Thursday, September 1, 2011

A little bit of chaos goes a long way

You know, its always odd to me, how often our life can completely confound us some times. I would never term myself as being OCD, however I do have certain ticks my darling wife has had to learned to deal with over time. For instance, DVD's and Blu Rays. I CANNOT endure them not being in some kind of alphebetical order. If any of you have children, you understand what a daunting task this can be. I have to have them in order. I dont make anyone else organize them, I dont flip out but if it isnt in place I HAVE to put it back in order. My comic books are the same way. I LOVE organizing them. I can remember days spent working at Mcdonald's IGA, and I loved looking down a row of can's all faced, dusted and in the right positions. Now I am not this way about everything. I dont care about clothes on the floor ( to a point, never more then a day's worth), books dont have to be in order other then by type or author. My garage while neat is by no means spotless. I like to organize and I am not really sure where this comes from. My parents were neat and clean people, but certainly not OCD about it. The military might play a small part, but I was never the role model Airmen about my barracks room, it was up to inspection standards but nothing amazing. What is worse is I see my son picking up alot of these same habits. In fact having a tattooed star wars fan, comic book collecting and roleplaying dad probably has not heightened his chances of a rock star like childhood. I have been molding myself a little me, though not intentionally. Last time I saw my psychiatrist for MS related depression checks (and yes im still bubbly and loveable) I asked her about this. She told me that my need to organize those things around me that are important to me might be a form of control over my environment. Since my disease randomly takes certain aspects of my life away from me, I try to control those things that are less likely to change. I think this is quite a insight into my psyche but it makes me recall another experience in my life, which I will now relate/torture you with. It was my third year in the Air Force as a medic. I was sent to help out on the onocology ward because they were shorthanded and the ICU was light that day. Of course we had mostly veterans and retirees in the ICU and Onocology ward, not active duty, so it was a very civilian like atmosphere patient wise. I had a younger med tech who was in training and latched on to me because...well quite frankly I was a little more sane then Buckner the other med tech who normally worked the floor. Dont get me wrong, Buckner was an awesome guy, but I often suspected some times he would tweek his spine the wrong way and a little acid would leak out briefly from his youth. So, anyway, it was the blind leading the blind here. The new med tech followed me from room to room as I got vitals, checked bed pans, lowered/raised people's feet, checked compression hose, etc etc. We came to the last room which was a isolation room. We had to gown glove and mask up to enter. Inside after all this fuss was the tiniest shell of a lady, probably 40 something at best, though she looked to be 100 years old from the chemo's effect. This lady was super sweet but very needy (and understandibly so). She would call you in to reposition the tv, to raise or lower the shades a fraction of a centimeter depening on time of day, to move blankets up or down her legs. Alot of the medical staff was very annoyed with her. When we came to the door, the med tech in training said (oh I have heard about her, she is rough) I paused a moment and looked the med tech in the eyes and told him "She is slowly losing everything. Even the simplest things like reaching down to move a blanket are taken from her. The only control she has over her life is through us, So, button the lip and let's go in and make her feel at ease" He stared at me in awe but didnt say anything. We stayed in that room for about an hour. After about 20 minutes of seeing to her needs, we spent the rest in conversation. After I did the lunch rounds I went back in and talked with her for probably another good hour. I came down to see her on my lunch breaks and stuff for the next couple weeks then she moved to another hospital as her condition worsened beyond what we could provide her. Could it be that in a way I predicted what has been happening to me. Am I trying to exert control over everything in my life. There are many (MANY) times I will catch myself asking the kids to do something for me, and ill stop as the thought of "Hey lazy ass get up and do it yourself) comes into my head. Worse yet am I making my children my servants. There is a fine line between normal chores and indentured servitude. Yes, I make my kids work for what they want to get. Nothing in life is free, and at a young age this has been instilled into them. I have no shame from doing that either. I know it will benefit them. I do worry however that in the case of my son, maybe my more mature approach is making him grow up a little to fast. He can be VERY serious for his age. He has a very hard time making friends, and that worries me too. I do not want him to have a miserable childhood due to other kids picking on him for being different. While I was never really picked on, I also was not the prom king either. I managed to pass through high school some what low on the radar. And I know I was a huge nerd. Luckily I was also a country boy and made to work from a very young age so that beefed me up enough to not be easy prey either. I see the pain in his eyes when other kids ignore him asking them to play. It tears me apart. I dont really want to point it out or make it obvious to him yet because my hope is right now the naivete is protecting him a bit. I never realize how much I could worry about small things until I had children. Now my head spins worrying about this dance practice, or Aris's homework, or volunteering enough at their school. My daughter is cute as a button, and very extroverted so I have little to no fear on her social life in school. Not that I dont watch out for her, It is just easier. My son is a very handsome young man and in really good shape. I thank god for that everyday. A part of me knows he will come into his own. Another part of me wants to shelter him from all the evils of the world but I know that I cant. Sometimes the hardest words to hear are "Daddy why do they tell me no when I want to play soccer". I just want to make it better for him without coddling him. I hope that as his male role model, He isnt picking up my odd habits. I already know he is very schedule oriented (another one of my bad habits) and has a hard time with doing things that arent in the rulebook. He is not a fly by the seat of his pants kind of kid. I know many of these traits will serve him well as an adult but its his childhood I want him to enjoy now. So I guess my question is, As I see my son becoming a little mini me how much is the right amount of influence. Because even when you think your not teaching you are! Thanks for reading folks Chris

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