Trying to keep my son healthy is sucking the life out of me.
I sort of recall feeling that way when I was 20 years old and trying to breast-feed my firstborn. She was like an angry badger, my boobs were hanging on by a bloodied nipple hair and I was pretty sure with every feeding time I lost a little bit more of my life force.
This post is not about breast-feeding.
I heartily endorse breast-feeding. Everyone should do it. Even men.
I'm scared of the pro breast-feeding community.
I'm writing about breast-feeding and I'm not supposed to have a mommy blog anymore. Oh my god, someone please take away my computer.
I'm trying to write a post about how my son's health is sucking the life out of me. Which, I know, sounds like a typical mommy blog post but it's not. It's only disguised to read that way. The reality is my son is a lifelike android who was sent here by an alien life form to study the breast-feeding patterns of the humanoid.
Again with the breast-feeding.
Seven years I wrote over on Redneck Mommy and NOT ONE POST ABOUT BREAST-FEEDING.
Here's where I would typically delete this post and start again.
NOT TODAY people.
You know why? Because what little energy I have left after spending all damn day in a hospital yesterday with Knox I plan on using to beat level 73 on Candy Crush. I don't even feel a bit guilty about it.
Okay, I feel a little guilty. But only because it's a Facebook game. It's my secret shame.
So yesterday Knox was scheduled for a routine dental procedure. Except when you are a quadriplegic, with Cerebral Palsy, who is a little deaf and a lot blind and non-verbal to boot, nothing is routine.
Of course not.
Eight hours later, a little blood (his), a few tears (mine) and only one mild episode of rage for each of us, and Knox now has a set of clean choppers.
Knox woke up cheerful and sparkly and beside the bloodied nostril from where they intubated him; you'd have never known he was in a hospital bed only hours earlier.
I wasn't so lucky.
Something about hospitals, the scent of death (and apparently, dental decay) ages me prematurely.
I swear I went to the hospital a young, spry woman.
I came back a lifeless old hag.
My teens winced when I stumbled out of bed this morning, my joints creaking an announcement of my arrival before I actually walked into the room.
I fully plan on picking Ken and Nash up from the high school while looking like this. I know how much they'll love it.
This? This is what parenting a special needs child looks like. I often write pretty prose about how awesome Knox is (and Skjel was) and how rewarding and beautiful it is to parent these unique special snowflakes my sons' are/were.
And it is.
But it is often grueling, frustrating, exhausting, overwhelming and zit inducing. I've lines on top of my lines and I'm feeling about as haggard as I look.
The only thing easy about kids like Knox is how easy it is to love them. Everything else is hard. From haircuts to toileting to routine dental exams. It is hard. Sisyphus hard at times.
It's so hard it makes breastfeeding a rabid porcupine look easy.
AGAIN WITH THE BREAST-FEEDING.
(This is all Mr. Lady's fault. Damn you Shannon and your bizarre chestal activity. I've now got boobs on the brain.)
Yesterday, while I was stuck in the bowels of the pediatric day surgery department, with no cell service, a cranky non-verbal child who didn't understand why he was hungry and with no relief in sight, I was reminded how hard this parenting gig can get. The stress overwhelmed me and for one single second, as a tear slipped past my fingers, I broke. I quit.
I was done.
It was too hard, Knox is too hard, I am too damaged, and he's too broken. Usually these are the moments I'll hand Knox off to Bruce and take a moment to breathe, but I was alone yesterday. It was just him and I.
There was no magical moment that made any of it easier. That's not how life works. I took a few minutes to feel sorry for myself, and feel sorry for Knox and then I carried on. That's my unvarnished reality.
But at the end of the day, when I finally got home and poured Knox into bed and myself a glass of cheap pink wine (on the rocks!) all the hardness of the day was worth it.
Because yesterday I walked into the hospital holding my son and I got to leave the exact same way.
A few years ago, I wasn't so lucky.
Hard and haggard will always be worth it. But cheap pink wine helps too.