I think Joel is fighting a cold. If this was Owen, I would shrug and accept that this is all part of life. But, since this is Joel, I always go to That Place and think about Those Things and I feel so helpless and terrified that my throat tightens up and tears come from nowhere.This isn't healthy, and I'm trying to work on it.
I was talking to Paul on the phone about it and I said, "Remember, when we were in the recovery room, after Joel's tubes were put in?" We were gazing down at Joel as he wore his little hospital gown, his duckling-fluff hair so bright and shiny against the dark-blue walls of the hospital crib. He was so still, and then, he slowly fought through the haze of the anesthesia. He gazed around, looking for his Mommy and Daddy, but all he saw were hazy, dark walls. He lifted up his hands, trusting that somebody, somewhere, would hold him.
Of course, I didn't say all of this to him, but when he said, "Of course I do," I knew that he understood the fears of That Place and Those Things, and knew exactly how I felt.
I've been such a disaster. Joel hasn't been sleeping as well, and everything falls apart when I'm tired. Today, for example, as I stepped into the lobby of the preschool, I realized that I had forgotten Owen's school bag. That is, the school bag with the apple in it.
The kids were supposed to bring in apples today for an activity. Over the weekend, we went to Wegman's, aka Owen's heaven, to pick out the best, most perfect apple. I, of course, put the apple in Owen's school bag so I wouldn't forget it.
His teacher said it was no big deal, and a thoughtful mom had brought in extra apples for all of the Loser Parents. Really, it worked out just fine.
But, probably because I'm tired and already nervous about Joel, I felt like crying. Over an apple. And a school bag.
And, when Owen came out, carrying his notes and crafts in a plastic grocery bag, he was smiling. His teacher, however, was concerned about Owen's habit of constantly touching himself. "Does he need to use the restroom?" she asked.
"No, " I sighed. "That's just his thing. We're working on it."
I know that the stress of these various workable problems was getting to me when a friend mentioned, concerned, that she could hear the irritation in my voice.
"I know," I said, "I'm working on it."
I just need to know where to start. Anyone?