I have invested a lot, both physically and financially, into orchestrating my Wacky Week of Family Fun. In my quest to cram a summer's worth of fun into a few days, I failed to realize an important thing: it is possible to have too much fun.
Saturday morning I woke up and learned that a kid's oriented Civil War reenactment was being hosted in a local park. Without much hesitation I bought tickets and anxiously waited for the boys to wake up. We took Robby to a reenactment a few years ago, and he had a blast. I was certain that this year's event with its interactive and youth oriented activities would be as much if not more fun. Since the weather was ideal for a day spent outside, I was excited to add another adventure to our list.
After schlepping through the field pushing a screaming and red faced baby in his stroller and carrying an diaper bag weighed down with water bottles on my back, I was summarily informed that the Civil War is "lame." Robby had the "I don't want to be here and I'm miserable" scowl on his face as soon as we entered the park. Scott wasn't nearly as vocal about his displeasure, but his playing non-stop on his cell phone spoke volumes.
Robby refused to try to enjoy the event. He wouldn't talk to the reenactors and needed to be forced to participate in the children's infantry. I was so certain that he would relish holding a musket while marching with his regiment. Instead of the anticipated smiles, he cast dirty looks and flashed a thumb's down sign whenever his hands were not occupied. All of the other little soldiers were nearly giddy with the experience. Mine was miserable, and I have to admit that I was embarrassed by his bratty public display.
After 90 minutes of trying to entice the boys into having fun, I finally surrendered. Their misery was contagious, and at that point I didn't want to be around either of them. I felt both disappointed and angry, but it took me a long time to process my feelings.
I have spent so much energy into trying to create wonderful memories in a short period of time. Everything that we did was geared towards Robby and/ or Scott. I never complained and happily complied with every request. My leg fluctuated between comfortable and excruciating, yet I never once relented to the pain. I was exhausted, yet I didn't pause the fun because I didn't want my issues to interfere with the family. To quote Robby, I did a great job of sucking it up and trudging forward.
My quest for family memories stemmed from my own guilt as much as it did my desire to spend time with my family. On some level, I have been feeling guilty for being sick during the pregnancy, for having an infected uterus, for needing a re-amputation, for the long recovery and for the cancer. I wanted to infuse as much happiness and laughter as possible because I felt responsible for the lack luster summer.
Continuing to fume throughout the evening, I realized the absurdity of my guilt. I certainly never intended to become sick, and I have done everything in my power to be as little of an inconvenience to everybody. I have kept my own fears, worries and physical pain silent in an attempt to not burden everybody else. All the while, I have struggled alone. At some point I need to stop worrying about how everybody else will adjust and react and start to take care of myself. That time is now!
I am done feeling guilty for my medical issues. I am a great Mom despite my mobility and health complications. I realize that my surgery on Thursday will throw the family in a state of flux again. I am more aware of the inconvenience because I am the one who is going to be enduring the physical pain! Instead of trying to make it okay for my little family, it is time that they start considering me in this equation.
Until I begin to feel appreciated, family adventures are suspended. I love my family dearly, but I am tired and need support. For the next few days, I am going to concentrate on making myself happy.
|My happy little soldier (2011)|
|2014- Not amused.|