Tera is still sick. She's on that fine line of debating whether to keep her home or send her to school, but with her tube surgery scheduled for next week and the fact that it seems to take her longer to recuperate from things, I'm going to keep her home for one more day. This comes at a somewhat awkward time seeing as how I was already off work for 4 days because of the strike, but as I've discovered, I have very little control over when she gets sick and how long it lasts. It's also hard this week because my kids have finals next week and it's an inconvenient couple of days for Tom to miss. So hopefully my students understand and enjoy a few extra days to work on their review packets.
This has definitely been a week of balancing my job as a teacher and that of a parent. I felt a professional and collegial responsibility to join my fellow teachers on the picket line these past few days, but it was hard knowing that I won't have that time with Tera when we have to make up the days. Then of course there's the fact that I missed today and will miss tomorrow and that next week I have miss a day for when she has her tubes put in. But as a few close friends forewarned me, it's much easier to make the decision to stay home when it's for your kid and not yourself.
I also experienced another moment of "understanding" I guess would be the best way to describe it. I have these every once in a while when I realize that most other parents of 10 month olds aren't doing or experiencing a lot of the same things we do. I won't deny that a lot of kids get sick. There are lots that get sick even more than Tera, but as I stayed home with her today because she was sick, I had to schedule a cardiologist checkup, I tried to schedule another vision test, I had decide whether she was feeling well enough for her physical therapy appointment (I ended up cancelling), we missed her DDC (Down Syndrome Development Council) playgroup, and I had to decide whether or not to keep her home tomorrow so that she's healthy enough to have her tubes put in next week so that the fluid that's been sitting in her ears for the past 6 months can finally drain out and she can hear again.
Please don't interpret this as a pity party. Though I've had many of those in the past 10 months, this really was more of a realization again on my part. For many years I've been accused of taking on too much and not knowing when to say no. As a result I'm constantly busy at work, involved in lots of things, and usually a little frazzled. I knew when Tera was born I'd probably have to slow down at work and that having a baby would be a lot of work. I never quite anticipated her 47th chromosome being another seemingly full time job. I don't have a "typical" first 10 months to compare anything to so I guess this is normal for us. But it's during those moments when I realize it isn't normal for so many other people, that it kind of hits home. Again. And I begin to wonder yet again, will I ever get to that place of complete acceptance?