Thoughts on strength
So sometimes I hear other people’s stories and I think: Oh, I could never handle that. Or Gosh, she’s so strong – how does she do it?
And I think some of that is true – thinking about something on the outside, you have no idea what trials and tribulations the family/friends/loved ones are going through, or what kinds of reserves they are pulling from. Plus, I think I tend to forget that – I have exactly as much strength (and love) as I need, every day. It’s like I start from scratch every day… which is both reassuring and sometimes overwhelming. I’m not the best at taking care of myself, or sharpening the saw, or whatever the heck you want to call it, so sometimes I run up against a wall where I just feel tapped out. But that’s another story.
We were planning on going camping this past long weekend – Alan and I were eager to escape from the city, and just go explore. We had a spot picked out, all the camping stuff ready… and then when I picked James up from daycare on Friday, he had a 102 degree fever. L He was already sick earlier in the week, so a little bell went off in my head that something wasn’t right. He was already on antibiotics for an ear infection/pink eye, so I figured it couldn’t be another ear infection so soon. I decided to stay home with James, but Alan and his friend continued on with the plan to camp. Sure enough, when James woke up on Saturday, he still had his 102 fever, which sealed the deal. Something was definitely wrong, so I got him into the pediatrician. The first thing he checked was his pulse-ox, which showed his oxygen levels were low – he was only breathing at 85%. There have been a lot of kids recently with these symptoms who were then diagnosed with pneumonia or RSV, so all of a sudden James was fitted with an oxygen tank and scheduled for an x-ray at another office.
So now I’m confronted with the scary prospect of having a super-upset kiddo on oxygen, transporting him (and the oxygen tank) to another office for a scary, first time x-ray… solo. I held it together – not even a tear – because I didn’t think James would be able to cope if he saw me freaking out. I wanted to be strong and steady for him, and just reassured myself that everything would be okay no matter WHAT happened. I even called Alan with an update, and encouraged him to continue on with his plans to camp – because honestly? What would change if he pulled the plug and came home? James is usually better reassured by me (I’m the mama, and I have the milk, after all) at this stage, and Alan’s presence couldn’t CHANGE anything. But this is a great example of that thought – I have no idea how I’d handle that – coming front and center without any prep.
All of a sudden, I DID have the strength, the courage, the love and support that I needed. I reached out to friends and family online for some support, and it just came flooding in, right when we needed it. But we (humans) are great at surviving. At taking that next step, even if we don’t know what that means, or what it looks like… or how we will manage.