Sara Whitman

The Good, The Bad and The Anxiety In Between

Filed By Sara Whitman | December 12, 2007 3:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: child care, kids, LGBT families, mothers, parenting

There are few things, as a parent, I enjoy more than asking the obvious question and waiting to hear the response.

Jake? Is the table set?

Now, I know the table isn’t set. I know he’s still drawing tanks and bombs and guns. I know there are flamethrowers and parachute guys dotting the horizon.


Before he answers, I hear the scramble to clear off the drawing materials- often being thrown right on the ground- and the clink of the plates I left out on the counter for him.


He still hasn’t answered because he still isn’t done. He doesn’t want to lie, but he doesn’t want to admit I asked him twenty minutes ago, fifteen minutes ago and ten minutes ago to set the table.

Five minutes later, he says, Yeah, Mom. The table is set.

My other obvious question is, Have you brushed your teeth?

Which I know the answer is always no but I have to ask.

And there are few things, I hate more as a parent. Like seeing Jake’s legs covered with bruises- still- even after the fall football, outdoor wrestling season.

I know, I know. Lots of ice lately, lots of reasons to fall and bump. But they all look like the same ones he’s had for a while.

Twenty childhood leukemia websites later, I’m convinced I’m just being paranoid.

Almost convinced. I've looked at a lot of little boy bruised legs over the last 12 years. My gut tells me there is something wrong. Diabetes, anemia or maybe an undetected ear infection throwing off his balance.

Something. Maybe.

Which is why I hate this part of parenting. Am I overreacting? Do I take him to the doctor? Old voices tell me you don’t bother the doctor, new voices tell me I know enough doctors to know they would rather see you too many times than too few.

The good, the bad and the anxiety in between.

I’m calling the doctor tomorrow. If nothing else, maybe he can get Jake to listen when I tell him to set the table.

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Good luck, Sara!

I hope it's nothing serious!

Getting Jake to set the table takes a therapist.

My daughters use to play street football with the neighbor kids. bruises scrapes limping and the time with my nephew and the baseball bat that broke her left rotator cup and ended in chronic pain for the rest of her life. She is thirty four now. I looked back and realized that my daughters were safer then my brother and i were....

We had a house in the edge of nowhere and i owned a motorcycle when i was Jake;s age i had had a go kart and a mini bike before that but i had my first motorcycle. granted it was only twice my weight and could only do 80mph in the dirt and yes i had one of the first full coverage helmets my father won in the Trophy Dash at Ascot park 2 months before in a Sprint car race.

You don't know what kids are out doing....
I sideswiped a misquote bush dong about 50 when i was 13. I think my mother was more upset over the blue jeans i ruined then the abrasions that covered over half my left thigh. I didn't feel it when it happened adrenalin is a wonderful thing, it makes andorphins and you never feel the pain.

a year later we moved to another part of Spring Valley by then my brother had received a motorcycle for his birthday. we did all kinds of scary things to one up the other including figure eight races. I being the oldest and frankly the smarter always bested him. One day i came home walking my motorcycle with a broken helmet, someone had blocked a trail we had been using and i hit some rocks and bricks doing over forty. My left elbow still aches from that spill back in 1970. There was more like the flight experiments off an embankment.

I found out later in life that my parents felt better about my brother and i doing what we were doing then the kinds of things my father was doint to impress my mother, and himself. They considered our activities safe to a degree and they couldn't shelter us because we couldn't grow if they were there to protect us from ourselves. This is how i discovered my limitations and how i learned to deal with them.

When i was thirty and had kids of my own about Jake's age my father and i had one of those talks....
He admitted there were times he and my mom where worried about my brother and I but he knew he could trust us to look after each other. In a lot of ways he had more faith in my judgment then i did back then. The only thing he regretted was that i couldn't take over for him in the family hobby. I wanted to and he acknowledged i had the intuition and the reflexes but my eyesight was just under what the California Racing Association would accept. I never regretted that i went on to chase electrons around and make them do what i wante4d them to do. The motorcycle bacame a causality and reincarnated in electronics equipment.

It was all my drug of choice, a way to not deal with my reality my pressing issue, and because my parents couldn't deal with it ether so they fed into my hyper masculine way of not dealing with my gender issue.

Jake has a parent who will listen because you are in your own way capable of doing so. My parents couldn't deal with my gender issue they couldn't wrap their mind around the possibility someone could be borne in the wrong body.

i guess part of what i am saying is keep the lines of communications open, find out what he wants in life. It's not too early for that.

Okay i have rambled enough ....

Take care
Susan Robins

Okay - before anything else let me say that I hope Jake is okay. Our daughter has plenty of bruises and scrapes that she's got no idea how it happened. But if you think this is serious - and doesn't look like other times - then by all means haul him off to the doc. It's what mothers are for. LOL

Now - I have to say that this has to be the funniest goddamn typo ever printed here on the Project. Thanks for it Sue. I think what you were trying to say is "I sideswiped a mesquite bush doing about 50 when I was 13."

I sideswiped a misquote bush dong about 50 when i was 13.

But I am still laughing at you hitting a misquoted Bush dong.

Your right Bil.

it was one of those choices you make on the spur of the moment...
it was the bush or the rock the size of a VW.
I knew the bush would hurt less....

Take care

Thanks for the concern. He's having some blood tests tomorrow, I'm sure it will come back fine.

He's anxious about the needle (we have to go to the hospital as the type of test should not be transported) tomorrow.

He asked me to have my blood drawn, too.

I said, sure.

I'll know more on Friday.

Hope to hear soon Sara..
I shall keep Y'all in my prayers.

Take care