Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Caffeine, Nicotine, Incense and New Age Music

Ok, how is that for a really messed up coping mechanism? I really can't eat much, the tummy is too knotted up with stress (thus the nicotine), not sleeping too much (thus the caffeine), trying to calm down and get my work done (thus the incense and new age music). Wow, I really need to pick one coping strategy or the other, healthy or destructive! Using both probably cancels each other out! LOL. I am trying to find humor in this really difficult time. I don't know what I would do without my husband right now. He is my rock, my protector, my laughter. It is funny, in really stressful situations I tend to become very strong, but the little stuff makes me come undone. Right now I should be falling apart, but somewhere inside I am peaceful. Oh don't get me wrong, I am upset, I am confused, I am stressed, I am sad, but I am not a basket case. I am not crying all of the time. I am getting housework done (which should tell anyone that knows me just how upset I am, I am not one of those natural cleaners by nature); I am getting my work done. I am getting anything and everything done that will take my mind off the issue at hand. Which I guess is good for the household, the career and the weight loss program. Always look for the bright side!

If anything though, I hurt for my family. I am closer to my daughter now than we have ever been before, forging a strong connection, becoming more friends than mother and child. She is faced with a big decision, and it is tearing her up inside, but oh, how brave she is being! She is learning to stand up for herself, make decisions based on her needs and not the needs of others, to search, ask questions, and listen for the answers. She is learning how to talk (which is a big deal because usually she keeps everything bottled up inside), to trust, to reach out for help, and to seek information before making a big decision. But she is struggling. You always want to protect your children, tell them what to do to keep them from harm's way, to keep the pain and hurt from them, but in the end, you have to let them do those things for themselves, and what a heart breaking process this is, this letting go. I think as a parent that is the most painful thing you will ever do, let your children go, let them fly on their own, without being there to protect them. Oh, we will always be there to catch them if they fall, or at least help them mend if they actually hit the ground, but every instinct inside my soul cries out to stop them from leaving the nest, for fear their wings may not be strong enough yet to catch the passing breeze that will help them soar.

My son, when did he become a man? Did it happen while I was driving him to soccer? While he was at his friends house playing? At school? While he was sleeping? When did this happen, because during this event in our lives, he has not acted as a child, full of selfishness and childish thoughts, he has become a strong, compassionate, unselfish, caring, nurturing, strong, problem-solving, comfort giving man. I look at him and go, OMG, what an incredible individual! Does he know how proud I am of him, how in awe I am of him, how amazing I think he is? I really cannot find words to express my utter admiration of this young man. They say you can tell who a person is by how they handle themselves in the worst situations, the situations where selfless sacrifice is required, where staying calm in the face of great anger is required, when you want to just run screaming and crying away from the problem, yet you find the strength to stand firm and tall and face it, that is when you find your true character, and boy, let me tell you, he has the most amazing character I have seen in any man his age, and most men two to three times his age.

And my husband, who is usually such a mild manner, logical, quiet man, who has turned into this lion, protecting his family, wanting to protect us all from harm and hurt. Oh how I admire this man, how glad I am that I found him on that plane! How glad I am that he sent me the card, got to know me, the me I didn't even know existed, the me that I have turned into, because of him. How do I tell him what he means to me? How to tell him how much I respect him, admire him, how much I want to be like him! He has stuck by me through so much turmoil, so much hurt, so much work! How do I say thank you when thank you doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the gratitude and love I feel toward him?

And through all of this, we have become so much closer as a family. I think that we have learned in the worst of time we will always be there for each other. That we will take on the pain and hurt of the other person if it means sparing them even a little bit of pain. I guess that is what a true family is, a unit that when the chips are down, are there for each other. Oh, that doesn't mean we are perfect, or that we don't aggravate each other. God knows that I could be a better mother and wife. I should have dinner ready each night, I should have the house work done, I should drive to more soccer practices and participate more in the school booster clubs, and I should be more of a Susie homemaker. The kids should do their chores without being reminded, the studying should be done without threats of grounding, and the rooms should be kept clean. My husband should not work so much, shoot more basketball with the kids, and be a Mr. Fix-It. But you know what? If that is our biggest problems we are so far ahead of most of the other families I know. The kids aren't into drinking or drugs (at least as far as I know, and I would like to think I would be able to recognize the signs if that were happening), they aren't having sex (see the previous comment), they aren't flunking out of school, the hubby and I aren't fighting all of the time, looking for comfort outside the marriage, or not supporting each other in our careers, we even present a united front in parenting. So in the end, we are a wonderful family, not without our problems and issues, but overall we are a unit that supports each other in times of need. And in the end, can you ask for more than that? I feel truly blessed, even in this difficult time.

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