She's Not Mine

It’s 4:30 in the morning. Actually it’s 4:33, but who’s counting?

Obviously, I am.

I’d love to be able to tell you that I’m up because I’m committed to my yoga, or that I just finished my hour-long meditation practice, but if you’ve read this post here, or if you have known me for more than a week, you know that anything that requires “practice” is not going to happen.

I could also tell you that I’m up because I’m a real deal super mom, unlike what the title of this site is, and that I’m baking delicious bread and planning the perfect day for all of us to have once my beautiful, perfect children arise from their slumber. But most of you know me well enough to know that there is no way I’d be baking bread at this time, or any time, because that would require me to remember that I have bread rising and that at some point it actually has to go into the oven and once in the oven, I’d have to remember to set the timer and to actually remember to not go run an errand while the oven is on. My brain can’t handle that sort of process.

My brain, though, does have to handle the process of giving my child a high dose of super antibiotics every 8 hours on the dot for the next 7 days. Hence the 4:20 am alarm setting for this morning – day 1 out of 7. Thankfully, I remembered to set that alarm.

Several weeks ago, we had discovered that my daughter’s earring backs had gone into the earring holes (yes both ears) and skin had grown over them. Lots of tears, Lidocain and $500 later we thought we were home free for at least a year, as we have had our fair share of expensive medical fun. But what is that phrase? ‘You plan and God laughs?” I can’t really remember because it’s now like 4:39 in the morning and I’m tired.

I’ll move on.  One of those lovely holes that has remained earring free, quite possibly for life now that I’ve traumatized my daughter by telling her to “be sure and tighten those earring backs a little every night so we don’t lose any more earrings in the play yard at school” (she’s a good listener), was the perfect spot for a tick to crawl into, causing her beautifully, yet already damaged, earlobe to swell more than twice its size and ooze out a yellow fluid that attracts and sticks to hair worse than gum does. We had decided to wait it out because finances are tight as my husband recently quit his job, I mean made a career change, and also for the more obvious reason of our family’s natural affinity toward weekend emergency room and super expensive walk-in clinic visits over the normal weekday pediatrician’s office visits.

My son’s Guillan Barre?  Sunday plus 4 days in the hospital.  My daughter’s pneumonia that needed a chest tube? Yep, a Sunday plus 7 more days in the hospital. My daughter’s Broken arm – Sunday. The earring backs debacle – again, a Sunday. My son's whittling accident that required stitches? You guessed it - a Sunday. And quite possibly our most fun adventure was my son’s out of the blue seizure on the interstate, 7 hours from home in a middle-of nowhere town in Ohio (you can read about that adventure here). That one involved an ambulance ride. Weekend medical warriors, we are.  

Back to the point. Once the oozing started, my supermom instincts finally kicked in and I thought maybe just a quick trip to the after-hours clinic might be a good mom-like choice. Plus, it was grossing me out.

I was fine throughout the process, as this was minor in comparison to the above mentioned medical adventures we have had. I was fine, that is, until the pharmacist tells me the bill and asks if that is going to be okay before he mixes the grape bubble gum flavoring into the bottles of antibiotics. 

I look at him and say, “Yes. I don’t have a choice. My daughter is sick.”  In my head, though, I was thinking, “Seriously? Doesn’t the universe know that we are doing everything to save every penny until my husband gets his feet planted and the income starts coming in again? How do people who don’t have jobs and insurance do this? They just don’t get antibiotics because they can’t pay for it? What kind of world do we live in?”  

But then I actually ask, “Why is it so expensive?”

He says, “This is a really high dose. You have to have 4 bottles. Usually people only need 1 bottle.”

That is when my above mentioned, scattered brain started freaking out and my tears started streaming down. A super high dose? What have I done? Why did I wait it out? What if it doesn’t work? The doctor had mentioned MRSA while we were there, but I blocked it out because I didn’t want to remember how that is what caused my daughter’s serious case of pneumonia and how their super high dose of antibiotics didn’t work for two plus days. But now my brain wasn’t letting me block anything out. All I could do is cry and remember, yet again, that my children really aren’t my own. And, for whatever reason, my daughter chose me – a mom who decides to wait it out, sometimes a bit too long. And, I don’t get to choose how long she is here with us. So, maybe the phrase isn’t “You plan, God laughs” because I am pretty sure God is not laughing right now, but smiling because He knew I needed to remember that she is not mine, no matter how badly I want her to be.

As I am writing, my not so good at remembering brain is remembering this passage out of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

            And, a woman, who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of children.

            And he said:

            Your children are not your children.

            They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

            They come through you but not from you,

            And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.


            You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

            For they have their own thoughts. (This part is a bummer.)

            You may house their bodies but not their souls.

            For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in

           your dreams.


            You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

            For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

            You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.


             The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite and He bends you

             with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

            Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.

            For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

            so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Now I imagine God is laughing as he is looking at me thinking “He loves the bow that is stable,” and wondering how stable is this mother?  I sure am thankful for Adderall and Lexapro to help me be more stable in times like these. I’m also thankful for the 4 bottles of antibiotics so that my, or rather not my daughter will be with us longer. Her ear is already looking much better.

When I finally got home from the doctor and the pharmacy after 4 plus hours out of my Saturday (not a Sunday!) afternoon sucked away, I said to my husband “whose idea was it to have kids?”  His eyes light up, he smiles and says “oh, I remember when we decided to have children. We were on a walk with Dolly (our dog)…”  My ADD rudely interrupted him and said “oh, no, I don’t mean us. I mean like who thought ‘pro-creating, now that’s a great idea’? It would be so fun for these humanoids to have kids?'” He knew to just nod and smile at this point. Smart guy, not unlike Kahlil Gibran. Having children is hard, painful and expensive, but I wouldn't have it any other way, especially now that I'm off the hook as they really aren't mine anyway. Best wishes to us all as we navigate this crazy life with or without kids. Thanks for reading. 



Lucky 13

Striking Gold