Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day

Mother's Day has always been a dreaded day of the year for me.  I've never had children of my own.  I did have a miscarriage long ago early in my pregnancy, but being young and naive, I didn't go to the doctor and that probably prevented me from conceiving ever again. That was nearly 30 years ago.

As many of you already know, I'm a stepmom.  I've been one for 9 years now, but have been a full-time part of their lives for the past 13.  I've been through diaper changes, potty training, birthdays, first days of school, boo-boos, cheered at games, even when I knew nothing about the game, and went to all of the school events.  I got up every 20 minutes to put ice on my oldest's cheeks for 15 minutes after he got all four of his wisdom teeth removed.  I had my share of bringing them to doctor appointments, and spent most of our school breaks together.  I gave them love, support, and discipline when necessary.  I helped with homework, and chauffeured them wherever they needed to go.  I NEVER considered the time I spent with them as babysitting.

I never tried to replace their mom, rather I helped pick out cards and gifts for her birthday, Christmas, Valentines Day, and Mother's Day.  I helped them create handmade gifts for her that would be meaningful, and always enforced the fact that I was not trying to replace Mom.

I'm usually a humble person, rarely calling any attention to myself, or asking for anything.   I'm like that for just about anything.  However, my husband has been very good at acknowledging what I do for him and the boys.  He's taken me out for Mother's Day meals, and had the boys give me cards thanking me for what I do.  I feel that the love I have for my stepsons are no different than a mom who adopted her children.  I may not have carried or given birth to them, but I love them as if they were my very own.

But no matter what, it's still a day I dread and wish I could avoid.  I've always tried to push back any jealous feelings that may creep up during these times.  

I always end up with a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart when I know Mother's Day is coming.  But I still have my mom and mother-in-law who I love very much, and want to make sure they are recognized and appreciated.  So for them I stay strong, swallow that lump in my throat, and keep moving forward.

So for all the moms, stepmoms, mother-in-laws, grandmothers, aunts-as-moms, dads-as-moms, mentors, and everyone in between, I hope you all have a special day and are appreciated for what you do for your children.  

Friday, May 8, 2015

Health Scares

Three days before our April break, we had a scare that caused my husband to spend 4 days in the hospital.  At first the doctors thought that perhaps he had a heart attack, but after all is said and done he had A-fib.  He's now on medication to keep his heart rate under control and he feels good.

Two weeks before his scare, I had one myself.  I had a pain in the pit of my stomach that also radiated to my back and between my shoulder blades.  My doctor, wanting to make sure it wasn't my heart, but suspected it was my gallbladder, put me through a series of tests.  I wore a heart monitor for 24 hours, went through a stress test, and had a full abdominal ultrasound done.  During the ultrasound I learned that I had several good-sized gallstones.   There's no infection, but the stones could be causing my symptoms.

Now, in all my 45 1/2 years, I have not spent more than a few hours in the hospital and have never had surgery, other than a breast biopsy last fall.  Now, I may need to have my gallbladder removed.  That seems a bit more invasive than the biopsy I experienced.  Not only that, but I have a cyst at the base of my middle finger, which my surgeon might take care of as well.  I'm worried about complications about that too.

A couple of years ago, a woman I know had her gallbladder removed, but she ended up having complications because the duct was cut too short, or something like that.  And another woman I know had a similar cyst removed and ended up with a trigger finger that never got better.  Like these stories don't freak me out.

Now I'm wondering if anyone out there ever had their gallbladder removed.  What was your experience like?  Were you awake or out like a light?  How was your recovery?  

I guess I just want to ease any fears I have.   I know it could be much worse than just gallstones, but when you've never been through anything like this it can be frightening.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teaching the Teacher

Today marks 32 more days left of school, or 6 1/2 weeks before we embark on our summer break.  Not that I'm counting or anything.  What a year it has been, and boy have I learned a lot!

This year I went through the transformation of being an English teacher and an elementary teacher to a high school history teacher.  I passed my Praxis II test for history, so now I'm fully certified to teach it.  What a relief that was!  I had to take it twice!  I forgot all about the economics portion of social studies, so I had to pay for the other test.  Like I had the extra $115 just floating around with nothing to do.

Another transformation for me was learning to deal with teenagers in general.  I learned that yes, teenagers may have attitudes, they may be outspoken (a little too much at times), they may not always behave appropriately in class, but some times the problem wasn't them, but me.  I may not be able to change my students' behavior, but I can control my reaction.

I've had a couple of students during the course of the year who I've clashed with.  I tried talking with the principal, the guidance counselor, and my mentor teacher about the situation.  When my mentor teacher came in to observe me, because of my concerns, she was able to see how my reaction towards a student caused that student to behave in a certain way.  That's when I learned that I was a possible factor.  Let's just say that things have gotten a lot better.  I'm not perfect, but I now approach my students differently, and it has made a difference.

Aside from school, other transformations are taking place. My oldest stepson has just turned 18 and will be graduating in 27 days.  Yes, I've got a countdown for the seniors, too.

With graduation comes new changes in our lives.  My youngest stepson will be alone from this point on, at least at our house, so adjusting to not having his brother around will be a huge change for all of us.  Not only that, but my youngest now has a job.  A JOB!  I wish that life could slow down a bit so they won't grow up so fast.

Well, with the coming of summer break will hopefully come with wonderful opportunities of warm weather and lots of special times with my husband and stepsons.  This weekend Hubby and I enjoyed our first major bike ride of the season.  And it was WONDERFUL!  I felt like Rose in the movie Titanic when she spread her arms wide and yelled, "I'm flying!!!"  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can take the big trip we're hoping to do this summer.

If I say any more I won't have anything to say in my next post, and I'll probably bore you further.  So, until next time.....