I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Doctors, Dentists and Flus, Oh My!

My parents are still away. My son's Step-mom is away. Both my son and I have been hit with a flu-like virus, confirmed at a doctor's appointment yesterday afternoon. He had oral surgery today - it was supposed to be a simple tooth extraction, but it turns out he had some tooth-like growths that were twisting the adult teeth around. The bigger two are the size of baby teeth. Having spent an anxious 2.5 hours at the dentist at my weakest time of day after a few days of not sleeping well has me feeling like my blood has been sucked out and lead pumped back in it's place.

And yet...

I feel supported. I am calm(ish). I am happy. I am proud. I feel like I've really achieved something amazing.

When the dentist finished, he turned to me and said that my son had been extraordinary in the chair. He should know - he sees a lot of children. That's normal for us - all the dentists and doctors and teachers, and everyone always says how great he is. But then he said something that made me swell, feel guilty, and then, remembering my post about pride, I allowed the swelling to continue and said "Thank-you." He said "you've raised a very confident boy." Again, he should know - he sees as many parents as he sees children.

After they took my son for x-rays to see if all the lumps were out (they weren't, and they had to go in again), the dental assistant said something else. She said, and I've seen the same thing in my years working with children, that the calmer the parent, the calmer the child. At that point I laughed, and told her what an effort it had been for me to stay calm - I actually pulled out my Kobo partway through the procedure, because I just couldn't look anymore - and I don't think, in this case, that it had anything to do with my overactive nervous system - this was just a natural reaction to seeing my child in that position (no details, but it was gross and looked painful). Then she told me about how many parents they have to drag out of the room. But not me, oh no.

I have practiced the art of maintaining the appearance of calm while all chaos is breaking loose inside. It is an essential skill for a teacher, and a very powerful one for parenting. But, the calm exterior cracks if things don't shift. So I called my dear sister, and she listened, and made suggestions and invitations and I felt better very quickly.

This week, we have dined at my sister's house, and she has brought us pre-prepared food and medicine. My dear friend brought us lunch yesterday. So if I'm feeling sluggish enough to call, I know there are options.

So what if my blood is sluggish? So what if I can barely walk to the kitchen without holding on to the wall? My son has been fed and medicated, and so have I. He has spent some time away from electronics. He even cleaned up one of the living room shelves to make room for new toys he wants. He has been a real joy all day, except for the moments of extreme pain as the freezing wore off, and the shock he got when he realized he had stitches (and which worsened when he looked in the mirror).

I am once again so grateful to those who guided me in his early years in giving him a Montessori start to his life, and setting him up to be so successful now. And because I'm working on owning things, I feel it's important to say this: I am grateful that I knew the first years were the important ones, and that I put so much effort and hard work into parenting during those years. The effort has certainly paid off. Similarly, I am grateful for the effort I've made to make good friends, to repair relations with my family and my son's family, and for the effort made in the same vein from the other side of all of those relationships. I recognize that it is a joint effort. So thank-you, and thank-me, and here we go again!

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