Kidsick

Kidsick

When the boys were younger, I earned the title of Helicopter Mom. In fact, I probably could have won an award for Top Helicopter Mom. I helicoptered so good, so close, so perfectly.

But helicoptering is exhausting, and I decided that really wasn’t the type of parent I wanted to be.

So over the years, I forced myself to sit down at the playground—which is why you’ll see me read or even, gasp, look at my phone. I want them to learn independence and play with other kids. We play enough at home. I’ve also forced myself to let them go outside and play, to walk to their friend’s house in the neighborhood, to do things and go places without me.

Which is why my sons are currently on vacation. Without either parent.

They’ve spent weekends away. I’ve spent time away from them for work and to get away for the weekend with my husband. Two weeks ago, they went with my mother-in-law to my nephew’s birthday party for the weekend… and our youngest son FaceTimed me in the middle of the night in tears.

“It’s too far away.”

I reassured him he’d survive, that he was safe with his Nina. After he calmed down and we ended the call, I began to worry about the vacation he’s on right now. Not only further away, but this trip lasts longer to boot. All week leading up to their departure, I reassured him that he could FaceTime me any time he wanted to talk. He could text me when he wanted to tell me something or ask me a question. I told him the only times I wouldn’t be available: when I was working out or running (though I paused a workout today), when I was on a work call, or if I happened to be too deeply asleep to hear his call or text tone. He accepted all of this and went off on vacation without much fanfare.

I just didn’t expect for me the one to feel homesick. Or, rather, kidsick.

He FaceTimed me this morning after a bike ride with his grandparents and before heading down to the beach for the day. He said he missed me a lot. I told him I missed him, too. I let him know about my plans for the day. We talked for a few minutes, and then he ran off to get on sunblock.

And my stomach started to hurt.

Being away from my boys for work or just a weekend doesn’t make me feel much of anything, though maybe a little more ready to handle whatever parenting wants to throw at me. But my sons being away from me?

Apparently it’s really triggering.

I don’t normally have to FaceTime my sons because they live in my house. They’re either at school, at home, on the ball fields, or with friends and family. I know what they’re doing. It’s my job to know what they’re doing.

I don’t know what my daughter is doing most days. Sometimes she replies to my texts, and sometimes she doesn’t. She’s a teen; they have more important things to do than text their (birth) mothers. Sometimes she says hi as she walks by when I’m FaceTiming with her mom. Sometimes she FaceTimes me and asks me to buy her a hedgehog that lives here. But I don’t always know where she is, what her schedule is, or what she’s doing on any given day.

And not knowing what my boys are doing, what they’re eating, how they’re feeling at any given moment this week is poking at all the places I normally try to keep un-poke-able. All of my parenting insecurity, which stems from the placement of my daughter for adoption, seems to be on fire, bells whistling, up in my face.

I logically acknowledge the difference in circumstance. I was very sick and felt I couldn’t parent my daughter, so I placed her—permanently—for adoption. The two parents who live in this immediate family unit couldn’t go on vacation this year, so they jointly decided to send the boys on vacation with their grandparents and extended family. Yes, I see the differences. I acknowledge them. I recognize the undertones.

But I feel like a mother without any of her children. I feel lost. I feel scared. I feel anxious. I feel like I need to drive to the beach and bring them home. Immediately. My helicopter blades are whirring faster than I can think or type and I just want to take off. Anxiety isn’t logical. Guilt and shame aren’t either.

I miss my boys. I miss my daughter. I’m not really used to missing them both at the same time. It’s new, and I don’t really like it very much. I am grateful for time with my husband, but I’m ready for our sons to come home. It’s simply too much for me to miss them all at once.

Thoughts of a (Failed) Meditation

Thoughts of a (Failed) Meditation

Okay. Here we go. Diffuser on. Relaxing focus music on with something about oceans in the title. Soft leggings. Cool air from the fan. Dim room. We got this. Let’s go.

Am I sitting equally on my sit bones? Are my shoulders back but not near my ears? Is my neck neutral but not too neutral? I can feel my earrings. Are you supposed to feel your earrings? Now I’m aware of my bracelets. Oh, because I’m moving. Don’t move. Don’t move. Don’t move. Sit. Still. Breathe.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Oh, exhale, too.

Here comes a thought. Let it pass. Here comes a thought. Let it pass. Let it pass. Let it pass. If all you’re think is, “let it pass,” are you really meditating? Probably not. Or maybe. Maybe this is some form of enlightenment. Maybe I need to let this shit pass. Let it go. Let it go.

Oh, I’m slouching.

I’m aware of my spine. Should you ever be aware of your spine? Do I need to work through my back injury emotions again? Or do I just need to sit straighter. No, that’s too straight. Can you sit too straight? Why can’t I even sit right?

I’m the worst meditator.

No, there is no best or worst meditator. Stop that.

I think I’m better at prayer. But prayer doesn’t really make sense either. What is prayer really? It feels selfish a lot. But isn’t meditation selfish? Like, give me all the peace, universe! Whereas prayer feels like, give me all the peace, God. One or the other. I do it wrong.

There is no wrong, is no right. Breathe in that Sandalwood. It’s expensive; breathe it ALL in.

Meditation is not about money. Unless we’re mediating about money. But we’re not. Are we? What is money?

Breathe. Exhale. Breathe. Exhale. Breathe. Exhale.

Should I have some gin? Probably shouldn’t drink and meditate. Or should I? Breathe the Sandalwood, Jenna.

I wonder what [insert every friend I know, online and off] is doing now. Focus on me. That feels selfish. What am I supposed to be focusing on right now? Why did I start this meditation?

I can hear the dog breathing.

I fully and unconditionally accept and love myself.

No I don’t. What a load of crap.

Oh wait. I’m supposed to say that until I believe it, right? Well, that’s never going to happen. I can list off approximately eleventy billion things I don’t love an accept about myself. Number one being how unbelievably awful I am at mediating. Or praying. Or parenting. Or wife-ing. Or friend-ing. Or anything-ing. Good God, I’m the worst.

Or Good Buddha. Or Good John Wayne. Doesn’t matter.

I’m really sad I’m not going to the ocean this year. I miss my boys. I miss my daughter. I miss my husband. I miss my dog. Oh, she’s right there. I miss people who I just saw. I miss feeling peace. Did I ever feel peace? What does peace really feel like? Can we ever achieve it personally, let alone globally?

Why do people shoot each other?

Oh my God. Orlando. Why? Why. Fuck. This is just too much. Why do we have so much hatred in our society?

And fuck Trump while we’re at it.

I need some new leggings. Or maxi skirts. Or shirts. Oh wait, want less, do more.

I really do a lot already. Maybe too much. Maybe I need to do less. Maybe I need to set boundaries. I’m terrible at boundaries. Like I’m terrible at meditating. Or prayer. Or breathing.

Breathe. Exhale.

I want arms like Michelle Obama. Be accepting of what I have now, of who I am now. But I’d also be accepting of myself with some totally ripped ass arms. But I hate push-ups. And weights. And really anything to do with my arms. Can you contour arms? I’ll just wear sleeves.

This is totally an unacceptable thought process while meditating.

Do you think Michelle Obama thinks about her arms while meditating? Do you think Michelle Obama thinks about me while meditating? What does Michelle Obama think about while meditating? Probably how much she hates Trump.

No hate. No hate. No hate. That’s how we got to Orlando in the first place.

God, I miss my daughter.

Breathe. Exhale.

My abs hurt. Why am I aware of my femurs? Exercising is literally the worst. Or Trump is. Either or.

Breathe. Exhale.

Accept. Let go.

The dog is breathing in my ear.

Breathe. Exhale.

Accept. Let go. Let thoughts pass.

I’m going to be tired tomorrow.

Or today. You know. Since it’s two o’clock. In the morning.

Breathe. Exhale.

Do you think my husband really loves me?

Breathe. Exhale.

Probably.

Breathe. Exhale.

What should I wear tomorrow?

Breathe. Exhale.

Are the cicadas almost gone? I kind of feel almost sad about it. I mean they waited 17 years to do their thing and now they’re almost done with their life’s goal in less than six weeks. They sure did eat the hell out of my Weeping Cherry tree. Assholes.

Breathe. Exhale.

Maybe my friend will have a baby tomorrow. Today. Probably. We’re going to the funeral home, so a new life needs to come into the world. Lightning crashes and all that jazz.

I hope lightning doesn’t hit the house again.

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.

Oh wait. Is this what meditating is?

Probably not if you have to ask, right?

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.

The dog just sat on my lap.

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.

Tomorrow is a new day. Or today is. I should really go to bed.

Breathe. Exhale.

Why don’t people know the difference between breath and breathe? Don’t be a linguistic asshole, Jenna.

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.

I miss my daughter.

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.

Breathe. Exhale.