When All You Want to Do is Not Cry in a Barn

3 May

Rarely do I find only one word to describe the emotions I feel for my kids.

Happy, sad, proud, protective…each day is a jumble all smooshed into one.

That’s normal for any parent. Your child can be full term and healthy. They can meet all their milestones on time and have an unremarkable childhood when it comes to “scares.” But that jumble of emotion is still there.

As a parent to a child that’s seriously sick or has VIP needs, the feeling jumble is there as well. But more intense.

If they’re hot, it feels like the HOTTEST FIRE FEVER OF ALL TIME.

If they’re sad, you want to stand on your head, juggle with your feet and quack like a duck just to make them feel better.

When they accomplish something big, it deserves a party.

And when they accomplish something small, well…that deserves a party too. We like to celebrate.

In the beginning of Jackson’s cancer treatment, the jumble of emotions was like having a hose turned on full blast. I’d try putting a spray nozzle on the end of it so I could control it better, but it was NOT an easy feat.

I remember after the first two rounds of chemo, we found out Jackson’s primary tumor had shrunk by 60%. When the nurse told me, I couldn’t even remember how to read to go over the report myself. Seriously. I went to go tell the others with the radiology report printout, but I barely made it out into the hallway outside the Cancer Clinic before I was yelling. I fist pumped like a Jersey Shore knucklehead all by myself!

I’m sure the guy who watches the security camera feed was a little worried about me. But I felt like I was going to EXPLODE.

Yesterday Abby had her assessment for therapeutic horseback riding at Dream Catchers in Williamsburg. She got fitted for her helmet, learned how to pet a horse, how to climb on, then sit correctly and ride.

She beamed the whole time. During her ride, I stood on the sidelines with the program director and gave her medical history, what I want her to accomplish, what she needs worked on, etc.

The whole time I thought I was going to burst into tears. I was so proud of her in that moment.  It wasn’t just the horseback riding; I was proud of her in the incubator, after brain surgery, learning how to crawl, walk and talk. I was proud of her tenacity, outgoing personality and her resilience. All the proud feelings I’ve ever felt for her, all at once.

If anyone knows about feeling all the feels, it’s the parent of a VIP. And maybe also a toddler. They can get into their feelings like no one’s business.

You never know when the spray nozzle is going to pop off from the pressure. When you can feel it happening, it takes everything to keep it in check.

And I would prefer it not to “hit” while I’m inside a barn with someone I’ve just met. Haha.

But you guys, she is going to love this. We’re going to get horseback riding outfits and research french braid hairstyles on Pinterest that go under a helmet and see which of our books have horses in them and maybe even go tell the horses at Blue Bird Gap Farm not to get jealous, we’ll still come visit.

Because I’m going to love it SO MUCH for her.

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5 thoughts on “When All You Want to Do is Not Cry in a Barn

  1. Your children are so lucky to have as their Mom! You are a wonderful cheerleader and supporter for them. Truly a blessed family. You go Abby and you go right along with her Momma!

  2. Jessica,
    How exciting for Abby! Your recent posts have meant so much personally as my little granddaughter deals with similar challenges. We are just a few years behind. Abby is already in my family’s heart. We celebrate her successes and hurt when she has a bad day. Thanks for sharing your family with your readers.
    Nan Gallagher

  3. Books: Saddle Club (older kids to tweens though); Pony Tales….
    Urgh, mental blank, but I went through a huge phase as a kid of being enthralled by horses. They were my jam. I also love reading, so.

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