I think the best way to describe this morning is this: I am on the struggle bus with my life. It seems like everything coming in the next week and a half is just hard. Stressful. Overwhelming. Anxiety-inducing. Emotional. Hard.
The end is in sight for my first college course in over a decade. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel is really short and full of to-dos. I have a quiz and a discussion prompt to answer, due today, and I haven’t had the capacity to attend to either yet. I have two large projects that I haven’t been able to start yet, and a cumulative exam to take on Tuesday. It all has to be done, from a school perspective, by 11:59 pm, Wednesday, August 7th. From a my life perspective, it has to be done 24 hours before that.
The reason? I will be in Iowa City the morning of August 7th, at Kiran’s annual cardiology appointment. Yes. Annual. This is the FIRST time we have gone an entire year between check-ups, and my anxiety is already ramping up in preparation for this appointment. I have no idea what to expect. There are no indications heart function has worsened, but one never knows.
And in and around all of this, Kiran goes for his vacation week at his dad’s house starting Saturday morning. Although I will see him at therapies on Tuesday and Thursday next week, and I will see him for his appts in Iowa City on Wednesday, this will be the longest time in Kiran’s life he has been not in my care. It is very hard for me to not have control over his care for the short periods of time he spends with his dad, so this will be incredibly difficult. Though school will fill the first part of the week, I have a feeling the second half will be excruciating for me.
In the midst of all of these feelings culminating into a heavy weight pressing on my chest, clouding my brain, and squeezing my heart this morning, I thought it was a great idea to take Kiran to the library to play and get new books.
I waffled back and forth on whether to do his eye patching during our excursion, but ultimately, it was the hour that made the most sense today, since we have therapy this afternoon. I struggle with guilt both ways with this. I don’t like the idea of one more thing that makes him so noticeably different – perhaps I am still grieving this new routine – but I also don’t want to feel like we are always stuck at home during this hour every single day. Ultimately, I know I have to make the best decision for Kiran and get over my weird guilty mama feelings. So even though it sometimes breaks my heart, I embrace the differences – he doesn’t mind that he’s different. He just minds that I keep putting that damn patch over his eye!
As we were wheeling up from the car, an older girl – maybe around 8 – and her younger brother were walking on the sidewalk in front of us. Their mom was walking parallel to them but through the parking lot. Now, I am used to kids staring at Kiran with curiosity, but she kept looking back at him with…something else. Disgust? Disdain? I was shocked and put off by this, but I reacted in the same way I do when the stares are more innocent: “Good morning!” with a big smile on my face, perhaps said a bit more brightly than usual. I was ignored; no prompt came from mom to acknowledge my greeting. Okay.
We were right behind them when we came up to the doors. The kids went through other doors, and the mom walked through the automatic door without using the automatic function…and let the door shut right in our faces. At this point, it took every ounce of determination to continue with our library visit as planned and not just go curl up in a ball somewhere to bawl my eyes out.
I am only slightly ashamed to admit I stopped trying at that point. I let people place the usual social bubble around us, and I just played with Kiran. I generally attempt interaction and friendship with the other kids playing there, but today, I just couldn’t. It was enough, today.
Tomorrow’s a new day.