I’d been having some “me, me, it’s all about me” moments lately as I thought about the goals I’ve been able to fulfill over the past few years: A step up to work with two major newspapers, a successful move back to my home state, and a freelance business that is beginning to thrive. Fantastic, right?
Well, here’s what I haven’t been able to accomplish, which basically nullifies all of the above in the what-is-it-I-really-value
category. Five doctors and two visits to the hospital emergency room later, I am still unable to help my daughter get out from under a month-long migraine that has ripped her endurance and her emotions to shreds.
Did someone say I could do it all? I am learning that I can’t.
I’ve watched helplessly the last few weeks as the mother of all headaches killed any chance of her finishing the field hockey season, staying ahead of the game in school work, and even participating in the normal array of social obligations of a high-school freshman involved in, well, everything.
It’s been humbling, infuriating, and frightening to see a child who doesn’t cry – under any circumstances – sobbing as if her heart would break, losing hope of ever feeling normal again, and begging
for help that no one seems able to give in any kind of a timely or meaningful way.
When she was small, I was confident in my ability to solve my daughter’s problems with a well-placed phone call, a kiss and hug, or an ice cream cone. But now it’s different. And I find myself
completely inadequate in a role I thought I had perfected. Aren’t I infallible? Apparently not.
Still, she presses forward, with the same fortitude she sees in me, I think, making plans for Homecoming Weekend, trying to finish a backlog of homework, working to try to stay positive even in
these dark, dark hours.
But it’s when she’s at her most vulnerable that I think my own heart will break. Make it stop, she whispers in the struggle to fall asleep, her sweet face twisted in pain. I realize that despite my own self-doubt, she still believes I can do anything. How I wish she was right.