out until there is something to freak out over.

... and you would think that would have helped... but it didn't.
You see... I was already freaking out!!  And to tell me not to freak out didn't stop me from freaking out!!!

So I got off the phone and bawled my eyes out until I reached the boys' school.
I knew I had to pull myself together before I went inside - It was baseball pictures and I didn't need all of the baseball parents asking questions when I definitely didn't want to share.

When I got a second by my ex, R., I just said, "Hey. Just so you know what's going on...I had a mammogram on Monday.  They want to run more tests next Wed, so I will be taking off school. Please don't say anything to anyone."

He asked me if I was okay.  I told him I was scared... and then I walked off for fear of crying again.
He walked over, gave me a side hug.  
Later, he texted, "Whatever happens, we'll get through it."

Strangely enough... Not telling me everything was going to be fine, but that we'll get through it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The howl

The howl of immense pain.
The howl of great loss.
Once that howl of sorrow has emitted from your body, you recognize it in others immediately... even if you don't know the details, you know the cause.
Loss.
Loss of a loved one.
Loss that despite the howling sorrowful tears, they will not be coming back...
But at the time, you can't think of that... all you can do is howl like a savage animal that's crying out into the night.

I heard that howl today.
It stopped me in my tracks.
I almost didn't go towards the source because... I already knew.

But being someone who has had that sound come out of me before, I couldn't turn a deaf ear and run... Despite desperately wanting to.

So... I turned the corner to find my friend, C.  Her granddaughter is due this week... and I knew.
Without words, I knew the howl of loss.

I walked towards her and wrapped my arms around her and hugged. A hug so tight I thought I would crush her... and she sobbed. Such powerful, forceful sobs that I knew if I let go, she would fall to the ground.

In between the uncontrollable shaking and howls, she breathed out, "No heartbeat. Why? Why?? I don't even know what I will say to my son and his wife."

I continued to hold her and tell her that there are no words.  She will go and be a mom, and hold and hug her child like no one but your mom can.

My heart breaks for her... Not only for her loss, but because she too will hear the howl and know it's meaning from now on.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A mirror reflects your appearance. Your heart reflects your soul.

Some parts of my childhood I keep buried.
Somehow though, teaching finds a way to bring things to the surface that I don't think about or haven't thought about in a VERY long time.

This morning my little friend that comes and checks in with me, was mad. Like boiling mad.
She wouldn't hug me or look at me.  This anger was directed at me because yesterday I made her follow directions when she didn't want to.

So, even though she is required to come see me in the morning, she didn't want to be here.
Every time I tried to say something, she responded with "I don't care!"

I got down to her level.  Without out even thinking, something deep within me came out and said, "I get it. I used to be you.  I used to say 'I don't care' because it is a whole lot easier to tell people that you don't care... and to put up a wall then to let them in... because if you let them in, they might just disappoint you... and let you down.  So, instead we say we don't care... but really... we really, really do care!"

As soon as it came out, it took me back.
I think back to my early teenage years when I was SO mad at my mom that my family wasn't "normal" because of my parents' divorce... and I would yell, "I don't care!" any time she would give the same explanation as to why we weren't around my dad.  Don't get me wrong... my mom made the right choice to leave an abusive marriage, but being a "Daddy's girl" clouded my judgement many times and left me very, very mad.

Throughout the years, I have repeated those words many many times, "Whatever. I don't care." and I learned to keep a stone face. I felt like giving up emotions in front of someone else made me feel like I lost something to them...

Then later, alone, I would cry and scream, and ask "Why?!!" even though no answers would come.

So, yeah... "I don't care" carries a lot more then I ever thought about until today.

She waited until I hugged her good-bye.  She didn't hug back, but she was definitely showing that she DID care.