Monday, March 26, 2007

Living with the Phoenix

The Rooster had surgery this morning.

She had ear tubes ... installed? (What verb goes with that?)

Anyway, the children's hospital gave her a big combo cocktail of Tylenol with Codeine and Versed before they wheeled her down to the operating room.

They said this would make her "drunk" but I did not anticipate how that would make me feel.

Rooster is only 19 months old and yet she flopped in my arms like... well, think of a time when you had to care for a friend who was the most drunk you have ever seen anyone -- a time when you cared for someone so drunk you were scared. Rooster was like that.

Don't get me wrong, she was feeling no pain.

It was her vulnerability that got me.

I have been that drunk before.

I drank a lot in my high school and college years and, though I hate the term, would have to describe myself as having been a "partier."

I drank, I smoked, and I otherwise dabbled with the party favors.

Occasionally, I would take things too far and black out and these were the nights that good friends were relied upon to care for me, as annoying as I'm sure I was, with the knowledge that I would do the same for them another night as needed.

Never, until this morning, did I understand how my behavior must have affected my parents.

The three things I regret doing the most I did when I was too drunk to realize I was doing them. In truth, I don't even remember doing any of them.

Two of the three I am not likely to discuss.

The third one... well.

I spent my senior year of college at Leeds University in England.

My parents and younger brother came over for three weeks after the school year ended and we traveled as a family in England, Switzerland and Italy.

By the time we got to Italy my brother and I were feeling a little restrained. I was 21 and he was 18. Both of us were "partiers" and we were traveling in Europe with our parents.

Traveling. In Europe. With our parents.

Venice sparked a romantic mood for my parents so they went out alone leaving my brother and I to entertain ourselves.

We got drunk, we met some Italians and we got drunker.

I started speaking in a unique and utterly make believe language merging English, Spanish and mathematical equations.

[Most of my college friends grew to loathe the math language as it was a harbinger of incoming Jessica doom.]

According to my brother, I was flirting with the Italians in my ever-so-alluring math language and generally spiraling out of control.

My brother, also wasted, tried in vain to get me to go back to the hotel and finally left or lost me, I'm not sure. (He and I have an agreement never to discuss this night.)

Sometime around dawn I realized that I was watching television in a Venetian flat.

Everyone around me was completely naked, though I was dressed.

The film from my camera was pulled out of it's spool and filled my purse with its curly, plastic loops.

I was disoriented.

I did not know the name of a single naked person in the room and I had no idea how to get out of the apartment or back to my family's hotel.

Finding a door out of the apartment took what seemed like ages and, while it was a triumph of its own kind, it left me lost in Venice.

Venice is perhaps the worst place on the planet to be lost.

Every narrow canal, every bridge and every building is deceivingly similar so that you have the feeling you are turning in circles even if you are making progress.

When I eventually made it back to our hotel, I fell sobbing into my mother's arms.

I was unable to speak. I just cried and cried.

I have no idea what happened to me that night. To this day I really don't know.

I can imagine the worst, but I have never had any evidence one way or another.

My mother didn't lecture me.

I remember her simply holding and rocking me.

I vividly remember the look on her face.

It wasn't shock or rage or even disappointment. It was deep concern.

I understood her face this morning. Really understood it for the first time.

How do you protect someone from their own fearlessness and attraction to danger?

My mother has always known me well enough not to try to tell me what to do or how to do it, but she and I are very different from one another.

Like me, The Rooster is a stubborn, strong willed, bull headed girl. There will be no telling her what to do.

I know first hand that she
will have to learn life's lessons the hard way -- by falling on her face.

I saw the future this morning as her head lolled from side to side while she slumped in my arms with a half grin plastered on her face.

It is going to be agony for me to watch The Rooster loose control.

I will have to bite my tongue, sit on my hands and remind myself over and over again that this is the way she and I learn and grow.



Theresa said...

Great post. I hope she recovers quickly.

All of the women in my family get pregnant in their teens, before marriage. It was a family curse or something. I did all I could to stop it from happening to my children and, thankfully, succeeded. The most important thing I did was openly and honestly tell my children the mistakes I made and how those choiced affected my life.

You are a great mother and it's such a pleasure to read about your children, husband, life, ranger uniform fantasies, etc.

Alpha DogMa said...

You met Italians in Venice? Are you sure? I thought there were only American and Canadian tourists in Venice?

Hope The Rooster mends quickly. I've recurrent ear infections and can not tell you how hard it is to ignore the aching dull throb of an earache. It is overwhelming.

Iris said...

wow, scary story

I am struggling with these things since I have a 15yr old that seems to think he is invincible......

It stops me dead in my memories

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean - from both perspectives, the parent and the partier. I hope it's not as hard as I think it's going to be.

d. chedwick bryant said...

She had ear tube procedure... everything is a procedure nowadays in hospitalspeak.

I think the rare binge is a great learning experience. I imagine you were like me, and got BELLIGERENT with any naked or clothed person that approached you with ANY suggestion. A bull headed person can be a force even when blacking out, practically. No one would have bothered to re-dress you, either. They would not have even put your hat back on--nothing! (Don't touch the weird math language girl--she is a freak!)

once I puked jack daniels puke into a friends car.
it smelled for many weeks, no matter how much she cleaned, and it was a jack danielsy smell more than a pukeyone . weird.

Jack daniels + empty stomach = puke + 12 hour 'nap' (x2)

this is what algebra is for....

Random Thinker said...

Wishing rooster the very best outcome from surgery and a great recovery.

Don't worry about rooster -she will turn out fine. Just take a look at yourself.

urban-urchin said...

oh poor sweet baby. feel better soon rooster.

This post really spoke to me. I too have been lucky to have good friends to take care of me when I was too stinking drunk to do it myself (once I awoke with my head in the hand of a friend over a trashcan puking my guts up and apartly I had been all night long, I am firmly convinced that had he not been there I would have gone the way of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix and asphixated on my puke.)

You are a good mom, it's my hope that Rooster girl listens to your cautionary tales and takes them to heart.

Blog Antagonist said...

I had that very same feeling when DO had surgery last February. They had said the pre-surgery cocktail would make him a little "loopy." What it did was make him stop speaking mid-sentence and collapse into a boneless comatose heap. It scared me senseless. I buzzed for help and when they came running, they simply laughed and said that "happens sometimes".

Anyway...for many similar reasons it's extremely disconcerting for me to see my son unconscious and vulnerable.

I did some stupid and crazy things in my younger days too and I hope that I can spare my kids some of that. But really, all I can do is hope.

Hope sucks when what you really want is guarantees.

Paige said...

Having weathered the drunken pre-(and post-) surgery tot, I know exactly where you're coming from on this post.

I am no saint. I am human. And there is nothing that pains me more than to see my child come out of anesthesia disoriented and scared. It breaks my heart, it makes me cry, and it makes me see what my alcohol-related transgressions have done to the people I love.

Here's hoping Rooster girl is on the mend and soon.

Groovy Lady said...

Great post.. very heartfelt and one most moms can or will have to relate to at some point.

I hope both you and your daughter are recovering nicely from her procedure this morning. I'm sure it was a trying experience, probably more so for you than for her, with her being so young. Best wishes to you both. :)

nikki said...

i feel you on the ear thing. my son was tubed at 7 months and then again at 18 months.

i think every parent faces the fear of their children repeating the same mistakes or patterns as them self. my "stupid" list is much larger than i care to admit.

Miga said...

I cried like a baby after they took my daughter from me for surgery. She cried the whole way down the hall, reaching for me. By that afternoon, you couldn't tell that she had even been through anything and I was still shaken.

It is my greatest fear that my daughter will end up going down that same road I did as a teen. You couldn't tell me what to do either, but everyone sure tried. She's only 11 but it's already very difficult for me to try to allow her to find her own way. I pray I don't screw it up.

Rachel said...

Hope the Rooster's procedure went well.

The Venice story sounds so scary, both for you and your mother. I can relate. I've had some experiences that I hope my daughter doesn't repeat. And I probably won't be blogging about them. ;)

Katrina said...

My son had two minor operations when he was a baby, and I swear it was the longest 30 minutes of my life each surgery. (blocked tear ducts) Seeing him so helpless and then being taken crushed me. Now he's a 15yo and I worry that he or his brother will be a hellraiser like I was. Being a mom is so hard, I truly got this post. thanks for writing it.

Abbynormal said...

I love that picture of you two. So cute.

That is a crazy story. I've never been a drinker and never have been drunk. I have been in a scary mood a time or two however where I did things to where I wish I was drunk and didn't remember. It was awful.

I hope she recovers quickly. You're a good mom. Don't forget that. Go YOU!

Mrs. Chicky said...

Oh, the poor baby. I hope she feels better soon and doesn't need any more stupor inducing drugs.

As for your story... Wow! I'm serious when I say that if you don't come to Blogher I may have to hunt you down and kidnap you. I'd love to hear some of these stories in person.

Patience said...

Such a sweet picture!

She won't make the same mistakes you made! She'll come up with her own, much scarier ones! And she'll survive and thrive!

Sayre said...

My son had two surgeries at 5 & 6 years old with general anesthesia both times. He was brave going in both times and heartbreaking coming out. He cried and cried coming out of it. So I held him and cried with him.

Ever wonder why Grandma Seattle knew not to question you or yell at you????

Kelly said...

Oh. I hope your little one is on the mend and feeling much, much better.

There have only been 3 occasions when I was out of control drunk. I remember distinctly the sensation of leaning against a tree on my campus, being completely unable to move, vomiting and dry heaving until there was nothing left. How easy it would have been for some guy to come pick me up and do whatever, because I had zero control over my physical function.

I did finally get picked up, but by one of our school's female lacrosse players. She brought me back to her apartment, put me down on her couch, covered me with a blanket, and went back to the party. I was a lucky, lucky girl.

(That was a great picture, too, by the way.)

cinnamon gurl said...

I think d chedwick bryant is right. Nobody would have bothered re-dressing you. I imagine your alluring math language was a brilliant deterrent.

I had several blackouts in my younger years too. Nothing too bad happened though... still very scary. And I don't think my mom ever knew about them. I feel so bad for how I treated my mom in my teens, now that I'm a mother.

Anyways, I hope rooster's all better. She's gorgeous!

Bob said...

I hope Miss Rooster is recovering well. She's a cutie!

At a certain point, all you can do as a parent is to teach your children the right stuff, turn 'em loose, and be there when they stumble.

From what I read here, Rooster is a lucky girl to have such a mom.

QT said...

OMG - am laughing so hard at your made up secret math language. NOT the language of love....

We all go through destructive phases in life - I daresay most of us are the "falling down learn the hard way" types, too. I was lucky to have good friends, and my sister was lucky to have me. Better start coaching the Mayor now!

I hope your little one gets well soon. What a sweet pic of you two!

Anonymous said...

Oh Rooster!
Feel better.

That story gives me heartburn. I fear for my own daughter because I was the same way...I pray she takes a different path.

Nancy said...

When my daughter was 2 she had tubes "inserted" also ... they worked wonders! I vividly recall how "drunk" of a state she was in and I felt awful seeing her like that. I hope Roo is feeling better by tonight, they bounce back so quickly unlike most of us... bouncing back after a "drunken state" =)

Aliki2006 said...

Hugs to your Rooster--I hope she feels better soon!

Misa Gracie said...

I can't really speak from personal experience, but I would imagine that you and your mother are not as different as you think.

My own mother treated my teenage-angst with the same "she'll have to learn on her own and won't listen to me anyway" approach. I did learn, I wouldn't have listened. As I've grown older I've learned that my Mother had a life before children *shock* and she was very much like me. Her Mother held the reigns too tightly and lost control of things a bit, and I'm fairly certain it was because she saw herself in her daughter.

You are a smart and thoughtful parent, this will count when the time comes for you to hold and rock your daughter because she had to learn a tough lesson of her own.

*sending good wishes for a speedy recovery from the ear procedure*

Jhianna said...

That is just my most favorite of all the pictures you've ever posted.

And beautifully written post - Rooster is a lucky daughter.

Mel said...

What's with you and the making me cry these days?
I understand this feeling so so so well. I think about these things as they relate to my girls every. single. day.
And I also wanted to tell you that I felt so bad for your college-age self; I wanted to give her a hug, too.

Lisa Milton said...

Hope Rooster is on the mend quickly.

I have to believe, maybe selfishly, that some of that tough learning has to benefit us while we watch our kids grow. That we at least get that wonderlust and it makes us good, if not competent, parents.

I sure hope so anyway.

Great post.

Karly said...

So, does it mean that when they gave that little cocktail to my son before his tubes and I laughed and made him do silly drunken things that I am a bad mommy? Cuz, dude, I had fun when he was drunk.

But, that was a great post. Makes me think of the many horrible things I put my parent's through. Like missing the turn for school and driving on til we hit Nebraska.

karrie said...

Aww, sweet little Rooster. Hope she's on the mend quickly.

And yeah, I have totally done the drunken Berlitz blitz. Oops. Nothing quite as memorable as a room full of nekkid Italian men though. :)

carrie said...

I am afraid that with those who are most like us, it will be hard. I have one too.

And, there is nothing worse than seeing your little baby "go under" for the first time. I remember when Wyatt had surgery at 4 yo, and seeing him on that loopy medicine was more than I could handle.

I do hope the tubes work, I've known many a child who has had them and so far, so good!


jen said...

wow. it's amazing, isn't full circle each step takes us closer back to where we began.

what a scary feeling, and moreso knowing it won't be the last time.

we can't make sure they are always safe, and i don't know how to manage that reality.

thoughts for you both today.

Undercover Angel said...

I hope she's recovering well. My son had the same procedure done - twice so far - the first one was at 18 months old. It did wonders for him.

The odd drunken binge is a learning experience. Every parent fears their child gaining that experience, but every teenager will experience it for themselves despite our attempts to keep them from doing so. We just have to hope they learn from that experience....

slouching mom said...

Great, great picture.

I hope she is not in pain.

Wow. That night in Venice must have been so scary. I cannot imagine, though...

I spent my freshman year 'discovering' grain alcohol with all the other people in my dorm. Whose f-ed up idea was it to bring in the grain alcohol?

I don't think I've ever been as sick as during that year. And yeah, there are a couple of nights that are, if not totally obliterated, at least fuzzy.

And Ben had a tonsillectomy at five and was just as loopy after the anaesthesia set in. I didn't like watching that AT ALL.

Natalie said...

I wish her a speedy recovery. I have been in situations like that with my family. One being when I took my parents to see Rocky Horror but passed out and threw up in the theater. Gross.

Kristin said...

Poor girl and poor Mama...

I have my own set of scary-drunk memories... some of which involve hitchhiking through Paris in the back of a chicken truck... yes, it's as bad a story as it sounds.

Hope the Rooster is doing well and enjoying some spoiling.

Jennifer said...

What a great post...hope Rooster recovers quickly.

Scary story. I, too, fear that my daughter will repeat my mistakes.

Little Nut Tree said...

ooh blargh... horrible experience.. sometimes the imagination is worse than the actual.. I echo the words of Ched. I think you were probably left alone and slept some off before waking and finding your way back.

I have only been this drunk once before and luckily was looked after.

Funny that BN and I were having this same discussion about children turning out like you and how hard to have to worry about them making choices.. but ultimately I really feel that if you care enough in the right way.. you raise good kids.
You are a good person.. your kids will be good people.
You'll be there for them and that's what counts for a lot of stuff x.

Amber said...

Thinking about such potential situations pains me! I have friends who are dealing with their teenagers' rebellions. And even though I think it is so tough to care for little babies right now, seeing them make such terrible choices down the line is so much more painful!

Amber said...

Thinking about such potential situations pains me! I have friends who are dealing with their teenagers' rebellions. And even though I think it is so tough to care for little babies right now, seeing them make such terrible choices down the line is so much more painful!

Amber said...

Thinking about such potential situations pains me! I have friends who are dealing with their teenagers' rebellions. And even though I think it is so tough to care for little babies right now, seeing them make such terrible choices down the line is so much more painful!

SciFi Dad said...

Hopefully she will recover from the tubal insertion as well as the symptoms that made them a necessity in the first place.

I know how you feel. Last summer, my daughter needed to have an EEG, and since she was only 16 months, they had to give her a sedative. She was falling over for hours after the test; she was just a mess, and it was so difficult to watch.

While you're caring for her, make sure you take a moment here and there to take care of yourself as well, please.

Cece said...

Great post. I hope she feels better soon.

I know the "drunk" baby look, too. Its very heartbreaking, that's for sure.

BOSSY said...

What a great photo. Bossy totally agrees that the challenges of parenting lie ahead. Diapering was the easy part. Though smellier.

Kristi said...

I didn't have my first drink until after I was marry.

Praise be to God.

My blackouts result in pregnancies, though. Kidding.

Momish said...

Poor baby, I hope she feels better soon. As for you, I fully understand how you feel and having that realization of what your mother felt. I was the partier too and also put my mother through some scary times.

TSM-terrifically superiorily mediocre said...

A lovely post, and timely reminder that I need to be nicer to my designated drivers. That would be my husband.

mamatulip said...

Having just been there about a week ago, I know how you feel. Julia on Codeine was scary. I hated it. It took me back to when my mother was drunk, which was hard because Julia looks so much like my mother. It also took me back to my own you, I did my fair share of partying.

I hope she's feeling better soon.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Ugh, your story about Venice gave me shivers. I too know the 'black outs' all too well. I remember waking up and trying to piece together the night with my roommates who were equally clueless to what we had done that evening. Scary stuff.

Hope your little girl is doing better now.

cmhl said...

I got a little carried away with the party favors from time to time as well.. but not in EUROPE! hahah. ok, well, maybe one time in Europe, but my parents weren't there.

where was I going with that?

my son has had that cocktail when having a filling when he was little @ the dentist, and it made him kind of hyper and extremely drunk. bad combination.. hope she is feeling better!!!

I had tubes as a child, and I was SO much healthier afterwards. it made a huge difference.

Lotta said...

First of heart goes out to you. Mack had to be sedated many times while they tried to figure out what was giving him seizures evertime he had so much as a cold. It is so freaky and scary. I'm holding your virtual hand.

And lastly, you are so brave my friend. Thank you for sharing your story. I can't wait to give you a big hug at Blogher.

Her Bad Mother said...

Oh, friend. I KNOW.

The Medium Swede said...

Wish I had been around some of you crazy women when you were a little outta control. ;-)

Truth is though, I probably would have put you to bed and been mad at myself!

theotherbear said...

What a scary night you had - the one you don't talk about. Although I bet you found you kiddo being in a vulnerable position more scary. Great post.

Lucia said...

This is an amazing post. What a surreal experience in Venice. Frightening and odd.

I'd be freaked out with a child in close to that knock out mode. Even seeing my dog in that mode makes me feel absolutely panicked. Panicked!

Tabba said...

This is a great post.
And I feel you completely. I had to "endure" that twice with Connor...once for a procedure to find a testicle that was not there and last year when he had an appendectomy. The first time he was a wee one of 7 mos. - and limp and lolling in my arms. The 2nd time he was 3 1/2 and talking about how he wanted Cheetoh flavored "medicine". As funny as he was the 2nd time, it didn't get any easier. And his wild conversations were totally reminiscent of drunken conversations Rav & I both have had in the past. This parenting thing just zaps us square between the eyeballs sometimes. And the places it takes us back to....

I hope her procedure went well & she is on the mend & on her way to infection-free ears.
And I am thinking of you tonight.

Kendra said...

It is some scary shiznit. I think about it all the time, how will I scare the bejesis out of them so they turn out safe and sound? I too had a whole lot of fun and made some dumb decisions back in the day, but the thought of them doing any of that, it is sickening. I love them way to much. Why can't they stay young so we can protect them?
And I hope your little one is feeling better!

kgirl said...

Scary, isn't it? I guess we do what your mom did - teach em the best we can, and let them know that when they fuck up anyway, we'll be there.

Hope Rooster has a speedy recovery.

Em said...

Poor kid...hope she recovers quickly!

The Sour Kraut said...

Ugh! Don't you wish you could take half of it back? I too had my moments. I was very lucky that none of my stupid choices got me into any trouble.

I would call the procedure having tubes "inserted" but installed works too.

I think TMS is being truthful when he says he wouldn't have taken advantage of any of you women. He was (and is) a good boy.

Two Knives said...

Why do you continue to venture into territories I would rather have pushed back into the far recesses of my mind?

La la la I'm not listening!

We were at the ER this weekend getting Cath stitches so I feel for you.

Slackermommy said...

I know what you mean. I've seen my kids in that state and it's disturbing. Hope Rooster feels better soon. She's a cutie and totally looks like you.

notfearingchange said...

Oh i love you even more now! I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who dabbles in mathematics while under the influence. Awesome post....however, now even more fearful of having children!

Karen said...

Lot to say so I'll try to make each thing concise-
1. I had a Doctor recommend tubes for my thirteen month old but I've been on the fence with making the appointment- I just keep thinking "Maybe she won't get any more ear infections..."
2. Did I drink too much in my younger days? Hell, yes, but I have no regrets and wouldn't change any of it. If I changed any of it I wouldn't be who I am now.
3. Funny story- When I was preg with my son my Hub and I lived in an apartment near a large university. One night walking back from a video store he had to hold me up as I puked against a tree. College kids walked by laughing and I screamed after them, "I'm pregnant, you bastards!" thusly looking like a pregnant drunk puking against a tree.

mothergoosemouse said...

I really try not to think about the near-certainty that my girls will take some of the very same risks that I took. Not that I'm in denial, but I have years (a few of them at least) before it becomes a real concern.

Your tale reminded me of an evening that Kyle and I spent in Paris. Thankfully, we made it back to our hotel together. I can only imagine how frightened you were (and the absolute panic your mother must have felt).

I hope the tubes help Ms. Rooster. We managed to escape them, but I've heard they make such an immediate difference for most children.

Anonymous said...

I remember that night very well. I remember that I could not sleep and paced with worry about where you and your brother were. I remember when he came home without you and how angry and upset I was. I remember you finally coming in and you did not cry until the next day! That night you stuck a toothbrush in your mouth as fast as possible and talked to me through it while brushing your teeth thinking that I would not notice that you could not talk without slurring your words. You already looked like you had learned a good lesson. But being a mom I had to let you know that I had been worried half to death, and was so happy to have you back with me. That was only one of many nights when the anger and worry disipates and is replaced by blessed relief that your child is back and safe. Love Mom.

Burg said...


I was a wild teen too. I have two daugthers, 5 and 8months, and I've never thought about how they'll be when they get older.. I've never even thought of these things from a mom's perspective, but you can bet the first thing I'm doing in the morning is calling mine and telling her I'm sorry for the nights she worried over my goofy backside!

dionna said...

As a former hard partier myself, I can intimately relate (while cringing). Thankfully, that phase of my life is over.

Mamma said...

There is nothing worse than seeing your children in a vulnerable position. You and your mom must have been scared to death.

Great post!!

jess said...

I don't have kids of my own, (yes, that's why I have time to read, remember those days?) but I have been watching my younger sibs go through this teen stuff for the last few years. It's a terrible helpless feeling but at the same time, being a much older sister has been a good position to be in. Even if I can't do much, at least I'm able to be someone who's somewhere between peer and parent with a little more experience than the former but a little less, well, parent-ness, than the latter. I've become someone they can confide in.

I hope Roo and the Mayor find someone to fill this role for them. It won't make the heartbreak of seeing them make their own mistakes go away, but it will give you a little more peace than you would have otherwise. Although, you never know, she may just channel her strong-headedness into being a goody two-shoes, after all, it's way uncool to do the same things your parents did when they were young. :)

flutter said...

I hope she's better soon, I have to go cry hysterically now.

WILLIAM said...

Great post.

Jenifer said...

Maybe "inserted" I think that is how I described the tubes. I hope she feels better. You know they did not give Papoosie Girl anything in my presence, just took her from me and she was aware...that was so hard too.

Can't comment about the partying since I never did for real. I think I have been tipsy maybe twice and both times as a grown-up. Pretty sheltered I'd say.

Sounds like you have a very strong mother, I hope you can find the strength yourself. It sounds like the Rooster might require some down the line!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for the Rooster.

kristen said...

wow. this post was incredible. i was very much a partier and very much out of control (younger too) and it scares the crap out of me, having a kid and knowing what we think we can do when we're young. this post was so beautifully written, thank you.

Bob said...

checking in on Miss Rooster - I hope everything is okay.

Bob said...

And the comment from your mom.....

finishes the story.

Flawed & Disorderly said...

Oh my gosh! I think all the adventure was taken out of me and given to you. Not only did I not even want to leave town to go to college, I didn't even leave my neighborhood! :D Partying for me involved a Dr. Pepper, choc. chip cookie dough, and a good video to watch with one friend....when my parents were out of town. Woo hoo!

I'll live vicariously through your stories. Parts of the Venice story sound fun--like flirting with them in math language. Haaaaaaaa!

I hope Rooster is doing well! Lindley has had surgery before, and the worst part to me was that I was handing her over to people who could make a mistake and I'd lose her forever. I was so relieved when it was over!!!

Mrs. Schmitty said...

I hope Rooster recovers quickly. I know what you are saying about that vulnerability. I've been through a lot medically with W. since his birth and it's very scary to see your child like that. She'll be good, you will too.

Jackie said...

Another great post!

You are a wonderful mother and hopefully the Rooster will be able to learn a little from your "mistakes." And if not, she's very lucky to have you there when she falls.

Wishing Rooster a speedy recovery!

NotSoSage said...

Wow. Wow...I have so many stories that I could share. I was the person who coddled/nagged and dragged home my friends when they got like that. And they did, fairly frequently, and it scared me so much...

That's one of the reasons that I want to be so sure that my kids feel like they can call me no matter WHAT state they're in...and I've already named back-up friends (our age) who have agreed to be on call and that they don't have to tell me anything, as long as she's safe.

I hope The Rooster feels better very soon.

wayabetty said...

Oh, poor baby! She is one adorable Rooster! Your writing is so vivid that I can actually feel being there in Venice with you.

Diana said...

I absolutely love the look on her face in the pic-
Hope she gets better soon and those pesky earaches stop- we might be on our way to tubes, too!

Little Monkies said...


I couldn't sleep last night thinking about this story and the many stories I have to match it. So scary to think of the many times I could have wound up dead, or worse (yes, I think there is worse than dead, actually). I, too, had a sense of fearlessness that led me to some really freaky events in life, a few of which I hold closely to my chest as well. I think if you haven't lived through this risky behavior it's hard to understand what it's about...although I am not entirely sure what it was about for me. I have an inkling, but it's hard to explain to anyone that hasn't experienced it. I'm just glad to have survived it.

This post is but one of the reasons I hold you dear as a friend, my love. Thanks for the honesty and sunlight.

Bon said...

our college years were spent in similar pursuits, apparently.

looking down the road at O's adolescence and emergence into adulthood, i quake. because of the exact reasons you described. because of the vulnerability that comes with the blind, stubborn way i did my growing.

most of me hopes he just chooses a quieter path, though if behavior is genetic at all, that's unlikely.

a small part of me thinks perhaps if and when he takes to the partying, i'll go back to the bottle just to cope.

i'm half-kidding. ;) hope the Rooster recovers quickly.

April said...

I feel for you. My middle child had surgery at 6 weeks and I never felt more helpless.

I hope both of you are feeling better today.

Twisted Cinderella said...

This is a wonderful post. I hope that Rooster has a great recovery. Don't worry about rooster, I am sure that she will turn out fine.

Penny said...

How do you protect someone from their own fearlessness and attraction to danger?

This is a fantastic post. I love the Intoxicated OTJ language.

And, the pic - I love the pic!

And, the concerns.. I share them, too... for the same reasons.

Pecos Blue said...

Get well soon.

Anonymous said...

The teener had tubes put in. Twice. He went in mad and he came out mad. The first 4 hours post-surgery was spent holding him tightly while he would arch his back and scream. 30 seconds on, 20 seconds off. 4 hours of hell with a very big 18 m.o.

His 2nd round with the tubes was only a little bit easier for all involved. I think his tubes came out before my bruises healed.

He has hardly been sick since.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Rooster. I hope the tubes help. I remember my near-panic feeling when the ped told me that Will might need surgery for his kidney. I can still feel it.

and your story? Holy mackerel.
I have *never* let myself get that out of control for fear of something like happening. Once my forehead starts to tingle, I know I've had enough.

Your Mom's comment made me cry. I would have hugged you and rubbed your back and whispered in your ear how happy I was to see you....then I would have KICKED YOUR ASS and grounded you for.evah!

Mimi said...

Oh, what a post. How terrifying to be caught in the multi-generational funhouse mirror: you are a daughter, a mother, a self all at the same time, and keenly seeing it all from everyone's persepective.

At least you have a daughter you can understand, even if that understanding might sometimes feel like a curse.

And poor Rooster, with the tubes. Awwww. The photo is pretty pitiful

BlondeMom said...

Wow...I started reading this post and had no idea where it would lead me! I wasn't a huge partier, but I did party in college.

You are a good mama. She is going to have to learn life's lessons the hard way, but you will be behind her every step, and misstep, of the way.

Amelia, my youngest, had ear tubes (like you...what VERB to use?!) last July and she hasn't had an ear infection since.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I love your photo at the bottom. And I just decided, if I take my kids somwhere when they are 18 and 21, we're going camping in Colorado. No Venice. What an experience!! Surreal. Hope your child is safe and well. And that you are okay too! I've been dealing with a sick youngin' for two weeks now, on and off and I cant imagine either of my children having tubes put in, that must be eruy hard for oyu as a Mum.

sillychick said...

When I first started reading this post I was going to comment on how I knew what you were going thru with the Rooster, because I felt the same when the Princess had her tubes put in.

Then I read about your trip. I never partied until I was of age, so I had alot of catching up to do. It only took a few nights of having the shit scared out of me to break a certain bad habit.

Funny how alcohol/drugs can give you that feeling of freedom that you love, but that same feeling can quickly turn to terror in the wrong circumstance.

rivergirlie said...

when my daughter broke her arm falling off a pony, she had to have it operated on pdq. seeing her go through those doors into the operating theatre, slightly doped up, was AGONY. as where the next 45 minutes.
no more ponies for us! (just safe things like skiing...)

anna said...

Yeah, that essential indeed hard to take. Hope she returns to her sturdy, bull-headed self very soon.

Chaos Control said...

I love life's lessons - especially the ones our mother's teach us, but we never really actually learn until we become mothers ourselves. Only then do we understand. And truly comprehend.

I can't imagine being a mother to a daughter. More specifically, a teenage/young adult daughter. Would scare the hell out of me! I'm sure I'll worry plenty about my son, but I just don't think it will be the same.

Anonymous said...

Your post leads me to believe we are the same people living on opposite sides of the Mississippi.

I already have sleepless nights over my children. I have no idea what I will do when they are older.

Your mom's comment was beautiful. Way to go mom!

Kyla said...

Your post was amazing...and then your mom's comment made it even better.

Good we really have to go through that with our girls?

amyerj said...

You got me. Great post. Been there in so many ways... as the kid, and now the parent.

It's so frightening to recognize your worst traits in the ones you love.

I hope she recovers from surgery quickly and you go many years before seeing that look again. xoxo

julia said...

Ooof. This post hits close to home. Your mother sounds like a great woman and I'm sure you'll be the same for Rooster Girl.

Those scowls, though, man. You two are scary chicks.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh wow, now you've made me think about similar things in my past that I don't. ever. think. about. Great learning experience, yes, but scary as hell. Thinking about myself as a teenager & young adult makes me terrified to my bones for my little boys.

I hope the Rooster's back to her usual self by now! She looks just like her mommy.

Mad Hatter said...

Oh Jess, this was beautiful.

Jenny said...

Oh my god. What a terrifying experience.

I can relate although I wish I couldn't.

Maybe our kids can learn from our mistakes. If not we'll be there to hold them while they cry in our arms.

tulipmom said...

My son had tubes put in three weeks ago. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the anaesthesia and vulnerability. We chose not to give him the Tylenol/Versed pre-op b/c of drug interaction concerns with another medication he takes, so he was completely alert when they put the mask on him in the O.R. It took me and three docs to hold him down. They let me stay until he was out. Honestly, I felt like I was watching them suffocate my child. That image just stays with you.

I hope Rooster feels better soon.