you learn to let go of some of your irrational fears.
(in my case, a LOT of my irrational fears)
and you learn, that even though they seem pretty fragile, they are somewhat unbreakable.
at least that's my experience.
-when the dude was born, it was via an emergency c-section. for obvious reasons (like, i'm a horrible worrier, and my not-very-well-versed in medical issues mind would have made the worst of the information) i wasn't told too many of the details of my vitals & his vitals prior to his birth. it was probably best, 'cause in the almost 2 hours i had to wait to actually SEE my child the first time, i created more issues in my mind than any one child could possibly be born with. and then, over the course of our stay when he had an IV move from limb to limb, only to finally be cautioned it may have to be put in his head before we left.... that's a lot for any one person to take in, especially a new mother with a hyperactive imagination. (i can't even imagine how some of my friends who's children have actually been born with issues make it through, i envy their strength)
-at 2, i was putting the dude into bed, & a little quality mama/son bonding time turned into a trip to the ER when he slid off my back & onto the floor & ended up with a spiral fracture in his humerus (the bone in your upper arm). i was DEVASTATED. not only did my little boy have his first broken bone, but it was by my own doings. imagine a very verbal 2 year old walking around in a cast telling EVERYONE who asked him what happened 'my mama broke my arm'. it was heartbreaking. of course it was an accident, but the entire time i was just waiting for child services to come breaking down my door after he recounted the incident to the nurse in the ER. i cried when it happened, i cried on the way to the ER, i cried @ the ER, i cried while he screamed during xrays, i cried when they wrapped his arm up, i cried when they put the cast on, i cried & cried & cried. and he took it all in stride. when i tried to quash my fears & let him bounce in the bounce house we had for his 3rd birthday, the cast didn't even phase him.
-at his 3 year old check up, his pediatrician was certain she heard an irregular heartbeat. thankfully it turned out to be a false alarm, but for the entire MONTH that we had to wait for that pediatric cardiologist appointment, i was scared. SO scared. i had all manner of irrational fears. i'm sort of a worst-case-scenario person. (and i can't seem to help it) i can't tell you how many tears were shed that month.
-at 4 he stuck a piece of mulch in his ear at daycare, because he wanted to see how it felt. i was angry with him, but more than anything, paralyzed with the fear he may have somehow injured his internal ear somehow. a few weeks later a BIG little girl, jerked his arm so hard she dislocated his elbow. i picked him up from daycare & he was cradling his arm to his chest. the screams as i tried to get him into his seat belt without hurting him further, were more like to shrieks. and the cries as the doctor tried to get it back in? WOW. i am surprised he didn't shatter the glass in the office.
add to that the time my dad & brother put him up on the two story roof of my parents house to help hang christmas lights (and proceeded to text me pictures while i was at work, helpless to do ANYTHING about it), the entire ordeal that was kindergarten & getting diagnosed with ADHD, last year when he fell & split open his chin on the sidewalk outside, and this years easter incident where he crashed his four-wheeler into my parents pool enclosure, and i envisioned him plowing right through and into the pool without stopping... and it's a wonder i'm sane, and without chunks of hair missing from my head.
i scrapbooked that story about his broken arm right onto the xray film showing the fracture & i still have that piece of mulch he stuck in his ear, as well as his stinky old cast. they are pieces of the past, that represent not only moments of his life, but proof that i am stronger than i think i am. because even though i KNOW people endure far worse with their children, these are my struggles. these are my tiny triumphs. each moment a representation that truly, what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger.
my children entered into this world, and in their short time here, have taught me to learn to let go. to learn to enjoy life, and not be so damn scared all the time. it's a tough lesson for me to learn. i'm not a mom that follows my children around with hand sanitizer & lysol.. i'm pretty sure the little one has ingested a fair amount of dog hair & dirt from playing outside with the dog bowls. it's not the germs that scare me... it's everything else! but little by little i'm learning that making them live their life in a protective bubble doesn't do anyone any favors. they can't learn to be safe, if they don't figure out what's a potential danger. they can't make good choices, if they don't make bad ones.
i didn't realize how much i've grown & changed as a mother until this weekend.
it was just days before we were recounting to mason his arm injury, and how it was an accident we didn't obviously plan to happen, and honestly thought we could prevent. he was trying to justify letting his little brother up on the top bunk, because 'he could protect him'. we tried to explain that there are somethings you just don't do, because accidents DO happen.
fast forward 4 days, and while playing on the BOTTOM bunk, rance rolled right off, & onto the floor.. instantly screaming at the top of his lungs. i'll admit.. i was slow to respond. this kid falls ALL THE TIME. he trips over his feet, everyone else's feet, toys, boxes, AIR. he's bitten through his top lip more times than i can even remember at this point. but.. he's usually quick to recover & quit crying. usually before i can even get the bleeding to stop.
and friday night, 10 minutes later, he was still wailing. dada is the booboo mender in this house & even dad couldn't get him to really calm down. & then of course i had this intense feeling of deja vu. (falling off a bed, inconsolably crying..) we tried to move his arm, his neck.. and each time he whimpered. so, we loaded up & headed to the emergency room.
10 minutes into our wait at the ER.. he wanted down & started moving his neck & arm. he was smiling & talking gibberish like nothing happened. we just sort of looked at each other & simultaneously were like... 'ok, we are going home.' we kinda had this underlying feeling like maybe we just jumped to the decision based on our past experiences. we headed home & decided to see how he did the next day.
the next morning the hubs headed into work & i got the babe up & put him in his chair for breakfast. he was smiley & happily ate his cereal. 10 minutes after letting him down from his highchair, i knew something wasn't right. he let out a scream when he tried to get up on the couch & it took me several minutes to calm him down. i checked out his injured side & sure enough there was a small lump right over his clavicle.
|(i seriously don't understand how this kid slept friday night, or every night since then!)|
so, after a talk with a nurse at our pediatricians office, a visit to the on-call doctor & a 4 hour wait to get xrays in the hospital, we found out he did in fact have a fracture in his clavicle. a greenstick fracture they call it. it's broken part of the way, but not all the way through..
|(totally crashed sitting up after the loong day saturday at the hospital. must've been all the screaming during xrays that wore him out!)|
so it's been 5 days now, following him around, helping him up on the couch, hollering at him to quit running, carrying him when he can't be in a cart or stroller & trying to keep his sling on. it's a bit like chasing after a newly crawling infant who has discovered they can now get into EVERYTHING. he's such a trooper though!! hasn't cried a bit over the actual injury part since saturday when we had to manipulate his arm to get xrays. (tylenol is a miracle drug)
and me... i haven't cried a tear. that's kinda huge. 'cause like i've said.. i'm an over-reactor. that's not to say i haven't felt the pain of watching my poor baby go through this.. 'cause i certainly have. but i've met it head on & know that i just have to get through it. tears will not help the situation, so they have to be set aside. i know there will be times when i back slide. when the fear overcomes me. when i will have new lessons to learn in letting go.. but for now, i'm just sitting back marveling at how much i've changed as a person. strength, overcoming fear & letting go are not things i ever thought that being a mother would teach me.
now i just have to figure out how to translate overcoming fear into other parts of my life.