Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Eye Wear Short Shorts

Today was a day that Sean has been looking forward to for a couple of months.

“Mom, are you excited?”

“For what?”

“My eye doctor appointment.”

“Oh, yea… that.”

Honestly, no.  I was not excited.  I was scared.  I was worried.  I really didn’t know what to think or feel beyond the fact that my son was having eye pain and blurry vision and I had no idea how to fix it.

I’m a mom.  I should know.

But I didn’t.  Thus, several weeks ago I phoned my trusted eye doctor and made an appointment.  It wasn’t an emergency – yet – so we got what we got and therefore had weeks and weeks ahead of us to think, to imagine, and to worry what this appointment would bring.

Finally, today was the day.

Sean barely had time to get off the bus, come home and pee before we packed a snack bag and left for the medical center.

I prepped him again in the car as I have done so many times before.

“Sean, you’re going to get eye drops.”

“I know.”

But did he really?

Did he remember the horror he went through as a young child when he came down with pink eye?

Did he remember how both my husband and I had to hold him down to put the drops in every day?

Did he remember the terror that he felt with every drop of liquid?

Did he?

I know I did.

And now Sean is way too big for me to hold down – even if my husband was there.

What would I do in the doctor’s office if he freaked out?  What would I do if he lashed out – threw his hand up – and accidentally hit a staff member?

What would I do?

“Sean, you’re getting drops.”

“I know.”

The moment of truth was swift.  After a short warm-up with the eye chart the technician whipped out the magic bottle… the stuff I feared so much…in order to dilate my son’s pupils.

He seemed calm.

And then he wasn’t.

I had him hold my hands – wishing for him to break them rather than have his arm swipe an unsuspecting employee.

Sean was breathing heavy, his lips frantically going back and forth over his braces. 

I had to try and keep him calm.  I would worry about him ripping his lips apart later.

He closed his eyes and you could tell that ever fiber in his body felt panic and fear.

My eyes started to tear and my heart broke as I helplessly watched what my son was going through.

I tried talking to him.

“Sean, look at me.  You’re ok.”

“Sean, close your eyes.  Hold my hand.  I’m here.”

And then finally, desperately, I remembered something he had said.

At summer school he had met a girl.

He didn’t know what she looked like or any detail of her person.

Except for one.

She wore short shorts to school.

“Sean, think about that girl today.  Think about the short shorts.”

He smiled.

“Sean, tell me again what she was wearing.”

“Yea, short shorts.”

He laughed.

The drops were in and now only the stinging was left to get through.

I wrapped his arms around me to keep him from wiping his eyes and held his head to my chest as he cried, “My eyes!  My eyes!”

If only I could take every painful second from him.  If only I could hold him tight like that and protect him from all his terrors.

But I can’t.  I can only be there.

We had one more hurdle to cross when the doctor’s light was too bright for him.

“Sean, remember the short shorts.”

Even the doctor had to stop what she was doing so she could laugh.

We all did.

And then it was over.

My son, the boy who can’t look at anyone, stares too much and doesn’t blink enough.  It was as simple as that.

No glasses.  No mom-imagined brain tumor.  No emergency.

Blink breaks, an anti-glare screen for the computer and no tears shampoo to wash his gorgeous eyelashes… a prescription that anybody could handle.

A call to Pizza Hut for a celebratory dinner and the details of the day’s ordeal were practically forgotten.

Hopefully, that also included the co-ed in the short shorts!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

We Need A Bigger Boat To Hold My Worry

OK, I’m totally freaking out right now….

A million things going on in my head and in my life and on top of it all is Sean going on his first REAL field trip in six years.


And it involves the city of Chicago…

And a boat.


I so can’t handle this.

After a couple of emails back and forth with the school I’ve secured a “buddy” for him to be with tomorrow.  I’m hoping that the kid won’t ditch him or dare him to jump into the lake.

Can you tell my imagination is on overdrive?

It’s THE CITY!!!!  And the lake…and a boat.

Holy crap!

Tonight we asked him if he knew his buddy. 

Sean said, “Yes.”

“Do you know what he looks like?”

“I know his voice.”

Oh kill me now… how am I not supposed to get in my car tomorrow and follow that bus?

“I think he has dark hair.”


Thankfully, Sean picked up his yearbook from school on Friday.  We grabbed it and looked through the Class of 2012 for any boys with Sean’s buddy’s name.

Only one… how lucky are we?!

Rich covered the names and held up the page for Sean in a pseudo-police-photo-lineup kind of thing.

Sean pointed him out.

Whew… but does that make me any less stressed about tomorrow?

Not a darn bit.

He’s going to be taking a camera and a cellphone with him on the trip.  I know he’ll leave the house with them secured in his pockets but will they come home?

Who knows?

I was at school on Friday – talking with a bunch of teachers in the front office.  Many of them are going on the trip tomorrow.  I made no excuses, was not a tad embarrassed, asking them to keep an eye on him.

They all love Sean and assured me that they would.

But I’m his mom and nobody… NOBODY… can look over my son… be overprotective and overbearing… quite like I can.


But I can’t follow the bus tomorrow.  I can’t meet him downtown and hold his hand and guide him from site to site on the tour.

I can’t be two feet behind him on the boat and remind him not to get too close to the railing.

I can’t…. but you know I want to.


I have his graduation and party and his sisters and all sorts of Life stuff to think about and worry about….

And now I have to worry about this trip.

This doggone trip…

At least he’ll be back by 4pm…