Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sick mommy

I've had some health issues over the past month. Not my fault, on the mend, doing everything I can, great support from husband and family and friends, etc.

But of course I worry about the effect it's having on my kids. Mom in the hospital for a week: How does a 10-year-old deal with that? What about a seven-year-old? Will they spend the rest of their lives thinking of me as Sick Mommy? Will they remember me as the mom who couldn't, rather than the mom who always did?

E, at almost 10, and probably the most empathetic and sensitive kid his age I've ever met, came to see me in the hospital, wanted nothing but to sit next to me and rub my arm and tell me how much he loves me and missed me. Once I got home and was recovering in bed, he'd come in every day to talk, read, kiss me goodnight. Was on an even keel once I was home.

W, at almost seven, pretty much ignored the whole thing, preferred to play at his friends' houses, had a two-night sleepover, barely said hi when he got home and I was back from the hospital. Was extremely happy until one afternoon this week when, mysteriously, he came home from school, got into bed, and cried all afternoon. Said his "nerves" were making him cry, that nothing bad had happened at school, that he didn't know what was upsetting him. And this was on a day when I was markedly better: out of bed, making dinner. We tried to help him but ended up letting him cry it out for lack of any better ideas. He was okay by bedtime and fine the next day. We figure PTSD -- he'd been holding it together all that time and finally was able to relax a little, and when he did it all spilled out. Wish I could help him verbalize this stuff a bit more, like his brother. Maybe it will come with age. Maybe he's just a guy's guy.

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