With the weather finally warming up, it’s time to start thinking summer reading! Are you looking forward to relaxing on a beach or in your back yard with a good book? I know I am! Today, I’m sharing a guest post from Hanging from the High Wire author Bridget Straub. She writes about something every mom can relate to: surviving your children’s childhood. It’ll make sense when you read the guest post.
Surviving Your Children’s Childhood
“Is he okay?” she asked, looking at Jack as he continued to bark like a sad sea lion.
“Yes and no,” I sighed. “He will be in another day or two. It’s croup. He gets it every couple of months.”
“Why?” she asked.
“I wish I knew,” I said, inexplicably bursting into tears.
Mostly it was exhaustion, but it was also the overwhelming realization that I didn’t know why he kept getting it, and I hated how miserable it made him. Suddenly, I was overcome with love and sympathy for him, and wanted nothing more than to be able to make him feel better.
(an excerpt from Hanging From the High Wire)
There is nothing worse than a sick, miserable child whom you can’t make feel better. It is, to me at least, the definition of helplessness. I can remember a time when my daughter was eight, and she had a stomach bug that included a variety of symptoms. She threw up, but then she’d have terrible stomach pains accompanied by a high fever. She would start to improve and then slip back again, and as if that weren’t bad enough, this was at a time when we had no health insurance.
I called the doctor out of desperation, but they were not overly concerned. They said it was going around and to keep her hydrated, assuring me it probably wasn’t her appendix. Funny thing, but that wasn’t real comforting. I’d heard somewhere that if it were her appendix she wouldn’t be able to jump, so every now and again I’d force this miserably fevered child to jump.
I felt like the worst mother ever, and prayed with all my might that she would be okay.
Of course, there are other times when it is the child in a panic, and you know it is nothing serious. There was a time with my other daughter (who come to think of it was also eight at the time,) when she cut herself. We were working on a school project, creating a restaurant out of Styrofoam packing. It was the first time I had ever let her use a cutter, and as luck would have it, she cut right into her finger. I ran her into the bathroom to put it under cold water, but there was more blood than she had ever seen, and she was afraid she was going to die. She literally asked me if she was going to die. I know it sounds mean, but you have no idea how hard it was not to laugh as I assured her that no one had ever died from a cut finger. Okay, so maybe I did laugh.
Fortunately she has forgiven me, but the fact of the matter is, surviving your children’s childhood is difficult. No matter how prepared you may think you are for parenthood, things invariably come up that leave you overwhelmed. At the very least, on occasion you will no doubt feel as though you are failing horribly. There is little comfort in knowing that your parents felt it, their parents felt it, we all feel it. The best you can take away from it is that at least you are not alone, and anyone who makes you feel otherwise has either never been a parent, or they are in denial.
Hanging From the High Wire is the story of one mother’s struggle to find the balance that she feels slipping away after having three children in quick succession. Raised among the literary elite, in a family filled with esteemed writers, Kelly was the golden child expected to carry on the family legacy. When she married Gavin, a top literary agent, she set out to write her first novel, but was soon sidetracked. Three kids in four years, the temporary departure of her best friend Corky, and her sister Colleen’s unexpected breakout success writing a series of vampire-laced novels, brings Kelly’s dreams to the breaking point.
To find out how she makes it through, pick up your copy of Hanging From the High Wire available on Amazon.