Pride and Heartbreak
Jim and I were talking about how much Ana is changing, growing up too fast I guess. She used to be a kid that had to be coerced or bribed to clean up, for example. But since she’s gotten home from the hospital, she’s made it her mission to keep the living room and dining room clean (to the point where I found some of Emily’s stuff in the trash and had to explain to Ana that it’s not okay to do this without permission).
This isn’t the only change. The gratefulness she’s shown for all the gifts and help we’ve gotten is completely self-directed. This is manifesting itself in the cards she’s sending people, but also in her joy at receiving visitors and just being with them. She seems to have less judgement and it fills my heart with pride when I see that she’s not judging herself or other people as harshly as she once did (and as tweens can). It’s like she skipped from 11 to 30 in a month.
Maybe this is one of those “silver lining” kind of things, but it’s also heartbreaking for me to watch this transformation because it’s hard won. She has less judgement because she knows now that there are much more important things to worry about. Who cares about a pimple on your face when all your hair is going to fall out? Who cares about a stubbed toe when you know you’re facing liver surgery and recovery? And I think she may be cleaning up the house because she’s just so damn happy to be home.
So, I think this is also a “be careful what you wish for” kind of thing. I mean, I want my children to be thoughtful, generous, nonjudgemental and strong. But I don’t want them to learn that by going through the Harry Potter, Charlie Bucket, Dickensian school of hard knocks. I mean…five surgeries between the two of them (counting Ana’s needle biopsy). Not cool!
Jim’s taking Ana in on Tuesday for the VAC chemo so I can stay home and work. I’m feeling bad about that too. I want to be with her. I don’t want her back at the hospital. I want to hold her hand and sleep next to her bed. I want a lot of things. I hate this feeling of losing my grip.