As you know, Zoey finished middle school last Friday. This year has been a bumpy double marathon for her but she ended a year on a high note. She is feeling sad that she will not see some of her friends every day any more, since a number of kids are going to different high schools next year. I suspect she will actually see a couple of them at All City Band this summer, which starts rehearsal next week but she doesn’t really know who will be there. Zoey is a kid who needs major down time after a big event, a party, a martial arts best test, a week of standardized testing, etc. We’ve had a lot of events lately and she really hasn’t had a chance to vegetate, which can make her pretty anxious.

She has also gotten quite worried about me. We went out to dinner with grandparents last Friday and when someone mentioned my going to the hospital later this week, she said, “Mom, you’re going to the hospital?” It had apparently not registered with her when I told her about my cancer and she has not really wanted to talk about it since that time so I’ve kept her exposure to “cancer talk” to a minimum. So, I re-explained that I was going to the hospital for surgery but that I would be home the same day. I told her what she would be doing that day (glass blowing class followed by All City Band rehearsal) as well as who would be driving her to the different events. She kept excusing herself from the table “to get some air” and she paced up and down the street. Eventually, I walked with her to the bakery down the street from the restaurant so we could buy desserts to take home. She let me put my arm around her as we walked (in public, in our own neighborhood, no less). I told her that I knew it was a really hard time but that I really thought everything is going to be okay. I also told Zoey that I thought she’d feel better once she started going to the All City Band rehearsals and saw some familiar faces. She didn’t say much, but she listened and it was a nice mother-daughter moment. Plus, she got cake out of the deal.

Later that night she came into my room to make sure I was okay and not upset. (I had gone to bed particularly early because I was particularly tired.) I told her that I was just tired and gave her a hug good night. I asked her if she wanted to crawl into bed and read with me until John came to bed but she said that she was really tired, too so she went to bed.

I know she will be fine but I hate to see those wild big eyes she gives when she is scared. I can only tell myself that in all likelihood, this will end up being a good learning experience for her, especially if John and I can keep modeling good coping for her. That’s not the most poetic way to put it, but it’s true. And truth is nothing to sneeze at.