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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

12 More Days

I have no idea how people can live with chronic illness or pain without throwing in the towel and just becoming miserable bitch grouches.

Brian tells me that I will make an excellent old person, waxing on about my fibroid, my knees, this cough, and - ooooh, my sinuses. I say- I'm there already. My eyes hurt, my belly hurts, my knees hurt and I want my mommy. Until I remember that she's almost 88 and the furthest thing from a whiner in the world. Her cure for spinal stenosis and arthritis is to go for a long walk outdoors in this Siberian-esque winter. She doesn't make a very good old person at all. Humph.

Speaking of chronic pain, I pulled together all my papers for income tax. Except for the inevitable dozen or so that I will have forgotten. My father in law will be messaging me nonstop asking for all the stuff I've forgotten (again), and I will be mortally embarrassed and will blame my husband for not being the bookkeeper type, forcing me to badly impersonate one. I hate tax pain. Numbers baffle me. Give me a psychiatric conundrum any day of the week, I'll deal. But not numbers. They cause me moderate to severe and chronic pain.

And lately there's been lingering parenting pain. I messaged my friend Karla the other night (she's like a 1-800-I suck, please absolve me-line). I told her my sorrows, I whined. "I can't do this parenting thing!" And in all her wisdom she said- "You are actually doing it. They're having a hard time doing the prepubescent/teenage thing. You're doing it".

To which I said- "damn it".

It's painful.

When the kids were little, and impossible, and never slept and cried constantly, some horrible people would say to me- "oh, just you wait until they're teenagers!" I would like to hurt all those people, still, to this day. I have teenagers. They never throw themselves on the floor in Walmart to weep inconsolably. They never shove their hands down their pants during dinner to whine about their panties being wrong. They don't throw fits about the toast being cut into pie shapes instead of squares. They don't poop their drawers while hiding behind the couch.

Teenagers have introduced me to a different kind of pain. It's the kind that makes me question whether I've been doing things right enough since they were toddlers, contentedly eating their own snot. It's a more existential sort of pain. It's the pain of wondering- if my teenager lives in his or her room and only comes out to grunt and root for snacks, is it because I haven't reached them somehow? Will they trust me enough to let me in when they have questions? And when they do let me in, is my response adequate? Will they be well? Physically, emotionally, spiritually well? (Don't try to answer these questions. I won't be easily reassured). The point of mentioning any of these things at all is to dwell morbidly on the topic of pain.

Which might help to explain my recent craving for a piercing or tattoo or sliver....

Twelve days sounds like a really short time. Lately at night I have been dreaming that its time to fly home from our trip and I realize I've never made it out of my hotel room. In my dream, I've spent my whole time on pinterest and sleeping and cleaning the toilet. I never found the swim up bar or the beach and I never went outside.

Maybe that's because it's how I've spent the winter- cleaning the toilet, pinning all the cats, and sleeping.

Twelve more days.



Karla said...

You really are doing it, you know. Pain and all. In fact, the pain tells me you're alive in this thng called parenting, and sometimes being alive and showing up is more than anyone should ask of us.

Dear Joycie, my absolution partner, you have 12 days to wait until you can sit in the sun and breathe deeply and contemplate all of this while the sea-salt air soothes you and brings you wisdom and perspective. 12 days, my friend.

You really are doing it....

Judy said...

Your kids are blessed to have you as their mom.

I wish you were my mom. Although that would really be weird, as I am much older than you.


What your fried said, "You really are doing it..."


janice said...

I heard these words from my daughter's lips one day 'Mom, you are pretty well done parenting now, aren't you'. I can't remember how old she was. . . she was taller than me, but has been taller than me since 13. I quelled the inner voice the screamed NOOOOOOOOOOO and I agreed with her. She is entirely self wiping. She drives a car and pays rent, and flies off by herself on holidays. Less than a year ago I drove 4 hours after work, to rescue her from her unshowered pajama-clad shivering state, as she was too ill to walk the 3 blocks to the clinic. I made chicken soup and doctor's appointments. Last month I heard the phone ring after midnight and knowing my parents are gone, knew something happened to her. Just a little accident in Montana, run down in the crosswalk by a car, but the guy was sorry, and he stopped, and somebody called 911. 'We are OK, just finished 5 hours at the hospital - you will be getting some bills'. You are about done parenting, because they are self wiping and can drive - NOT. The only way I get through this is by believing in Guardian Angels. Call it God, Dog, Mohammed, Buddha, Energy - whatever you like. I love the idea of a whole flock of angels watching over my teenager. Yes, they are still teenagers at 21, and faith is the only way I can enjoy that parenting thing.

I already make a good old person, whining about my knees. And I speak unashamedly of menopause, and recommend it wholeheartedly, as I bask in my heat waves.

11 days until you are basking in the heat, while believing your kids are doing fine without you.