I carry the lightness as well as the load that
motherhood brings. It is a part of who I am. Coming to escape, my
children are on my mind. Wandering campus for a place to write, I find an
unoccupied picnic table shaded by trees. Settled in I find “MOM!” carved into
the surface of the table.Snickering, I
realize, I can never fully escape my maternal role. My heart is filled with the
good, the bad and the ugly.This is the
life I chose, a commitment for better and for worse.
Hope carries me through the anxiety and fear
that missteps may narrow the possibilities presented to my children as
adults.This too, is part of growing
up.Even after more than three decades
in this mothering role, I too continue to navigate my way in this world, as a
wife, mother, and human accepting the messiness that goes along with "adulting."
Sometimes fear is useful; in cases of survival. Lately it feels like I have been walking a wobbly tightrope between fear and caution.
A kid about seven years old cut across the yard, grabbing a handful of grass that had grown to half his size. As he kicked through it to the asphalt, I had all I could do to not grab the mother by the arm, look straight into her eyes and say, "Check your kid for ticks."
So far, I am lucky. I found my tick; took doxycycline for six weeks and have been bothered by a few aches and fatigue.
Some I know have been unable to work. One friend explained her brain function has been impaired and she has particular trouble with calculating figures. Another found it taxing to care for her children due to chronic fatigue and brain fog. You see, I am lucky.
Presently, we await results of blood work. It is suspected my husband has Lyme.
My favorite path to walk is lined with a wispy hedge of grass. I continue to walk it, although I no longer brush my legs against the soft growth. This is not fear, but common sense and caution. Ticks like to cling to grasses and hitch a ride.
Check for ticks. Check yourself, check those you love and wear a repellant. I am told that on MDI about 50% of ticks carry Lyme. Fear will not replace the peacefulness and sense of well being I feel on my walks in the woods, however sensibility and caution travel with me now. Proceed with caution.
In eight months, my life has changed drastically. It may be a little like learning how to walk again after years of immobilization, however it is likely much more complicated than that. Troubles began early on, I remember. My chubby hands grasped the splintery wooden handle as I fished around the filiment of green grass in the bottom of the Easter basket searching for another jelly bean or chocolate egg with foil. A few times I popped the chocolate into my mouth with foil still clinging to the candy. Mindless eating. Mouthful after mouthful. My basket was empty before 8:00 a.m. mass.
I am uncertain where my issues with food originated. As a child, food was as plentiful, as love. I was adored and the center of my parents life for my first ten years until I became a big sister. Weighing just a few pounds at birth; my life depended upon accepting nourishment. Maybe it began that early.
Food is the perfect companion for any occassion and remedy for any emotion. Just now at nearly 60 years old am I working to establish a healthy relationship with food for the remainder of my days. Not many succeed. I am reading everything I can about those who have been able to keep excess weight at bay over time. I am reading article after article listing habits of healthy people.
I want to remember how I would become breathless walking up five steps into my house. I want to remember how most days I had to sit in the recliner with my ankles and feet elevated because swelling made them throb. I want to remember the humiliation of trying on outfit after outfit and having to reach for larger and larger sizes, eventually settling on frumpy. I want to remember how I would have to unzip my pants while at the table, so I could continue to eat way beyond the point of being full. I want to remember the ache in my throat as I held back tears after being called fat. My life depends upon remembering.