Sometimes, okay - too much of the time, I feel badly for my kids.
I wish they had a healthier mom who struggles with less things.
I also realize this is an irrational thought. I can't control it, they can't control it, and it's not like other families out there don't have their own struggles - their own up and down moments.
I also realize that I'm not the only mom who feels not good enough. What's that saying? Behind every kid is a mom who thinks she's doing it all wrong? Or something like that.
Still, this is how I feel and I struggle with it.
I suppose my kids will learn empathy and compassion, and might be better able to help someone else who is dealing with similar issues. This is a good thing. They are learning, and they are understanding.
This is the hardest with my 9 year old. He doesn't really remember me from before cancer. This bothers me. I know in time the other two may not remember a before and after either, as childhood memories morph together and become just a bit fuzzy with time.
But he was 5 when I got cancer - and not very far into 5.
Tonight at his baseball game (in which he played quite well if I brag for a few moments) I had an allergic reaction to something. No, I don't know what, and yes, I'd probably be willing to pay you pretty much anything if you knew what it was!
We got home and he said to me "It's pretty strange that you would get an allergic reaction like that and we don't know why"
Yep, I agreed it is. Then I said my body is just sensitive and works differently then some other people's bodies.
It seemed a simple enough response. He thought for a moment and told me "No, I don't think your body works differently. I think it's the cancer. I know you don't have it in you right now mom, but I think it changed you and changed how your body worked."
Well. From the mouth of babes and all of that.
He gets it. I feel much the same way - cancer, the treatment, all of it, I think it changed me - and not in a I-now-have-meaning-in-my-life-and-I'm-a-better-person-who-appreciates-every-single-moment change. But now I'm a person with migraines, hives, rashes, itchiness, chronic fatigue, low iron, severe insomnia, and some other wonderful medical things.
Cancer left it's mark. The treatment left it's toll. This is what life-post-cancer looks like for me.
Just like that, he explained it. It made sense to him. He didn't seem mad, or angry, or confused. He wasn't worried, or scared, and anything. Just cancer changed me, this is where I'm at. It is strange that it happens, but it just is.
And I thought, my 9 year old is wiser than me. And he's wiser than some other people I know.
From the mouth of babes. This sweet boy who loves me no matter what. This sweet boy who wants to help me feel better, and yet, is just able to accept that this is what it is, and can I have dessert now?
And yes, he got a dessert.
Which reminds me, last week I had a knock-me-down migraine. In a rare twist of my migraines, it left me very very sensitive to sound. All sounds pretty much hurt. I didn't want to hear anyone talking to me, or clocks chiming, or music, or the sounds of the tv. I needed silence.
I rested for a while and rejoined the family. My boy asked me what he should draw. I said he should draw a pair of headphones that would make it so my head didn't hurt when people talk to me. So, he drew headphones, told me to hold the paper up to my head, and when I did, he whispered he loved me and wanted to make better.
And then ran off to play.
He's a sweet kid. All three of them are. I think most kids are actually.
I hate that my kids have to live through my medical stuff. But I'm pretty glad, and proud, of how they seem to handle it and take it in stride. I don't think I could have done that at his age. Or the way my 12yo takes it all. Or the way my 15yo takes it all.
But they just roll with what life hands our way, and even my 9 year old gets it.