Some days I don’t know how I get home.
Three days a week I have classes on campus, a 35 minute drive from our house. On most of these drives, especially in the past two or three weeks, I drive and I cry. A lot.
Last Wednesday after a morning at my internship first grade classroom and an afternoon class that ran until 5:30 it was an email from my mom regarding my sister. Not good news. So, tired that I was, I called my mom while walking to my car. She needed to talk and so I listened. After we hung up, I sat in my car for over ten minutes until the wracking sobs subsided enough that I felt it was safe enough to drive.
Last Thursday after a morning at my internship first grade classroom and an afternoon class that ran until 5:30 I stopped by a Walgreens on my way home to pick up balloons for a science experiment I wanted to do in the classroom the following day. It was a homeless man dressed in a makeshift black trash bag raincoat in the check out line in front of me that triggered my drive home tears. He desperately wanted to share his excitement in buying a hat for his brother and so we conversed about the hat and he burst into tears when telling me how much he loved his brother.
One rainy night a couple weeks ago, I don’t remember what day, I could not understand why my windshield wipers were not removing the rain from my view. I could see them swishing gallantly back and fourth but my view was still blurry. It took me several minutes to realize that my blurred vision had nothing to do with the quality or lack there of of my wipers. On this particular night, I don’t even think I had a good reason for crying.
I think it is the automaticity of the drive as well as the fact that it is the only time during the day that I am alone.
When I am at my internship school, I am in perpetual interview mode or trying desperately to learn everything I can about being a great teacher.
When I am in class with my cohort, I am a scholar and a hard working student.
When I am at home, I am a mom.
I am the pretty picture on a complicated puzzle box in the display case of a toy store, I am so glossy you can’t even see the cracks where the pieces fit so neatly together. But when I get in the car and no one is around it is very apparent that my puzzle is anything but put together.
And sometimes I fear that I may be missing a piece or two but just don’t know it yet.
Today Husband and I took Cody to Seattle Children’s Hospital for his yearly Neurology and Neurosurgery appointments. And everything that was spoken were words and medical phrases I have heard before. But today Cody’s Neurosurgeon reminded us that we must not be complacent when it comes to Cody’s VP Shunt. We have been lucky in that it has not failed yet. The fail rate is 50% in the first five years and over 90% at the ten year mark. Cody’s shunt has not failed since he was two months old and still living in the NICU.
The doctor, picking his words carefully, told us that we were nearing the ten year mark (Cody will be eight in April). Again, none of this is new but other worries, his seizures, his physical therapy, his delays in motor skills, and his low academic performance have taken center stage. Not to mention the busy life that we are currently leading. Most days I don’t even think about his shunt. I feel that a large part of me simply convinced myself that his body no longer needs the shunt and if it were to fail we would never know (this does happen on rare occasions – which the doctor pointed out is extremely rare).
So today in the car I cried – huge almost tearless sobs mingled with surges of animalistic fear and terror – as I visualizing Cody so very sick and in need of a life saving surgery.
Some days I don’t know how I get home. I drive. I break when I see red. I go when I see green. I turn at the appropriate street signs and find myself at home.
This can’t be good but I am not sure what to do about it.
So for now I drive and I cry and I take it one day at at a time.