I’m trying to get back on the blog wagon but like anything in my life, the farther I get behind the less likely I am to actually follow through. So in an effort to break the cycle I am here – sitting in my spot, drinking coffee, listening to an unusual quiet filling my house. So hold on to your iphones – I’m baaaaaack!
Earlier today I was flipping through my Facebook feed when Mr. Zuck’s people so kindly reminded me that I had memories to look at. My top memory was from two years ago. My oldest, sitting in the background was three and a half. My youngest, wailing forefront was one and half. My hashtag? #SendHelp. Here, take a look –
When I looked at this memory I felt my eye twitch. See, the 2016 ME who posted this was at what she thought was her wits end. My oldest had started off February of that year bringing a stomach flu home from preschool. Each of us took a turn with it and then like the overachiever he is he had a second round. As soon as the stomach flu was gone they both developed colds. This picture was day 11 of February and also the 11th straight day we’d had a sick house. I knew the first winter of preschool was supposed to be a hard one but I was not prepared for the winter we were having. And spoiler alert: Help would never come.
There were 2 reasons I posted this picture that day. The first, because I alway try to fall to humor as a coping mechanism and I thought if I made this moment feel humorous maybe I’d believe it was. The second, because I was truly losing it. I needed some hugs – even if they were virtual and covered in lysol. I needed some, “there theres” and some “it’s going to be oks.” I needed someone to tell me that it would get better – that this was only temporary even if every day felt like an eternity.
I distinctly remember my frame of mind at the time this picture was taken. I was doing my daaaaaaamnedest to stay positive. I kept telling myself, “we have to be almost through this” and “one day at a time.” My internal monologue was trying so hard to be perky even though I was dragging ass harder than I’d ever dragged before. I was dreaming of a few days down the road where we would all be healthy and rested and my demon children would be replaced with their Gerber versions AND I would think THAT picture was funny. What I didn’t know is I would never find that picture funny. (Let me sidebar and point out that I know there are a whole group of people who *never* think crying kid pics are funny. That’s great. We just have different scales. Let’s leave that where it lays and move on. xox) Here I thought I was about to pay the piper so to speak and earn a “I survived my kid’s first winter in preschool” punch in my parenting card and instead I came out the other side suppering from significant anxiety thinking homeschooling my kids for the next 16 years might not be a bad idea after all. That month was doctors and vomit and snot and fevers and urgent cares and pharmacies and no sleep and emergency rooms AND CRYING. SO MUCH CRYING. (I feel the need to point out that I am including myself in the “crying” faction). And probably the worst of all was that it came in wave after unrelenting wave with no breaks.
A couple days after this picture was taken I thought we had crossed the hump of seasonal sicknesses so I sent my three year old off to his preschool for one lousy freaking day – where he promptly picked up RSV which developed into a secondary lung infection. Sharing is caring and right as my 1 year old was coming down with RSV himself my husband was on his way cross country for business. Less than two weeks after this photo I would be finding out the hard way that my toddler was allergic to amoxicillin. My husband arrived home just in time for me to end the month with a sinus infection and my first ear infection since the 80s (which left me without hearing in that ear for 6 weeks). All of this was about to fall upon my head and February 11, 2016 me was nearing her breaking point well before the “fun” had even peaked.
February 2016 changed me. It broke me. It kicked me. It humbled me. It took me down a WHOLE BUNCH of notches. It made me feel helpless. It made me feel alone. It was a hell of a shitty effing month (I’m fighting the urge to throw out SO MANY more 4 letter type expletives). February 2016 is why this cold and flu season my purse has hand sanitizer spray AND wipes which I use on myself and my children liberally. It’s why you might catch me wiping down not just the handle but the ENTIRE cart at Target. It’s why I haven’t gone to visit my best friend’s new baby – because even if I’m 99% sure I’m not sick I couldn’t stand the thought of that 1% risk that I might be carrying something. It’s why I cringe every time a child coughs near mine this time of year. (I swear I can now visualize viruses being blown through the air a la 1995’s classic virus blockbuster, Outbreak.
While two years on I can finally look back and feel like this was an eternity ago, I still can’t laugh. Instead I look at this picture and wonder who are the families that are going through that same kind of year right now? Where are the moms with small kids and no back up who are emotionally living day by day right now? This picture just brings out my empathy for parents who are raising small kids when lighting keeps striking. Extra brownie points for those parents who don’t have any back up for when shit creek starts to flash flood.
Two years later and I’m still a little gun shy when it comes to health. You won’t hear me talking about how lucky we are or aren’t because I don’t think there is a piece of wood powerful enough to knock on. In fact I’m nervous just putting this much discussion on the topic into the universe. But in case anyone stumbles upon this that happens to be having one effing hell of a cold and flu season – the kind that flies just far enough under the radar that no one knows you are struggling to make it through each day – I have a few things to say that you need to hear….
There there. ❤
It’s going to be OK.
It WILL get better.
This is only TEMPORARY even if every day lately has felt like an eternity.
(—-Oh and yes. It most certainly blows.)
To Better Februarys for all.