“What’s this pumpkin doing here?”

I missed a lot of Cinderella’s final rehearsals. Being backstage with the kids helping with hair and makeup, assisting with crew and costumes, and just *being there* ~ pretty much my favorite thing ever. But I’ve been really sick with a long migraine attack / flare for almost two weeks, making me feel unreliable and flaky, and even worse, like I’m being overly dramatic and self-centered.

Migraine disease doesn’t give me a choice. It seems to flare most during times of increased activity or stress. The more medication I take to try to keep going, the less well it works. Guilt and sadness on top of fatigue on top of pain. When I can’t be there during important times people stop relying on me, stop expecting me. Stop bothering to figure out how I’m doing because it’s always the same. Migraine again. “Wasn’t she doing that study?” “Won’t she ever get better?” “Why does she sign up for things in the first place?” 

Why did I have kids? Why even try?

Why live at all?

Update:

A pumpkin is still just a pumpkin. I was able to go tonight, but having missed almost all of Tech week, I didn’t have any jobs other than to be there for my kids.

Who didn’t want me.  Why should they?

X is 12 now. She thinks she may be asexual, and I love that she has a smorgasbord of labels from which to figure out how she fits into the world of relationships. Especially among theatre and arts kids, there are fewer strictly straight kids than otherwise.  But she is spending a lot of time with a couple boys this show, both of whom I like. Her current two  closest show friends are one boy and one girl both a year or so older than she. X used to need me at shows and all the older kids accepted me being there, and still accepted her. I would find ways to be needed besides just as support for my insecure kid.

Now she doesn’t need me and that’s fine and right and as it should be. Except that she totally freaked out over the makeup artists asking her to pull her bangs back. “I won’t be recognizable on stage,” she whined. “I won’t look like me.” I said, you aren’t supposed to look like you. You’re supposed to be Fairy #1. It ended up being okay. After the makeup was applied I pulled some wisps down over her forehead. Her male buddy distracted her by pointing out how the school’s signs were in all upper case. “Everyone is yelling all the time.” Her female buddy told her she looked beautiful. She did.

This female buddy, Fairy #2, drove X crazy at first. Doesn’t it always begin like that? The other night she threw her arms around me and exclaimed “I love you, Stage Mom!”

So why did X start acting the way she did? But she’s 12. She’s seeking independence. I’m okay with it.

Zo, I am not so okay with. She is playing a mouse puppeteer / horse and villager. She has plenty of kids her age there to hang out with. There have been some conflicts because all four mice are leader-types. She’s 8. X was never in a production that young. Zo is used to the stage, having been in three Nutcracker ballets and four big recitals for dance. And I am always there for those, I have to be. As for Cinderella, at home, she acts like she wants me at rehearsals / performances, but when we’re actually there she is rude and looks at me like she is disgusted. I don’t know if you’ve seen the photos, but I am not gross or embarrassing. Particularly among theatre kids I am even considered cool, heavily tattooed and pierced as I am. And I don’t really hover, I don’t treat Zo like a baby. So ripping away from me and shrugging me off when I’m trying to help her? I don’t get it. Competing with her sister, John thinks, or wanting to feel older. I don’t know.

But I managed to get there tonight after being in the ER yesterday and it was very hot in the green room. And I dealt with X’s tantrum about her bangs, helped her deal with a broken prop, found the Fairy Godmother’s missing staff, located Zo’s mouse puppet which she was told to find. And yet felt completely, sadly superfluous.

I asked both of them if they needed anything and was answered with shrugs.  So I left.

“Put it in the pantry,” the Queen instructs Lionel regarding the pumpkin that has suddenly appeared outside the palace. “We don’t want anyone falling over it.”

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4 thoughts on ““What’s this pumpkin doing here?”

  1. Elizabeth I hope you have caught a break and feel a little better. I am going on two weeks of daily pain and trying to get through as many days without meds as I can but sadly it has just been one. I open my eyes in the morning and think “oh no, I can’t do this another day.” Recently I told my mom I feel completely irrelevant. I can’t work anymore and nobody can depend on me for anything. It’s true. I know that feeling and it is sad and unbelievably lonely. But I try to remember to go a little lighter and easier. Fighting this disease is a marathon. Wishing you light and peace.

  2. I was reading your blog I found on another website. I wanted to share my experience to see if it might help you. I did a fast for 6 days with water only and found that the migraine went away after suffering with it for months. I have cluster migraines. After the fast I realized shortly after that foods were bothering me and make a long story short it was corn products. I can not eat anything I do not make and I only use can foods that I contact the company and make sure there are no corn products. I only buy canned tomatoes and tomato paste. All the food I eat I make myself so that I know what goes in it. Recently I ate an olive that didn’t have anything listed on the container as corn but some how it is in there. My migraine came back and I am waiting it out eating only things I know I should. I tried the Whole 30 Challenge but extreme. I didn’t use any sauces or things like that. I hope this helps you and that you get to feeling better.

    • Hello, I do need to get a full allergy test that would include foods. I don’t have insurance right now due to a paperwork glitch, but once I do I will get that done. I have tried gluten-free and that worked for a while. Thank you for your comment and continued health and good luck to you! đź’ś

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