They took a mole off my stomach, almost 3 weeks ago now. "Probably nothing," they told me, and I did my best to believe them. I believed and believed and believed until they didn't call and another day passed and I called them.
"We haven't heard," they said, and they thought it was odd but they wouldn't call to check on it and wouldn't tell me if they thought it meant anything. And immediately my teething-tired mama brain went to the worst. "Melanoma" was what they were screening for, and what if. . . what if it was the worst, the weird one, the looks-like-nothing-but-it's-going-to-kill-you variety, this mole of mine? What then?
Then my kids would watch me suffer and struggle, and they might watch me die. Then their childhoods would be changed forever, taken in many ways, and they'd have to deal with things that are wrong, that little hearts and minds can't process. And that would be the worst, worse than being sick, than dying even - the knowing that this would change them forever and probably not in good ways.
Having little kids is hard. They're underfoot and needy, the most demanding when they've deprived you of the sleep you need to love them with calmness and fortitude. They're volatile and over-dramatic and everything is the. end. of. the. world.
They're also lovely, of course, when they curl up next to you or calm at your touch, and I love the moments when you can see the synapses connecting because they've just come up with something you've never seen in them before. But we've been living in the hard, lately, in the not-sharing, too-many-teeth-coming-in-too-fast, let's-yell-just-because-we-can days that all kids seem to go through when you're most longing for them to be angelic, or at least reasonable.
And I've wondered if this is really where I'm supposed to be. I don't function well on little sleep, and my hypersensitive senses reel with the pitch of whining and complaining. I've wondered if back-to-work would be better, because even when adult interaction sucks it usually doesn't involve asking someone, for the 39th time in an hour, to replace screaming with a quiet "Please".
But then the mole and the waiting and the using all my energy to still a panic that could rise at any time, and somewhere in there a deep, settled knowledge that I Like This Life. I don't like the trying to keep my cool when all I want is 30 consecutive seconds without any yelling, nor the incessant whining, nor the teething, but I like what we're building. The big picture is a blessing: these children, even in these days, and the life we're building together.
News came back good: the best, in fact. It's nothing, and they still don't know why the lab was slow. And news in my heart was better, this knowing beyond anything that this is where I want to be. Maybe someday the double-rainbow days will come but even if they don't, I will work to overcome myself and make a haven for their hearts. I will do the work, because it's work I want to do.