I was constantly juggling motherhood, working full-time, trying to find writing time, and figuring out how to be a wife when I just wanted to sleep. And then there were the worries. How would Princess, who had social anxiety and selective mutism, transition into kindergarten? What would Sports Girl get into today? And Little Guy...well, he was chill so I didn't have to stress about him much, thankfully.
As the kids grew, so did the challenges. Princess was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was seven. Little Guy would only go to the bathroom outside (he'd drop his pants and go no matter where we were or who was looking!). Sports Girl wanted to participate in every activity there was. Hubby worked 70-80 hours a week, often six days so I was a single mom most of the time.
Oh, and then the fighting. Ugh. As soon as the three kids developed their very different personalities, the fighting escalated. If it wasn't Princess and Sports Girl it was Princess and Little Guy. Usually the girls monopolized the arguing. And as they got older, the arguing was often between mother and daughter. Teenage girls and their mother--there's some special curse put on moms of middle school girls. It was a rough patch for quite a few years.
With all three into sports, I had to be at three different places at the same time. All.. The. Time. I'd worry about leaving the older two while I stayed at Little Guy's activities. But what if the girls got hurt? What if Princess's blood sugar dropped too low and she passed out? Would the coaches or parents know what to do? What if the girls needed their mom (come to find out, they never did). And then Little Guy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and celiac disease. The medical worries that had finally calmed started all over again.
Those of you who have/had teenagers know what the next worry is: driving. You worry if they're not home on time. You worry if it's dark out. You worry if it's raining. You worry if they're driving on the highway. You worry if it's snowing. You worry every time they're behind the wheel because they're your babies.
You wish for the less stressful worries: the kids making a mess throughout the house (which, by the way, they NEVER outgrow), not sleeping through the night, can they really be healthy on a diet of chicken nuggets and chocolate milk? You wish for the days when they'd curl up on your lap and wrap their soft, pudgy hands around your neck and wipe their runny noses on your shirt. You wish for all of that back the second you get the call that your teenager has been in a car accident.
Her car was pinned between the truck and another car and she couldn't get out until the police came and used the jaws of life to get her out. Miraculously, she wasn't hurt. The airbags went off, all the windows shattered, but she didn't have a scrape on her. She's been sore all week, but we're thankful that's all that physically happened to her. She was shaken, but aware enough to call Dad, and she called work to let them know she was in an accident, even though the accident happened in front of her work. I'm proud of her for remembering to reach for her diabetes supplies, and she told the EMT she was diabetic.
So now the mama worries have escalated even more. Not only do I worry every time she gets behind the wheel, but now, after seeing the car--which is totaled, I imagine the accident. I picture what she went through. I remember being 3,000 miles away unable to be there for her. To hold her. To hug her.
Sports Girl has her permit and has been driving with us for the past few months. Little Guy will be up in a few years. I imagine the worry doesn't go away when the kids go off to college (ah! Another set of worries!!) or move out on their own.
They never end but all we can do is raise our children the best we can and pray they stay safe and they make good decisions. Today, I'm thankful she's safe. I'm thankful for the little bit of bonding that formed between the girls while I was away. I'm thankful for Hubby handling it all with ease (while I would have been a stress case if I was home). I'm thankful to come home to my family who are healthy, happy, and safe.
I am grateful.