Facing Fears

My two year old goes to preschool two days a week.  She told me she didn’t want to go both days this week.  She’s not sick anymore, but the first day I thought maybe it’s just because she wasn’t there for a day last week and she’s out of her routine.  Today though, she was dressed and ready and still didn’t want to go.  I felt like a bad mom for essentially forcing her to go.  It’s not like she was kicking and screaming and at least today there was no silent weeping of baby alligator tears to make me feel like the devil.  And today, once I got her jacket off in the entrance, she walked off towards her teachers by herself.  Improvement, but I still felt horrible as I bolted out the door.  I stood next to (not in front of) the window to listen if there was crying, but I didn’t hear any.  As always, when I picked her up later, it was smiles and giggles and “Mommy, look at this…” showing me her new trick on the playset and the artwork she made.  When asked how her day was, she replied “Great!” 
Mom guilt is an evil emotion.  In so many scenarios, we know we are doing the right thing for our children but still suffering these same conflicting feelings.  I know I have to help her face her fears and get over them.  I know that I can’t keep her home from school every time she says she doesn’t want to go.  Look at all of the fun from today that she would have missed out on, the developmental milestones she achieves by being there, the friendships she makes and strengthens each time.  And damnit, I wanted that Happy Mother’s Day thing she made me (and the free time, which I used to clean the office while the baby napped – argh!).
She’s totally forgotten about this morning’s request to stay at home, but I tried to remind her when I put her in the car that she had a great day and next week when it’s time for school she should remember all the fun she had today and be excited to go again.  I don’t know what is prompting this sudden desire to be a homebody on school days.  Maybe she’s missing Daddy and thinks if she stays home he’ll appear?  Maybe there’s a kid at school she’s not fond of?  Maybe she’s just two and wants to be in her jammies all day?  Whatever it is, I know it’s the right thing to do to say “Ok little Cowgirl, back on that horse and giddy up to school.”  (maybe next time, I’ll actually say that, she likes horses).
After I got my breast test results, for a moment I thought, “Hey, I don’t have to do these surgeries yet, I’ve got time now.”  That was fear talking.  I quickly realized how that frame of mind is going to get me nowhere, or worse, somewhere awful.  So I didn’t let myself linger in that mythical place of a no mastectomy future.  I know my plans are right on target with what I have to do to ensure my best chances of not having breast cancer.  I’m not going to let fear dictate what I know is best for me or my family (except when it comes to snakes… you will not find me frolicking in a meadow… EVER!  pavement please).

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