It’s the third day of the summer holidays for me but the first day for my eldest. The last two days have been lovely and warm, the sun has been shining happily and making our skins glow…and today is a complete washout!
Funnily enough, that’s what I remember about my own summer holidays from when I was little. There were always more wet and windy days than sunny – which meant that I would spend most of days lost in an adventure with the Famous Five or the Secret Seven.
Today, I’m watching my girls play. They’ve finished their lunch and have set up a Teddy Bears’ Picnic indoors. They’ve invented their own universe, where they are the adults and their toys are the children that they are responsible for. It’s delightful and hilarious at the same time! I’ve just heard my eldest (and usually most sensible daughter), say to her toys, “If you ever hurt Dumbo again, then I will punch your faces!” To which my youngest has replied in the most alarmed fashion, “No, that’s not berry nice!” Not a spelling error – that’s how she pronounces ‘very’.
I’m not joining in, and they’re not expecting me to…I’m not feeling great, and they are actually lost in their universe… and I’m lost in mine.
People say that writing is therapeutic and cathartic – I know that this is true. The reason that I’m feeling unwell is because I’m worried. The signs are all there. A constant, dull pain in the back of my neck, my head is swimming and my stomach is churning.
Why? Tomorrow, my youngest is going to have a tonsillectomy – it’s a simple procedure, I know this. Millions of people across the world have this procedure done – I know this. She will feel so much better in the long run – I know this. The rational part of me, knows all of this. But the maternal part of me is actually worried sick.
On Sunday morning, I told the girls about the operation that will happen, obviously using my bright, breezy, professional ‘Everything is going to be just fine!’ voice. I sold it to her with the fact that she’s going to have loads of ice-cream afterwards – my youngest was so excited and not-worried, I knew that I’d done my job correctly. My eldest, who is three years older, but twenty years older in her head physically shuddered at the thought of the operation – but I managed to reassure her too.
I’m just finding it challenging to reassure myself. I’m finding myself giving the girls extra long hugs and kisses for no reason. They have no idea why – they’re just going with it. I’m finding myself just staring at my youngest, willing her to get well quickly and be strong after the op…she catches me gazing at her and asks ‘What???’ I reply with another long hug – she doesn’t mind, she’s happy – and then I quickly do the same to my eldest so that she doesn’t feel left out. If I’m going to be weird, then I resolve to be equally weird with both of them.
Why am I so worried? Well, when my eldest was born, she didn’t come out of my womb crying, she came out…almost bemused! The expression on her face was simple, un-phased, curiosity – Where am I? What’s going on here? Who are you? It was incredible – a wise, self-sufficient girl from day one. Whereas my youngest came out angry, purple and screaming! Why did you all disturb me? I was so comfortable in there! And she clung to me! Angry with the world, but at peace with me. The poor baby had colds and sore throats all the time, she was grouchy and grumpy and grisly – and all she wanted was me. Finally, the doctors felt that the best course of action going forward was to have a tonsillectomy. Which is where we at now. I’m glad it’s happening now, the summer before she starts school – she’s got lots of learning to do, goals to achieve, a future to build – there’s no time to be ill when there’s so much to do!
To be honest, as I’m writing, I can feel the dull ache at the back of my neck start to ease somewhat…thank goodness. I’m grateful that I have an outlet of some sort that allows me to vent, or rant, or just share how I’m feeling at times. Sometimes, I just need to remember the advice that I have passed onto others a countless number of times – everything’s is going to be alright!