Phew (well for now at least)…
A couple of weeks ago I did a post about this nagging feeling I had, my inner voice alerting me to a change on the horizon. Me, being a slight drama queen, assumed the “feeling” would involve me – new job, weight loss lottery win, etc. – but be nothing too severe or life altering if it even happened at all.
Fast forward to last Monday, MLK’s birthday and President Obama’s inauguration. When I woke up my main concern was getting M to the pediatrician by 8:20a (he had told me his “brain was spinning”) and entertaining 3 kids home from school.
Nothing could have prepared me for hearing that my aunt (a/k/a “my nanny”) was unresponsive with labored breathing. Immediately I went into Super Mom mode (i.e. control freak mode) as my aunt was transported to the hospital.
There I was racing down Route 130 South, to beat the ambulance to my aunt’s house, as I texted and called (I know but it was an emergency) the husband and others filling them in on the situation. I calmed my mom and other aunt (there are 3 sisters) and assured them I would take care of everything and it would be fine.
Sitting in the ER waiting room with my uncle, we were met by a chaplain (never a good sign). Chaplain X looked at our last names and let us know that he was also Italian, paisans so to speak. Super, a funny priest-type person, I thought as I watched my uncle tell him the regions of Italy his “people” were from.
Chaplain told us my aunt was sedated but alive. In that instant, my world was completely rocked. It felt almost like a scene in a movie, when a character is transported in time. The room sort of spun and I realized my life with “my nanny” was over.
Sure, having your aunt act as your nanny is not always easy. I couldn’t really yell at her or tell her what to do because she would always tell my mother on me. Nikki….what do you expect? or Nikki, that is just too bad, she is helping YOU out. or Nikki, I am NOT getting involved were typical emails from my mother.
Yes, aunt drove me 100% crazy, however, she loved my kids (all 4) as if they were her own.
Aunt was never able to have children of her own so she took on me, my brother and 3 cousins as her surrogate kids. Aunt was only 20 when I was born so we grew up together. She was always there to take me to the mall or to lunch. Buy me the “cool” clothes or let me sleep over her house.
Aunt would do anything for my kids and they loved her like a grandma. Sure they would yell and argue and I would get phone calls saying Your son is EXACTLY like you but in the end there was unconditional love.
Sitting in the ER, trying to accept that my aunt had almost died, took my breath away. I was flooded with emotions that ran the gamment from anger to sadness.
O-M-G wtf am I going to do with the kids???!! was all I could think. It was on a repeat loop in my head as I talked to friends, family, doctors and nurses. I could hear myself telling everyone It will be ok, she is getting the care she needs now but on the inside I felt like a selfish bitch for worrying about who would watch my kids, let alone how the hell I would afford daycare for 4 kids.
Suck it up, people go through far worse than this! What is wrong with you, no one told you to have 4 kids. See, all those years you didn’t know how good you had it. shuffled through my head all the way home from the hospital that night.
The husband told me it would be ok, “we” (me) would figure it all out and it would be fine. The next day I called daycare and extended day programs frantically trying to find a spot for the boys. People were telling me about openings and enrollment fees and all I could ask was Do you accept credit cards? and Can they start on Monday?
By Thursday, it was all sorted out and all the kids had a “plan”. Mommy had no idea how to execute the “plan” with work but figured it would work itself out some how. All weekend my stomach was in a knot. I told the twins how “fun” school would be and how awesome it would be to eat lunch with the big kids.
I took L to visit his “new school” and told him how much fun he would have (being there 12 hours a day). J was another story altogether but he would have to deal.
Today I woke up and the morning ritual I have followed for 6 years was out the window. Lunches needed to be made, kids dressed and busses to be met – and all by me. There was no time to fret over my bad hair day or how big my ass looked in my black pants.
When it was time to leave for bus #1, M told me he was NOT going to school and he did not like his lunch. I took a deep breath and said Well I guess you can just sit on the bus all day, and continued to go about my business. \
The twins nervously held my hand as we waited for the bus and anxiously they boarded looking for a seat. I love you!! was all I could say.
All morning I busied myself with work and internet research (i.e. People.com) to take my mind off the kids. The worry was always there but just not as prevalent.
As I sat at my desk getting ready to eat lunch, I checked my yahoo account. Emails from the Gap, Victoria’s Secret and Old Navy filled my inbox. Mixed between, however, was an email from the twins’ teacher.
Just wanted to let you know that Matthew and Joshua had a good morning with me…
Relief flooded over me. Thank god 2 down, 2 to go. Feeling lucky, I called L’s daycare to check in on him. L is great, he ate his whole lunch and is napping. He didn’t cry once.
I know it is only Monday, I have days, weeks and months ahead of me. Soon the newness of everything will wear off and the kids will not be as willing to go on the bus or get ready for school.
Thus is life though right? Fingers crossed I will be able to make it through. I guess there is always red wine at dinner right (lol)?
ps – my aunt is doing well and getting better everyday 🙂