Time: It flies, heals and is a gift.

My husband and I watched the movie About Time a few nights ago. It's the story about a guy who can travel back in time whenever he wants, and he does so to get the girl of his dreams and the outcome he wants in certain life situations. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie, which may or may not have something to do with Bill Nighy being in it - for some reason, that guy just cracks me up. At the end of the movie, the main character comes to the inevitable moral of the story moment and it was one that hit me square in the BIG feels.

About Time Quote
About Time Quote

I have spent the past six weeks of my life wondering what moment I would go back to if I could to change the course of our lives right now. When my son didn't want to play in his soccer game that night? After he threw up in bed at 3 AM? When his fever hit 40 C and no amount of medicine was helping bring it down? When I had to carry him to the bathroom because he was too weak to get there himself? When his breathing rate was so, so fast and I knew that it shouldn't be?

These are the thoughts that cross my mind every single day. Mom guilt on a regular day is pretty bad, mom guilt when your kid gets REALLY sick is like an exponential volcanic explosion of guilt and it is a mountain that never goes dormant.

Here is what happened. These are the facts people. I have rattled them off so many times now that I think people must think I am crazy when I tell them this with a straight face. I just picture myself as one of the interns on Grey's Anatomy giving the attending doctor a report on a patient. And yes, I know, this is a weird kind of coping mechanism.

7 yr old male, brought in to emergency with fever, dehydration and tachypnea (fast breathing). Chest x-ray showed left lower lung pneumonia. Antibiotics and fluids started. Rapid deterioration of physical and mental status while in emergency and Pediatric ICU consulted. Admitted to PICU, intubated and patient remained critical, yet stabilized. Patient then had a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated after 5 minutes. Cardiovascular surgeons arrived and cannulated patient for immediate ECMO (heart/lung bypass) treatment. Patient remained on ECMO for 6 days while being treated with antibiotics for severe septic shock. Decannulated on Day 6 and extubated on Day 8 of PICU admission. MRI shows that patient suffered a right MCA infarct (fancy word for stroke) and has subsequent left-sided weakness.  PICC line inserted for continued antibiotic treatment and plan for rehabilitation and follow up with the Brain Injury team at the rehab hospital.

Beyond the facts, here is what really happened. I heard my son, in the midst of his delirium and right before they intubated him, saying over and over to me, "bye mom, bye mom, bye mom", like he knew something we didn't. I saw my baby boy laying on a bed with more tubes going into and coming out of him than should be humanly possible. I saw a grown man doing chest compressions on my tiny little boy's body as a team of doctors and nurses brought him back from the brink of death. I watched my child's body fill up with so much fluid to the point that he was almost unrecognizable and then I watched as the medicines started to work and his beautiful features slowly came back to us. I watched as my 5-year old daughter was the bravest of us all and didn't see anything other than her beloved big brother as she held his hand and sang to him. I saw and was overwhelmed by the love and support of a community of people, far and wide, who held us all up when we could have fallen down so very hard. I have watched my husband become more; more of a father, more of a husband, more of a friend, and more of a doctor through all of this.

Little hands
Little hands

And me? I think I have become somewhat less. Less focused on perfection, less concerned with what people think, less afraid of asking for help, and less worried about all the trivial things that really don't matter. The moment in all of this that completely brought me to my knees, was after the heart/lung machine was removed and my child woke up from a week of heavy sedation. He was still intubated and couldn't talk, but he locked eyes with me and for the first time in over a week, I saw my child. I really saw him. He looked at me and reached for my cheek and I knew he was saying, "Hi Mom. I'm here. It's OK." Again, like he knew something that I didn't.

Time is a funny thing. It flies by. It drags on. We lose time. We waste time. We don't have enough time. We are never on time. It is never the right time. All things happen in their own time. Time heals all wounds. Time stands still. And on and on it goes. When my son looked at me for that first time in a week, time stood very, very still. Everything faded around us and it was just him and I. And without a doubt, in that moment of time, I was forever changed.

I can't go back in time to change what has happened to all of us, and now, I seriously wonder, if I really would. I know that sounds weird. Who would actually want any of this to happen to them or their child? Who wouldn't want to change this? Please understand that I would never wish illness or injury on anyone's child and that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that the last six weeks have given me something I didn't know I needed. Just like the main character in About Time, I've learned a valuable life lesson. That every day, every moment of this life, of our time together on this rock floating in space, can be a gift. We just have to take the time to be deliberate about it. To find the extraordinary within the ordinary and to look in each others eyes, really see one another and take the time to say,

Hi.

I'm here.

It's OK.

Hi Mom.

Hi Mom.

 This is my amazing child. One week ago. Cookie crumbs and all.

n~

Back to School Worries

Lockers

School brings out the scared, picked-on, not very popular, always in hand-me down clothes, gap-toothed, insecure, child of a broken home, 12 year old in me. In my mind I time travel back almost 30 years and walk down that long lonely hallway lined with army green lockers and ridiculous construction paper themed bulletin boards feeling the eyes of the more popular kids looking at me and judging, pointing, laughing. It's never a fun trip, I assure you.

So you can imagine my apprehension as the start of a new school year approaches. My oldest is entering grade 1 and my baby is going to kindergarten and I am a bit of a basket case right now.

Now, I am not a basket case in the unprepared and procrastinating kind of way. Nope. All school supplies are purchased, backpacks procured, new outfits and indoor shoe needs are all taken care of. I am instead worried about who their teachers are, who they are going to be in their classes with, how they are going to mesh with their friends, new and old, if anyone is going to pick on them, and how they are going to navigate the big bad world of life away from me and the sometimes brutal 'Game of Thrones' that is the playground at recess.

The problem is that while I am internally freaking out about this, externally, I am exhibiting all of these issues that are completely mine as frustration and exasperation with my children. I am yelling more, I am not actually being present for them RIGHT NOW, as I am too worried about what will be happening a month from now. This in turn is making them incredibly sensitive to everything I say or do. My poor girl thinks that every time I tell her something or correct her about anything that she is in deep trouble and then there are tears, lots and lots of tears. 'Not so Little Anymore' C just goes straight to tuning out almost anything I say, in what I assume is a pre-emptive move before he hears me try to say something that he just doesn't want to hear or tell him to do something that he doesn't want to do. If I had a SASS-o-Meter for that one, it would be out the roof right now!

What I am essentially saying is that the level of communication I have with my children at the moment is seriously lacking. I don't really have an excuse for it either, aside from the incessant worrying and my own internal bullies that keep threatening to drag me back to that hallway to be slammed into a locker once again. I worried back then that I was never good enough for anything or anyone, that I was unlovable (yes, yes, I know, I have abandonment issues), and that I would never have any friends who liked me for who I really was. And now, I am afraid I am projecting these fears onto my kids.

I worry that my behaviour as of late, is making them worried that I don't love and accept them for who and what they are. C is always seeking my approval and asking me if I am proud of him, and L worries that if I say I love you to someone other than her that I don't love her anymore. Somehow I have neglected to let them know or tell them the following. I am ridiculously proud of my son. He amazes me everyday with his artwork and illustrations and his incredible grasp of numbers and the basic physics of his world. I love that he is such a sensitive kid and is not afraid to show his emotions, it's the part of him that I know he got from me. And my daughter? She is so much me that sometimes it is a bit scary. She is a goof, has her own incredible sense of style, is carefree and easy with her love and blows me away with her daily silliness and her imagination. I am not sure I could love her more if I tried.

All this worrying and the worrying about worrying going on around here over has everyone functioning at such a heightened level of tension that it really doesn't take much for any one of us to snap. And trust me, you'd think this was a house full of crocodiles with the amount of snapping going on and it is high time for it all to stop.

And I am the only one who can actually do that. (Being a grown-up sucks!)

My kids are not me. They won't have the same experiences that I did growing up and no amount of me worrying about what happened 30 years ago is going to A) make it go away and B) make my relationships with my children any better today. I need to focus all of that energy that I am wasting on worrying, on letting them know all of the ways that I love them and on ensuring that they are secure, confident, kind human beings, who will be able to navigate their worlds better than I was ever able to do way back when. It's time for a good heart to heart with my children and for us to hit the reset button before school starts and I COMPLETELY lose my shit!

Natasha~

If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they do possess,

they would stop worrying.

~Dale Carnegie

Photo Credit: abbmona on Flickr

P.S. ...this may or may not be the first post for the 2013 #SummerBlogChallenge.