It’s 4:20am and I have just spent the last 20 minutes gargling and rinsing after waking up lying flat with a mouth full of stomach acid. You see I fell asleep on a stack of pillows practically sitting up, but gravity had it’s way with me last night. It’s been happening frequently on my vacation because I forgot to pack my wedge pillow. This time it was so awful, I’m too freaked out to go back to sleep.
I have to admit, I don’t follow all the rules of Reflux. I have coffee in the morning. Occasionally I eat onions. Last night, I had Ice cream. I usually do not eat at least 4 hours before going to bed. I was planning on staying up to watch the movie Paul with my brother, but I crashed while I was putting my son to sleep. He’s on the tail end of his separation anxiety phase and until he’s completely asleep, he’s got a death grip on my arm.
He’s about to start the school year next week. He’s progressively getting better and will soon have no problem falling asleep on his own. I know I’m supposed to just let him cry himself to sleep, but I just can’t. To be honest,I have separation anxiety as well. He stays with his dad every other week. I hate joint custody. I feel like I’m cheating or something because he’s with his dad 2 weeks out of the month. Shouldn’t I be enjoying my free time?
I think the root of the problem is that deep down I feel like I will be making up for time I haven’t lost yet. Let’s be realistic: I have two progressive diseases. I plan to live another 60 years and although I don’t believe in God I can still hear her laughing.
I’m afraid of what I might miss, so that extra 8 hours a day I spend with him while I’m sleeping will somehow make up for it. I also take every opportunity to drop some knowledge on my son. He has a great vocabulary for a 7 year old. I don’t give him nick names for private parts when he asks me where babies come from. I tell him the truth about how he came into this world 8 weeks early, but it’s a happy story because I got to meet him 8 weeks early. It’s amazing how one can learn to spin a story about an event that scared the shit out of my family, into an amazing story of how strong I believe this little boy is.
You see, although my health is an ongoing sometimes soul suckingly depressing fact of my life, I am one of the lucky ones. We all know someday we are going to be gone from this world. Anything can change in a minute. No different that a completely healthy person stepping in front of a bus. But for me and probably many like me we are very aware we are living on borrowed time. Every minute is a gift. I’ve squandered my share, but to finally get to my point, I use every teaching moment I can with my son. I also forgive myself for giving into his separation anxiety issues at night when he goes to sleep.
This started out as a rant about Reflux, but like any good therapy session, it shined daylight on the underlying issue. Not my son’s separation anxiety, but my own. I make any moment I can a teaching moment and just for now, it’s okay to indulge myself by listening to him sleep at night. This phase is in it’s transition with him. He will be going to bed on his own anytime, but just for now I’m going to take advantage of the extra hours I get with my son, even though he’s asleep, because every moment is a gift.