Candy-ass (not the nicest way, but one I heard enough to ingrain it and one she will never ever hear).
I tried to hide my vomiting issues as a teenager. Maybe I did well at it so that my parents didn't know, but maybe I didn't. High school was a roller coaster for me, and as soon as I was driving myself to school, I'd stop along side the road and vomit. I repeated this when I taught in North Carolina, in my twenties by then and no better at handling the anxiety.
At one point, at many points, I simply caved, and quit working and stayed home with Bobby. Homeschooling him was for both our sakes--at that point I was in the school with him, and it wasn't good for either of us, and after his stroke, something in me cracked. Faced with a child with a blood clotting disorder who could stroke again, I brought him home. If there were no guarantees of a long life, then we were both by gods going to have a good one together at home. Every doctor's appointment, every evaluation, every dentist appointment left me with crippling anxiety and GI issues that had me writhing in agony. Didn't matter who the appointments were for, either.
They still do. Here, now, in my 40s, still fighting the monsters and making sure I give them the finger as I rush to the bathroom and then out the door to face work, to face appointments, or to the computer to face confrontations I know are coming.
Lily's anxiety issues have been increasing over the last two years. Yesterday, she had a bout of nerves and threw up at school and was sent home where she spent a delightful, non-stressed day watching Phineas and Ferb. Today and tomorrow are the STAAR test. Guess who was up early battling her demons? Lily. I understand, oh so totally and completely what she's feeling, why's she's feeling it, and why that means she absolutely had to go today despite being extremely nauseated and vomiting. She's not sick--she's wracked with nerves over today. And she has to go. I know she does, because I know that when we cave to our anxiety, we make the next time harder to do.
We have to fight it each and every day, sometimes all frakking day long. And we learn that they're just nerves and extra bathroom visits, that physical misery because of a long-set pattern of activation of the sympathetic nervous system does not have the ultimate say in what we can and will accomplish.
I do not want my ten year old daughter to reach my age and still be battling the crippling, agonizing demon of anxiety, even though cognitively the battle was won long ago; the body is still held captive to it. I do not want that for her, and so because I love her and because I understand precisely what's going on in her mind and in her gut, I sent her out the door, letting her know I understood and that was why she was going. And why I immediately emailed her teacher and prepared her. And why I'll be by the phone all morning, all day, ready to run to my daughter, to her aid, to reinforce to her that these demons are won simply by choosing to fight them.
And why, when I am in the midst of a battle, I think of this young lady's delightful performance:
I can face the world with that kind of energy and attitude, and when my Lil is a little older, I'll show it to her, and it can be her internal anthem, too.