Monday, June 13, 2011

My Life

For those of you who know me a little better than others you know my kids are my life. I think that’s the way it is with all of us basically. I guess sometimes people read what we write and imagine us dictating our stories to some overpaid assistant while we lounge in a round, king size bed flooded with pink silk draped from some ornate 24K gold canopy. Oh! And we’re petting a fluffy white poodle that’s wearing a diamond-studded collar, too!

But that’s not the case, is it?

No. Life is pretty much like everyone else’s here at my house. There are groceries to shop for, bills to pay, school administrators and teachers to deal with, homework help, etc. Life is normal. Well, at least as normal as it can be at my house. I’m a single Mom and have raised my three all by my lonesome. NO child support and NO help with all of the ups and downs of child-rearing I’ve encountered along the way.

When the middle child, at age five, developed some sort of seizures, it was me that trudged back and forth to Duke Children’s Hospital once a week for treatments. It was me who went to school every single day at lunchtime to give her meds (didn’t trust the school nurse, lol). When she ended up in the hospital for a week, I stayed with her nightly while the other two were farmed out to my sis—even though I left the hospital each morning at 4 a.m. so I could make breakfast and get those two off to school—and then back to Duke for a few hours before back home for pickups at school then back to Duke for the night so I could start all over the next day. It’s amazing sometimes how we can find the strength to do the things we have to for our kids, isn’t it?

When the oldest broke her arm at her shoulder at age seven and was placed in a weighted cast—she weighed forty-five pounds and the cast weighed thirty-five—I was the one who home schooled her and carried her back and forth to the bathroom and fed her while she was in bed. Do you know how hard it is to entertain a child who is basically in bed 24hrs a day for six weeks? I bet you do.

Then there’s the boy. Well, he fractured his foot once but he didn’t seem to need any help. Loved that big boot they put him in. He said he looked like a cyborg in it. lol But he did have H1N1 back to back (ya’ll remember Swine Flu, don’t ya?)—lasting a total of three weeks—and then went back to school and ended up in the ER with a horrible headache and jaundice like you would NOT believe! And the ER doc immediately wanted to test for spinal meningitis. He had all of the symptoms. The kid could not even move his head he hurt so badly. Or so we thought! LOL The doc was leaning up against the wall telling me about THE SPINAL TAP he was going to do and just happened to look over at the boy who was the sickest I’d ever seen him and about that time—at the words SPINAL TAP—the boy raised his head! So the doc says—“uhhhh…maybe not. He shouldn’t be able to move his head. Let’s give him some fluids and about half an hour.”

After two bags of fluids, the boy’s color returned and he could actually walk out of the hospital an hour later where he’d been carried out to my car before by a friend because he had been too weak to stand and, of course, put in a wheel chair at the ER. So he was diagnosed with his third case of H1N1.

Can you imagine how terrified I was? Yeah, I bet you can.

I’m sure all of you have jumped through the Christmas hoops, too! You know what I’m talking about. All of the booty is sitting there and the kids are so happy, and then it happens…

Something breaks. Something doesn’t work just the way it’s supposed to. A part doesn’t fit right. The batteries die. Parenting isn’t about the bright lights and toys and all the money you spent, is it? It’s about dealing with the broken toy and putting a smile back on that disappointed child’s face. It’s about love and understanding and having patience.

I used to be THE most IMPATIENT person on the planet. I was VERY demanding. Anything I wanted or needed, I wanted and needed NOW! So I thank God for blessing me with three children who taught me patience and understanding. And I thank my three children for giving me love and letting me love them.

Without that patience and understanding—and a very good sense of humor—I would not have made it. No way. I have the tendency to turn everything bad into something funny. Hey…you may as well laugh as cry, right? So when I went jockstrap shopping with the boy yesterday, I laughed a whole lot. When I retrieved him from football camp a while ago I handed him some Gatorade and had the AC vents blowing hard on him. He finally revived and told me all about it. Some guy twisted his nipple. Hmmm…

Yeah, they were practicing shoving and pushing off each other without protective equipment. But the boy did not expect anyone to twist his nipple. So tomorrow? I predict someone’s nipple is going to get twisted right back. You might catch my kid off guard one time—but not again. And I’m proud to say his mama ain’t no WUSS! I know how to shove hard, too, and I’m giving him the benefit of all my wisdom. So when he gets shoved tomorrow…someone’s going to be in the dirt and it won’t be my boy.

Raising kids is hard. Raising kids alone is even harder. Knowing the right things to say and do? Well, that’ll always be touch and go. No one has the right of that for sure. In the meantime I plod along, doing the best I can. Just like everyone else.


Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

I can so relate, Tess. Your post made me cry. Mothers go through so much and when we worry....well...there's no fear like it. And, let someone bother our children. The only definition I can give is a momma bear on steroids who's PMSing badly.


anny cook said...

Wait until you get to the grandkids... :-) Yep, it just gets worse. Have four kids all grown up. Have four grandkids aged 9 mos. to 13.

Parenting, grandparenting, heck, parent-parenting (I'm 'tween the grown kids and the elderly parents) we just do the best we can. That's life.

books4me said...

My brother and I were raised by my mom child support also. We turned out to be great kids and wonderful adults! We were lucky like your kids are!! Being a mom is the BEST thing EVER! I am blessed to be a stay at home mom and my child is my WORLD! I am at a loss for 2 weeks, though, as she is off at camp for the first time. But better to slowly "wean" myself from her than cold turkey when she goes off to college in (gulp) 6 years.

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

My Kudos to you. I have more respect & admiration for single Mom's than for anyone in the world.
Your a hero in your children's eyes & hearts, and never let anyone tell you different...*S*
My mother, bless her heart did it all by herself with 4 children many years ago. If not for her I would have followed in her path, but I was lucky and although I married very young...I'm still with the same man after 35 years.
You go girl!


Tess MacKall said...

Momma Bear on steroids who is PMSing!!! Ain't that the truth, Lisa????!!!!!!

Those kids have sure given me some bad scares.

Tess MacKall said...

Grandkids? Uhhh...nope. Already told them about that situation. I am not dealing with grandkids. Send me pics via email and I'll send gifts. They can blow me kisses from afar.

I'm finished after the boy. I'm going off to dance some place!!!!

Tess MacKall said...

Oh God...first time any of mine went off to camp I cried myself to sleep every night.

I'm the kind of Mom who gets a funny feeling and does a drive by of the school to make sure it's not on fire. Yeah, I'm like that.

Anonymous said...

Being a mom is the hardest job there is. I only have one child and can't imagine doing it completely by myself (though it's the running joke of those who know me that I might as well be for my husband's lack of home attendance skills). Your words brought tears to my eyes at the lengths you've gone through to be there for your children. And if they don't yet at their ages, they will one day know, understand and respect the hell out of the obstacles you've managed to be such a wonderful mom.


Tess MacKall said...

My kids aren't perfect, Darcy, but I'm pretty proud of them. And Lord knows I'm not perfect, but I do feel so much pride when I think about all these years and what I've gone through and how I've survived and they are pretty damn good kids---despite my mistakes. LOL

Tess MacKall said...

Today was a not so good day here at the old Tess MacKall house, Elece. I've had way too much to do. No time to do what I want to do and need to do in so far as writing and editing are concerned. So we will be having a big family meeting later on tonight about freeing up some of my time. So we'll see if they are getting old enough to figure all of this out and that it's time to pitch in more. One day they will understand when they have someone tugging on them all of the time for their wants and needs. Unfortunately, they're going to have to cope NOW. lol I need HELP!!!!

Marie Rose Dufour said...

Good for you! Let me tell you from experience that your children will appreciate you for all that you do for them. They won't be able to see it now but when they are grown themselves, they will cherish your dedication, sacrifice, and the multiple gray hairs that you got because of them. Your daughters will be strong women and your son will be the type of man that expects all women to be as strong as you.

There were four of us raised by a single mother. While it was no one's choice for this, I wouldn't give up all the lesson that I learned from her.

Anonymous said...

"Do you like when mom gets mad and yells? It's no fun when mom' a bitch is it?" Thats what I ask mine, and when he shakes his his head and says no, I say, "Then I need time to do MY stuff. Now run along and do your stuff. And don't do anything that'll make me go crazy." Since he thinks I'm off my rocker anyway, he's usually pretty damn good! LOL!

Regina Carlysle said...

What a wonderful post and another reason that most of us should get a 'mother of the decade' award. It never ends. Begins the moment they are born and just continues on. I wouldn't trade a moment of it though.

Mia Watts said...

You're a wonderful mom. You can see it in ever word, every expression of love. Raising kids alone IS hard. Testify, woman! I have two and interestingly enough, when I was married, I was still raising them alone. He sat on the couch and did nothing. No work, no cleaning, no child raising. Hell, he didn't even flush his own toilet. EVER.

Strong mothers continually give me hope that I'll make it through this too. Thank you for that post. It made me cry, but it also gives me strength.

Eileen said...

Wow! You did it all my yourself?! You are amazing! You do what you have to do, right? I had 4 kids and for 2.5 yrs I felt like a single mom when he worked a far distance away from home. he was gone before they woke up in the morning and would come home after they were in bed. He only saw them on weekends. That was tough but at least I had weekend help. You do what you have to do when jobs are scarce but I did it. And so did you!