I have spoken too soon
Remember this entry?
Well, we have a problem.
Last November, when Willa was first diagnosed with Cold Induced Urticaria we weren't sure what to expect. We gave her medicine almost every night for months. The medicine made it more manageable. If it wasn't too cold Willa could even play outside for a few minutes. But, it was a constant concern.
She had hives all the way through May. Basically, if it was 55 degrees or less, she got hives.
They never really seemed to bother her though. Occasionally she would tug at her ears, but that's it. The summer was great because I spent three months never having to worry about the urticaria. We had a couple of instances where Willa went swimming in a relatively cold pool, and she didn't get any hives. I stupidly took that to mean her urticaria was getting better. I convinced myself that it was getting better, that it wasn't a big deal.
Then, a few weeks ago it was 55 degrees and cloudy outside. I took Willa and Dexter on a long walk. About halfway through the walk Willa started to get some hives. I headed home, but we were about 20-30 minutes away at that point. Willa started to cry and and pull at her hands which were now swollen and covered in hives. She kept saying "Mommy, it hurts!" I was helpless.
Here are some pictures:
I was completely traumatized. Completely.
I had to deal with the reality- Willa has Urticaria. She might outgrow it, but that usually happens after 5-7 years. She's only had it for a year. She might never outgrow it.
We can't live in Manhattan where you have to walk everywhere.
Urticaria is rarely life-threatening, but there is something instinctual that happens when I see my kid swollen and covered in hives- I feel like I must fix it.
I can't fix this.
After that traumatizing episode I completely freaked out. I told my husband that we should move to California. In my usual psychotic fashion I started researching towns in California.
For a few weeks I was spending my time applying to pre-schools in Manhattan, while simultaneously looking at pre-schools in California. I was driving myself insane. I had to cover all the bases. I didn't really want to move to California. I mean, if I could convince all of my friends and family to move there, I totally would, but our entire life is on the East coast.
I was praying fro a miracle.
So finally, my husband and I had a long talk.
We both finally said the words "We can't move to Manhattan."
And I was relieved and heartbroken all at once.
And then we decided we would compromise. We aren't moving to Manhattan. We aren't moving to California. We are staying in the town where we have lived for the past year and a half.
Here is how I feel about that:
As much as I am a mature, responsible adult, I still have childish fantasies. I wanted to live in Manhattan. I wanted to hang out with my friends all the time. But this isn't an episode of Friends. Perhaps I am mourning the loss of my fantasy instead of the reality. Sure, if I lived in Manhattan I probably would have seen my friends more often, but not that much more often. They all work a ton. And who's to say that a bunch of them won't move out to the suburbs too.
The town and the area we live in is fantastic for kids. There's no denying that.
True, I wrote before about how I felt like I didn't fit in here, but maybe I need to make more of an effort. Maybe I need to go to some of the vegetarian meetups in the area so I can meet other like-minded people. Also, the mother's helper has only been here a few times, but already I can see what a huge impact having a little help can have on me. I think that if I have a little help, and spend a little time on myself, I'll be much happier.
I still hate that my husband works 10-12 hours a day and then spends another 2 hours a day commuting, but we have to do what's best for our kid.
At least here I can take her from the house to the car, and from the car to the library, or the Y, or the store, etc. As opposed to Manhattan where you have to walk everywhere.
And as much as we were willing to spend extra money to live in Manhattan, it makes so much more sense financially to stay here. To not have to constantly worry about money will be nice.
I must admit, it's always been great being able to say I grew up in Manhattan. There's something special about it. I wanted that for Willa too.
I still have doubts about whether or not we should be staying here. I don't like the idea of my kid having to take medicine every day for 6 months out of the year. Plus, I HATE the cold. I wouldn't mind living in a place that's warm. However, our whole support system is here, and we don't think it makes sense to start a new life on the other side of the country when there's a possibility that Willa might outgrow this in a few years. We want Willa to grow up surrounded by her Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Grandparents.
The weird thing about all of this is that I have absolutely no resentment towards Willa. I would do anything for her. She's getting so big, but she's still so small and fragile. I must protect her. And the only way I can sleep at night is if I know I'm doing what's best for her.
This is what's best.
I am trying my hardest to make the best of this situation. To be excited about the prospect of living in a bigger place, of not having to deal with all of the Manhattan school drama (I will write a post about that one day), of enjoying nature.
Manhattan is my home. It always will be. But maybe it is/was my childhood home. Maybe it's time for me to stop clinging to my childhood. Maybe this new town can be my grownup home. Maybe I just need to give it a chance.