Fear will make you second guess yourself. It will make you believe that you can’t do it, that you were wrong and that the cost is too high.
At least that’s what it did to me over the last two weeks.
It almost convinced me that I was a bad mother, that I was weak and that giving in to my ex’s demands would be better for me and my son than putting up a fight.
Luckily fate stepped in to prove otherwise.
Monday morning I had to take my son for a dental procedure. I’d told my ex about the appointment the day I made it almost a month ago.
I told him the date and the time and even sent the reminder card to him with the dentist’s address and other important info so he’d have it on hand. I told him all of these things because I knew he’d probably want to be there when they sedated our son for the procedure. I’d want him to give me the details and the option if the tables were turned.
He said he’d be there.
The dentist had informed me that Aidan would be unable to walk afterwards and that he’d need to be carried. Now that he’s almost seven years old and 65 pounds I rarely carry him. There’s not a need to like when he was younger so my arms aren’t as strong as they used to be. He’s also too big to prop on my hip like I did when he was a toddler.
I was secretly glad his father was coming along because I figured I could count on him to help me with carrying Aidan or with anything else our son might need during or after the procedure.
I didn’t remind him of the appointment like I might’ve done in the past. I didn’t want to nag him and frankly it’s not my job to remind him repeatedly of things anymore. He’s an adult.
Sunday around 9:30pm my son called him for their nightly chat, at which point I discovered his father forgot about the dentist appointment completely and because he’d agreed to a work commitment Monday morning he’d be unable to come with us.
I’m going to admit that his inability to remember the appointment and his irreverence to the fact that our son might need him enraged me. He came up with the idea to have his father come pick up Aidan from the dentist when the procedure was done but I didn’t feel comfortable with that.
I’d do it all alone.
I drove Aidan to the dentist that morning by myself.
When we got there they gave him a special drug to drink that would sedate him. Sort of like being in a twilight. He’d still be awake but would not really remember anything that happened.
The nurse instructed me to take him in the waiting room for 10 minutes to wait for the drug to kick in and then help him to the bathroom to pee before they started working on him.
I actually began to wonder if it was ever going to take effect because he was talkative and wide awake while we sat in the waiting room watching cartoons.
Around the 8 minute mark I grabbed his hand and asked him to stand up and come to the bathroom with me, at which point he looked up at me, smiled and then immediately slumped over on the couch and started giggling.
It was all downhill from there.
I tried to lift him up as best I could and guide him down a long hallway to the restroom, but it was like guiding a drunk and belligerent man who was stumbling all over the place.
At first I found it endearing as he looked up at me with his missing-teeth grin and slurred his words.
“IIIIII’m NOT Tieeeeered!” he shouted as I dragged him to the bathroom.
By the time we got in the bathroom he was dead weight, looking up at me and smiling with a dazed look in his eyes.
I’m not going to lie, I nearly broke into tears in that bathroom as I struggled alone, trying to hold his dead weight up with one arm and remove his pants and underwear with the other, but I somehow managed to keep it together.
My boy needed me. I had to.
I knew I couldn’t manage both holding him up and helping him pee standing up, especially when he was in no condition to aim himself, so I lifted him up onto the toilet seat, leaned him forward so his head and weight were against my chest and aimed his man-bits into the toilet with my hand.
“Can you pee for me, buddy? Mommy really needs you to try to pee,” I pleaded.
“I’mmmm peeeein Mommy!”
He was not peeing.
“Can you try again for me, buddy?” I asked.
“Hehehehe, I’mmm peeeein Mommy!”
Still no pee.
Finally I gave up on the peeing since I was pretty sure they didn’t want me to waste the morning trying to get him to pee.
Here we go again…
I then somehow managed to lift all of his weight up onto me to pull up his underwear and pants, and used what little strength I had left to pick him up fully and carry him into the room where they’d fix his teeth.
Once there, I laid him down onto a small stretcher and they wrapped him in what looked like a velcro-burrito to keep him from moving as he giggled and looked up at me smiling.
I smoothed his hair to comfort him as they placed the mask on his face for the sweet air to numb him. I talked to him and he tried to talk back but he was completely incoherent.
About five minutes later the dentist came in and I was instructed to go into the waiting room while they worked on his teeth.
As I waited outside I became extremely anxious and overwhelmed over the realization that I was going to have to figure out how to pick him up, get him down to the first floor, out to the parking lot and into my car alone.
Did I mention at this point it also started raining?
And then I’d still have to get him out of the car and into our apartment alone once we got back home.
I fought back tears as I stared out the window thinking about it all.
But the moment the dentist walked into the waiting room to let me know he was done a confidence washed over me.
I picked up all 65 pounds of him. I carried him down the long hallway to the elevator, and got him down to the first floor. He began to sob right before I started to carry him outside to the parking lot.
“It’s ok buddy, Mommy is here. Don’t be scared,” I said as I held him tighter than I ever had before.
“But I can’t move my legs. Why can’t I move my legs Mommy?”
“I know you feel a little funny and you don’t really understand why, but it’s just the medicine and soon it will wear off and you will feel like yourself again. In the meantime Mommy is right here with you and I am going to take good care of you, so don’t be scared.”
The rain poured down on us as we exited the building and I carried him to my car.
“Doesn’t the rain feel nice buddy? We haven’t danced in the rain in awhile,” I said, trying to distract him from how shitty is was that we were getting all wet.
After what felt like an eternity we finally made it to the car. I fumbled for my keys for awhile as I struggled to hold him up against the car. Once I got it unlocked I gently, well as gently as you can place 65 pounds of dead weight, placed him in his car seat and buckled him in.
I breathed a sigh of relief after I closed his door and walked my way over to get in the driver’s seat.
Holy shit, I just did that.
It was at that moment that I realized what a dirty whore fear had been the last two weeks.
It told me lies and nearly convinced me to give in to my ex’s bullying. It almost made me believe that I was a shitty mother and that all that I’d accomplished in the last three years was just a dream.
But it was no dream.
I’m an amazing mother and a strong woman. Monday proved that.
Fear can kiss my ass.
And so can my ex.