Welcome to the Carnival of MS Bloggers, a monthly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis.
by Jamia at MS is a Mother...
As mothers, I think that we are given the permission from the Universe to lie to our kids. And not really big lies, but little lies that help smooth out tough conversations.
Lies like, “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you” as we rip band-aids off of “boo-boos”. Little lies like, “We will be there before you know it…” knowing full well that the car ride to the amusement park is at least an hour away and there is a traffic jam.
So as I continue to embark on my motherhood journey, I too, have started telling these same little lies to smooth out difficult questions that my four year old is fond of asking me.
But one question that caught me off guard that I didn’t have a little lie to tell was this: “Mommy why do you get tired all the time and why do you walk funny sometimes?”
The dreaded questions that I was hoping not to have to answer for at least another year were already being asked! As a mother living with relapsing multiple sclerosis, I try very hard to mask those tougher days by announcing to the family that “Today, Mommy is moving like a robot “which means that I will be plodding around the house shifting my weight from side-to-side because my legs are agitated by the effects of Multiple Sclerosis leaving lesions on my spinal cord that at times will affect my gait and balance. Being “Mommy robot” sounds a bit more fun and allows us to keep the situation light. Sometime I do walk funny and my gait is off do to my MS, and becoming a “Mommy Robot” puts things into perspective.
But on this day I decided that not every MS manifestation I could have could be attributed to “Mommy Robot”. So as he waits for an answer, I get the perfect way to explain multiple sclerosis in a way that my two and four year old will understand.
So I casually say, “Jacks when you fall and hurt yourself, what do you say?” Jacks looks at me a bit annoyed because this is NOT the answer to his question. But being a good little boy he says, “Ouchy.”
“Good” I say. “And what if you fell and hurt yourself all over, what would you say then?”
Jacks cocks his head to one side and says very confidently, “Ouchies, Mommy. I would have “ouchies” all over the place!” He spreads his arms as far apart as he can.
So I take a breath and continue, “So guess what Jacks? Mommy has “ouchies” too.” I say matter-of –factly as he runs to me looking all over my arms and legs.
“Where mommy? Where are your ouchies? I don’t see them?” His big brown eyes filled with a bit of concern that almost makes me want to cry. But I keep going.
“Well Mommy has “ouchies on the inside” of my body where you and I can’t see them. That is why I get tired and walk funny sometimes. Mommy’s “ouchies on the inside” are “acting up.”
I stop talking and look at him. He sits silently and I figure that this was a bit too abstract and maybe I should have kept up with the “Mommy robot” story.
A little lie to smooth out a difficult conversation.
So then this is when I knew that as much as we mothers like to shield our children from uncertain truths, they show us that they can handle it. Jacks looks up at me and starts planting kisses all over my face and arms and legs. I start laughing at this sudden display of affection. And before I knew it my little Dylan has joined the party.
“Jacks, what are you guys doing? “ I say as I laugh because their kisses are tickling me. And the two of them have now knocked me over and we are all on the floor.
“Kissing all of your “ouchies” away, Mommy. Feel better now?” he asks as Dylan echoes my answer with some of his indiscernible toddler ramblings.
And at that moment I did feel better. Much better.
Telling the truth can also smooth out difficult conversations. Lesson learned. Another stamp in my passport: MOTHERHOOD.
This concludes the 156th edition of the Carnival. The next Carnival of MS Bloggers will be hosted here on July 3, 2014. Please remember to submit a post (via email) from your blog of which you are particularly proud, or which you simply want to share, by noon on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.