Monday, December 28, 2009

Future Me Says It’s Going to Be Okay

by Kelley Lindberg

2009 is winding down. For that matter, so is the decade.

It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of this decade (and century, and millennium, by the way), I was still feeling like a brand-new mom. My son was a year old, but I was still discovering a million inadequacies in my mothering skills – he was already well-established as the Human Whirlwind, he’d added walking to his repertoire of things that could propel him into disaster, and as the only mid-thirties mom I knew, I was feeling wholly isolated and incompetent.

And just think… I was still about four months away from discovering that he was allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. As overwhelmed as I already was, I was completely unaware that in a few months my “overwhelminess” was going to double.


If I could go back in a time machine and sit myself down for a little heart-to-heart chat (okay, we wouldn’t have been able to sit – one of us would have been up walking in circles with him in our arms, or chasing along behind him trying to keep him out of trouble), there are a lot of things I would tell that younger me.

The most important thing I’d say, though, would be that it would all turn out okay eventually. That’s the thing I most needed to hear then, because it was the thing I least believed.

I needed to hear that, as stubborn as he was, he would never surrender to the concept of turning around to crawl down stairs backwards, but that eventually his little legs would be long enough that he could walk down steps forwards without falling. And that would be okay.

I needed to hear that eventually he would sleep all night long, and in his own bed.

I needed to hear that he would always be quickly frustrated, but that eventually he would find ways to solve problems without hitting someone else (at least most of the time).

I needed to hear that I would find wonderful friends who would support me, encourage me, understand me, commiserate with me, and celebrate with me.

I needed to hear that the bundle of energy that seemed so destructive and taxing back then would evolve into a highly intelligent, highly enthusiastic, highly entertaining kid who would make me laugh far more than he would make me growl. Eventually.

And I needed to hear that living with food allergies would add a layer of challenge to our lives, but it certainly wasn’t impossible, and that it would get easier as he got older.

So now he’s eleven years old, I’m a little older and wiser (okay, a lot older and only a little wiser), and a new decade is starting again. This new decade will include his teenage years, dating, driver’s education, high school graduation, and even the beginnings of college, all of it made more complicated by his food allergies.

I have to admit, it looks awfully daunting from this point of view. So I’m going to hope that somewhere in the future, there’s an older me looking back, wishing she could tell me now that it will all turn out okay.


Here’s to you, Future Me. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m going to need it.

Happy New Year, everyone!


The Scherbel Family said...

Thanks for this post. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed allergy-wise today and this is just what I needed!

Kelley J. P. Lindberg said...

And your comment was just what I needed, too -- it's nice to know we're all in this together, and we can lean on each other for support.

Christy said...

Hi Kelly, It's Christy Schwerer. I love this post... especially since I'm worried about Ethan's possible allergies. I have an appointment with Dr. Taylor on Thursday. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

Kelley J. P. Lindberg said...

Hi Christy! I've got my fingers crossed for Ethan. You'll like Dr. Taylor -- he's so knowledgeable. Let me know how it goes, and hang in there! There are lots of moms on the UFAN email list who can support you, too. There are a lot more of us than you'd ever dream!