If you’re not in the mood to hear somebody whine – stop reading. It’s my birthday and I’ll whine if I want to. Actually it was my birthday last Saturday. I’m at the age when I know that I should stop dreading the ever increasing number and come to terms with the necessity of celebrating that I’m still a reasonably intact adult with family and friends who love and like me. But as the number progresses farther into the latter half of a century, I realize that the enormity of responsibilities, stresses, and sheer physical duties that encompass raising a child with severe disabilities has swept away the me that is Gail, and replaced her with the me that is Lauren’s Mom. If I don’t take stock and make an effort to make some “me” time once in awhile, to explore who I want to be when I grow up, I may grow old before I ever get there. So, in an effort to start this year heading in the right direction, I made plans just for me for my birthday. Nothing elaborate – a shopping trip for nothing specific (what a luxury) and a fancy dinner with my husband, a day to just relax and regroup. And, by 9am Saturday, it all went to hell.
Lauren woke up early, but with a lovely smile after a day of sleeping off a seizure. Before I could even grab a bowl of cereal, the phone rang – the caregiver scheduled for the day was sick. And, that was the end of my birthday plans. I know – not the end of world, it’s just one more day, it could be worse, do it next week, keep your perspective. @#$%^, well what if I don’t want to? There have just been too many cancelled days and plans and trips, too many “Plan B” days to be grown-up about it anymore. It’s not Lauren’s fault or my husband’s, or mine. It s just part of parenting a child like Lauren. But Lauren is no longer a child – and patience has limits. Sometimes you just want to be like a two-year old, throw a tantrum, stomp your feet. It seems to work for the little tykes!. So, just for one day – I let it get to me. I was glum and ticked and grumpy. I moped around and felt sorry for myself and endured the “what can I do, what can I do” puppy dog face of my husband. Did it help?….No. Instead of starting off a new year feeling empowered, in control of my future, in search of the me that I’ve lost, I just feel old.