Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm Being Very Brave

I was concerned about Mary Grace's class this year (OMG, someone run and tell the school right now!) because there are 16 boys and 8 girls (oh, you thought I was going to say something controversial?  Neener neener!!).  Only one girl moved on to the 4 day pre-k class with her from her previous class, and I was afraid that she would have a hard time making friends.

Hah!  Have I even met my kid?

Within 10 seconds of getting out the first day, she told me all about her new friend Brooke and how cool Brooke is and what a good friend she is and how much she loves her and Mommy can we please have a playdate please Mommy please please please?

Well, considering that we've had a very medical couple of weeks - with dentists and eye doctors and every other kind of appointment - it's no surprise that today was the first time our schedules aligned and they were able to play.

Brooke's mom has two older daughters who are in school, and said that it would be no problem to just pick Mary Grace up when she picked Brooke up, take them out for a playdate, and bring MG back later.  Then she very graciously offered to take Claire too! 

So, I let someone I barely know, who I've talked to a few times in the school parking lot, pick up my children and take them from school in the midst of dealing with a pretty serious anxiety thing.

I know!

So what if I'm obsessively checked my phone every 30 seconds?  I'm doing ok.  The kids won't know I've checked my phone a thousand times.  They're probably having a blast.  BJ and I went out for lunch, and I made a joke about cruising the parking lot at school to make sure that Brooke's mom had everyone, but I was mostly joking.  Mostly.  I didn't do it, anyway.  I've been at work all morning, actually accomplishing things and able to complete thoughts and not worrying too horribly much about the fact that it's pouring outside and no one in this college town knows how to drive.  Brooke's mom drives a tank.  They're fine.

They're fine.

They are fine.

This is how I do things, how I deal with things.  I acknowledge them, I face them head on, and I barrel right through them.  I am not the sort of person who hides from fear.  Not me.

Along a similar vein, I've been facing my fear of water.  I signed the girls up for semi-private swimming lessons with Karen's son Cameron and a teacher who is a high school student (BREATHE, Amy!).  We went for the first time last Sunday.

I probably didn't blog about the time I went with BJ to the lessons we did over the summer.  For eight of the nine lessons, I made him take them alone.  I went to one.  They made me sit behind an 8 foot spiky fence, which meant that if something happened I would've had to go over the fence, through the fence, or (most likely) around the fence, into the building, through the locker room, along the long side of the big pool, all the way to the baby pool, through the gate, and only then would I have been able to get to them.  It was not a good set up for me.  Not even a little.  It was a 20 minute class.  I made it about 5 minutes before I burst into tears.

I have this thing about water...

So we show up for swimming on Sunday, and the kids are stoked and I'm feeling very much like I'm going to throw up, but I'm ok, until the high school aged teacher says, "The water over here is really cold, so we're going to the other pool, by the diving boards."

The diving well is 17 feet deep.

I died.

The teacher took the kids, and I told Karen and BJ that I had to go to the bathroom, and I went back into the locker room to hyperventilate a little.  But I got myself together and I went back out there and put on a happy face, and I cheered on my kids who were so proud of themselves.  And wouldn't you know, they learned more in that 45 minute lesson than they had in 2 weeks of daily 20 minute lessons this summer.  I only had to white-knuckle the bench a few times.  I didn't throw up.

The therapist I saw last week told me to hire a housekeeper, have people bring in meals, and go to bed for the next 6 - 9 months.  I'm not going back to her.  I can't go to bed for 1/2 to 3/4 of a year.  I need to face this thing.  I need to stare my deepest, ugliest monsters in the face and then beat the shit out of them.  I don't know any other way of being, and I know that I wouldn't be me if I ran and hid under the covers. 

Because I AM very brave, even if I have to chant, "They're fine, they're fine, they're fine," to myself for the next hour.


Anonymous said...

You are super brave, Amy. And while I agree that the advice of going to bed for the next 6 months is 1000% not practical, I know in my heart that the $160/month I spend on my housekeeper is the best money I spend. Alex and I always look at each other when we get home on "Patty Days" and say "Have I mentioned I love Patty?" She is the bomb and keeps me sane. You should find your own Patty. At least while you're preggers and when the new one is tiny.

You're doing a great job, Amy. We all have those moments when we have to excuse ourselves and hyperventilate a little bit. I bawled in the cab the first time I left town without Marc - and he was staying with his Omi! You're right though, for me, facing those fears head on is the only way for me to conquer them.


PS - Did you ever make your IKEA run?

Heather said...

Yeah, that counselor might be telling you what you want to hear (hire a housekeeper, suuuure I will, and now you're going to give the lottery numbers, right?) but I'm glad you recognized that she wasn't offering you what you needed.

And WHY the heck haven't you gone back to Our Mutual Acquaintance Who Is Very Very Good?

Heidi said...

Kudos to you for facing the fears. I have the same water issues - took our water loving girl to one lesson; made it half way through. Took her home and had a 60 minute panic attack, culminating with my telling her father "I am NEVER doing that again." You and I should form a support group - Anxiety Riddled Mothers of Swimmers (hey - ARMS! Kinda cool!)

But seriously, overcoming that particular fear can wait until after you have the baby. No need to add MORE stress to your life.

Besides, it's autumn now. A few more months and they can take skiing lessons instead ;)

Amy said...

CG - I WISH we had the money for a weekly or biweekly housekeeper! I had one when I was pregnant with MG and when she was little and it was really nice.

I think the counselor was talking about someone like Alice from the Brady Bunch, so I could go rot my brains on daytime TV and let some other woman take over my house and my family. Ain't gonna happen! I'm too much of a control freak. :)

Heather - Tuesday.

Heidi - I love the idea of a support group. Way to rock the acronym! The water thing kills me. I can't even look at a picture (on TV for example) of a face under water without having bad dreams. It's just... weird. I guess I drowned in a former life or something.