Do Not Bring Up Netflix

Tomorrow’s the big day. I’m heading back to THE JAMES for reconstructive surgery. For anyone who cares about the details, Saul and I have to be in Columbus by 9:30 for an 11:30 surgery. It should take less than three hours and after another two hours in the recovery room, I’m free to come home. Then I get to lie on the couch like a princess for a few weeks.

My kids started asking questions last night. Just when I think my six year old is stuck in the land of basketballs and dinosaurs, something sweet and inquisitive and compassionate comes tumbling out of his mouth. “Soooo they’re gonna put a new boob on you?” I was trying to get in the shower and Ben was trying to grasp how all of this was going to work. “Are they going to cut off your other breast to make them match?” “Is it gonna hurt you, Mom?”

After I was fully dressed, I took some time to talk to all of the kids about the surgery and recovery and what they could expect.

That took about two minutes and then the dinner table conversation turned to Netflix.

Saul and I were having a difference of opinion about what was appropriate for our ten year old to watch.

Now, let me pause and say I had been feeling quite proud of the way I had been handling the looming surgery. Stress can make me anxious and anxiety makes me… let’s just say, crabby.

So there we were sitting around the table calmly stating our opinions when I shot off a snarky remark about Saul not backing up my parenting decision. In response, Saul rolled his eyes. Now, some of you know where this is going because you’ve been there yourselves.

Mount St. Mommy erupted. I lost it. I refused to talk to anyone in the household for the next 2 hours. I was scrubbing down kitchen counters with a vengeance, all the while knowing I was totally in the wrong. I asked God to soften my heart, but God apparently wanted me to work through this a little bit longer. So I did.

And that was when I realized that my anger had nothing to do with parenting decisions or eye rolling or Netflix. I was scared to death. Isn’t it funny how misdirected our emotions can get when we refuse to acknowledge them? Why couldn’t I just say, “I’m freaking out here, people! I am going under the knife and therefore I am totally unable to communicate like a normal human being. I appear to be holding it all together, but underneath I am a glass house of emotion!”

Finally, humbled by my outburst, I went to bed. My husband came in to give me a kiss goodnight. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I had such a good day with you. I’m so sorry I lost it.” For the record, Saul had apologized to me about four times before that, but because he loves me, he apologized again. “We totally acted like 12 year old versions of ourselves, didn’t we?” he said.

Yep. Netflix and breast cancer will do that to a person.  

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