Friday, April 16, 2010
Adventures in Real Parenting: And If You Tell Anyone, I'll Do It Again
Last night I cried.
Contrary to what I may occasionally write here, this is not as common of an occurrence as you may think. I treat crying pretty much the same way I treat throwing up. I fight it all the way.
And although there are a myriad of contributing factors involved - hormones perhaps? I did feel utterly compelled to buy chocolate yesterday....., suppressed stress, changes in routine, etc., I still ultimately blame motherhood for the tears that overcame my best attempts to hold them back.
First there was Nate and a lot of noisy pain after he fell and cut up and banged his elbow and arm. Funny how he and his friends can fly screaming around the winding streets of our subdivision, a gaggle of yahoos on a go-kart, dodging police, rock throwing preschoolers and sisters begging for turn on the contraption and all is hunkydory.
But he walks across the yard carrying a tennis racket and bam! He's on the ground and his arm is busted. But then, who am I to talk? I had an OxyClean FAIL this morning that ended up with me getting some of it in my eye and taste of it, as well. It doesn't go well with coffeetongue.
After much moaning and indecision about going to the doctor, ice application and Ibuprofen, Nate went to bed with a belly full of pork chop and fresh strawberries and woke up feeling okay enough to go to school and declined a trip to the doctor's office.
Nevertheless, worry, worry. My worry switch had been flicked into the ON position.
What really pushed me to tears, though, wasn't the kind of scary, worrisome parenting stuff. Instead it was the nice stuff. The stuff that, even though it makes you cry, it also makes all this worth it. Chloe was the culprit. Or more specifically a paper she wrote. She emailed it to me late last night expecting I would proofread it this morning for her. I saw it in my email and thought I'd take care of it right then so she wouldn't have to wait and I wouldn't have it hanging over my head as something to forget in my long list of Friday errands.
Wanna know what the paper was about? Facebook. Of all things. And it was an excellent paper. That kid knows how to write and I'm not saying that because I'm her mom. If I thought anything she was about to hand in for a grade was crap, I'd tell her so.
In the paper, she wrote how Facebook had allowed her to stay in touch with friends she went to school with from kindergarten through sixth grade in Illinois. And now how she uses it to stay in touch with friends from high school who have scattered for college, military service and work. And how she uses it to keep in touch with family near and far. And how it's comforting to see your mom's constant (constant?) status updates and posts, especially when you want to be independent,but it's still nice to hear her "voice." Wahhhhhhh!
I lost it. I cried first when she wrote about how she'd seen so many graduation pictures from her old Illinois pals that she almost forgot that she wasn't there with them, part of it. Wahhhhh! Guilt! Guilt! And then when she admitted that sometimes she wanted to hear the sound of my voice, well.......there are no words I was so touched.
Ten minutes after I told MathMan, I'd be right back - I was just shutting down my computer, he came looking for me. I was in tears at my computer. He became alarmed. I like to cry alone, rarely letting him comfort me. "What's wrong?"
I blubbered out some response, quickly followed up by the PMS explanation. He hugged me, rubbed my back and kissed the top of my head.
When he left the room, he said "You know, it's okay to cry."
The chocolate remains untouched.