MJB - posted on 07/29/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )
There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. --Richard Bach
The quote above is from Bach's book Illusions, The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah. I read this book in high school and still have it on my shelf. A story about a Messiah who doesn't want the job and quits; he gives the Messiah's Handbook to someone else. It is an interesting read, that is spotted with verses that make you think, but ultimately make no sense. But this quote has been ringing in my head a lot lately.
I have decided to pause my judgement on others, (mostly large conglomerates, and small silly web sites,) and look inward. There is as much in my own errors that could be of use to others as there is in theirs. So, here we go. These will not be in chronological order, as they do not come back to haunt you that way.
Recently, my child who is past the "big boy" stage and headed towards independence, (that means, without me,) headed off for his first long trip alone. He went to visit relatives for 5 days-- the longest we've ever been apart. Since he has a type of dwarfism and I am an overprotective mom, we've practically been attached at the hip since birth. When ever I dropped him off at nursery school, or the half day preschool, or at a friends, he never had separation anxiety. (Do you blame him?) He would just run off, sometimes hurrying through a hug. This trip was no different. He was very excited to go and packed a week ahead of time. I slept very little the entire time he was gone, even though I knew he was in good hands.
The day came for him to come home, I met them half way and was so excited. I ran towards him for a hug, and all I got was..."Oh, hi mom." He didn't even look up from the Nintendo DS he'd been playing! I thought perhaps he was tired, or would miss them. When we got home I asked if he wanted to cuddle and watch a movie, (an every night thing since he was born). He said, that there was a program he was going to watch in his room--- I stood dumbfounded.
His behavior change reminded me of that song "Cat's in the Cradle..." or for the younger generation, the movie "Click". I taught him to push ME away. I was so busy being nurse, patient, teacher, mother, that I wasn't MOMMY. When did that happen? How did it come to this?
My girlfriend and I used to sit in the pool with our kids and joke..."Hmmm, vacuum the house or play with my child?"...as we held our hands out like scales weighing the obvious option. Why was my house cleaner back then? How is it that now I do so much more, and "order", (for want of a better word,) him to do so much that we haven't accomplished half of the things we needed to.
Between schooling, making the stuff for schooling, play dates and everything else, I began to be irritable, and cold towards him. I worked harder and was angry when I did or did not take time for myself. I've spent the last several years caring for him, schooling him, raising him, and yes, many times wishing I could have time off.
"Why not?" I thought, "I work hard, I'm ALWAYS with him, I need time for myself." He needs time away from me.
I started taking some time for myself, but felt guilty. I have Fibromyalgia and there are flare up periods when I simply am not "there". I try to make it through the day, then as soon as hubby comes home, I'm in bed with morphine or heating pads and a TENS unit. Being sick was already creating a gap between us, I can't take more time away from him.
Thank God, this problem had a gift. I stopped. I looked around. I looked at him. I remembered all the times I was too busy preparing schoolwork to play a game. The times I was too tired to bake cupcakes. Too busy to snuggle. Too irritable to let him be near me. The times I laid in bed sick, looking at his picture, feeling guilty. Now, I've received the gift of second chance. He is back to his old self, just a little more mature; but willing to let me earn him back as his mommy. I mean "earn" because, I was cruel to take his mommy away to begin with.
We live differently now. Never again will their be a day when my husband puts him to bed and I say I'd be up in a minute--just as soon as I finished this---only to find him asleep when I finally get there. I won't miss that moment again. He needs independent time, me too. We also need "quality time". Something I used to pride myself in.....I will again. That is a promise.