I went swimsuit shopping with a friend yesterday. I loaded my buggy with heaps of dresses, shirts, and one swimsuit, as if I was born to shop, and indeed even enjoyed the act of stripping to my undies in a public closet with a full length mirror that, perhaps, could be concealing a secret video camera. (It kinda says something when you don’t feel violated at the thought but just feel pity for the hypothetical person on the viewing end.) I did this shopping with no liquor, wine, pill, or anything else to numb the senses. At the risk of losing the 5 readers I actually have, I will even say, DO NOT try that yourself, I do not believe I will attempt it again. Anyway, I found myself trying on clothes with one of my thin, petite friends and tried desperately not to compare my figure to hers and
was pretended to be HAPPY that the dress that fit me like a too small glove, looked FABULOUS on her.
I tend to stay positive about the things that life offer. At any given moment you could call me and when you ask how things are going, I am going to tell you that they are great. My house may be on fire, I may have the kids locked in a closet (a joke, people) or the apocalypse could be happening, but darn it, things are going to be great sooner or later, right?! Might as well start the ‘great’ now. It is kinda like that whole ‘fake till you make it’ theory….
My son is sick, well, not sick exactly – he doesn’t have cancer or a fatal childhood illness or an ongoing infection that we can’t cure – and I am grateful for that. But, the knowledge that there is something wrong with him, is at times more than I can stand. Last night he had the worst headache that he has since he got out of the hospital in November. I got home from my swimsuit shopping and he was teary eyed because he had a headache and I wasn’t there. I set aside the intense mommy guilt and sat down on the sofa, with him on my lap. I patted his back and rubbed his head and neck and kissed his head, and told him I was sorry his head hurt and that he would feel better when he woke up. Just one of many things I promise because I am praying that God will make good on it. My son is catching on to this, however. Not to long ago, he came and told me he had bad dreams, I explained bad dreams were not real and could not hurt him. I told him that he could pray and ask Jesus to take his bad dreams away (Hey, it works for me!). He came to me the next morning and told me very succinctly that it did not work. Darn. What can you next? I told him to just keep praying and try to remember that the bad dreams are not real and they can not hurt him. He got up this morning and he did not feel better upon waking. He did feel better after being up for around an hour, but his head still hurts on and off.
When he is symptom free, it is easy to think that there is nothing wrong, that a prescription isn’t the only thing keeping my baby boy active and ‘normal’. It is easy to pretend that I don’t have all these feelings of, well – I don’t know if they have a name, that attempt to suffocate me at times. Then when he does have symptoms, and all of that threatens to come up to the surface of my day, I cope by pretending that I don’t question whether or not he will ever be better, I pretend that I am and he is strong enough to withstand it. You could call me and I will not mention that I nearly sobbed when I ordered my mocha latte (extra shot of espresso please!). I will tell you everything is fine and I will never mention to you that it isn’t, really, isn’t. Not because I am being fake or disingenuous, but because that is the only way I can keep my sanity intact while questioning every parenting and life decision I ever make or have made.
If you are a “real” life friend, and you know me at all, you will know that I do NOT want you to call me, I do NOT want you to mention this blog post and I DO want to be left alone in this matter. I want to stay in this cocoon of pretending that I am not so darn mad at the world that I can not see straight and everyday I question the God I believe in. I want to pretend just for a second longer that I don’t feel guilty for this because I know of children that will not live past this year, maybe not even past this summer, and it seems that their moms and dads deserve these feelings more than I do because they would give their left arms for their child to have the illness mine does, rather than the life sucking illness their child has.
So, there you go. A snapshot of the “real” me. It is not pretty, it is not funny, it just is. I am me and I am flawed and faithless. I am weak and in need of the God I question.