As a parent, we all can relate to just seeing our child barely talking or trying to take their first step. Then the next thing we know, they are getting dressed on their own, then they are eye level and on the cusp of being grown. My son just started High School, I think, yesterday, and now he graduates in just over three weeks. When did all of this happen? Where did the time go?
I have already been through the process before with my oldest who is in her early 20's and she was the guinea pig. She is the oldest child of my siblings and I and she is the oldest grand. It was new and exciting to see that day come and I was just as thankful to see it behind me because of all of the hurry up and wait the comes with graduation. We had to get a dress which was the right color. We had to see how many tickets the school was going to "officially" release. We had to get the dinner location, the cakes, the pictures and make sure everyone showed up on time. Oh, and did I mention that there were tornado funnels forming the sky? It was a day to remember for many reasons.
My son's graduation will be the third of the nieces and nephews, my second and my last. It signals the end of an era because that constant mom clock that I have been on since the early 90s is on snooze and the silence is deafening. Operation Graduation 2018 has always been on my calendar but I didn't expect the day to get here so soon. At the beginning of his Senior Year I told him that it will be a blur of paperwork, assemblies and exams. Here we are just over three weeks out. and as we march towards the actual date, everything is in slow motion. I'm happy, I'm in denial, I'm nervous and I'm relieved all at once. I need to snap out of it because the people are coming, the cupcakes are ordered and there are more things to be done.
This is my first big event where everything falls on me as a Chronically Ill Mommy. I've been dealing with my issues since 2009 but in the last few years the episodes are more like a daily occurrence then an issue that comes and goes months at a time. That worries me because I want to do everything I can for my son because he deserves it. My mind is all in but this old unpredictable flesh may not cooperate. I have family coming in, a house to prepare, a suit to buy for him and a dress for me and just thinking about it makes me tired.
I often describe my energy level like a wind up toy. In the morning I wake up feeling great but as soon as my feet hit the floor the key will start turning. If it is slow, I may have enough strength to last most of the day but if it's fast I may not make it to the car. There are other factors like standing to make breakfast, the warm shower, getting dressed or doing make up that can drain the energy battery. The drive to work is challenging for anyone but for me it can be the one thing that tips me over the edge of tiredness when I am really symptomatic. There is a popular explanation called, The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino, that relates the use of energy for daily activities as using spoons. It was a good reference for me when I didn't have the words to explain how I was feeling when my flares would come.
The joy that I see in this is that I have family and friends that understand my limitations. Though I look like my old self that bounded with energy and always willing to go, I am dealing with multiple issues which cause me to ration out my time carefully. They understand when I have to rest or even when I have to cancel last minute. They know that my son's graduation is a big deal to me and they want to help anyway they can. The true icing on the cake for me is that I don't have to do hair, make up and jewelry. I just have to make sure my son has a haircut, brushed his teeth and has lotion on his face and hands. I can't beat that!