Monday, July 28, 2008

This Day

Thanks for the comments regarding my previous post. I am happy to say that with more sleep, my daughter's attitude seems to have improved. Maybe her dour attitude was just fatigue, and maybe that's a contributing factor some of the time. But I would love to hear any other comments regarding raising little girls with a healthy sense of self. My husband read my post and now we both are paying more attention to how we interact with Carmen. Girls ARE different from boys and relate differently even to Mom and Dad. It can be exhausting!

But now, I just have to discuss my day. Bear with me, please. Last night, my daughter told us that her ground-feeding fish (plecostomus?) was dead. Great. I said we'd deal with it in the a.m. I looked in the tank this morning and saw it sticking out from the fake treasure chest at the bottom of the tank. Ick. I HATE dealing with dead fish. So I scooped the chest out with a net and took it into the bathroom. Using a plastic bag turned inside out, I removed the fish - but only got half of it. Double ick! Then I dumped the contents of the chest into the bag and suddenly, the bag started flipping around. For a split second, I thought the dead fish was still alive, only it couldn't have been because it was in two halves. Then I saw the worm-like cooley loch squirming around - AHHHHH! My dh came running and I shoved the bag at him and ran into the kitchen, where I had a good cry. I had forgotten that the cooley loch lives in the treasure chest. The kids tried to comfort me but it startled me so badly that it took quite awhile to calm down. All this before 10:00 am! I gathered my wits and made breakfast. Then laundry, dishes, bank business, and lunch. After lunch, I began my list of errands. Among other things, I had to hit the store for mushrooms and some things for my dh's birthday tomorrow (I had thought his birthday was today but, fortunately, I was wrong). As I drove into the parking lot of a strip mall, I passed an elderly lady driving an old Cadillac. On top of her car was a nearly full plastic glass of water. No one was behind me, so I sat and watched as long as I could. She drove out of the lot, across the street and into the next parking lot. Some kids on bikes watched the cup as she drove by. It never spilled. She disappeared from sight and I had a good laugh. I parked and walked into the drugstore, still chuckling to myself. Then I looked up and saw two women in front of me, both wearing various neck braces and arm casts. I was afraid they thought I was laughing at them so I stifled it. They looked like they had both been in a car accident or something. I was in a hurry but I tried to be patient as they lumbered slowly into the store. God often tries to teach me patience. Anyway, the next stop was a nursery, where I had planned to buy a monkey puzzle tree for my husband's mom's birthday. The kid working there didn't know what it was and said he'd look it up on the Internet, so that he'd be able to find it for me on the lot (what nonsense!) I finally found a rather pitiful one on my own and by then, the place was crowded (there wasn't a soul there when I first arrived). While waiting in line to purchase my tree, this sort of funny kid started talking to me. Then he said his name was Zach and wanted to shake my hand. By this time, I realized that he wasn't all there (to put it politely). My hands were full so I just apologized and declined a handshake. Then he wanted to know my name. And persisted. Fortunately, the clerk could see what was going on and quickly completed my purchase. Another customer tried to distract this kid from pursuing me. I just kept saying, "I'm sorry, I have to go" but this kid started to follow me out the door, asking my name. I couldn't wait to get in the car and leave, but the tiny parking lot was now full of cars. God is good, the kid stayed inside and I was able to get out of there. Oh, I just wanted to get home! And then ...

What I haven't shared on here is that my husband had minor surgery for a suspected melanoma on his arm last week. We got the news today. He got home shortly after I did. He saw the doctor for his follow up consult - it is melanoma and he'll need another surgery. I cried. Fifteen years ago to this month, Todd had his first melanoma surgery. He needed 2 more surgeries for that one as well. I have always prayed that he would never have it again. But God sometimes says no. Melanoma is a deadly cancer that can only be treated with surgery. Other treatments don't work. And it can spread if not removed in time. Fortunately, this one looks like it was caught in time and the second surgery is to make darn sure it's all removed. I just feel so badly for my husband. And, honestly, I feel badly for me. It's been a rough year for me, emotionally. And I didn't see this coming. My intuition was wrong this time - perhaps I didn't want to believe it might be cancer again. Yeah, that was it. I was fooling myself. We both knew.

The good news is that he'll have the second surgery here in town, instead of Portland. He'll have a consult with a plastic surgeon the day before our 20th wedding anniversary next week. Bummer. We'll have to celebrate big.

Melanoma happens because of the damage done to your skin as a child and young adult. I want to encourage you Moms to sunscreen your little ones. My kids often balk at this but I always remind them of what their Dad has gone through. This sure reinforces the issue. Protect that young skin. And protect your own as well - tanning ages your skin quicker.

So - that was my day. I had to get it all out there. We ended the day by watching the "Miss Potter" movie, in honor of Beatrix Potter's birthday today. It was good to veg.


Emily said...

oh my goodness. What a terribly long day for you, from the wormy thing down to the Melanoma diagnosis.

I am really proud of your attitude. You have a great head on your shoulders...Maybe play the Glad Game today. you need it!

I will pray for the doctors hands to be skilled and sure. I will pray that the next day after the surgery, when you're celebrating the gift of marriage....that you can feel all the lovey-dovey things that you need to feel, and have no fear.

Love Emily

Leingang Family said...

We will keep Todd in our prayers.

Mama Self said...

Wow, Kate!

First, I must say that the deal with the worm made me about sick. :) I can't imagine that as a day's beginning!

Second, I just heard from a friend Tuesday that he has stage 3 melanoma. And this right after heart problems, his wife's ovarian cyst, and his daughter's chemo for cancer. But he's not a Christian. This life is full of trials and hardships, but the ONE thing that counts is REAL life in Christ which is for eternity.

And that brings me to my thoughts about your precious daughter. Having one daughter and three boys, you are right that they are so different. But my girl always had/has a deep need to have peace when she recognizes she's done something wrong. Even with such broad statement like what Carmen said, it is so reassuring to know that "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." When a child learns to depend on Jesus' sacrifice and continued love as their only sense of surety in the face of their own sin (we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God), they get the peace they crave. At least that has been our experience with our daughter. Hope it helps.

May the Lord continue to strengthen and encourage you and Todd. And thank you for being an encourager to me.

jugglingpaynes said...

First of all, I send virtual hugs to you. You've really been tested lately, haven't you? But I want to point out something that I thought important. You mentioned that lady who drove off with a cup of water on her car. I like to think of those moments as Godly reminders to laugh.

Now about your daughter. I think no matter how many you have, they are all different. I don't know that Carmen's behavior is as much about being a girl as it is about the competitive nature of the youngest. As the youngest of three, I would fight for attention, and the attention was never enough. I see it with my own youngest. She will do anything to be noticed, even if it is negative attention.

You mentioned the fish, and I wondered if she had known about that when she told you how she felt. Kids internalize things. She may have thought it was her fault her fish died and that came out as "I'm bad." Whatever the reason, you did exactly the right thing--you talked with her about it. If it happens again, try not to deny her feelings, instead let her explain why she feels that way. If she can explain what causes the feeling, it will give you insight so you can deal with it.

When Marina was that age she would freak if anyone told her she was growing up. By talking with her I realized she was afraid of growing older because she thought she would have to give up her toys. It's interesting how their minds work.

Love and prayers to your family. I believe Todd will be fine and pray that he will not have discomfort.

Peace and Laughter (sorry this is so long)