Tuesday, May 29, 2012
In about 24 hours I will be leaving for some mommy time. I am heading to my best friend's house and will be there for 5 days. This is 5 days of relaxation for me. It won't exactly look like this, but it will feel like this for me.
My friend lives on a private lake, in a beautiful home, and by the way, she loves me and supports me. That last part in the most important. We haven't seen each other in 18 months, and the last time we did I spent a week with her while her brother lay dying in hospice. It wasn't exactly a vacation.
Taking care of ourselves and spending time relaxing are so very important when you parent children with special needs, especially when you deal with emotionally disturbed children.
This afternoon I discovered that my son has been calling me. He has a new phone number so it took me awhile to put it together. I will not let his calls deter me or interrupt my relaxation time.
Part of the reason for this trip is that my "niece," Haley, is graduating high school. Sonya and I met when Haley was only six months old, so being there for her graduation is important to me. She is six months younger than my son, but worlds apart in maturity. About four hours away will be another graduation that I will miss. Another young woman whom we have known since birth. Again, similar age to my son, but worlds apart in maturity. It is hard to not dwell on the success these young women will make of their lives, while he decides to trash his life, but celebrating with them is far more important.
Both of these young women give me unconditional love, and have for years. If there was a way I could make both graduations, I would do it in a heartbeat, but Texas is a little large.
This may not be your idea of a good time, but it is for me. Sonya and I might as well be sisters. We have been best friends since we met 18 years ago. We share everything, laugh until it hurts, cry until we can't anymore, and again, she has my back. Her support during everything we have been through has never wavered.
We will also get together with our friend, Mary, whom I haven't seen in eight years, and my friend over on the Two Men and a Little Farm blog. The last time I saw him was the end of 1995, a day or two before I left Houston. I have no doubt we will pick up right where we left off. Friends like that are more precious than gold.
As parents, we many times make excuses as to why we can't do things like this. We tell ourselves our kids come first, and deny ourselves vacations or other "luxuries." It took a long time for me to figure out that I have to put my mental health first in order to be a good mother. Lately, the stress has been getting very bad. One of the muscles in my jaw has tightened up so badly I can only eat soft food, or food you can barely chew. I have been clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth. Sure signs I am stressed. I owe it to myself and my family to take this time off.
And besides, having my husband do the things that I always do is good for him too. It gives him a new appreciation of what I do. He will get a little time off while I'm gone as well. A friend of ours is getting married. He will attend the wedding and have time with friends. It's good for him too.
The moral of this story is....give your family a gift. Do something for yourself!!!