Sunday, January 30, 2011

I wish it were me

If I had a dollar for all the times that I heard my parents make the statements "I wish it were me instead of you" or "This hurts me more than it hurts you"  I probably would be able to go and buy that new Honda Pilot that I like!  As kids we thought that these statements were just a crock, that there was no way that my butt being spanked hurt my mom as bad as the sting on my back side.  The older that I get, and now being a parent,  I have to agree that those statements hold some truth.

This past week has been an emotionally and physically draining week.  We spent 5 days in the hospital with our baby Frankie who was diagnosed with a nasty case of pneumonia, double ear infections, and RSV.  It is hard for me to even begin to grasp how this child became so sick so fast.  This was not the first time that he has given us a scare, at three weeks old he was diagnosed with Pertussis (whooping cough) and was hospitalized and came home on a monitor for weeks.  Frankie is now on the mend and we are home, Thank God!  Since things have began to slow down some, and I have got some much needed sleep, my mind is just now beginning to grasp what we went through this week. 

Having a sick child has to be one of the single most difficult things to go through as a parent.  For those of you who have children who have been critically ill or have chronic conditions, I have so much respect for you.  The feeling of helplessness, the feeling of guilt, it just tears away at your heart.

 When we brought Frankie to the Emergency room, I knew that he was sick, but I just didn't realize how bad he really was.  His temperature was almost 105 after being treated around the clock for 24 hours.  His beautiful little eyes were swollen shut, and the color had faded from his sweet little face.  You would think that with a nurse for mommy, and a doctor for daddy, we would not have let our child get that sick, but it happened so fast.  We were trying to rationalize everything from a medical standpoint, and did not listen to our gut instinct as parents.  Watching them stick my baby time after time to start an IV because he desperately needed IV fluids, seeing him being suctioned, having to hold him down literally so that they could do all of these things was awful.  Daddy could not even take it and would have to leave the room.  I knew that all of these things were necessary if my baby was going to get better, I do the same things to my own patients, but this was different.  It was my baby. My son. I was humbled.  When all of this was happening, I kept on thinking about what my parents would say when I was sick.  "I wish it were me instead of you" and now I knew full circle that what they had said all of those times was so true.  I wanted to get in that bed and trade places with Frankie.  I wanted to take all of that away from him, and it broke my heart that I could not do so.  I can remember when I was in labor with Livi and had been in hard labor for about 24 hours and nothing was happening, so the doctor said that it was time for a c-section.  I had never even considered having a c- section because I figured that a big ol' girl like me would be able to birth a baby with no problem, but Olivia had a different plan.  My mom and Bobby were as exhausted as I was and after we decided to have the c-section at 4am, my mom followed the doctor into the hallway.  I could see her from a distance and could hear her.  She said something along the lines of "That is MY baby in that bed, and I want to make sure that you have had enough sleep to do this"  in a Kathy Wilson kinda tone. Then she came back  into the room crying and telling me that she wished that she could trade me places.  At the time I thought that she had just went off of her rocker temporarily and that she needed a nerve pill, but now I know that feeling. An hour later our sweet little girl was born, and we were both fine. 

As parents, we want the best for our children.  We want them to be good, successful people.  We want to see them blossom into the person that we have tried to raise them to be.  When they fail at something or when they have a stumbling block in life, we want to take that away from them.  We want to clear the path and make everything better.  It is our nature, it is what all parents do.  When they are sick, we want to take all of that hurt and pain away.  My mom once told me that "An old cow bawls for her calf".  It is true, in every species mommies want to protect their young, they would kill, and even die themselves for their babies.  It is the way that God made us, it is our job.  As a person of faith it only makes my faith stronger to think of the sacrifice that God made with his own son, for all mankind.  What a heart wrenching decision that must have been.

It is simple, when our kids hurt, no matter how old or young, as a parent,  it hurts us too.  I will say the same thing to Liv and Frankie that my parents said to me, that "I wish it were me" and only when they have a child of their own will they fully understand the meaning of those words. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Old school

It was only one of the biggest events of the school year, the Homecoming game.  The band had spent weeks practicing on the perfect song, the ball team had been preparing extra hard, and the queen candidates had picked the perfect dress ensemble.  The gym was decorated with lots of balloons and tulle.  It was packed.  The ball players looked stellar with their warm ups on.  They escorted the cheerleaders in the gym.  Then followed the girls in their ball gowns, they were beautiful, big hair and all.

This past Friday I attended the Homecoming game at my old high school.  My little brother was nominated for King , so of course, his big sister was there to cheer him on.  The night was great, and even though he wasn't crowned king, I was still proud.  After I left, I was thinking about how much had changed in the 12 years since I roamed the halls of the school at Borden.

For those of you who don't know, I went to school in the same building for all 12 years.  The elementary school was located upstairs, the Jr and Sr high school was located downstairs.  Even today, grades k-12 are still in the same building, but there has been much growth and improvement.  Change is good, but sometimes it is funny to remember about how things "used to be".

When I was in school we didn't have air conditioning.  I can remember sitting in class in late August feeling on the verge of a heat stroke at times. The cooks would roll a cart down the hall with trays of ice and white styrofoam cups.  That was how we were supposed to cool off, a cup of ice when the heat index was 105!  Speaking of the weather, we didn't have snow days for a dusting or a few inches of snow.  Our school bus drivers had freaking chains on their tires!  We were bundled from head to toe, but we had school.

 When we played softball and little league baseball back in the day we played at the "town park".  It was an all dirt field across the street from the Borden Tavern and Brewer's General Store.  There wasn't a concession stand, we walked across the street to the store for a bologna and cheese sandwich with white bread and miracle whip.  Brewers had the BEST sandwiches.  If you could hit a home run in the trees, you were definitely going to make the All stars.  While we were waiting for our team to play we would hit the playground in front of the Borden Mansion, or better yet, ride our bikes down the school hill. There was nothing like the sound of the chains squeaking just to see how high we could swing.   When we were older, sometimes we would even sneak behind the old shelter house and maybe have our first kiss!  After the game the town drunks would come out of the tavern and cheer us on and we would go to Judy's Dairy Barn for a dip cone.   Speaking of the town park, what about the Saturday morning flea markets?  I can remember getting those belts that were actually chains with charms all over them or a cheap birthstone ring.

  When we were in school spirit week was the best week of the year.  The week would have theme days such as hat day, or pajama day.  At the end of the week it was red and black day.  The entire school would be decked out in their red and black attire.  A school wide pep session closed the school day with the big game that night.  The entire school k-12 attended the pep session, it was so cool as an elementary student getting to go to the high school gym and hear the pep band play and see the ball team!

 The fall festival was another highlight of the the school year.  There was everything from a cake walk to paying a dollar to get a baseball bat and smash an old car out in the parking lot for fun.   We actually had a REAL turkey dinner made by the cooks and it was always soooo good!

 If you were in elementary school when Mr Hobbs was the principle we all knew what 1-2-3 meant...THANK YOU!!  What the heck is this that they don't call the class parties "Halloween Parties" or "Christmas Parties".  Now they are called holiday parties, and it doesn't seem the same.

Silk shirts, stone washed pleated jeans tight rolled, all while wearing eastlands(with the shoe strings rolled) or white canvas keds tennis shoes.  Umbro shorts and color changing t shirts.  Those were the days.  They were good days.  They are days that I miss. 

Change is inevitable, change is necessary, and most of the time, change is good.  Even though things have changed since I was in school, our school continues to grow, and continues to be the special place that it always has been.  I know that most of you who aren't from Borden probably won't appreciate this blog like those of us that call this school home, but it was a great place to go to school and an even better place to grow up.  Even though this small town girl lives in the city now, it is always good to go home.  I hope that one day my kids can experience a school like Borden.  Maybe they will get the chance to be Braves after all...