From ‘I See Myself’
Approximately three weeks ago …
I am in my doctor’s office. I am not sure what to say when he asks what brought me in. I’m guessing it won’t be particularly illuminating if I answer, “Because I promised my husband I’d come.”
I do my best to explain.
“I’m worried about my health,” I tell him. “Overall.”
I pause. He watches me expectantly. I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I run through a couple of specific physical concerns, but I’m stalling.
After an awkward silence I find myself saying, “My youngest daughter has autism. And one of her biggest challenges is anxiety. We recently switched her medications and it was relatively disastrous. Anyway, there’s a lot to it, but I guess the thing is this – the thing that she needs most from me is calm. There’s nothing more important than me keeping it together when she loses it. And I’ve grown pretty good at it over the years. As she escalates, I de-escalate. But well, it’s not natural. In fact, it takes a hell of a lot of energy to fight every impulse I have and stay calm when I feel anything but.”
I’m gaining steam now. The doctor is listening intently.
“So I guess what I’m saying is that the stress of that situation has to come out somewhere. I keep it together for her, but I think it’s taking a toll.”
He looks at me and says, “Of course it is.” His tone suggests that we’ve both agreed that it’s a Tuesday. He might as well have answered, ‘Duh.”
From Diary’s Facebook page, January 1st, 2012 ..
last night as i put a $35 jar of american caviar into the fridge, katie said, ‘mama, is that CAVIAR?’ i nodded. ‘yup’. ‘isn’t that CRAZY expensive?’ she asked. i nodded again. ‘it is, baby. but you know what? i wanted a special treat tonight, so i bought it.’
she leaned back on the counter and said, ‘i’m proud of you mama. you really don’t do that enough.’
— i hereby declare 2012 the year of mamas remembering to take care of themselves. who’s in?
This afternoon …
This evening …
Yes, I really am.
I’ve had miles building up for ages.
No more waiting.
I’m using them TODAY.
Just me, a dear friend, miles of white sand and the Caribbean Sea – for two full, glorious days.
Oh, and a cabana boy. Yes, definitely a cabana boy.
(To bring the drinks).
I will miss my girls terribly.
But they’ll be OK.
They’ll be more than OK.
Because they will see that their mama values them enough to take care of herself.
And they will learn by extension that if and when they are mamas someday, they too will be worth taking care of.
2012 – the year of the oxygen mask.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish packing.