There is nothing more frustrating than when you’re writing for the first time in a long time and you’re a mom so you get interrupted 17 times and you’ve written a good solid portion of a story, first try. . . come back from one of the many interruptions and the work is just. . . gone. I’ve been thinking of how I was going to write this all afternoon, and now I guess I get to write it twice! Just a chance to write it different, right? Bright side, silver lining, glass half full and all that bullshit I suppose.
Today was one of the most terrifying, frustrating, and happiest days of my life.
Grab a drink and have a seat. This is a long one.
Foot note: I’ve since decided to do this in installments, because for a blog post it was getting awful wordy. Turns out, this story is quite the long one!
No one has followed this blog and since I haven’t written in it for over a year and have only made 3 previous posts – which are still up and you’re welcome to read – I am going to quickly introduce you to my life.
I am a single mother to two amazing boys, Matthew and Chase. Matthew is 12, Chase is 5. Both are very bright, amusing kids and make my world whole. I also help my brother out quite a bit, and work full time. I have a very full life, and I am very happy with all that it is, and all that I have accomplished.
Today’s piece is brought to you by my Matthew B., who has once again given me a scare and reinforced the very concrete fact that life is short and you never ever know what tomorrow will bring.
1230am Sunday night/Monday morning
Matt and I hadn’t said good night even half an hour before. I was just falling asleep when my bedroom door opened.
“Dude. Really? What?”
“What’s the matter?”
“I need to show you something. Can you look at this?” I turned on my light. I was ready for a mosquito bite, a weird scrape or bruise – my Matthew is a worrier. The littlest indication that there is something not right with him and he’s self diagnosing without the aide of google, has assumed he has the plague and has 12 hours to live.
I was not prepared for him to show me that he had a lump just beneath his right nipple.
I was not prepared for the serious possibility that something was seriously wrong with my child, and for it to slap me in my almost asleep face.
Calm mom face, calm mom voice.
“Its probably just all the changes your body is going through right now. Probably nothing to worry about. I’ll call Dr. G in the morning though, see if we can’t get you in. Better safe than sorry, right?” Matt’s smart, and had every right to be concerned. We didn’t need to get into the possibilities, because I knew and he knew. He seemed calm from my calm, hugged me goodnight and left the room. I turned out the light. And laid there going over scenarios in my head. Sleep did not come easy and when it did
630am Monday morning
it was light out and my eyes wouldn’t stay shut, even though my alarm was set for 7am.
Get up. Yoga. Shower. Wake the fuck up because today was going to be one fuck of a day. Get the little one up. Covered in a gogurt that found its way in his bed and underneath him while he slept. Make a half assed attempt at doing my hair, and rapidly decide today is half ass hair Monday because I have naturally ridiculous hair that needs deliverance from ten kinds of evil and its going to be humid as hell. Text my boss, explain what’s going on – I’m coming in, but I’m leaving to make sure my son is seen and confirm that I am freaking out over nothing – text my coworkers actually freaking out. Call Matt’s dad to tell him what’s going on and get some medical background. Smoke 3 cigarettes to calm my nerves and get antsy from sitting on my ass even though nothing can get done until 9am when the doctor’s office opens. Decide that fuck makeup, I’m probably going to cry at some point today anyway. Bribe Chase out the door and drive him to his aunts. Vent to her, and praise the higher powers for that woman because I swear she gets me on mom levels that not many other women do. Dash out the door and head to work. At a light I look at the time and I’m late because I’m five minutes away and its
901am Monday morning
way later than I thought. But cool. The doctors office is open so I put in the very scary, awkward call. Yes, my 12 year old son found a lump in his breast. The good thing about Matt’s doctor’s office is that they get you in right away. And the receptionist seemed absolutely unfazed. So as I was pulling into work late, I knew he needed to be in Maumee by 1030am.
And wouldn’t you know it, there was someone waiting for me to show them an apartment. Today of all days. Hide my rush, hide my worry, sell an apartment. Meet with maintenance, throw my lunch in the fridge in the back, and read a couple emails, call and make sure Matt gets in the shower so that by the time I get home to pick him up he’d be ready to go. All the while my mind was racing through possibilities and scenarios, knowing that it’s just mom brain on overload. I rushed out the door, putting the I’ll be back time to 1pm – 1030am appointment, not banking on it taking an longer than noon. . . by this time in life with Matthew I know that any and all testing could be done downstairs in the same building as his doctor – but just to be safe, 1pm. I had a 2pm move in and I should have plenty of time to get back to the office and eat my lunch and breath that sigh of relief that I knew would come with confirming that I was just being overly worried.
Somehow, someway I got back to the house by 940am. Matt was coming down the stairs, freshly showered and socks in hand. He knows his mom well, knew that I was in a hurry and told me as he bent down to grab his shoes that he’d just put them on in the car. As I was pulling back out of the driveway two minutes later he asked, “I’m gonna be fine, right?”
“Of course kiddo. We’re just making sure, that’s all.” and he put in his headphones and I turned up my car stereo to drown out the worried thoughts.
1017am Monday morning
We were early. And the parking lot was packed, which is rare. I parked in the last spot available all the way down the lot. In 12 years I’ve never seen it this packed. It does not bode well for my day, and I recognize this and accept that what will be, will be.
We entered the doctor’s office, joking and picking on each other as always. I handed Matthew my keys to hold while I fished out ID and insurance, and looked at the people in the office around and in front of me at the check in window. Completely packed. Insane. Never had I seen it this way – with exception to when they got new software a couple years back, and that was a blur because I had a very sick Chaser with me that day and I gave no fucks about anything but soothing my little one. Everyone looked annoyed, parents with sick and/or young kids were trying to keep their shit together. . . oh boy. I noticed only a couple seats remaining and told Matt to go ahead and sit down while I waited to check us in.
“Hi,” I said to the receptionist, smiling. “We’re early, 1030 check in for Matthew.” I handed her my insurance and ID and she looked grateful that I had my shit together. “Oh honey. You have no idea.” I thought to myself, still smiling and keeping up the facade of a well organized and completely together mother of a perfectly fine 12 year old boy. Sigh. Appearances can be exhausting. She checked us in and confirmed what I could see. “It’s kind of crazy today, we’re down to one provider. She’s working very hard to keep up, but you may experience a longer than normal wait.” Fucking wonderful, I thought. “Okay, no worries,” I said out loud, and went and sat down next to Matthew.
He kept his headphones in to drown out the crying babies and antsy kids asking for this and that. I scrolled Facebook and text a friend so I could try and keep my shit together. I was worried stupid and this individual kept trying to make me see logic. It was helping, but in making me see reason I also saw all the health nonsense that Matt has had and how it has all worked out and he has been just fine, always. No matter how worried I was of the outcome. And as I was telling all of this through text, I was remembering the hellish road that Matt and I have traveled together, and what an awesome story it is. I tell you what. There’s not a goddamn thing Matthew and I can’t conquer. Let’s start back in the beginning. Let’s go back 12 years.