A Mother’s Guilt

“Mom! Mom!” I bolted upright from a dead sleep sure that some new crisis had arisen. “What buddy?” I groggily call back trying to find my glasses. “I am all cured. No stomach ache, no headache!” “That is great buddy, but it is only 7 a.m. go back to sleep!” June 3/17 @ 6:55 a.m. 

This is my week with T. My heart. My soul. I watched him cry and sob as his head throbbed and his tummy hurt. I felt as though that pain would cleave me in two. I could do nothing to help him.

After our doctor appointment on Wednesday I text my boss to let him know that T was down and out for the next two days. I was in a way hoping that he would tell me that I should take the time and be with my son. For it is my week and he is ill on my watch. The offer was not made so I had to take my ex up on his offer to watch T for me. He felt that he ‘owed’ me.

Thursday morning he arrived to pick T up. T was still asleep when he got here. I woke him up and he stumbled up the stairs. Whimpering a little at the pain but a trooper still. I worked at 5:30 this morning so again asked what the plan was. Which is when I found out that T was not going to be home until today when I got off at 2. I walked down the stairs, my heart breaking in two and I cried.

Nothing mattered to me. I went to work, and thank goodness it was quiet. I spent my day tidying my desk and getting all my paperwork caught up that I had been neglecting for the longest time. Got organized. Do not need my boss to put down that the thing I need to work on is maintaining a clean desk. (In an aside, I have read that a messy desk is the sign of an intelligence person so who am I to argue?)

I text my ex. I tried calling. I could not get through. My heart begins to race. T never gets sick like this. The last time he was this sick was at about a year and a half, and we were in hospital for three days while he had pneumonia. I was scared sick, than feeling that I had failed him as a mother.

My evening was relatively quiet as I sat here. I text the ex a couple of times. I asked that T call me. I waited. And than he did. In tears. Telling me that his tummy hurt. Asking me why I had to go to work and could not come and get him. I tried to be so strong. I told him how great he was doing because he had not asked for Advil since 6:30 a.m. and it was 9:30 p.m. I asked how the pain was. Had he eaten? I could hear his fear. I told him I loved him and could I please speak to his dad?

I burst into tears when my ex got on the phone. I demanded to know what he was doing to help T. I was livid because I could tell that he had been drinking. His dad came out. It was a party. (Yes there is some lingering anger issues here) He tried to tell me it was all good. The I did not need to be there, he was. And I said to him “That is not what this is about. I am his mother. That I cannot be there to hold him, to help him kills me. When we get off the phone you go inside and you cuddle him. Promise me!”

He promised. I think he was chastened. I was sobbing. My baby needed me and yet I could not be there for him.

Do I not trust my ex to do the right thing? Not at all. However, I felt that he did not quite see how extreme this was. Our son is never sick. Sniffles, flu, but down and out? Never.

This morning I lasted until 9 a.m. before I text to see how T was. And was told he had not eaten. That he had puked. And I freaked. This was an escalation, not a getting better. Now I am panicking. I made an appointment with the Quick Care Clinic because, well, I am a mom and I jump to insane conclusions when my normally healthy child is so ill.

On Wednesday I got everything done before 8 a.m. Today, I was done by 7:30. I do what I have to do. But that is not where my heart is. I argue with my phone when I received messages that are not about T. I tried calling my ex and finally shot him a message saying that his house line was screwed and to please let me know what was going on with my son.

When I showed up at 2:30 to pick up T he did not come out to greet me. I was concerned. Asked the ex where is he? In the house.  I went in and he is laying on the couch his head covered and I look at the ex and say ‘He is still sleeping??????’ T pops up and looks at me. ‘Hi mom.’

Than he stood up. Oh dear lord, really? The pants he wore were six inches above his ankles. I looked at the ex and went really? What the hell are those? T bursts into tears and falls on couch covering himself with his blanket. I rush to him and apologize, brushing his tears away.

I tell him we will stop at home and change before the appointment at the Quick Care Clinic. That is when he tells me he does not want to go. His dad and I cajoled and he agreed. We walk outside and he trips falling head over heels. This has not been a good week for my baby.

His head is aching a little and as we drive along I try to hold his hand. He is not in the mood. Still a little weepy. When suddenly he announces that he is starving. I look at him and ask what he has eaten today? Nothing. We drive along and I tell him he has a choice. How is he feeling? Does he want to see the Nurse Practitioner? T tells me that he is feeling better. He is hungry.

I ask again what he would like for supper? He says to me you mean lunch right mom? Okay buddy what do you want? McDonald’s mom. I am really hungry.

I stared at him. The good mom is already nattering away, ‘Jay don’t you dare. He has not had anything substantial to eat in 72 hours. That is not the way to go.’ Mom who is experiencing reality and relief ‘Jay let the boy have whatever he wants so long as he eats it.’ T did ask for milk with his happy meal and drank it all. As well as eating everything.

As I sit here typing this, he is curled up in his bed, eating half a freezie watching Youtube. He was cracking jokes and making fun of me earlier so I know that he is on the upswing.

T is my life. Nothing and no body matters more to me than he does. That I could not be there for him each and every day that he was ill, when he required his mother to hold him and cuddle him, rips my heart asunder. The stress and fear that I felt because he was not in my presence, where I could ensure his well being, was crippling.

T is my life. He is my heart. He is my soul. He is my inspiration. He is the reason why I want to achieve and be a better person. And he is the only boy (man) who has the ability to rip the heart from my chest. And I will love him forever.

 

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Author: Jay-lyn Doerksen

I am a single hard working mom in her early 40's. I have always written poetry and I love words. A self confessed obsessive book worm I live for my son and my down time to read. I have a vast array of friends and cohorts who I will be writing about. I hope I can make people laugh or cry; be thoughtful and understanding. And I need to write so this will be my voice.

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