They say that hearing your name from the mouth of someone else, personalization, has a soothing influence, ego-boosting, but I can assure you the name “Mom” said by my children every tenth of a second is bat-shit-fcuk annoying.
I also despise what most of us mothers do following any complaint about our children. We feel the need to add, “of course, I love them.” As if it’s not a given. It’s proactive defense, a wall to protect us against gossip and judgment. “The way she complains about her kids, you’d think she shouldn’t have had them.” It’s what our reptilian brains tell us as we lodge the complaint, for social survival. “You should just be grateful you have children, miss pre-teen menopause.” My inner reptilian brain needs a lobotomy.
Speaking of brain surgery… when Lucas was 6 months old, he had emergency brain surgery, where Dr. George in Austin, TX implanted a shunt. “I put enough tubing in, that it should last until he’s 7 years old.” Lucas is now 8, a tall 8. And we’re getting nervous. His neurosurgeon here in NY says that if the shunt isn’t needed anymore (what caused the shunt was a benign cyst, which thankfully hasn’t been seen since), he wants to REMOVE IT. Go in digging, even though Lucas has no symptoms of anything, because it may cause problems in his teens, headaches. I remember Dr. George saying that even if Lucas never needs it again, he’d just keep it in there. This doctor believes differently. Ah, the second and third opinion. You had better believe that my ass is getting on a plane to Austin for that second opinion. Next Thursday Lucas goes in for a brain and spine scan, as well as x-rays of his shunt, to see if it’s working. Then I’ll cross that bridge.
As for Phil, since you’ve all been truly kind and concerned–and may I just say THANK YOU SO SO MUCH, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH IT HELPS–I wanted to post an update there, too. Phil suffered a severe stroke, and now, it’s remarkable that he can walk and talk. He’s back at work and doing well.
The other night, friends of ours threw a pool party at their home, in celebration of Phil’s miracle. Normally, Phil would have been in the pool. This time, he was more reserved. He decided to have sangria. And more sangria. Okay, twist his arm, more. “If anything, it thins my blood, so it’s good for me.” Phil doesn’t slur his words or get tripped up, fumbling through a word. But now, if he drinks, and sometimes when he doesn’t, he mispronounces a word. Also, he’s told me that it’s much harder for him to write now.
I asked him to write, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.” And he said, “I don’t need a tongue twister.”
“It’s not a tongue twister! It’s a sentence using every letter of the alphabet.” Imagine that? Something I knew that Phil didn’t? What is going on with the world?
The other thing we notice is that he’s always tired. He walks in after work and climbs right into bed. So, that habit concerns me.
I’m trying to enjoy what remains of our summer, baking up some summer memories to freeze and enjoy in the fall. Getting to the ocean, making homemade lemonade, serving bowls of cherries. Forget that business about life giving you lemons and a bowl full of pits. Our lives are juicy and bright, despite it all. Or at least, that’s the mantra I choose to repeat. It’s better than the word, “mom.”