I'm not being chased. But I do feel like I'm in some sort of race. Against what? Time, maybe.
It's a marathon race of course. It started in September, and this portion of the marathon (as in, some sort of warrior-dash-super-ironman-marathon) concludes in eight days.
Just eight, short, days.
I can see the finish line, just there, at the top of this massively steep hill. And I'm running, but I'm completely spent, my water bottle dried up sometime back in April, and not only have both my shoes come undone, but they're now tied together.
I'm hobbling to the finish line.
I wish I could streak across this finish line, hands clasped with my boys and held high in the air, sweat pouring down our faces, but underneath our smiles are beaming. I wish, like for some others, this leg of the race was all downhill. I wish that we could end this race in a blaze of glory.
But for us, it's not to be.
I'm limping along, trying to make it without quitting, trying to instil that non-quitter attitude in my boy at the same time. I'm limping, and dragging a weighted ball chained to my left leg (why my left? It's my weaker leg.) and my L is the one sitting on top of that weighted ball. Only he's trying to hang on and pull me back.
As you may have guessed, tonight was a bad night. And it ain't over yet. At least not until I'm 100% sure he's asleep, and right now, at 9:59 p.m., I'm about 95% sure he's NOT asleep. So I could still be in for more fun and games.
I wish we could have the issues of just bad behaviour. I wish it was simply a case of "he won't stay in bed." I also desperately long for the days when he was small, and I'd put him to bed at 7:30 with a few small stories and plenty of hugs and kisses goodnight.
Sometimes my brain starts thinking thoughts that start out as "I wish he was small again" and quickly turn to thoughts of "where, exactly, did we go wrong? What did we do?"
I've been told not to think those thoughts, to shut them down quickly because A) they're unhelpful even if they were true, and B) they're not true because its not our fault, it's not something we did.
Still, they do creep into my mind.
L seemed fine earlier on today. He stayed home because he either has a bad cold or severe allergies, so I let him have a day off. He also had Friday off, due to a PA day. I think four days off in a row was the bad part. Once I had him in the bathroom brushing his teeth, he went sour. At first he wouldn't tell me what was wrong. Finally, after I read to him in his bed for a bit, he decided to tell me what was wrong, amid much sobbing and tears.
He doesn't want to go, he just wants to be home, he needs more time off from doing work, he HATES school, he can't live like this anymore.
That last part always kills me. I get it. He can't continue to have these awful anxious feelings. He knows they're not a normal part of life, and doesn't want to live with them anymore. I just don't know what to say to it. I wish I had the answer. But I don't.
It didn't matter to him that I said there were only eight days of school left. He just said that summer will fly by, and then he'll have to go to school again.
It's so sad that now he can't enjoy summer because he'll be too busy worrying about the fall. And it's sad that his anxiety has now got me worrying about the fall too.
So now, I feel like I'm struggling to make it to the end.
Breathe in, breathe out.