Hope, but also fear

I think often of the quote I posted on the right side of my blog: "Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay." - Maya Angelou

Hope and fear are battling for a place in my head at the moment. It is unclear which will win.

There is so much out of our control, so much that is random, that is determined by a complex mixture of luck, natural forces, other human beings, and our genetic makeup interacting with the world around us. I wish I believed that someone's benevolent hands are holding this all.

It is tough to be an agnostic when life gets scary.

On Friday I will finally have the breast biopsy that was ordered after two mammograms and one ultrasound found suspicious tissue in one of my breasts. I believe it will be normal and life will go on as usual. I hope.

E has been sick for several weeks. It started with a sore throat and vomiting. Her tonsils were swollen and she was refusing to eat or drink. Then she got a rash. Then her nose started running and she started coughing. She was feverish, weak, and complaining of soreness in her arms and legs. She has been sick day after day after day, always testing negative for the usual suspects (strep, flu, ear infection, etc.)

We took her in for blood work on Monday.

(Blood work. On a four year old. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. I didn't tell her what kind of tests they would run. I only promised that it wasn't the dreaded throat-swab, the previous winner for worst doctor experience. I held her in my lap and chatted in a strangled voice until they were ready with the needle and she realized what was happening and I had to hold her horribly tight as she struggled and screamed and cried for me to help her as they took vial after vial of her blood. After it was over, she cried in my arms, confused and angry: "But I need my blood! Why didn't you tell me?!" Once we got home, I gave her a lollipop and promptly ate an entire chocolate bar.)

The doctors think it may be Lyme. Or maybe mono? Or possibly something else entirely.

Or, I guess, it could be nothing but a long string of viral illnesses that she just can't shake.

They are supposed to call today and let me know.

And I'm supposed to invite hope to stay.

I hope she will be well soon. I hope she will forgive me for not telling her it was a blood test ahead of time. I hope I never have to hold her down for a blood test again.

I hope.


Kindergarten Readiness

Last week I pulled up to E's preschool for her daily pick up.

(I used to hate the pickup line outside her preschool. When we moved here, Z was 3 and I was used to picking her up inside her daycare in CA. Not only did she run across the room and jump into my arms - one of the best parts of parenting bar none - but also just being in the room gave me a sense of the the classroom that day. I got to talk to her teachers, the other parents, the other kids. I saw Z's wet finger-painting hanging from a clip and her favorite baby doll tucked into the kitchen sink and I felt connected to her experience that day.

So when we moved here and I was made to wait outside her new preschool, alone in my car, separate from but surrounded by the other parents' cars which I KNEW contained at least one person who could be my friend, I felt removed from Z's experience as well as just plain old lonely.

What a difference three years makes.

Now it's E who's at the preschool. Now I deeply appreciate the ability to pull up and have her escorted to my car. It's so quick! Easy! Convenient! If she didn't always do a little dance around the interior of my car, requiring my creative and sometimes forceful entreaties to get her into her seat, I wouldn't even have to unbuckle myself at any point.)

(Where was I?)

(Oh yes. Last week.)

The director the school brought her out to me that day. She's a smart, kind woman who always gives just the right amount of eye contact and has an easy warm smile. That right there makes her an A + in my book. But she doesn't usually work the pickup line.

"We got your form for next year," she said, smiling. "But correct me if I'm wrong, isn't E going to be a kindergartener in the fall?"

Um. DUH?

"Yes. Yes, she is," was all I could say.

Of course she is. I'm aware of this.

Or am I?

I'm not ready, you guys. I'm just not.

She's so sweet and cuddly, my E. Each weekday, I pick her up from preschool and bring her home and we have lunch together, sitting at our kitchen table in the slanting sunlight and we laugh and some of us take forever to actually eat our food and we talk about nonsense and big stuff and more nonsense. Then we have Quiet Time, where I rest in bed for an hour with my book while she prattles on in her room talking to her barbies and her stuffed dogs and when her clock turns green, she climbs into bed with me and we cuddle and most of the time IT'S PRETTY MUCH HEAVEN RIGHT HERE ON EARTH.

After that, we often have time to play a board game or read a stack of books or put away laundry together before meeting Z at the bus stop. It's a relaxed but engaged part of my day.

And all that'll stop next year when she enters kindergarten and OH you guys, I'm just not ready.

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