Raising a warrior, not a worrier

Just one week back at school and Genevieve seems to have her first post-surgery cold.  Cough, sneezing and runny nose.  It feels odd to be praying that this is the common cold or allergies.  The last thing she needs is a high fever or infection.

For the past 6 1/2 weeks, Genevieve has heard a lot of no.  No, you can’t go back to school yet, no you can’t participate in dance class, no you can’t go to public places like the movies, no gym class, no monkey bars . . . no no no.  You are still recovering and here are all the things that you are not allowed to do until sometime in the future.

At only 7 years old, I don’t think she understands the why.  Within a few weeks of surgery, she felt fine – she felt like herself.  She jumped off the couch and nothing bad happened, she could read books, spend hours working with a tutor and do homework – why couldn’t she go back to school?

In explaining why, I may have turned her into a worrier.  At first, she didn’t want to tell me that she wasn’t feeling well and then when she couldn’t hide it anymore. . . she spent the next 24 hours repeatedly asking if she was going to be okay.  If this was bad . . .

There is a quote attributed to Marianne Williamson that “Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called All the Things That Could Go Wrong”.  Genevieve has that file, while hers is not as vast as the one in my head; my girl is well aware of things that could go wrong in her life.  She has faced and overcome more than any child should have to and knows that life is not always fair.

So tonight, I will worry and reassure my daughter.  As we approached surgery, we told Genevieve that she “had this” – that she could absolutely do this and that we would be there when she woke up.  Now we are dealing with recovery stress.  Stress when she was told she would have to take a science test on rocks after missing the entire unit while she was out of school, failing her spelling test on words that she last saw at the end of January and now stress because she is coming down with something.

No stressed out 7 year olds at the Blue House.  With her teacher, we are handling the transition back to school and as to the “cold” – it’s no big deal, just a little cold and she’s got this.

It is my place to be the worrier as I raise my warrior.

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