Sparky and I took a trip to Hapuna Beach on the big island of Hawaii several years ago. When we got there, they told us they were overbooked for our room type, so they upgraded us to an ocean view room. We spent every morning sitting on our balcony eating bagels with guava jelly and sipping passion fruit juice as we gazed out at the ocean. We left the patio doors open at night, falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves. We went looking for gorgeous waterfalls and we tried our hand at parasailing. We found amazing restaurants with food that was divine. I sat poolside, sipping iced tea with real pineapple, as I read the latest Jennifer Crusie novel (it was Bet Me, my favorite). Heaven. Best trip I’ve ever taken.

Except for Tuesday. My heart still races at the memory of that Tuesday. The waves were high enough that the hotel shut down equipment rentals and issued a wave warning. Not surprising as it was February (which may be part of what brought it to mind today), but a disappointment nonetheless because I wanted to teach Sparky to boogie board. Plenty of people were out in the water, though, so we decided to wade out with them. Without fins. Stupid, I know.

So we wade out with the other people and stand there letting the waves hit us and it was fine. For a while. But the waves took us further and further out and got higher and higher and came faster and faster. I tried to walk closer to the shore, but couldn’t get my footing in the soft, soft sand. I needed the fins. With them, I would have been able to dive under the waves and swim to shore. If I dove under without them, I was afraid I would never resurface. Soon I was gasping for breath, the unrelenting waves offering no chance to fill my lungs. Sparky was just a few feet away, but I couldn’t find enough air to call out for help and I knew I was going to die.

The woman on the other side of me happened to glance over at me just then. “Are you okay?” she asked. I shook my head, the most I could manage, and she grabbed my arm. Turns out she was a lifeguard from San Diego. Had she not been there that day, I wouldn’t be writing this blog now. She talked me through getting my footing and helped me walk to shore, where I collapsed onto a lounge chair. Even once my feet were firmly planted on dry land, it still took a full 10 minutes to recover my breath.

Ever since my surgery, I can’t seem to get back to the rhythm of my life. I thought I would be running by now, but I’m still limping along. I’m stressed over the kids, our schedule, my weight. I can’t seem to reign in my eating and I’m seeing the effects. I’m pushing 200 again and have had to buy some jeans that are a size up from what I’ve been wearing. I don’t want to do this. I’m out of control. I know that the solution the Program would throw at me is to talk to my counselor and I’m afraid I might slap the messenger of that little gem. I’ve added three chiropractic sessions a week to my schedule without removing anything, so when exactly am I supposed to fit in a visit to the counselor? And how exactly will that juggling reduce my stress?

I don’t want any of you to worry about me because I’m okay. Actually, I take that back. Worry about me if you want to, I have no way (or right) to control how you feel. It’s habit for me to try and I should let it go. Look at me freeing up my schedule!  Go me!

I won’t dump all the particulars on you, but will tell you some of the things that have been going on. Since December, BamBam has been staying up until 10 or 11pm each night. Oh, we put him to bed at 7:30, but then he roams around his room emptying his drawers for another three hours. Luckily he can’t turn the doorknob to get out of his room, so we don’t have to deal with putting him back in there. The lack of sleep made him pretty grumpy during the day, though. We’ve tried various things to help him sleep, but the thing that did the trick was the stomach flu that BeBop brought home to all of us last week. Didn’t improve BamBam’s mood any, but it got him to sleep a lot more.

We were able to schedule an autism evaluation for BamBam. It was last Wednesday and we won’t get the results until the 15th…I’m sure you can see that I’m handling the wait really well. Oh, and I did pull him out of the horrible education therapy and increase his speech therapy to every week.

Last week I found out that BeBop’s beloved occupational therapist is leaving the practice. She’s going to do things on her bucket list, so I can’t fault her for that, but I’m sure BeBop will feel lost without her. I know I will. She is planning to contract with them when she comes back in a few months, so he will be able to get a spot with her, but still. It’s a blow.

I haven’t written in months and it’s making my skin itch. I have a great idea and a soundtrack set up, but I can’t seem to find the time, or the mood, to get started on the writing. I haven’t even written a blog post since early December. I haven’t even summed up my progress on the List yet. I may be hesitating on that one because of the weight thing. At this moment, there is a half hour left of designated nap time (play time in his room for BeBop). They’re both screaming at me to let them come out and I want to cry.

Today I realized it’s like being back on that beach. I can’t get my footing or my breath. I keep thinking I’ll get it under control soon. If I can just get through this week, get past that appointment, finish the other commitment. But then another wave comes and I don’t get my breath. People keep asking if I’m okay, but I can’t seem to shake my head. I know they want to help, but I can’t make myself grab an arm. What I need are some fins.

And now I’m wondering how long it will take to get my breath back once I’m on solid ground.