Beaches and Teenagers and Trolls…Oh My

It’s Thursday morning, there are seven days left until surgery, and I’m sitting in a big beautiful beach house trying to enjoy the remainder of an annual trip with my daughter. We’re here for a dance competition, something we always look forward to. Unfortunately, it’s been a bit of a disaster.

I should have known things were going to take a turn when we squeezed in an overnight trip to Toronto last week and our flight home got cancelled due to weather. Our schedule was thrown way off, and we arrived home a day late; one hour after we were meant to leave for the beach house. On top of that, our bathroom renovations had begun (yay!) which meant there was no working bathroom in which to regroup.

We arrived at the beach house dirty, exhausted and with haphazardly packed luggage. When we arrived we found out one of the other teenagers was very sick, and it all went down hill from there.

I’m not a germaphobe, but when you’re a week away from major surgery, other sick people are terrifying!

I don’t know if it’s my anxiety about next week, the sheer terror that creeps in unexpectedly or the fact that I really can’t get around comfortably anymore, but my patience for teenage crap is at an all time low. I had intended to enjoy this time with my daughter, but she is in a house with all her besties so maybe that was selfish on my part. The drama peaked last night when she brought me to tears, so I’m laying low for the rest of the week hoping to avoid murdering her, and trying to not catch the flu that looms over the house.

It’s weeks like this I wonder where I went wrong as a parent and what’s going to happen to my kids going forward. Let’s face it, even though I don’t like to say this, I have been disabled now for almost half their lives. Their once vibrant, active mother has slowly been fading and becoming less active and even though they don’t admit it I know it’s hard on them. I have tried to make everything easy on them and maybe that’s the failure on my part? Life isn’t easy and you don’t always get what you want—but you don’t get to be a troll when you don’t get the outcome you expected.

Last week in Toronto, with their dad’s side of the family, I had two lovely and polite kids. I’m not sure if they put on a show, or if their own anxiety about camp/dance/my surgery has somehow fried their circuitry.

Speaking of last week: I wanted to give a little shout out to my niece and nephew, we will call them B and X. These are my niece and nephew from my ex-husband’s family, so you can imagine these visits are always a bit challenging. I never quite know where my place is and after 20 years of knowing and loving these people it’s hard not having a place. Regardless, I have these two beautiful kids in my life who have I don’t get to see often, who raised money by baking and selling cupcakes so they could contribute my leg fund. When my sister-in law sent me the picture of them outside selling baked goods, I cried my eyes out, and while we were in Toronto I was presented with a check for $170.80.

OF COURSE I’m still keeping track: we’re up to nine ugly cries now.

Now, I’ve never been a person who is comfortable with charity, so instead of keeping it for my leg I asked them if they would donate it a charity that I chose. Being that July is Sarcoma Awareness Month and sarcoma is the shitty cancer that got me here, the money is now being sent to the PaulieStrong Foundation, which benefits child cancer research. Thanks to B and X and their big, kind and generous hearts!

It’s crazy to me that exactly one week ago I was laughing and reminiscing with my kids and their cousins and this week I’m trying to survive simple parenting. I guess that just proves my point that life isn’t easy. But it is worth every second, trolls and all! So with two grouchy kids, a fiancé managing a major renovation while I harass him from afar (mostly because I’m a control freak about how things should look) and a few days left of this trip I’m going to try to make the best of the few days I have left!

Besides, when the trolls that are bothering you are your own children, they’re easily defeated: you just take away their cell phones.