Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How Many New Normals in Life

Two weeks ago at kid2's annual checkup, we gingerly bounced into the exam room and waited for the doctor. This was going to be a GREAT checkup - no shots for the peanut, no sniffles or fevers - just a plain old, well-kid checkup before she starts the 3rd grade.

So when the doctor said, "Do you notice this swelling?" I found myself caught a little off-guard. I hadn't noticed the slight swelling on the side of her neck but sure enough, it was there.

Without saying a lot more (since little, worried ears were in the room), she just said that she was a little concerned it could be an enlarged thyroid, and she'd like to have it checked via ultrasound.

To avoid rousing any doubt or fear within my little one, I just smiled and talked about how the only ultrasound I ever got to have was when I had a baby in my belly, and that got her talking and thinking about something else. She giggled when I jokingly asked the doctor if maybe she had a baby in her neck. Meanwhile, I was trying my very best to cover up any worries I have. I know, a thyroid problem is small in the grand scheme of medical issues, but let me assure you that for a mama, any type of issue that is going to cause her children distress suddenly launches you ten thousand feet further down the worry scale. From a splinter to the scariest medical condition, seeing your child in any amount of worry or pain or fear or discomfort is just about one of the hardest part of motherhood.

And while it seems ridiculous to worry right now, I cannot help but think of the times where I wasn't supposed to worry. How many times in life do we get used to a normal, just to have a new normal come in and replace it? Did I appreciate that last night with hubs before we became a family of three, and again when we went from three to four? Did I appreciate the normal-ness of life the night before mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and we began a very new 13-month normal? Did I appreciate the normal we'd become accustomed to before Dad's stroke, and we had to start navigating a new normal?

I can't help but wonder if tonight is that last night of this being what our normal life is before kid2 has to make some major life changes (and the rest of the fam, too). I wonder if this is her last night of being a bippity-boppity worry-free eight-year-old without the concern of any medicines or nutrition plans or all of the things even adults can have difficulty handling. I wonder if tonight is the last night I can promise her that shots or blood draws aren't happening tomorrow because she is terrified of all of that and has been for years.

In an instant - literally, in one single second, in the middle of the doctor's office - I felt as though everything she's ever done to drive me nuts disappeared and all I could think about was how much I loved every single inch and trait of the beautiful girl in front of me.

I'm praying pretty hard that the ultrasound tomorrow reveals nothing and that this is all just a week's worth of worry that I'll tuck away in my distant memory and forget in a year. Really, really hard. Everyone has to learn at some point in life that we are constantly thrown obstacles that teach us whether we're going to be the people that learn to adapt and triumph or crawl and hide; I just pray that she doesn't have to learn such a lesson at this age.

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