I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in waiting for a specific day to make changes. If they are needed, wanted, or warranted – we make them. Right then. Otherwise, I’m all about just being your best you- every day.
Parenting a teenager is tough stuff. Even when your teen is just a good soul, a hard -worker, a good student, and a compassionate human.
There are people who would challenge me that we have it easy. They give me the default model, that raising one child has to be easier than raising 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or more… And maybe they are right. I will never know. But, they won’t either. That’s the point.
Raising our children, or living our lives is not meant to be a discussion of “harder” or “easier.” There are challenges present in every single scenario that comes to mind when I think of EVERY family I know. In this house we talk a lot. My girl and I, we talk about those other lives we know, and their battles. And we send love and prayers and warm wishes, as they do for us. It’s not a contest, it’s real life.
2016 saw the results of two uterine biopsies of my then 12 and 13 year old, with results that left us uneasy, and in a perpetual state of “cautious waiting.” It also saw me back in surgery, replacing less than 5 year old silicone implants because one had “fallen” And then, it saw my clumsiness as I spent 6 weeks booted with a broken toe.
2016 saw loss in my family, as we mourn Pop, and are readjusting with Grandma in her new living space.
Yet, we made it. We came out with a few bumps and bruises, but we made it.
2016 ended with 8th graders we know taking High School entrance and Scholarship Exams. The next weeks will bring jubilation, laughter, and tears.
Yet, we WILL make it- all of us.
The “To Do” list on the yellow pad to my right is busy. The fundraiser is about a month away and there is lots to be done.
There is also an MRI, a vascular surgeon, an orthopedist, an endocrinologist, and a gastroenterologist for Meghan, as well as Pre-surgical testing, a tentative surgery date, and a breast surgeon follow-up, an oncologist, and an endocrinologist for me. All before February 22. That’s IF no one requires additional testing for anything…
We will fit in the “regular” stuff too, like swimming, and meets, and school projects, and drama… well you know what I mean.
We are working hard to fit Cowden’s Syndrome into our lives, and not to let it RUN our lives. It’s a subtle difference on paper, but a HUGE one in practice.
And when the thought of running a house that contains TWO people with a rare genetic disorder becomes overwhelming – we try to step back and count our blessings. Because at the end of all days, regardless of our struggles, it is good for us, and those around us, if we can remain positive. I’m not saying we’re perfect at it – far from it actually, but it is a goal, and an on-going work in progress.
It came up this week when we were preparing for the fundraiser and talking about social media. Actually, it has come up a bunch of times since the iPhone became attached to her hand almost 3 years ago…
Digital footprint – how are you presented on the internet? What if someone “googled’ your name? Now? 5 years from now? 8 years from now before your job interview? The whole concept of this blog has been discussed in depth. Meghan, whether she likes it or not, at the age of 13 has an identity that is connected to her rare disease. Now, don’t misunderstand me for a minute – a close read would CLEARLY indicate, she is NOT her disease, but she will never have the opportunity to deny the diagnosis. That’s forever, and its important.
What she does with it, well that’s ongoing. She’s made some pretty dynamic choices to date. Sometimes she feels a bit like she has something to prove- so she does.
She’s been asking me for “snapchat” lately, and eventually I’ll give in. But, I’m one of the mean moms who makes her wait. Instagram is plenty to manage for now.
This week Meghan was nominated as “Inspirational Staten Islander of 2016.”
It prompted me to “google” my daughter. So when I type in her name connected to our home town, these are the first links to surface…
I’ll take that top five any day.
And just for good measure, I switched to an image search. These 5 were on the first page…
And, just to be sure, I even tried Youtube.com, only to find a video made in February 2016
Apparently she has listened, carefully. I don’t know what the future holds for my bright eyed activist. I know she’ll continue to take heat from a few along the way. I also know she’ll find the strength to rise above and press on. Because, that is what we do.
Would she like it is she were named “Inspirational Staten Islander of 2016”? Sure. Will it break her spirit one way or another, absolutely not. Her focus is, “If I win, we could get publicity to help raise money at the fundraiser…”
If you’ve read this far I’ll tell you what I know about the poll I’ve linked you to below. The voting takes place like a reality TV show. I’m not sure how valid it all is, but there is a week of lots of voting. It ends January 11th at noon. Apparently you can vote many times before it stops you. And then you can vote every hour. So pretty much, if it crosses your mind, and you find Meghan inspirational, save the link and vote whenever it crosses your mind, until your device tells you to stop.
Regardless of the outcome, life will go on. And we will continue on the same missions we’re on right now.