Not My Best Moments

September 16, 2009 As I write this, my children, by some miracle of God, are quietly and peacefully playing by themselves in a tent in the playroom. So, I expect that as soon as I dare to write something here, bedlam will erupt! (Actually, they did come down the minute I started typing, but I bribed them with fruit snacks and they have gone back upstairs!)

So, I’ve just not been at my best this week. I’ve long struggled with staying home with my kids. I want to do it, believe it is the right thing to do for them, and enjoy it most days. But, sometimes, I miss having a job that doesn’t involve sticky hands, playing barbies or doing laundry. Last year, with Tanner in kindergarten and Jake in Mom’s Day Out 2 days a week, I felt like I had finally hit my stride. It was just the right balance between being able to spend time with my kids and being able to do something mentally challenging, like co-chairing the fundraiser at Jake’s school.

When Tanner was diagnosed this summer, I had her signed up for some cool camps and activities and was looking forward to spending lots of time at the pool with the kids. Of course, none of those things ever happened. When fall came around, I was ready for the familiar schedule are structure of school, but that never happened either.

Jake is going to school 2 days a week, but Tanner is, of course, home with me. And, while I try to make those days special for her, it’s hard when you can’t really go anywhere and she sometimes doesn’t feel good. I don’t stay home well; I like to get out. It refreshes my spirit and gives me energy.

So, I’ve not been at my best this week… being here all the time is dragging at me. Yesterday, I thought maybe Tanner and I would go to a movie, but she woke pale… very pale… and not feeling well. I suspect her red cell count is down; she had a headache, didn’t feel well and slept late, all signs of anemia. Instead of going to a movie, we rented one and stayed home, which sounds nice, unless it’s the 30th day in a row you’ve stayed at home. She started feeling better around noon and we went to an outside restaurant for lunch, but it was still a long day.

I miss sitting with my friends at McDonalds talking about grown up things while our kids play on the playground.

As I write this, I feel ungrateful for the miracle that my child is alive despite this insidious disease she has. I should be cherishing every moment, right? And, I feel guilty because this is difficult for Tanner, too, and here I am feeling sorry for myself. But, in the immortal words of my good friend Ron Whitler, there are just only so many kid games an adult can play without losing their minds. My temper is short, my tolerance for pretending is nil and I really wouldn’t like to be my kids this week.

Ugghhh. Must be the rain.

I’m going upstairs to be the monster outside the tent. I’ll try to pretend that I’m enjoying it and maybe eventually I will!

Beth

4 thoughts on “Not My Best Moments

  1. DEAR BETH, YOU ARE LIVING THE LIFE AND TELLING THE STORY AND THIS IS PART OF THE STORY SO YOU SHOULD WRITE ABOUT IT. MAYBE IT WILL IN THE END MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING ABLE TO ADMIT YOU HAVE BAD DAYS TOO. HEY IT MIGHT MAKE YOU PLAYING THE MONSTER PART BE REALLY GOOD. HANG IN THERE BOTH YOU AND JOHN.

  2. Cancer will not always define you – nor will it forever brand Tanner. Hang in there and know that it’s okay to be normal sometimes. I find the best “filler” when feelings of inadequacy gnaw at you is … prayer. It can keep you from saying and even doing things you later regret, and can occupy your mind while the gray clouds pass. I’m not good at citing scripture, but I find comfort in a page from one of Lyla’s prayer books … “Worry about nothing and pray about everything.” It seems to simple, but as you already know, it works. Sending love to you, John and the kids – RP

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