Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lost in the Woods

There is nothing scarier to me than a sick Alyssa. The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. The loss of control, the desire to give in to panic during an inconsolable crying session - it's like being lost in the woods... by myself... at night. You get the picture.

Ok, so I guess I should also say at this point - for all you family and friends starting to worry - that Alyssa just has a cold. It's nothing major. She has the sniffles: a runny nose, teary eyes, somewhat of a loss of appetite (I say somewhat because she IS a toddler now and starting to get picky about food), and a little cranky at the end of the day when all is said and done. Otherwise, she's still running around, babbling away, and laughing up a storm.

That said, every time she cries in her sleep I jump up and run to her. Every time she rubs her eyes and a tear squeezes out my heart breaks. Every time she sucks in her breath through her mouth or she struggles to breathe through her nose I die a little inside. Yes, yes - very melodramatic sounding, I know. But seriously, this is my reaction - and it's only a cold! Oh, of course I know I'm nuts! That's why I'm sitting here at 12:01 a.m. writing this entry. I know I'm crazy; I know my response is crazy; and I know that if I don't figure out a better way to respond to Alyssa when she's sick I will one day become crazy.

So what do I do? I need to find my way through the woods. I could come up with a long list of responsibilities I have as Mommy to Alyssa that could help me get out of this "panic mode" I've slipped into: wipe her nose, take her temp, make her soup, hold her for as long as she wants (or as long as I need), etc. But then it just occurred to me that really, I only have one job: I need to be a strong and nurturing Mommy to Alyssa - sick or healthy. I need to be there for her. This is about her. This is not about me, it's about her. Essentially, I need to suck it up.

And that is how I just became "un-lost."

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