I have been anxiously waiting for summer to arrive. Summer was going to be our salvation from the horrible winter germs and viruses that have plagued us since December. Summer was going to release us from the grip of asthma anxiety. Summer was going to rawk.
Until Little L started getting rashes.
The first time she broke out in little red dots all over her body I assumed that she was reacting to an afternoon spent rolling around in the grass. C sometimes has a bad reaction to grass. Whatever, it’s nothing, goes away after a quick bath.
Little L’s spots didn’t clear up after a bath. In fact, they got worse. Then she got a fever, so I assumed it was just another virus. But the next time she was out in the sun she broke out again. And the time after. And yes, the time after that too.
It turns out she’s not allergic to grass, she’s allergic to sun. OK, fine, maybe allergic is a strong word. She’s what they call photosensitive – her skin doesn’t react well to exposure to the sun, any exposure at all.
According to her doctor she’s not in any danger and she should outgrow this condition. Her helpful advice is to just keep Little L out of the sun, which, living in California, is definitely easier said than done. I’ve purchased a number of long sleeved, SPF swim body suits and I’m stocking up on sunscreen, not that it’s doing any good at all. And after a couple days of completely and utterly freaking out about this newest twist, I’m coming to grips with it.
This is Little L. She has quirky medical issues. None of them are all that dire. They’re just tedious, and time consuming, and yes, potentially bad, or they would be if we hadn’t noticed them right away and taken steps to protect her from herself. In the winter we will load up on asthma and cold medicine and in the summer we’ll stock up on protective clothing and sunscreen. And we’ll stop saying things like “Yay summer is coming! Relief is almost here” because now we know for a fact that Karma reads my blog and she’s taking notes, and really, we don’t need to give her any extra ammo.
“I’ve been reading your blog and I think you’re a touch depressed.” My mother informed me the other day. I brushed her off with a couple “I’m fines.” as I fought back tears.
I’m fine. Really. I just have a lot on my plate right now. A lot.
I mean. I just left my job and I’m starting a new career. I threw my family into financial straights for my own selfish reasons. My husband has been battling a series of back issues (and by back I mean his spine, not as in things from the past), that have been plaguing us (well him, and me by association) for a good 18 months now. I have two very young children, one who is deep into the independent seeking 3s and the other who is right dab in the middle of 14mo separation anxiety and very, very firmly attached to me. We have a brand new schedule to manage; preschool three mornings a week as opposed to just two mornings last year. We fired the cleaning service, so we’re all watching the house fall apart around us. And when I decided to take up jogging as an affordable way to get rid of my last 10 baby pounds I somehow did something to my knee that has made quite painful for me to run.
So, when my car died on Friday, leaving me stranded at home with two little girls and a very full work schedule, and I called my mother to vent, and she told me that she thought I was depressed I don’t think I was overreacting when hearing that made me want to cry. Or was I?
Is depression just the inability to deal with stress without wanting to go hide under the bed? Isn’t is normal for me to be stressed? Don’t I have a couple excuses? I mean, at least I’m sleeping these days, I guess things could be worse. So I need to exercise. Whatever. I’m going to get new running shoes, which should make it possible for me to run again without hobbling for a few days. And I’m eventually going to figure out how to balance marketing myself/working/taking care of the house/and taking care of the kids. I figure I’ll have that sorted out sometime before they leave for college. And after that it won’t matter so much anyway. Right? M will get better, it’s just a matter of time and yoga at this point. And we’ll sort out the car situation sooner or later. We have to, the dealer keeps calling to find out what we want to do.
I am convinced that I am no worse off than any other mom. We all have full plates. We all have a ton to juggle. I am not convinced that I am depressed. I don’t think that me being overwhelmed is a sign of depression. I think it’s just a sign of me being, well, overwhelmed. But a little tiny part of me can’t help but wonder, what if my mom is right? She often is. She might live on the other side of the world, but she knows me better than anyone. Is she on to something? Should I be able to grin and bear all of this? Am I in fact depressed? And how would I ever know? And is it OK that I want to go hide under the bed while I figure it out?