Resilience and Balance and Grace, Oh My

I’m so sorry it has been so long since I've written.  I’m struggling a little bit right now, I’m afraid.  I’m desperately trying to achieve some balance and have, heretofore, been unsuccessful.  But I spent yesterday in a hospital room watching Pip find the balance I’m seeking…and he’s four…so I really need to step up my game.

The divorce is winding up…or down…however you want to put it.  It will supposedly become final in 6 days.

There are some really positive aspects.  I think that any time a major life change comes about, you have to reassess the choices you've made.  If circumstances dictate that you start over, it is both devastating and exhilarating – it is a forced clean slate.  It is a chance to make new choices.  It’s a kind of a do-over.  I can keep the pieces of my life that I like and I have the freedom to change the stuff I don’t.  Not everybody can do that – or, really, maybe everybody CAN do that at any time but unless it is forced upon you, it is really hard to leave your comfort zone and actually do it.  Maybe I should be grateful I was pushed…forcibly…out of my comfort zone.

And I’m dating again - and I really like that feeling of liking and desiring someone new.  It’s intoxicating.  It’s the reason why infidelity happens.  I get it.  It’s addictive.  And I never had any hopes of feeling this way again – I had made other choices. Of course, when you give that stuff up for a life-long (supposedly) commitment, you do so because what you get in return is stronger and deeper and safer and more meaningful (again, supposedly…if you’re lucky.)  I was perfectly satisfied (or resigned) to not feeling this way again but, hey, if you’re gonna force it on me…wheeeeee!

So I recognize and am grateful for the good stuff.  There are a lot of ways in which I feel like myself again for the first time in many many years.

The balance I am looking to achieve, though, has been pretty elusive.

See, I want to find a balance where I look at the negative aspects of this divorce and am able to shrug and think “Well, that’s the cost of doing business – look at all the great stuff I get in return for paying this price.”

How enlightened and peaceful would that be?

I have yet to even come close.

Every new revelation or change to the settlement that doesn't favor me or slight or misstep feels like a huge injustice.  I feel, over and over again, like a victim.  I cannot seem to balance and equate the feeling I get when I sign up for a class I've always wanted to take but never did until now…or  a late night text that reads “Sweet dreams, beautiful” or the me-time that comes along with shared parenting – that stuff that’s kind-of new and awesome - with the financial or emotional hits that inevitably go along with it.  I should be able to do it.  I want to be able to do it.

My four-year-old can do it.

Pip and I spent 9 hours at the hospital yesterday.  A liver biopsy was required so we scrambled to the car at 6am (in single-digit temperatures) and checked in at 7am and the IV attempts began at around 7:30.  It took two tries. They bloodied both of his hands.  Then they put him under and wheeled him away and did a double biopsy – two passes to get two different samples of liver through a giant needle they poked through his tummy - then back to recovery where he was hooked to monitors and forced to sit in bed for 7 hours.  Pip understands none of this.  He can tell you he’s had a transplant but he doesn't know what that means.  He doesn't understand the reasons for the follow-up care.  He doesn't know what a liver does (hell, I didn't actually know what a liver does until Pip’s didn't work…it’s quite an amazing organ, I gotta say.  And totally necessary for survival it turns out – shrug – who knew, right?)  I couldn't prepare Pip for the biopsy – he doesn't get it – so it was all just kind-of a big surprise that he had no choice but to go along with because I am bigger and I make the rules.

So the IV attempt hurt and the second attempt hurt and waking up from the anesthesia made him groggy and dizzy and he was hungry because he wasn't allowed to eat before the biopsy but he had to wait before eating until the drugs wore off and he had to sit still for 7 hours which is torture when you’re a four-year-old boy.  But he’s brave and fairly easy-going so there were only a few tears (and those were about sitting still – not about pain.)  He’s a rock star.

One of my friends was volunteering at the hospital yesterday.  Some of you know her as Mary Tyler Mom.  I know her as awesome.  She came by in our 5th hour of sitting and provided gifts that helped pass the time and a room-brightening smile and two cookies for Pip and caffeine for me (because she knows what hospital moms need.)   And Pip was overjoyed and chose (in a heart-melting way) to save one of the cookies for his sister because he is really a very sweet boy when he isn't head-butting you until you see stars or announcing to a floor full of nurses that you have a beard on your penis because you took the opportunity to quickly use the restroom while he was washing his hands.  I digress.  Anyway - bless you, MTM!

When we finally got clearance to be sprung from that joint, well, that’s when it happened.  That’s when Pip decided to teach me a lesson about resilience and balance and grace.

Pip’s IV had to be removed and, because he is a 4-yr-old boy, it was taped and taped and taped and taped and taped to his skin.  The nurse began to peel the tape and, with each tug, the tiny tube inside the vein in the back of his hand would move and, clearly, it was painful.  Pip said “OW!” twice.  And then he turned to me, wild-eyed and with great urgency, and said “I LOVE my new Star Wars Lego Set.  I LOVE my remotamatrol car and I can’t wait to go home for batteries.  I will drive it around the living room.  I love my cookies from MTS’s mama and I will give one to Bunny when I get home and I will show her my new toys.  I’m really happy!!!”

By the time he was finished with this monologue, the IV was out and we packed up and left.  He skipped out the door.  He thought the cold air was bracing and the snow was WONDERFUL.  The tall buildings were cool.  The drive home was exciting.  He was just so happy to be out.  He didn't hold the slightest grudge about the many painful moments he had experienced that day that were, to him, as random and arbitrary and shocking as this divorce has been to me.  He doesn't hold any type of grudge against the universe for the random and arbitrary disease that has put him in the position of being a chronic patient in the first place.  He was just happy in the now.  He found the balance his 43-year-old mom simply cannot seem to attain.

It is my goal to someday be as impressive – as resilient and positive – as Pip.  I’m starting today even if I have to fake it til I make it.

Wish me luck.


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    Beautifully written ~ we all need that balance in our life and I thank You and Pip for putting it in perspective. Good stuff.

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