Three generations. ❤ My graduation day, even after severe illness and this being day one of recovery, was really amazing. I never thought I would make it to this place – and as I was lining up to walk across the stage, I looked into the audience and there were double digits worth of people that I love… How amazing is that? All for me! I am not used to that – and it was really amazing. I worked so hard for this – and you bet your sweet ass when they handed me all of those cords of various colors for various honors I was damn proud. You know why? Because I earned it. And when they said my name followed by “Cum Laude” you bet I was proud. Of me. And that is totally allowed. I did something most single moms struggling to just make it through each week cannot do. I said it, and I don’t regret. Most people couldn’t do what I did and its OK for me to give myself credit for once… It was a great day and having those credentials are awesome – requesting those transcripts for my Masters program – even more awesome – getting those acceptance letters – AWESOME!
And then we headed to Florida for a family vacation. It was honestly a struggle with my youngest child – and Drew had to step in numerous times to help mediate… but this whole experience with 8 days on various beaches, snorkeling together for the first time, cards with the other 17 members of the family while it rained a bit in Florida, taxed me. Yes, it taxed me. My youngest child is the center of our world and is proving to have issues that we don’t know how to solve. But, even when I was taxed, I had a partner who swooped in and said, proverbially, “When you’re weak, I’m strong.” And when I was weak- and when my own family was judging my inability to parent a child with ‘issues’ and creating their own chatter… Drew was handling it and reminding me that this is not something all parents deal with and this is something we have to adapt to. And we are going to.
Boy Child struggles with the disconnect of emotional acceptance of disappointment. If he is told ‘No’ he instantaneously wiggles about and spirals out of control. And I start to shut down. “Why am I not a better mother- which would make him better?” … “I’m consistent – why doesn’t respond? Why don’t I have any answers?” One thing doesn’t change. I am not in this alone. There are THREE other parents who are ‘all in’. Thank goodness I am not alone… because honestly, I couldn’t handle the Boy Child alone. I couldn’t work out, mentally, why this is happening to this tiny little piece of my heart that is living, angrily, outside of my body now. Some days, I cry, and text the other parental units and tell them that I am not good enough to handle this and I am desperate for relief – anything… but the truth is, I am lucky to have that. I have a support system that is focused on the best outcome and sharing my feelings doesn’t open anger or judgment from the other set of parents, or my own spouse. We all get it.
I started to struggle with the idea of Drew and I starting the process to get pregnant after we get married in October – I started to think that I was a poor genetic match for anyone. (I often disregard that both of my kids are academically advanced.) I started to drown in this “I am not good enough to make a baby with someone in case ‘it’ happens again.” And ‘it’ would be my son with extreme emotional irregularity and impulse control issues. I want another child – and I want a child with my forever-partner. The person who deserves his own child the most in the world. I want to know what that feels like. I want to know what the journey is – raising a child with a person like Drew. Drew. Nobody else. I was almost starting to look for an “out” – something that would allow me to say “Nope, we aren’t and shouldn’t do this.” (even though it would break my heart.) solely to reduce the “risk”.
I sat in the doctor’s office and she told me “Green lights!” and explained that even though this pregnancy would be VERY closely monitored and that the second I went into pre-term labor, no matter what week it was, they would deliver. I had no other risk factors for a repeat rupture from harsh pre-term labor on my second pregnancy and first c-section incision. Scariest situation I have EVER been in. (People screaming, yelling, running around, asking my blood type, counting surgical utensils and a man leaning on my chest to slow the blood flow from my heart to my hemorrhage point…and a very VERY white, sickly, looking ex-husband.) The specialist put all of my fears at ease and told me to call her when we were pregnant “sometime in the Fall!”… Listen, Lady, we are getting a honeymoon where we can enjoy cocktails on a beach – don’t wish pregnancy on me before then… but she shook my hand and assured me that two successful conceptions and two healthy babies – one even being a month premature in addition to a major lifestyle change that made me internally very healthy – that I should “plan on it happening quickly”.
The worth in all of this is that the reward is so great, and not in the “This is a huge gamble!” sense…I am enrolling in a Masters program that will give me a bit in student loans but the risk is worth the reward of a median salary that is more than $30k higher than what I make now and will make me feel exponentially accomplished as a person, as a divorcee whose story “wasn’t going to end like that!!”. (Risk worth the reward.) If I wouldn’t have committed to my undergraduate program and hadn’t said to myself “This is worth the work and the risk”… I wouldn’t be HERE – so proud and so ready for the next phase of my knowledge-hungry mind. And then, having a child with the man that I love and believing that genetics plays all sorts of factors in making a human – and hoping that the worst does not befall upon us in order to see my husband with a little budding family that he is (and I am) very much deserving of. (Risk worth the reward.). Spending hours researching, talking to specialists, evaluations, medications, and therapy to try to work out my son’s issues. (Risk worth the reward.)
All of these risks have so much “worth” – “worth” that I am not willing to ‘risk’ losing by choosing not taking that chance.
I think its worth it even if the struggle produces tears – or produces insecurities – time passes and hindsight is 20/20 and you SEE that it was worth it.