We survived the end of the school year. There were some amazing, tear-jerking moments. There were also those moments we wanted to bury our heads and scream our heads off at the disorder which sometimes steals so much joy from our littlest boy’s life.
He had a LOT of anxiety all week. He nearly hyperventilated multiple times. He has this habit of breathing very quickly when he gets anxious, upset, or angry. He breathed that way most of Monday and Tuesday. Jaws the shark plushie was a constant presence with him. Sleep eluded. Tears were frequent. He didn’t want school to end. He didn’t want to leave his classroom. He didn’t want to leave his teacher. He is sad he won’t be able to help her anymore. Underlying, he knows a change of routine is looming, and that he will never go back to the routine he had become familiar with in fourth grade. Walking out of school Wednesday, he struggled mightily to keep from crying. He made it to the car before falling apart. At the party, he stayed inside with his DS, huddled in a corner the entire time, not speaking with anyone, alternating between tears and anger. He didn’t share the joy and laughter of his siblings and friends celebrating the arrival of summer break. It’s days like that which can break me.
There were very bright spots though. He has been saying for weeks he was not going to participate in the fourth grade performance. He’s refused to even stand with his classmates during play practices. He had me write a note to his teacher excusing him from participating. Then Tuesday arrived. I was not at school during their California Days activities, but I had friends volunteering. First win? He did every one of the CA Days activities but one (square dancing). He not only did them, he had fun and was smiling. At one point, he asked my friend J if anyone from his family were coming to see him in the play. What????? He was also working out where best to stand so he would be visible in the video. Are you kidding me? J immediately sent me a text. I immediately texted spouse who blessedly was NOT in a meeting and able to go. Little Man sang his heart out, danced, and did all the movements, with big smiles all around. I was getting pictures sent to me during the performance and was just so proud (more on why I wasn’t able to be there myself in a minute).
Wednesday, he not only took a photo with his teacher willingly, he even managed to smile. Then he photo-bombed a classmates’ photo with the teacher. Well, Jaws the shark photo-bombed, and Little Man was SO proud of himself.
At one point Wednesday afternoon, as he struggled through the party, he asked me to take him back to school. I said to him, “It’s over buddy. The school year is done. Your teacher has gone home. It’s done.” He looked at me with his sad little face, took a deep breath and nodded.
So, why wasn’t I volunteering for California Days? Why wasn’t I able to go see him perform in the show? On Monday, I had surgery that put an end to a chapter of my life. I’ve struggled with endometriosis since I was a teenager. In our fertility struggles, we found out I also have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. When I started seeing my current girlie-parts doctor five or six years ago, I knew what was likely coming. We talked about it the very first time I met her. Then, Little Man was about four years old. Spouse had been “fixed” three years before. I knew there weren’t going to be any more babies, but I wasn’t ready much less willing to make it permanent for me. As the years have passed, and we’ve had to add different medications to manage pain and bleeding, I have managed to work through the emotions of letting go that part of my life and be able to say I was done. So Monday, I had a partial hysterectomy. I was ready. I was more than ready. I’m relieved it’s done, relieved to know I won’t have to deal with that pain ever again. It is odd, so odd, to think part of my body is gone…the part that was home to each of my babies. It’s gone. It’s just….well…..weird.
I’m recovering fairly well. I am reminded how little patience I have with my own self. In my mind, I should be able to bounce back within a couple of days and be completely back to normal. My body reminds me that is not the case. It’s a little frustrating. But recovery will happen. And this too will be a memory. I’m so thankful to friends and family who’ve stepped it up, and stepped in to help this week, especially my sister who drove down from Northern CA to help out.
Our summer has begun in its own peculiar way. We must, of course, do things in our own fashion. It wouldn’t be the Herd way to be normal.