The Grounded Half of Our Dyad
by Karla ° Thursday, October 11, 2007
I worry about Nate often. I worry about his heath. I worry about his safety and I worry about his general well being.

What if I’m not doing enough to enrich the learning sponge that is brain? Or what if the cuss words that occasionally slip out of my mouth echo through the hollow chambers of time until they reverberate back into my future teenage son’s ears and turn him into an angst-fuelled, school skipping, potty-mouthed hooligan? Or what if he is showing signs of autism? Or?

Generally, I try not to overanalyze things. Like, when my washing machine eats one half of every pair of Nate’s baby socks, I could try to rationalize the situation by believing that the socks have magically teleported themselves into another dimension where single-socked organisms are evolving and multiplying and plotting to take over the Universe, but I don’t really think that is true because I am a rational person. This is how I know it must be the sock fairy.

But when it comes to my son, all the gray that can found between the black and white of parenting clouds my ability to be rational every now and then. It’s not like I walk on pins and needles of doom and gloom, it’s more like I gently tiptoe around issues of health and wellness very loudly.

Ava’s death caught me so off guard that in order to protect the fragile shell that defines me as a mother, I proceed cautiously and defensively. Because I do not ever want to be struck from behind again with a cosmic 2x4 and left feeling as lost and defenceless as I did the day Ava died in my arms.

And so, I read. And I arm myself with information. And this adds more shadows to the already ominous gray fog that so often rolls through the valleys of motherhood.

Take autism for example. I would be lying if I said this isn’t something that concerns me. And it’s not like detecting it in babies is an exact science. There are signs and symptoms, but at Nate’s age, that’s about all they are. Signs and symptoms. There is nothing concrete to go on and this is exactly the kind of thing that drives me crazy.

The signs can be so obscure. Like does your baby cry when you leave the room? Sometimes Nate does. Sometimes he doesn’t. And sometimes it depends on whether he’s chomping on a triangle or an octopus and how he feels about the colour green that day.

I always raise my concerns with Mark. He is my rock. The strong shoulder to lean on. The grounded half of our dyad. He is also the wise ass in our marriage and according to him, if we applied my logic to the current state of my own medical symptoms, then for the love of all things impossible, the Internet just diagnosed me with testicular cancer.


Permanent link to this entry


There definitely can be something such as too much information. And you have to be so careful of the source, you can basically find an article on the web that says anything you want.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  October 11, 2007

I agree with Gina! It is such a fine line between being cautious and being too much of a worrier.

Definitely can be too much information. My younger son, who is 2 years, eight months just had a doctor's appointment, where autism was brought up as something to watch for. This is because he is slow to speak, and - get this - he did not cry when my husband left the room! (He often cries when we leave; he was distracted that day. We just started preschool and he is miserable because we leave!)

My older son was slow to speak and got some help, but at six, he is fine and never stops talking. My younger one is developing in a similar way. My point is that while no disability should be taken lightly, I sometimes think that all this is shoved down our throats and making us petrified when we don't always have to be. It comes from every direction: the media, other parents, and even professionals. Take it one day at a time and try not to worry.

I was worried about autism because Andrew was slow to speak and he had some of the signs. I went so far as to take him to a specialist. It's so easy to obsess on these things.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  October 11, 2007

It is a very scary disease that can show up unexpectedly.

I can see why you are always worried about things, I am sure all of us would be too. You do a good job Karla! And you are so open about it, I hope your testicular cancer gets better soon=) (You are an awesome writer!)
Posted by Blogger Donna :  October 11, 2007

I feel you.. I am already going round and round about immunizations and autism and the more I read the more confused I get.. and I haven't even given BIRTH yet! I can only imagine what it must be like for a mother who has lost a child..
Posted by Blogger Jeninacide :  October 11, 2007

Every time I look up medical info on the Internet, I scare myself shitless. Then it turns out that I have a blister or something. Where a baby is concerned, I'm sure it's even more worrisome. But you love him no matter what, and he's going to be fine. He's gorgeous and healthy.
PS Your husband is indeed a smartass.
Posted by Blogger H :  October 11, 2007

I posted on this EXACT topic today. My son is 16 months. He was suppose to get his MMR shot today. I chickened out and asked the doctor if we could wait till next time. I worry all the time because Jack is not talking yet. His receptive language is fantastic so they doctor said to relax. RELAX!! So much easier said than done, I know that my anxiety is because I lost three babies to miscarriage. I adopted my son then got pregnant with a daughter three months later and by some miracle she was born healthy. It's been such a blessing. But, I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm always expecting the universe is going to say, WAIT, this woman has too much happiness hit her with something now. Sigh...Anxiety is never fun.
Posted by Blogger Kelly :  October 11, 2007

My son IS autistic and it's sort of sad that somehow autism is so feared.Isaac is divine and when we discovered he was autistic, well he was still Isaac, we still loved him, he was still perfect and he still screamed bloody murder every time I left the room ( and taking him to school..sheesh like getting gum off my shoe every single morning)
What I'm trying to say is this...whoever Nate is,whether he isever diagnosed with any kind of anything, he will stil be Nate and he will still be perfect.

We all worry.
Posted by Blogger Christy :  October 11, 2007

Ooh, testicular cancer, better get that checked. I hope my wife does the same for me, as she took my 'nads when we got married. Hopefully she is taking good care of them.

But seriously, your son is who he is no matter what label someone wants to put on him. The Other Me said it here much better than I can. I understand why you would be stressed, but you have a great baby, I hope you are able to relax more as he gets older and enjoy him for the healthy boy he is.
Posted by Blogger Scott :  October 12, 2007

Karla, did you hear about the recall on cold medications for infants? I posted about it today. Scary! Just wanted to let you know :)

You are so lucky! Of all the cancers to be hit with, you get the one that belongs on an organ you don't even have! Do you?
Posted by Blogger Christi :  October 12, 2007

The scary thing about autism is that there's no magical blood test for it and the signs may not appear until they're 1.5 or 2. So, you wait, and hope. The worst thing for me is that the fear of it makes me over-analyze even the littlest things (he walks on his toes once in a while! He flaps his hands! He hasn't said anything yet!) Yes, those things can mean something, but also, it could mean nothing. So frustrating...

It never goes away, this worrying about our children.

I still look at my adult children and will think 'hmmm...he should have that mole checked. he didn't have that when he lived with me...'

And, one cannot imagine the guilt one has after 26 years...

Bad things DO happen, we are all living proof to that, but, I live trying to find the fine balance between contructive worry, and the kind of worry that eats up the good things that are happening too.

I have not mastered it yet. I'll be 50 next year...maybe...then?
Posted by Blogger New Baby :  October 18, 2007


Search Untangling Knots:

Search Results:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007