I'd like to say that this caught me completely off-guard, but that wouldn't be the truth. The writing has been on the wall for several weeks, but I just didn't want to face up to it.
On Saturday evening my mom called. My mom, who hates the phone and only ever picks it up to make a call if she absolutely has to. I knew it couldn't be good news. So, I wasn't surprised when she asked me to do some grocery shopping because she was in so much pain that she could hardly walk.
It's hard to explain all of the thoughts that immediately started to whirl around my mind. First and foremost, is my concern about my mom. She has a pretty high tolerance for pain, so when she complains about it, it hurts. The next thing that crosses my mind is who will do daycare for Michael. Having to worry about one of the two is bad enough, but when you mix it together...well, honestly, it's a little overwhelming.
I did some grocery shopping for her on Saturday night and she seemed to be in good spirits when I saw her. I cleaned up a little for her, and then headed home for the evening. This is where I get myself into trouble. I'm a big old wimp when it comes to pain. I whine and moan about it and make sure the entire world knows just how miserable I am. I forget that my mom does the exact opposite. So, I guess I was still a little surprised when I called to check up on her on yesterday and she broke down in tears. She was in so much pain that she didn't think she could walk down the hall to get to the elevator, let alone make it to the ER.
So here she is, in excruciating pain in her hip and the knee she hurt in August, and it finally hits me. There is no way she can do daycare for me. Not just for a few days while she gets the hip problem worked out, but until she takes care of her knee and has time to really heal. She's going to need weeks, probably months to recover. And I am completely unprepared for this.
I know that I should have started to look for a daycare when she first hurt her knee, but I really wanted to believe that she was ok. There are so many reasons that I would rather have her do daycare than send Michael to a center. Not only is it cheaper, but I like the fact that the money I do pay goes to my mom. She could use a little help. Also, the flexibility is great. How many daycare centers allow 5:45 am drop off? This lets me get on the highway before the traffic gets too bad. Then there is the one-on-one attention that Michael gets. I know that every minute of the day, Michael is with someone who loves him just as much as Andy and I do. And finally, limiting Michael's exposure to so many other children has really reduced his exposure to colds. Michael handles colds pretty well, but I don't. I get every cold that comes along, and as I said, I'm a wimp.
Of course, to top it off, Andy and I both are working important projects this week. I have a management review this morning and Andy needs to get working on a very high visibility project. Neither of us can afford to take today off, much less a week or two while my mom get's help. Sigh, what to do?
Short term, my brother is helping my mom watch Michael today. I hate to impose. He has enough going on in his life. I never would have called him, but my mom did. I feel bad for pulling him away for a day, but I'm also very grateful that he is willing to do this for us. Andy is going to take tomorrow off, and I'm going to take Wednesday off.
Long term, I'm going to start making calls this morning to see if I can get Michael into daycare ASAP. I hate that I have done no research and that I won't be able to visit a number of centers before I choose one for him. I've spoken with one of my friends who has done a lot of research on the local centers and networks extensively, and she has helped me narrow down my search. I need to start making calls while some how juggling work meetings and a doctor's appointment this afternoon.
While I was lying awake at 4:00 am this morning, it finally hit me. My mom is getting older. Even if this is just a temporary setback and she makes a full recovery in a few months, this will not be the last health crisis. Both of my parents are aging, and more and more, they will need my brother, sister and I to care for them. I'm having trouble even putting into words how this makes me feel. If I keep mulling over it right now, I'm pretty sure I'm going to find myself in the ladies room wiping away "allergy" tears.
If any of you are wondering what you could possibly say to make me feel better, there is actually something you can help me with. Can you point out some of the benefits of daycare? I'm not opposed to daycare in theory, but right now I'm just not feeling it. I think hearing some of the upsides to it would give me a better perspective on things.