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May 04

Mondays

It wasn’t a good day.

I struggle with Julianna’s anxiety. When she gets anxious, she shuts down, withdraws and wants to be alone. And it kills me. It breaks my heart that she’s alone with it, and I want so badly to comfort her and help her and let her know that she’s not alone. I don’t know how to handle her anxiety. I understood Jessie’s temper tantrums that, looking back now, were coming from a place of anxiety. I understood Sam’s anxiety, and his panic attacks. They needed me beside them, telling them that I was there, that I was with them, I was on their side, I would be right there and they weren’t alone. Julie wants me far away when she’s anxious and it hurts and it makes me worry that much more.

Plus there was just a lot of other things going on yesterday. Sam’s finally starting to get services for being visually impaired, but it involves a LOT of talking and discussion and arranging. Jessie needs a heart monitor for two weeks, and that’s probably nothing but it freaks me out anyway. Because the idea that it might not be nothing is terrifying.

It was just a big parenting day – it felt like all of the kids needed a lot of administration and parenting. Jessie and I are navigating new territory, finding ways for me to step back and her to step up – and it’s more complicated because she’s asking to step up on things that most kids her age don’t have to deal with, like getting accommodations for celiac disease and arranging for a heart monitor with two different medical companies. That’s hard, emotionally and administratively. Sam is still finally feeling better, after years of feeling sick, and that’s so amazingly great, but also new and we’re feeling our way into what a healthy Sam is like. What does he want, what does he need? And Julie – she got slapped in the face with MCAS testing next week and completely withdrew. Literally. Went into my room, shut the door, cried, and refused to come out or talk to me for two hours.

It was just one of those days when I felt overwhelmed and inadequate all day – capped off with Marc refusing to allow me to move his tomato plant outside because I couldn’t be trusted to do it delicately enough.

And so it’s Tuesday, and I’m really, really hoping for a better day. I lobbied hard to opt her out of MCAS, and I’ll continue that fight today. I might not be able to – and maybe I shouldn’t. She took the two hours to melt down and panic, but had pulled herself together by mid-afternoon. We even worked out a bribe (lets call it a reward or incentive) of slime when she finishes up the week. I just need to get an emergency 504 in place – I had refused one when offered earlier because there was an opt out offered. Sam’s been up since three, so I sent him back to bed for a while, and Jessie’s hard at work. She’s got another four weeks until high school is over altogether.

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