The F*U

26 Apr

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My son has not had an easy year. Neither have I. It is so difficult to watch someone you love struggling with something you want nothing to do with. He is not prone to complaining, which has made his tears that much more terrible to witness.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was simply the flu.

“Mrs. Goodwin, your son’s temperature is 103. You need to pick him up.”

That morning he was fine. He was fine all the other mornings too. Everything seems to come out of nowhere. And that is why, on the afternoons and evenings and middle-of-the-nights of those days, the mornings always look so normal and beautiful.

My son is delicious and unique and lovable and brilliant and determined and kind and good. He needed to be well for so many reasons, least of which was just handling a flu virus. We sat outside the lab in the pediatrician’s office, while I silently prayed over and over that the flu test would not come back positive. It was positive. And he crumpled in my arms.  My son had had enough and I did not blame him. I did not blame him as a 10 year old child or as a grown woman. I had had enough too.

For a month or so, all my child was looking forward to was a birthday party for one of his friends. This small handful of kids was to meet at someone’s house for pizza and follow it up with a night of ice skating. Thanks to the flu, he could not go, and I might have been more crushed than he. His face turned red. Tears streamed down his cheeks. He cried so hard he did not make a sound.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I will remake this whole party for you when you are better. I promise I will do the exact same thing. You won’t miss out on anything. I promise. I’m so sorry.”

Last night, and after a terrible week or two for my family in general, this birthday party do-over finally happened. As I watched these kids at the pizza parlor laughing, I took a Polaroid with my mind. My breath caught, my heart sang, and I cried tears of joy. My son was happy.

For all the times I beat myself up, wondering if I am a good mother, wondering if I am doing enough, wondering if I yell at my kids too often or too loud or for something seemingly trivial yet created by years worth of frustration over the same little thing they keep doing, last night I gave myself a break. I did ok. I gave both of us a “moment.” And I felt, whatever happens, we will be alright.

The kids ice skated, took pictures, enjoyed churros, and ended the night laughing in the car the whole way home. After we dropped everyone off and got inside the house, my son hugged me.

“Thank you, Mom! I had the best time.”

No. Thank YOU.

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2 Responses to “The F*U”

  1. cogpunksteamscribe November 21, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    You are a real treasure of a mother, and don’t ever forget it!

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