Saturday, October 15, 2011
Witch Hunt by Mommy Jess
Being Halloween season, being that we now live close to the geographic area of yet another source of American embarrassment, the Salem Witch Trials (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials ), and being that a class war seems to be erupting across this country I have been thinking a lot lately about witches, women, and the wars we fight.
Having to introduce our family to a whole host of new medical providers is stressful; it sometimes feels like a witch hunt or a war. Trying to strike the perfect balance of informed and dedicated with meek and respectful is tricky at best. I feel like a windshield wiper forever going too fast screeching in your ears, or too slow obscuring your view with droplets of rain. I think of each appointment like a performance. I present Greta, her history, we talk about the charts that her old medical providers refuse to send and I procure my own copies I brought “just in case”. Eyebrows begin to rise…I know too much. I step back into safe mom territory with some banal compliment about the provider and nod with the enthusiasm of a cat chasing a laser beam as they describe all the things I already know. I smile till my cheeks hurt and gouge a small moon-shaped hole into the palm of my hand to keep from letting my gathering tears fall when they casually talk about her damaged brain being impossible to “ever really fix”.
I know the drill. It feels like a battle, and I think of it as a witch trial because there is an implication that if I had done things differently (different orthotics, more speech therapy, different speech therapy, no Botox, more Botox, more stretching, less stretching, saw this type of specialist earlier, waited till later) that her abilities would be different. I know this isn’t true, as I’ve said before there is no magic spell I could cast that would change a thing and this witch mom knows it. But I lull these professionals into my clutches with this formula of likability offering as a potion too sweet to resist. Let’s just say, I know how to get what I want. Whether it matters or not is a whole ‘nother story, but I leave with the prescriptions or the devices or even sometimes the dreams for the future that I chose before our appointment even began.
But that is the world outside our doors and while I wish I could say the same battles weren’t blasting across our bedroom every night in my own head, they are. This modern day witch hunt is led by yours truly and is paid for and entirely funded by myself. It is about as useful as the mass hysteria of the 1600’s. I, perhaps cruelly, said to someone who asked how they could help after I received less hopeful news about Greta some time ago that unless they had a time machine they were useless to me. Yeah, not my finest moment, but that’s how we witches roll. Sometimes we offer poison apples and sometimes just poison.
So how am I faring in my own personal witch trial? Poorly, I think I’m two steps away from being convicted. But until that day I rely on you Greta, your huge smile, your enveloping hugs (complete with back pats), your skipping dance, your willingness to try just about anything, your unrelenting morning cheerfulness as my defense against the accusations I fling at myself. And, since I’d like to think the crux of my closing argument relies on proof of using my powers for good I am planning to take Halloween by storm in our new community and will don my witch’s hat with good humor and will try to brew some spells of kindness and peace instead of battles and bitterness.