A couple of weeks ago, Harriet and I flew to Toronto to meet Zoe, whom we had not seen in three whole weeks, and helped her get settled into her new home at the University of Toronto. It was a fun, exhausting, expensive, and exciting weekend! When it was time to say goodbye to Zoe, I kissed her on the cheek and said:
Don't do anything stupid. There are lots of stupid things to get into in university. Don't do them! I love you, Baby Girl.
And then I pushed Harriet in her stroller, while lugging her carseat and our luggage, outside to the sidewalk, where I planned on calling a cab. I must have been a sight! I truly am a traveling gong show.
Anyhoo . . .
Once we got outside, I noticed a family also saying farewell to their daughter, and I was struck at how emotional the father became. He tried so hard to fight back the tears, but he lost the battle and had to walk away to try and compose himself. I almost cried for him. Then, it occurred to me that I never shed a tear when I left Zoe and the first words to pop out of my mouth were: "Don't do anything stupid".
What kind of mother am I? I am a monster.
My callous reaction really bothered me, and I thought about it the entire flight home. Sure, I felt a brief moment of panic when our plane took off and I saw how incredibly huge Toronto is:
Eeeek! I just left my Baby Girl amidst all those people all by herself.
But it was just a moment, and that feeling passed.
Seriously, how can I be so heartless?
Then it came to me: leaving Zoe at the university of her dreams was not hard. Watching her endure a crippling disease like Colitis was hard. Sitting by her bedside nursing her while she healed from an extremely painful surgery was hard. Helping her manage an ileostomy bag, albeit only temporary, was hard, and helping her finish an entire year of school in only three months was extremely hard. So, no, saying goodbye to Zoe, who has been given an opportunity to live her life disease-free in a big city she loves, studying what she loves, was not hard. We have done hard things, and this was not one of them.
Lately, a lot of people have asked me how I am doing. I am sure if you follow me here on the blog you know that my life has been one major shit show for the past year. I apologize for cursing (and I apologize for making you curse when you read that . . . just tell the Big Guy it was Krista's fault and He will understand completely), but as hard as I try, I cannot come up with a better description. Poop is just not strong enough to sum up all that we went through.
Anyhoo . . .
Since everyone keeps asking me how I am doing, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on that question.
How am I doing?
Well, to be honest, I think I am doing pretty, dang great (see . . . I don't swear all the time. Only when I really have to), which makes no sense at all because I really should be curled up in the fetal position, rocking myself back and forth, back and forth, singing the Hokey Pokey, but I am not. I keep waiting for my impending breakdown, but it hasn't happened. I wake up each day, like I always have, tired and a little cranky, and I get to work.
What's the deal?
No, I am not smoking anything, and I am not a closet drinker; I just think I have learned how to do hard things. That's it. That's my big secret. I am stubborn, I do not back down from challenges, and I refuse to be beaten. I am determined to make this the best possible life for myself and my family, and I will not let a little thing like life get in my way.
It also helps that I am just about as crazy as crazy comes.
. . . tee hee!
But seriously, if you think I can do hard things, this girl right here is the real fighter and my inspiration. No one else could have done what she did and managed to make it turn out exactly as she always dreamed.
I love you, Baby Girl, but like I said: "Please, don't do anything stupid"
. . . tee hee!