Even Amazons weep

Last week I wrote that I feel I’m living one straw away from a broken back.

My littlest one had to go home sick that day, one week after having spent two days home sick. I told his daycare I was 99% certain his spontaneous illness was food related; since he’d just eaten French toast with them, I bet it was wheat, milk or egg.

It didn’t matter. He still had to go home, and stay home the next day.

Since I recently accepted a contractor position to lessen a horrifying commute, each of those unpaid hours distressed me. With all hours put in, one-quarter of my gross income goes to my youngest son’s daycare. One-quarter goes to rent. One-quarter goes to health insurance. With the last one-quarter, I buy groceries, gasoline and pay my other bills.

Cutting into my hours cuts into my ability to pay for these necessities.

“It’s not forever,” I told myself. I can’t control external circumstance, but I have 100% control over my perspective.

I cried when one burden was lifted the next day. My attorney called to say we could wrap up the case that’s been heavy on my mind and heart for a couple of years now. I’ve wanted to be done almost since I began.

Merely thinking about the United States judicial system distresses me given my early childhood exposure to it. I am stronger for those experiences, but heavier of heart, too. I will never get used to being treated as if lying, even understanding as I do both the law and the chasm between legal truth and objective truth.

I’ve long since accepted my health will never be what it was before exposure to environmental toxins. After a couple years of fumbling around alone for answers doctors couldn’t provide, I now know what to do to minimize the long-term impacts of that exposure. Nothing determined in or related to court will change that or make it better.

mom me n dMy one silver lining from the process was a cloud of swirling gold. Shaking and tired in the middle of a deposition, I wondered how I’d get through when I closed my eyes and felt the same swirling sense of being enveloped in my mother’s love as I did in a cherished dream of her.

I made it through the day well enough afterward. “I am the daughter of an Amazon,” I breathed aloud in wonder as the swirling gold filled me.

It’s true. I am the daughter of an Amazon. All the same, I’d rather not bear the weight of my weapons and armor so often. Hearing I could be done–was done–with the case was amazing.

The next day I dropped off my car at the dealership, since my usual mechanic hadn’t been able to fix its air conditioning system a couple of months back. $1,800 down the drain. Kablammo!

And they didn’t even get it right the first time, so that I was frustrated to have needlessly lost rare and precious evening minutes with my children. It was the “needlessly” that rankled me. It all could have been avoided if they’d bothered spending two minutes confirming that their fix actually worked. Since they didn’t, I lost not one but two weekday evenings detouring to the dealership, filling up the tank en route, swapping car seats between cars, returning the loaner car and getting home.

Given a choice between wasting time and wasting money, I’d rather waste money a million times over. Money can be earned, but my allotment of time is dwindling by the second.

I tried to laugh about the car situation yesterdayI can’t control external circumstance, but I have 100% control over my perspective.

I was too weary to laugh when I returned to the dealership today, twelve hours after departing from home for work this morning.

After more than five minutes waiting for the cashier to return to her desk, I walked out without bothering to collect my paperwork.

“I’ll have her mail it to you!” one of the dealership employees shouted after me.

“Fine, sounds great,” I mumbled.

I just wanted to be home, snuggled up on the couch with my kids for at least a few minutes. That’s pretty much what I always yearn for these days.

And, oh, my kids. There’s another heaviness on my heart.

Not from them. Never from them.

Not from them. Never from them.

I’d told my baby son’s school I was sure his symptoms were food related.

That was confirmed yesterday morning by a call from his allergist, who reported he’s allergic to egg whites.

“That’s serious!” his daycare’s Assistant Director told me when I reported the same to her moments later. I thought she was being a little dramatic. I was just glad I knew what to avoid.

Thinking of her comment a little while later, I did a quick search to see if eggs are the kind of allergen known to cause anaphylaxis.

They are.

My heart sank further.

My baby son could die from exposure to egg whites.

I was still glad to know the culprit, the better to eliminate it completely from his diet (and mine, while nursing), but I was sad. Sad in a way even more pronounced than was the sadness I described here, for the food issues my older son faces aren’t the potentially life-threatening sort.

I am grateful my own health issues have grounded me in easily managing food restrictions. I know that drill.

I can’t control external circumstance, but I have 100% control over my perspective.

Being carried on walks is HARD WORK.

Like this, but times three

Yet I’m mourning, too, as I listen to my menfolk sweet snores’ emanating from the boys’ room.

I’m mourning the work minutes and commute minutes traded for dollars that pass through my bank account as quickly as if they’d never been there. I’d mourn the minutes lost even if the dollars did amass rapidly in my bank account. Money can’t really compensate for time, whether at a rate of ten dollars an hour or ten thousand dollars an hour. Not from where I’m sitting, wondering where I’m going to find the time–and energy–to find a new school for my oldest son.

It’s not all bad, but it’s sure as hell hard. (Platitudes don’t change that, so please feel free to keep those to yourself.)

As always, I remind myself that I am working toward a different future. That takes away some of the ache.

There’s even merit in aching. It means I’m here, breathing, alive to feel the ache and hoping for a chance to rise again and ease it tomorrow.

Tomorrow I’ll do my best to embrace the ache.

But tonight, tonight, I will lay down my weapons and armor and weep.

Nights like tonight, perspective isn’t in wrestling myself into grasping for a silver lining. It’s in feeling the tears streaming down my face and knowing they’re okay, just as I, too, will be okay. Tomorrow.

Tonight, I’ll let my tears flow as I remind myself even Amazons weep.

  1. May 14, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    ((Hugs)) sent to you. (And call the allergist to ask if you need to be worried about anaphylaxis, please. They can give you a better idea if you need to be worried and if he will outgrow it.)

    • May 14, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      I tried making the follow-up appointment call, but the office was so scattered and I so exhausted I had to hand the task off to Anthony. I’m hoping for an appointment early next week, and even more so that J will be one of those kids who outgrows it quickly.

      I so wish it could’ve been mild stomach ache from milk (like me) instead of projectile vomiting and hives from eggs. If wishes were fishes, huh?

      More importantly, at this moment,
      *bigbigbigbig hugs* (with a hefty dose of thanks for you).

  2. May 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Hi, lovely. Emma, from Twins Plus Two has four children with serious allergies. She is a friend and is very informed and helpful. Check her blog and let me know if you want me to put you in touch: http://musingssahm.blogspot.co.uk/.xx

  3. May 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I’m glad you nixed the platitudes, because I haven’t got any. I can only offer gentle hugs and light forehead caresses. (Some find it soothing.) 💗

    • May 17, 2015 at 5:43 am

      Those sound fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever received forehead caresses, but forehead kisses are my favorite. Something about them sends palpable bursts of calm contentment through me. I feel a little of that rush just thinking about them, actually. Thank you. ♥

  4. May 14, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Tears are sometimes necessary. They are a truly wonderful way to flush toxins from our hearts and minds. Toxins which will otherwise grow.
    My mama in a fit of pique as a young thing apparently threatened to cry a puddle and drown her tormentor in it. A truly Amazonian thought.

    • May 17, 2015 at 5:47 am

      I agree on all counts! I used to loathe tears and withheld them all for years. I’m not sure what exactly shifted, or when it did, but it’s much easier now … though I still find myself suppressing them sometimes as if I still misperceive them as a sign of weakness, even understanding as I do now that the catharsis of them helps build new strengths. Instead of running away, tears are a sign of running toward: understanding what is, a first step in determining what to do about it.

  5. May 15, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Oh, HUGS my dear, such going on right now! Some biggies, too. It’s okay to not be okay today. Try again tomorrow. I hope you got some comfort writing it out and, bonus, for doing it so well. This one I loved reading, it ebbed and flowed like a poem.

    • May 17, 2015 at 5:50 am

      Yesterday was better, and I have high hopes for today! (I might actually physically see friends instead of just exchanging texts with them. I like resting some at the weekends, but I’m coming to see that visiting with friends occasionally is also important.)

      Thank you for your encouragement. ♡

  6. cardamone5
    May 15, 2015 at 5:30 am

    You’re doing an amazing job! When things seem stacked against you, and you want to weep, go ahead, and then just feel the warmth of your intentions and results. You are an amazing human being, raising amazing human beings. That’s, well, amazing.

    • May 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you. I know it took me a few days to say this, but I’ve felt uplifted by your words since first reading them. Thank you, thank you, thank you. ♥

  7. May 15, 2015 at 6:28 am

    A post I struggle to decide if I should like it. Not because of you but because of the circumstances. But then I like it because of who you are and the strength you have and the message in your post. Thank you for this!

    • May 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you so much not only for liking it, but explaining why! Your affirming words gave me a nudge I needed back into a less tearful zone. Tears do have their time and place, but so does looking at all the reasons I have to smile. Such as having a support network that reminds me I am more than the sum of my failures. Thank you!

  8. Deb
    May 15, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Wishes that better days are ahead with calm, and quiet, and happy moments that replace the chaos 🙂

    • May 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you. This week has seen small but important steps a less tearful direction. I’m hopeful for the weeks ahead. (Come to think of it, there’s one extremely joyous event just a few weeks ahead! YES!) Happy weekend. ♥

  9. May 15, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Let those tears flow, and I promise you’ll feel refreshed afterwards. You’re so right about wasting money over time. My husband and I have the same philosophy. Bank accounts wax and wane, but, so far, time has proven itself to be speedily moving forward without the benefit of a rewind button. A few tears and a little rest, and you’re certain to be back to conquering the world, Deb! ❤

    • May 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      I already feel much closer that direction, and I honestly don’t think I could’ve gotten there without the tears! Taking the tears and being with them, and everything behind them, is so important for me starting to figure out what’s got to change for fewer tears. It’s not that I run from the tears, because they’re valuable! It’s running toward an arrangement that prompts fewer of them. Prospects are good. Much, much love and thanks for your encouragement!

  10. May 15, 2015 at 7:39 am

    You’re right. I use pep-talks-to-self all the time, and it helps to remind myself that lots of people have it way worse. But sometimes, it just doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Have a good cry.

  11. May 15, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I’m a firm believer that sometimes we just need a good cry. I hope this one was cathartic. I’m pulling for you.

  12. May 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    i hope you feel better soon and can have both some quality alone time and some quality family time. i also hope you find a good mechanic who gives an donkey about doing a good job the first time so you dont have to rearrange your life and miss precious time with your little ones and sleeping time. love you

  13. May 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Let the tears fall, they need to be released. I would say it is all going to be okay, but that’s not what you want to hear. I have a precious one who was allergic (I say was because he grew out of it) to peanuts. It was something we had to battle with daily, but we managed. Now egg whites is different because eggs are in everything, and I don’t know if it is okay if it is cooked in bread and such. You will have to find vegan items because they don’t use eggs. Ugh!
    As I think about it I know so many things are made with whites rather than yokes because the yokes have cholesterol. I don’t wish to be in your shoes. I might have to cry with you.
    I love that you kept saying keep it in perspective. The picture of that beautiful little boy in the sleeper is all I need to see for me to know that all will be worth it. Yes, you need to spend time to make money, but those boys won’t see it as Mommy was away from us. They will know Mommy did everything to be able to enjoy her time with us. They will be more loving because of the love you give them, not the number of minutes.
    Sometimes it just sucks to be right, as in you were right that there was a food problem. But in the end you should pat yourself on the back. Your instincts are right on. That isn’t platitude, that’s real.
    Amazons do cry. If they didn’t they would crumble just like all other things made without substance. It takes substance to let go and you have to let it out to move on.
    I hope you sleep well tonight.

    • May 15, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      I don’t have many eords in me tonight, but oh! Your words have struck me (in all the most beautiful ways) right at my core. Thank you for that, with more (I believe) to follow another day. ♡

  14. May 15, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    can’t control external circumstance, but I have 100% control over my perspective.- that’s a healthy perspective and important to remind yourself. I’m constantly telling my kids “You can’t control what other people do or events, but you can control you reaction to those situations. You have control over your own behavior. (the 9 and 11 year old aren’t there yet, but some day) – sorry about all the other stuff. We struggle too.

  15. May 16, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Wisdom my friend, it is hard to come by and some days we just have to chase it with good old fashioned tears. You have good instincts, good lessons in love too. Some days are just harder than others, aren’t they? But, you are fortunate now you have found the means to balance and even though it is imperfect it will work; I believe this. I am glad you found the culprit, don’t leap to the worst outcome! You have managed food issues already, this doesn’t have to be terrible.

    Trust yourself!

  16. May 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Sometimes a damn good cry is not only needed but a requirement to sift through all the anguish. Even Amazons need a good cry. Someone posted a great phrase to me which I like to hold on to. “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.” I fervently wish that for you.

  17. May 17, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Sending some positive vibes your way.

  18. May 17, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Stay strong, Deborah. And crying always leaves one a tad fresher. It’s a bit like an evening rain after a heavy, hot day. The world is still reeling from the sweltering sunshine, but a small cool breeze remains and carries the day off into the horizon. Also I would like to say that your words are simply beautiful!

  19. May 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Oh dear…I wrote you a totally understanding, loving, validating comment on my new computer and LOST it!!! My God, if I weren’t such a computer dweeb I could amaze myself!!! Just know that I care……. ❤

  20. May 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Sometimes we face the world head-on with armor and bravery; other times, as weary warriors, we just need to weep. Glad you are able to give yourself permission to do just that. I hope that you are now renewed and refreshed for the next leg of your journey. Sometimes our journey advances one slow breath at a time.

  1. May 19, 2015 at 8:22 pm
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