Commit to Change, Or, When My Son Needed Me

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No one ever said change was easy.  It’s why we fall back into the patterns of familiarity so quickly, sometimes so seamlessly we didn’t even realize we were back where we started.  Often times when we are on the precipice of something great, on the edge of the truth that is meant for us, we are drawn back deeply into the place we used to be.  I don’t know if there is some cosmic GPS we are born with that locates us and tries to pull us in, but I know it happens.  I know whenever I’ve been trying to do something new, all of the old rises to the surface. 

I’ve been heading a large project at work the last few weeks and we went live this past week.  My mother is still recovering. I’m not 100% comfortable where I’m at.  I’m out of body a lot and seeking comfort as far from my mind as I can get it.  So I had a moment of failure.  My son woke up complaining about knee pain (he has a history) but I thought he had simply slept funny so I brought him to my parents like I normally would because I had to get to work…I always have to work.  I got there and did my song and dance to touch in with everyone before I had to bring my son to school so I felt tired and frustrated because my husband was supposed to take him but couldn’t.  Either way, I left and picked up my kid and saw that he was still limping…this was six hours after I dropped him off and some pain reliever.  By the time we got back to our place to pick up his school stuff he could barely walk and he screamed when he tried to take the stairs. 

I felt like a deer in headlights.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of where I was going or where I needed to be.  I knew what my calendar looked like, there was a meeting waiting for me at 1pm, I didn’t feel I could stay off of work again because of the hours I’d been putting in, I didn’t feel I could call my son out of school again because of the time he missed with my mother being off, we were all the way at home (a 50 minute drive from work), and we were alone.   I’m not happy to admit it, but I chose work.  my kid was genuinely in pain and I made myself believe I had to work.  I’ve been trying to prove that I’m stable and capable and that the outside doesn’t bother me…but it does.

I called my husband and he met me where I work and took our kid to a walk in/emergency ortho clinic.  Over the last month I’ve had to separate from my son a lot—taking care of him, my parents, work, everything has pulled me in a million directions.  It’s really hard to make him do things he doesn’t want to do or make him go places he doesn’t want to go.  I remember that feeling as a child, not knowing how to play with other kids, feeling lonely…and here I am shutting the door on a car for him to be taken somewhere he isn’t familiar with while he is crying for me.  And then I can’t even help him feel better when he is hurting.

I will be frank that I don’t know how to resolve this, but I do know that I don’t ever want to feel that again.  I don’t ever want to be in that position again.  I don’t ever want to choose work over my family.  Yes, it led to consequences at work and different pain points with keeping up, but what are they doing for me?  They would replace me in a heartbeat.  My kid only wants his mom.  I am his only mom and I only get to do this journey once.  I had a conversation with one of the trainers on the project we launched and he told me, “Your kid may not understand this now but he will someday.  It’s all for him.”  And that honestly was comforting because someone saw the effort I’m putting in.  It eased the sting but it doesn’t change the fact that he needs me now.  So, when we know something needs to be addressed but we don’t know how…what do we do?  We take one little step in the direction of where we want to be.    

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