Tuesday May 17, 2011

This alternate reality we are living in is making it hard to be the kind of parents we're used to being. We've tried to teach our kids that when they want something, they have to work hard, be patient, and earn it. We try not to give in to instant gratification. I'm certain that we've used the line "money doesn't just grow on trees" at least once or twice.

But, now when we want something, we get it. Live for today, right? This change in how we operate almost brought Shannon to tears yesterday. She's been wanting a whole set of golf clubs, an upgrade from the mix and match kids set that she has been using. Before the golf season started we said, "Let's wait and see if you enjoy it, and then we'll talk". Now we run out and get them. Shannon notices the change. She looks us straight in the eye and says, "We're only getting them now because I have a brain tumor." She's right. Normally we would say "wait for your birthday" or "let's see how much you grow this year", but right now it seems ridiculous to make her wait. Shannon felt good enough to play 5 holes with Dan and I yesterday and another 10 holes with Papa today, so of course she should have clubs that fit her and she should have them right now.

Yet, Dan and I don't want "living in the moment" to send the wrong message. There is a foreboding undertone. We need to keep remembering that living in the moment doesn't mean Shannon doesn't have a future. What the future holds for her is the great unknown. We have to keep believing, keep the faith. I hope we spend a really long time perfecting our "live for today" philosophy.

So, I find myself struggling because my most important job for the last 13 years as a mother has been to care for my kids, teach them about the world and help them understand it, and plan ahead so we're prepared for what's coming next. What do I do now? One of them is sick and the other feels slighted, I don't know exactly how to help them draw lessons from this thing we are experiencing, and I sure as hell don't know how to prepare for what's next.

Reeling a bit, for sure. And yet, we are having an ok week. Shannon carries on with school, hockey, and golf. She took three tests today and finished a six page creative writing assignment. She continues to amaze. Erin is doing what needs doing at school and preparing for her piano receital. Dan and I are working a little. Life goes on, albeit with a new set of golf clubs...