It finally happened, friends! The girls started college. They’re growing up. (I’m not crying! You’re crying!) They are still at home and going to community college while we all figure out this life.
They are both working quite a bit. That means this mama is worrying quite a bit. I don’t have to tell you (or maybe I do) that sleep deprivation is a big time no-no for most epilepsy patients and I worry these girls are over doing it and not taking care of themselves as they should be.
And they’re 18 so I can’t tell them anything. They may have a better understanding of the fine line between wellness and illness than most young adults, but they still think it won’t affect them. That they’ll be fine. That I’m worrying over nothing. How can I make them see it?
I can’t. I just have to wait it out and hope for the best while I gently guide and remind them of what is at stake. They are both smart, capable, driven young ladies and I have to trust that they are looking out for themselves when it really counts. I am open and honest with them and have always trusted their judgement in the past. Now isn’t the time to step in and throw my parental weight around.
Wait, didn’t we already accept this?
I once heard a fellow medical mama say that acceptance isn’t a one-time thing. It is something we practice over and over, particularly when we have children with life-altering diagnoses like mine. Accepting their diagnosis is one thing. Accepting all the ways it changes our lives is something entirely different though, isn’t it? Every time I turn around there is something new to accept when it comes to my girls’ rare diagnoses and how we deal with them.
And this level of acceptance when it comes to my twin girls growing up is something else entirely. One day I am accepting that my young adult daughter is driving again after getting her seizures under control and the next I’m accepting that they weren’t as under control as we thought and we are back to rearranging household schedules to get her where she needs to be when she needs to be there. One day I am accepting that my girls might be staying home for college for a bit before moving away to school and the start of their new adulthood, and the next I am accepting that we may always be caring for them in some capacity regardless of them growing up and growing older.
Teamwork makes the dream work ~ Growing up edition
Those of you who know our family personally have probably heard me say in the past that if any of my 3 children needed a twin it was my singleton son. He struggles to make connections with his peers and I am constantly worried he won’t ever find his people.
Well, let’s just say that my girls being twins has actually helped out quite a bit. I am working and organizing a few different events for various non profit efforts right now so my time is very limited. It definitely makes my life much easier to have one twin drive the non-driving girl around most of the time. And I would be lying if I were to say that I don’t rely on my girls to be my back up for each other. They remember just about as much as I do about their sister. Surgery dates, scan results, multiple diagnosis. They remember it all just about as well as I do these days.
They remind each other of meds, appointments, and talk about side effects and medically breakthroughs in a way that most 18 year olds don’t need to even think about. I’m glad they have each other. I’m glad that while they are out “on their own” they have safety and security with the whole twin thing.
These are signs of growing up for sure. As much as I want to resist putting this responsibility on them, I won’t be around forever. My greatest hope for them both is that they will have to look after each other after I’m gone. I hope that we are preparing to care for them after we’re gone. I hope and I pray and I accept. Still working on that last one a bit, though!