Well, maybe it is more like 164 miles, but sometimes it feels like much more. I have already bragged shamelessly about how amazing my kids are. I love being a mom. We just had three snow days, and I enjoyed being at home with them. I am always amazed by the negativity I read/hear coming from moms who are “stuck” at home with their kids. ** I’ve never felt stuck. Just lucky.
The part of motherhood that I am still trying to figure out is how to parent from afar. Sam and I have a very close relationship. She is comfortable talking to me about all manner of things. The challenge is when she is homesick or sad or struggling with a problem either academic or personal. I want to just jump in and help, but I know I can’t. I believe failure is a valuable teacher. I believe in letting kids sink or swim on their own. So sometimes my responses are coddling. Sometimes they are problem solving. Sometimes they are of the tough love/ “you’re on your own kid” variety. No matter what my outward response is, I do take her problems to heart and want to support her in the best way possible.
This has been a particularly tough week for her. Someone she cares about deeply is dealing with issues that neither one of them are equipped to handle. On top of that, she has also been dealing with what she thought was groin pain. I told her she needed to make an appointment with an orthopedist near school. We assumed the pain was probably muscular and would involve some sort of PT follow up. The diagnosis that she left with today is that her femoral head is protruding into her hip socket. This is causing her significant pain but could also lead to further injury, if left untreated. He was of the opinion that she needs a hip replacement. Yes. You read that correctly. A hip replacement. At 18 years old. So, of course, we are eager to get her up here for a second opinion. She called her grandfather (a retired orthopedic surgeon) for advice on who she should go see and what he thought of the diagnosis. She is anxious to find out exactly what is going on and what to expect treatment wise and is even willing to give up one of her fun college weekends to come home for an appointment. This is when it is hard to be away. She is stressed and anxious. We have talked many many times today, and it usually regresses into jokes about her racing the other hip replacement patients in the hospital. At least we still have our senses of humor!
So, although it is hard to be away right now, I am reminded how strong my oldest child is. She is by no means happy about what is going on, but she is ready to take the bull by the horns and deal with whatever is coming her way. And I will be right by her side cheering her on.
PS The picture is of a pair of plimsolls. And the song “A Million Miles Away” is by the Plimsouls. Pretty clever, right?!
** I realized that this might sound as if I am judging anyone who has complained about being at home with their kids. I am not. I have not been in others’ shoes. I am amazed by it because I haven’t really experienced it. My kids are years apart in ages and for the most part always get along. That is why I feel lucky.