Oh , I had forgotten how much fun it was to have sick kiddos when you are sick yourself. Remember when you were single, and you got sick, and you could just take your meds , and return to the glorious fluffy warmth of the bed that calls you from the bathroom after you’ve barfed your brains out? Remember how , when you DIDN’T have kids, and you just took THERA FLU , unplugged the phone, and shut off all the lights , that wonderful feeling of the darkness swallowing you up , and then waking up , about 14 hours later , thinking how fabulous it was to be nearly flu free? YEAH, ME either. I have kids . They have the flu. One of them is barfing all over the kitchen floor, while the other one is hollering at me, “Moooooom!!! Brother threw up on my favorite shoes!!” Did I mention I feel like crap too, cause I’m sick, after being up all night with said child, but I drag myself to clean up the vomit before the shihtzu gets to it, like a mid -morning snack. My head pounding like an AMTRAK ran over it in the night. My only wish , to be able to crash back down to the sofa, but now the other child is shrieking from the second bathroom, “MooooooM!!! I need clean underwear!!” ( Don’t EVEN ASK) Someone should be filming this I think to myself. They should film what I look like,(covered in barf!) what my house looks like,(Dogs run amok, and children hollering!) and DEFINITELY what this WHOLE experience is like,( my body aching, and head about to explode!) and show it to junior high students. It would be the world’s BEST form of birth control, let me tell you. Trust me, it would work.
It’s so rainy , grey and cold here today. The boys got up feeling under the weather , grey and cold too. They grabbed their big soft comforters and and rolled themselves up like hedgehogs on the sofa with me. Not long after the dogs decided that we looked warm and comfy also. I am left with a tiny corner perched with my laptop . It is so very quiet. Only the sound of the rain on the tin roof, and two little ( not really so little anymore) boys breathing,soft as fairies’ breath, interspersed with a tiny dogs snores. The boys are 15 and 13 now and I can’t help but think , I must grab this moment to myself . For how much longer will they lay with me on the sofa in the mornings? Bittersweet, and magical , two dark heads, once both tiny enough to lay on my breast at the same time , now hang off the sofa , at all angles. They still hug me , and give kisses. And aren’t so absorbed with girls that I am a side note already. I know it is coming.
I see the glances my 15 year old gives the sweet young things at church. They smile at him with that look that only a teenage girl can have. Knowing . Even if I weren’t his mother , I would know he were handsome. Raven-haired and crystal green eyes , with just the right amount of cleft in his chin. And oh, his smile. But he doesn’t know he attracts them. He sees only friends who “happen” to be girls. I smile to myself.
My 13 year old , curls of black, with eyes so blue you could touch the ocean in them, finds solace in quiet places . He is not a social butterfly, and wishes nothing more than for girls to be on another planet somewhere at this point in his life. But they secretly smile for him too. They see that he is shy, so they don’t invade his space , but they watch him from afar , and whisper behind their hands to one another. The rumors get back to me. I gently tease him , and he rolls those beautiful eyes at me.
But this morning I shall soak up every precious , beautiful moment , while they are here, and belong wholly to me. Even though as I lay here typing , my legs are totally asleep from the combined weight of boy and dog . I have never had a happier moment.
UHF. I ‘ve missed a couple of days writing here. I hate when that happens. I’ve written . I mean , I never go a day without writing something down. My brain hands won’t allow that.
Today I had doctor appointments all day , and so my schedule has been all messed up. I usually rise at 4 am , and do my lupus support page. I have almost 1600 followers there now. It’s a place where people with lupus or their family members can come and be inspired, have a laugh, ask a question, or just want to seek understanding for what they are going through. Then I try to come here and write , either a poem, or just something that has inspired me somehow. So , I ‘m trying to get back on track.
As for today I’d have to say , I guess I’d like to say I ‘ll have to write about something I found totally surprising. Something I would never thought would have happened. My oldest son, is 15 now. We’ve always had a special relationship, I was very young when I had him, only 18. He had special problems, and I perhaps was a bit overprotective. Joseph went with me everywhere. I didn’t let him out of my sight. He was my little hip attachment. He sat in his car carrier , outside the shower curtain when I showered so I could talk to him , “What ya doing out there buddy? Mom will be done in a minute. , Okay?” . Instead of riding in the cart of the store , I carried him in my arms.”What should we get Daddy for dinner today, maybe hamburgers?” . He slept between my husband and me. He didn’t stay with a baby sitter, and he didn’t go to preschool. He was my conversation buddy, all day, every day, “How bout we go to the park? “or “Boy ,it’s raining , let’s color Grandma a picture.” I didn’t work. People everywhere asked me, “Don’t you get SICK of having him ALL the time?” , or “GOOD grief, DON’T you EVER go anywhere without him?” but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. His smell, the feel of him. The weight of him in my arms. The sensation of him beside me in bed. The knowing that I was responsible for his care, and the look in his eyes when he gazed at me. He grew older and when he was was 7 and 8 years old he was still my friend, and still spent his time with me. We read books together, and did school together . 10, 11, 12, and now he is 15, the story is still the same . Oh sure, now he sleeps in his own room in his own big futon. He has a big teen boy room. And other friends of his own, but today we were at the doctor’s office and he wheeled me back for my consult at the cardiologist. We sat, and were just carrying on conversation, like two friends who had know each other their whole lives. And then it dawned on me, that’s exactly what we were.
Have you ever had someone make you so angry , that you were struck with laughter? I mean literally ? You laughed? That the person could be so absolutely so gobsmackingly stupid as to say something so baldfacedly in-your-face that all you could do was to laugh? I have , and just today. And the problem was it was my teenage son that said it. I mean don’t get me wrong , I love my boys, and they are good boys. Just about 99.99 % of the time. But every now and again one or the other of them says something that you are just struck either completely dumb, struck with laughter, or with the absolute desire to run screaming for the hills. I know completely that my mother stood over a cauldron with herbs and a little stirring stick and said the words to curse me, for I have a child who is the spitting image of meself. In face, in body language, in compassion , (people tell me, not I, in heart also ) , oh but also , also , in that wee bit of rebellion that rises up and says ” Make ME. Just MAKE ME” And let me tell me you if it had not been for my dear old Dad , I swear I would not speak with a full set of teeth now, for I was twice the handful he is , I assure you. My mother earned every one of her beautiful grey hairs. I know I will make it through these times for they are 13 and 15 and we have not far to go, but whew. This morning I was tempted to run to my mother’s just up the hill and beg forgiveness for every gobsmacking thing I had ever said or done , and beg her to reverse the curse, but then I thought , “No , this is my due penance, and she is deserving of watching me pay it. ” Then I thought I shall go to the kitchen and get out a own cauldron this eve, and say some things of my own.
You know when you have toddlers, or babies and you keep saying to yourself, in the words of Darius Rucker’s song , “It won’t be like this for long.” , that becomes your hope. Well, as a mother to a 14 year old, and a 12 year old, let me dash your hopes upon the cold , hard ,sticky linoleum floor. Recap of my day…….Awake at 1:00 am, whiny puppy. Awake at 3 am, whiny puppy. Awake at 5 30 am, whiny children. Stoke the stove, make breakfast, do math until numbers dance drunken patterns before my eyes. Try to decide if my stomach trouble is any of the following…….stress, medications, stomach flu, or a combination. Children hollering at me through the bathroom door. Home phone ringing. Cell phone ringing. Dog barges in on me in the bathroom. For crying out loud, shut the door!!! Cat barges in on me in the bathroom. Husband calls and says, “Sorry you had lunch hot and ready. I won’t be home until who knows when.” Cold lunch. Thought a nice hot bath would be just the ticket. Hot bath ended in cut leg from shaving, and a rash from the soap I decided to use. So, it’s not bottles , diapers and projectile vomiting. It’s dessicated banana peels under sloppy beds, and algebra homework. It’s not teething and pacifiers. It’s driving and “Momma, can I dye my hair blue?” So, for all you stressed out new moms, with the spit-up on your day old jogging pants……….just you wait……..
Continuing my theme of love and appreciation for the month of February, today’s star is my mom.
She has earned her spot on this list this month for sure! She has trotted me back and forth to Hot Springs all this week, done my grocery shopping, taken care of my kids, made sure they’ve gotten their school work done, taken them to church, gone to the pharmacy for me, and just generally made sure that I’ve had what I’ve needed these last couple of weeks.
She doesn’t complain , even though I’m sure she hasn’t just felt spectacular every day herself.
I have to be honest and up front, though. There have been times in our lives when we haven’t always gotten along, and I might have been ambivalent about putting her on this list. I know growing up I did not appreciate her in the way that I should have.
It’s easy to see that now. When you are young and know all there is to know about life, sometimes mothers seem like an overrated aspect of your life. Feeling smothered makes it hard to feel like you can be your own person. Or perhaps you have the opposite problem, and feel like your mother doesn’t care ENOUGH about you. It can be difficult either way. But now I am a mother and see the challenges that come with the position. To love without strangling can be hard. To guide without overwhelming. To give your opinion and yet still allow your child to become their own person. There is a very fine line that I sometimes inadvertently cross.
I don’t think a relationship stands still. And even though I am grown, I still work on the one I have with my mother. We’ve learned that you have to have give and take. It’s what makes things work.