Facing Down Buses, and Other Ill-Advised Stuff We do for Our Kids

– Posted in: Chronic Pain, Complaining, Cranky Tammy, Crazy Tammy, Elfie, No Good Deed, Parenting, Personal Insanity, The Kids are Killing Me

So this is why I’m insane. Actually, make that part of why I’m insane. Telling the whole story would take way too long.

Yesterday I went skiing with the family and some friends. It was lovely — warmish, mostly rock-free, and not very crowded (most of the Californians were already sitting in traffic on their way back over the mountain). But I almost didn’t go — lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve been freight trained by a bull (which, as I learned from watching Stir Crazy as a kid, is particularly bad because bulls always back up and finish the job).


When I woke up, I had to give myself a better than average pep talk to get going. Tenzin, my husband, knows how badly I’m doing. He also knows I have about the same muscle mass as a two-day-old kitten. So we agreed that I’d take it easy. Which was a nice idea, in theory…

The problem with that kind of plan is always the kids. See, at one point, I was all set to call it a day and let everybody else take another run, but I knew if I went back to the car, Elfie, the 8-year-old, would “die.” She was already on the verge of throwing in the towel.

One thing I’ve figured out about my kids is that they’re pretty wimpy. Sadly, I’m sure they get this from me. I’m sure it’s a learned behavior because they see how pathetic I am. What bums me out is that for all intents and purposes, I’m really not a wimp. I only play one on the outside…

What my kids see a lot of is me sleeping in. Or lying on the couch. Or letting Tenzin take over because I’m too tired.

What they don’t see is how I have to force myself to get through every day — every moment sometimes — because I feel so, so bad. They don’t see me literally (and I’m using that word correctly here) wishing I could rip my head off while I’m sitting at Muay Thai lessons or school meetings or even on their beds while they read to me. They don’t see me buck up, get everybody ready in the morning, and go skiing.

They just see me quit. Or, at least that’s what I’m afraid they remember.

So I bucked up. Again. And I did another run. And now, as usual, I’m paying (yeah, I know — cry me a frickin’ river).

When I hear mothers say they’d throw themselves in front of a bus for their kids, I always wonder if I’d do that sort of thing. I have ridiculously slow reactions and have been known to just watch horrible stuff happen in a stunned state of immobility. Let’s just say you probably wouldn’t want me around during a bridge collapse or anything related to a Spiderman movie.

But I have my own buses coming at me every day. And I’m doing my best to throw myself in front of them.

It’s just that there’s no one there to see me do it.

14 Comments… add one

Kelly DeBie November 26, 2012, 7:38 pm

You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for.
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Tammy November 28, 2012, 12:59 am

I probably just need to borrow your Wonder Woman costume.

pbe56 November 26, 2012, 8:33 pm

This is the best description I’ve ever read of dealing with fibro. There is courage on the outside, and courage on the inside. Sometimes the second one is a lot more difficult to develop. You are so, so strong. You might be surprised at how much of that strength your kids will remember. LOVE YOU!

Tammy November 28, 2012, 1:00 am

Love you too! Sorry we’re in the same boat.

carol the long winded November 26, 2012, 8:51 pm

fucking autoimmune diseases. One of mine has been giving me fits this weekend, P’s birthday of course so it was very full…

Tammy November 28, 2012, 1:01 am

Of course. Always happens at the most convenient times. Happy birthday to Mr. P!

molly November 27, 2012, 10:18 am

this was so sincere. i enjoyed it immensely but wish you didn’t have to write it. life is so bittersweet. i’m sure you stop more buses than you realize. your love for your kids has shielded them. -m

Tammy November 28, 2012, 1:06 am

Thanks Molly. You always know just what to say.

Andrea November 27, 2012, 12:38 pm

I think someday, when your children are old enough to understand, they will be in awe and completely grateful or all you do! For reals! <3
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Tammy November 28, 2012, 1:08 am

You know, I think that’s true. I may be dead by the time they realize it, but they will realize it someday. I think we all get there when it comes to our moms.

Mary November 27, 2012, 6:40 pm

I think your very bright kids see a lot more than you give then credit for. And, they see you rise to the occasion, too. As they get older, they will also understand it more. Cut yourself some slack!

Tammy November 28, 2012, 1:08 am

You just think they’re bright because you’re related.

vanita July 2, 2013, 3:58 am

believe me mama, even if your kids aren’t in awe of you now, they will be. my younger teen swears i’m super woman now that she’s old enough to know what makes mommy tick the way she does. oldest teen, well, she’ll come around, especially since she’s a carbon copy of me. the most important thing you want your kids to remember is you love them. that’s what i’ll always remember most about my mom. makes the other stuff not matter.
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Tammy July 2, 2013, 4:22 pm

Sometimes I feel like we all figure out our moms too late. Well, maybe not the smart people like your younger daughter…

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