Back in 2002 when I was diagnosed with Endometriosis and told that I had a less in one million chance of conceiving a child naturally (PCOS and Endometriosis on their own are a fertility nightmare ~ combined? not something I’d wish on my worst enemy), I said one prayer: God, give me one healthy happy child.
I’m happy to say he delivered on my request, not once, not twice, but three times, blessing me with three miracles, which is more than I could have hoped for. And while my road to motherhood and the journey since December 18, 2004 has been filled with bumps, bruises and surgeries (helllloooooooo no period at the young age of 33!), it has been the greatest and most amazing blessing of my life.
But the past year and a half has been tumultuous. Not for myself personally, but for my oldest, Amethyst.
Amethyst has long been the source of my joy and a dream child. I’m not bashing her younger brother and sister: they too bring me a ton of joy. They’re just loud in their joy bringing. And messy. And outlandish. In short, they’re duplicates of their dear old mom, and the question of why my father went gray so early in his life has finally been answered. But Amethyst? She’s quiet. She’s thoughtful. She’s shy (but in this comical way where she’ll shout it out on a street and crack me and my friends up). She’s kind, considerate, loving, generous, compassionate and carries within her a trait of empathy that makes me proud to be her mother. And even if I weren’t the luckiest woman on this planet to be given such a daughter, I’d simply be proud to know such an incredible soul.
But this world we live in seems determined to squash those who aren’t assholes.
Amethyst has had her fair share of dealing with bullies at her school. And please, mark my next words: the school did what they were supposed to do. I’m not blaming them. When Amethyst would tell me about an incident at school, I’d contact her teacher. And her teacher always, and I mean ALWAYS took the appropriate steps necessary to resolve the issue. And with each incident, I’d cross my fingers and hope that it would be the last one. And sometimes it would look like it would be. But a space of time would pass, and a new perpetrator would come on the scene, and I’d take the appropriate steps, the teacher would take the appropriate steps, and everything would start up again.
So what do you do after emails, and phone calls, and conferences with teachers and school administrators have happened and still, a new bully comes out of the wood work to terrorize your child? Your child who was at one time thrilled to attend school, but now is walking from your car with slumped shoulders, the light out of her eyes?
How many incidents do you sit by and hope its the last one before you take action?
I don’t know the answers to those questions. I know I did the best I could with what I was given. I know I made myself readily available to talk to my daughter any time she felt she needed to talk. And I made certain she knew that her father and I would support her in what she decided. I do not doubt I did anything wrong, and I know I did what I should have, but in many ways, I feel I’ve failed this gift I’ve been given. And that’s a hurtful feeling to carry with you as a mother.
Amethyst made the decision for herself last night. She’s been home sick the past several days with an allergy cold, and yesterday afternoon when I gave her a dose of medicine for her stuff nose, she told me she wished she could stay sick until the summer vacation began so she didn’t have to return to school.
My heart sank, because my daughter was at a crossroads, and it was time to nudge her into decision time. And being Amethyst, she took a sheet of paper, and wrote out a list of pros and cons. She asked me if she’d still see the few classmates who have been true friends with her, and I told her absolutely. She asked for a couple hours to think on things, and I gave them to her.
I took a long walk and remembered how my own battle with bullies went: my parents telling me to ignore the assholes that made fun of me for not being able to run in gym class because I was suffering from Grave’s disease and was on a medication to control my heart rate so I wouldn’t have a heart attack or stroke out at the young age of fifteen. How they made fun of me for gaining so much weight my sophomore year in high school due to the medication I was on (that saved my life) that bottomed out my metabolism. How I never felt heard by my parents. And I hoped my daughter had at the very least in her own battles with bullies, felt heard and loved by me.
Upon returning home, Amethyst told me she wanted to be homeschooled. And I gave her a hug and told her I was proud of her, and that I support her no matter what. And her shoulders stopped slumping, and her eyes finally lit back up after such a long absence of that light being gone.
She’s still under the weather with her allergy cold today. But she’s happy. She’s smiling, and she’s laughing, and I’ve got my girl back.
As her mother, there will be many more times where I will have to sit by and let her fight her own battles, let her make her own decisions. As much as I wanted to yank my daughter from her school when the first incident took place, that might not have been the best course of action. And maybe I was wrong.
What I do know is that today, she’s back as she truly is: while not completely healthy, she will be once the allergy cold is gone, but she’s 110% more happy today than she was yesterday.
God does answer prayers you know.
You are remarkable and brave, Amethyst. Truly.
Incredible post. I will keep you and your precious girl in my thoughts and prayers. I’m proud of her and of you and I think you’re an amazing mother, Amber. She is lucky to have you.