We have had quite a month. I got engaged (insert wild, wonderful clapping here) and my dad almost died—twice. Without re-hashing multiple details, it’s been tough on K. He and my dad are very close and knowing that Grandpa has an “owie” took its toll on him.
On the second trip to the ER within 2 weeks for another emergency surgery, I had to take K with me. I have tried to keep him away from these kinds of things, but on our way out of my parents house, my mom fell really hard and I was worried that she might have to be admitted to the hospital as well, so we all jumped in our cars and headed over to the ER. *Being an only parent, with no back up parent sucks. Just sayin’!*
After about an hour—my mom was fine and they were going to rush my dad into surgery for a bypass surgery on his leg. They needed to move fast to save his leg. Since they were on their way into surgery, K couldn’t go back and hug my dad. He was only able to blow him a kiss and tell him he loved him from afar.
K immediately had a breakdown. Now, mind you, it wasn’t a meltdown—he didn’t throw a tantrum, he just had big crocodile tears and kept asking me why he couldn’t go kiss Grandpa and hug him. With that look of confusion and sadness and worry on his face, I broke down too. It’s so confusing for my son—he still has real abandonment issues and kept saying, “But what if I can’t see him again. I didn’t get to give him a kiss and tell him I loved him in his ears!” I tried to re-assure him that we would talk to him later than evening. I also said, “let’s pray for him right now Baby! He’s gonna be fine! Really!!!?!?!?!”
As we exited the ER and started walking to our car he started really crying. I stopped him and tried to talk to him about it. I said something to the effect of, “You know, we can… You know, I know he’s going to be ok! You can talk to me about anything you are feeling Baby, right?!… Baby, come here, let me…”. He looked me dead in my eye and said, “Mommy, don’t try to fix it. Just let me be sad.” I was proud, shocked and sad all at the same time. I was glad that he could vocalize that he didn’t want me to fix it—there wasn’t any fixing that I could do for him at that moment. All I said was, “Do you want to sit down on the curb and just hang out for a minute?” He nodded and that’s what we did. The very kind 18-year-old valet attendant brought us a few tissues and left us alone.
I kept my eye on him, but allowed him space to just cry and process all that had just happened. I know that his tears were for more than just the last hour we had endured. And I can only imagine what was going on in that little, brave, smart head of his. As a parent, I want to take that kind of nervousness and pain away, but I also know that I do him no favors by not allowing him to feel and process and be sad about things like worrying about not seeing his favorite person again.
Once he said, “Ok Mama, I’m ready to go home!” I stood up, hugged him, and told him I loved him. I didn’t say, “Do you wanna talk about it.” I didn’t say, “You feel better?!” I just let him know, with my actions, that I was there. He wiped his face and put his hand out for me to take it.
Walking hand in hand to the parking structure, I did what any great parent (*insert sarcasm) does—I asked him if he wanted to go eat fast food!!! We headed to Del Taco to stuff our faces and head home to wait for news about my dad!
Sometimes, just sitting on the curb and crying your eyes out is the best way to “fix” things. *And then go binge eat on Del Taco—that helps too!
Scenario: In the Dollar Tree Parking lot thinking that I might want to check with my mom as to what she plans on buying for me son for Easter. So I call her before entering the store.
Me: Mom, what do you plan on buying K for Easter?
Nana: Anything his little ole heart desires.
Me: Um, could you be a little more specific?
Nana: I was being specific I will buy him whatever he wants. All he needs to do is tell me and it’s his.
Me: Mom, you can’t just buy him everything.
Nana: Why not? I’m his Nana! I can do whatever i want.
Me: Ok, so I guess I won’t get him anything.
*Thinking to myself—this kid better be thankful he’s an only child. If he wasn’t he wouldn’t get the lion’s share of all holidays!!!
We (me, K, Nana and Grandpa) came to DC for my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah! What a wonderful way to come to one of our favorite cities and during our favorite time of year. The leaves are crimson and yellow and breathtaking!!!
We came in a day early so that we would have some time acclimate as well as head into the city to go to same museums.
Sadly, I should have been prepared for the shift in K as well as my parents. They are a lot slower than I remember and he is a lot faster. Not only that, lately, when we have gone to Disneyland, he has become obsessed with going to the gift shops and looking at toys. While he knows that I won’t buy him anything, there are times that he will forsake going on rides to just walk around a gift shop touching every-friggin’-thing.
Well, from about 10 minutes into the National Air and Space Museum, he wanted to look at the Space Shuttle toys and rocket jets. We were successful in keeping him out for about 2 hours, but then Nana stepped in. Oi vey!
The next day, we headed back in to the Natural History Museum. K and I came here when we were here in June and he LOVED it. It wasn’t any less amazing for him this time. I mean, c’mon, you walk in and there is an African Elephant in the lobby—that’s pretty cool. Besides letting him just run wild, we watched a 3D show about flying dinosaurs and the like. And of course, where did the theater dump us? One of the gift shops. While Nana and Grandpa didn’t’ succumb to his sad eyes this time, it was touch and go there for quite some time.
As we moved away from being tourists and into family time, we couldn’t have been more blessed. We got to see family we haven’t seen in years (no, literally YEARS). Also, many new family members got to meet K for the first time. Adina rocked the heck outta her Bat Mitzvah and everyone couldn’t have been more excited for her.
While K and I weren’t supposed to leave until Monday…a funny thing happened—hurricane Sandy! She is barreling towards the east coast. With concerns about being stranded here until Thursday or Friday, we switched our flights. While the fun has to come to an end a day earlier—I am excited that we were able to make this trek!
Best quote from the whole weekend from K, “Our cousins are the coolest ever!” I would agree son!