Thursday, July 23, 2009

I wouldn't wanna trade

Two posts in a day. I know, I know. It's a miracle.

If you know me, you know I have a teenage daughter. If you have either A) had a teenager or B)been a teenager, specifically a girl, then you probably know how bad teenagers suck. Especially girls. Not that I don't love them but the dynamic between a teenage girl and her mother can be rough. Mean. Reminiscent of D day from Hitler's POV. If you're LUCKY.

I have a teenage girl with "issues". I don't share a lot of those issues on this blog because that's not what this blog is about. This blog is about fun stuff like my mother dying and my 4 year old's selflessness. You know, giggle material.

But just know, my teenager is a teenager to the teenaged power. Every mean thing I ever did to my mother? Times Teenager. Every mean thing SHE ever did to her mother. Yeah, I get that too. Karma for your children's children SUCKS mom.

My weeks revolve around therapy. My family's week revolves around therapy. And pill schedules. And co-pays. And occasionally waiting for the other shoe to drop. Frankly, my teenager can be exhausting. I don't generally participate in one upping other moms with their stories of their children but I have occasionally. The look on the others MOMS group mom's faces generally is a mixture of horror and abject disbelief.

I once had a Grandmother of a friend call me SPECIFICALLY to tell me I should consider making her a ward of the state. YES folks, I really do have a child with "issues".

I also have a child who will still hold my hand, even in public (sometimes). Who walked me down the aisle at my wedding. Who gives awesome footrubs. Who appreciates my love of chocolate milk. And my iphone. Even when she isn't allowed to.

I am reminded of this today because I was sitting here at work and another family popped into my head.

I went to Pregnant Girl School with the mom and our daughters were born less than 2 weeks apart. Oh and both of our daughters were named Kylie. (To be fair, my Kylie was born first. And her Kylie was actually a middle name, not a first name.)

Her Kylie had some pretty severe health issues starting when she was about a week old. She eventually dropped out of school when the baby was almost a month old just because of all the health stuff going on. I believe she got her GED later. I saw her after I graduated at the Safeway once and her baby was so tiny. And sickly looking. She was very obviously "delayed". My 9 month old was crawling and thinking hard about walking and probably reading classics while she was in bed at night and her baby laid in the baby carrier looking like a VERY sick 3 month old. Eyes wouldn't focus, head didn't even respond to sound. She was deaf. And blind. Eating from a feeding tube.

In her case her daughter had actually developed and been born healthy but due to an undiagnosed STD (Chlamydia?) that the mother got while she was pregnant from the baby's daddy the baby passed through it and contracted and it became incredibly sick from it. She wasn't supposed to live past 6 is what my friend told me at the time. I felt heartsick for her.

I don't know why they popped in my head today. That's just sort of how my brain works. So I did a Google search for her daughter since her first name was VERY unusual and found out that she passed away in 2006. She was 10. She never walked. Or ran. Or swam. She never saw her mother or heard her sweet voice or music or rain. She never tasted chocolate or pumpkin or any of that. She never slammed the door in her mothers face or screamed hurtful things at the people who loved her the most.

I bet my friend would give anything in the world to deal with my issues. Any.freaking.thing.

What a reminder to be grateful for what you have. Even when it's hard.




I can't say that loud enough. Or, I mean, write that big enough.

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