Things have been a little tense around here.
For starters, we have an aging car with a lot of travel miles on it, and the past couple of months have had one too many dashboard lights on for our liking. Lucky for us, we have a father who runs a shop and knows cars and has provided us with lots of help in this area. Unfortunately, that assistance is a six hour drive away and is getting more and more difficult to fit into a busy schedule.
And then I made light of E’s allergic reaction here, but it was really anything but funny, and stirred up such a feeling of panic in me. It was the immediacy of the reaction, the severity of change in her face upon just touching this item, and not even ingesting it, that made me so anxious. And now we wait til next Friday to visit the allergist and find out just what it is that triggered it so that we can hopefully avoid it in the future.
There was also the issue of testing E for school next year – a process that I was not looking forward to because it seems sort of strange to me to expect a kid to be tested, one-on-one in a small office for nearly 2 hours, so that she can be deemed worthy to attend a really great school. We know she’s a sharp kid, but she is very shy around those she doesn’t know well, and I hated that she would have to step up and perform for a total stranger, and that one of our educational paths depended upon this performance.
And then one of my bosses, the one that I work most closely with in an already close office is stepping out of the practice. In a year that has brought tremendous change in my work, some of which has caused tremendous shifting of responsibility and brought about difficult self-examination, this is added stress and responsibility that I was not prepared for.
And to the mix we add the extra hassles of a misfiled insurance bill that requires bi-weekly 45 minute on-hold talk sessions with the related companies, a nasty bump on E’s head, the ushering in of the holiday season with it’s extra activities and travel, the arrangement of the purchase of a car from out-of-state, and the shortening days that make those much needed re-energizing walks nearly impossible to squeeze in. I’m finding that the academic tradition of a fall break would be well suited to the rest of the working world. I know I need it.
But we counter this stress by tucking in early, by going out to dinner as a family and finding as many ways as we can to relax and regroup. And in the process of doing this, we try to see these things as hurdles we can get over.
We sold our car to a nice family nearby who bought it the day after we listed it, and we turn it over to them in a few hours. We bought my mom’s car (a very sweet little Volvo) off her lease, so I get to usher in winter on heated leather seats for the first time ever. (My commute is so short, I’ve never had a car that actually heats up before I get back out again.)
The EpiPen that we have to carry around for E in case of another reaction is very scary looking, and it represents the loss of control that we actually have in providing her the safest environment that we possibly can. But it is also a tool of control, something that we can carry with us, that we can administer to her if need be, and it is a tool that those mothers and fathers of children with more serious diseases wish that they could have to make it all go away. It’s proactive, and I like that. And next Friday we’ll be able to know what it is we need to avoid, like we avoid the recalled toys with lead paint or dangerous magnets.
We thrilled to the fact that E bravely faced her fear of talking to strangers and actually sat down in a room with one (a very kind and gentle one) and tested her little heart out for those long minutes and passed them all with flying colors. We still have to wait until February to see if she now makes it through the lottery for one of these special seats in a school that combines the best of both public and private accelerated schools. But we are one hurdle down, and she is glowing at her success. I’ve never been so proud of that kid.
And work is still work, and it’s challenging and it’s long, but I go back each day and learn more. I’m not sure where things will go from here, but I work with a strong team and I have confidence that we’ll work it all out.
So, I guess it’s silver linings time, and that’s always easier to do at lunchtime on Fridays. Have a great weekend.
Taking a testing break in the lounge – all smiles.
Describing the testing questions to us with lots of animated hand motions.