Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Of Mouthguards and Fingernails

Many moons ago, Kayde got her finger slammed in the door.  (A future blog post should be entitled:  Kayde's Injuries:  A Compilation.) It was immediately obvious that her poor middle finger was going to eventually lose it's fingernail.  A few months went by, in which Kayde kept that poor finger bandaged and protected and would NOT let us see it or rip off that poor, sorry excuse for a fingernail.

Eventually, though, the nail fell off, leaving a finger resembling a hairless cat.  EWWW!!  Days went by where Kayde flipped everybody off, showing them her nail-less middle finger.  (We may have taken lots of pictures and made an inappropriate meme (thanks, Beth!).)  She gleaned sympathy and chuckles and pretty soon we forgot about the incident.

Benjamin has been taking Tae Kwon Do now for nearly three years.  He needs to bring a mouthguard to every single class.  WE HAVE PURCHASED NO LESS THAN 30 MOUTHGUARDS IN THREE YEARS!! That boy can't remember his mouthguard to save his life.  He brings it to class and leaves it there.  He puts it in his bag and it mysteriously disappears.  He remembers to bring it home from TKD, but loses it somewhere between the car and the front door.  He loses it between purchasing it and walking in to class.  He brings home the case with the mouthguard mysteriously missing.  He has spent every single dime of his allowance on mouthguards and still will need to buy a new one today before class.  It's truly a talent.

I've been reflecting on this past school year and it occurs to me that it's been a lot like the fingernail and the mouthguard.

Sure, I've moved twice and lost my mom and faced unemployment and tried to keep up on my calling and took in a stray and homeschooled two very different kids and done that blasted 11 a.m. kindergarten pick-up every single terrible day.....but like Kayde's finger, I've hidden it close to me and protected it under a bandage of "I'm fine, this is fine, everything is fine!"

But just like that stupid mouthguard, if I keep doing the same thing over and over I'm going to keep having the same result.  How much time did I spend lecturing about keeping-track-of-your-stuff when I should have been getting to the bottom of the mouthguard issue?  (Benjamin is afraid of sparring so purposely loses his mouthguard so he can sit out.  A-HA!  We can work on that now!)

So now I'm working on getting to the bottom of my issues....(actually, we're scratching the surface here.  It's all the emotional space I have.  Baby steps.)

It occurs to me that last year I should have put the kids back in school.  Tried better to feel at home in our temporary home.  Made a friend and figured out a carpool.  Delegated more.  Eaten more chocolate.  Found time to exercise.  Blogged.  Some things I couldn't have changed.  The life we have chosen will never be slow and steady, but I could have reached outside myself just a little bit more and flipped people off instead of keeping that fingernail-less finger all shriveled up under a dirty old band-aid.

This year, we have purchased a home.  We have a new job that Luke loves.  I'm homeschooling only one kid.  I've got carpool helpers and kids that can bike to school.  I've got amazing new counselors in YW.  Other miracles have happened!  And there are internal controls that I'm working on, too.  Most importantly, I'm trying to be more honest with myself about when and where I am scared and need a little help--Dude, I would want to sit out sparring classes, too!

Guess what I noticed yesterday?  Kayde's fingernail is all grown back and looks just as healthy as can be.  It's a perfect little fingernail and I think I will take a minute to paint it today so she can be ready for her first day of preschool carpool.  I won't forget my mouthguard.


Linds said...

As always, you have a way of putting into words what I'm feeling...Although I keep putting it off as new issues come up. "Once school starts I'll get my crap together...once i'm fully recovered from surgery I'll get my crap together...Once festival of trees is over I'll for sure be ready...just get past that one year mark and i'll be good..."

Kacey said...

Kirstin, I loved this post. I love honesty. And I love it that you wished you had flipped more people off. You are an amazing, beautiful and capable mother whom I admire and have always admired (starting back in good old Bothell during Apprentice nights).

Alivia Burnham said...