NO, I'm not ringing my own bell about what a great mother I am. And to fully illustrate this fact, let me share the following exchange in my household, last night:
Me/Mom (loudly, so as to be heard upstairs): "KATIE!"
Me, louder: "KATIE!"
Me, to myself, quietly: "Why did I ever have children?"
Me, again: "KATIE!"
Emma (in a normal voice, like everything is perfectly normal and maybe even amusing): "Katie, Mom is questioning why she had children. You should probably answer her."
So, you see - not the greatest mother. BUT, I do put some thought into things, occasionally, and in weird ways, since I have had daughters. For example - Thursday at Target.
I didn't have tons of time to go running off to a lingerie store to buy my first post-breast cancer and reconstructive surgery underwire bra after getting the all-clear last Wednesday (no more surgical compression bras!). But I can always find time for Target, so last Thursday, there I was, in the undergarment section. Who knew you could find so many undergarments so affordably, and without driving more than 3 miles from your house, with 3 children in tow?
Now, Mrs. Lucken prefers her undergarments to be EXTREMELY utilitarian. I like to have things comfortable (first), and then extremely flexible (second). I don't want to have separate undergarments for separate clothing, and since I mostly wear white t-shirts in the summer or something just-as-boring-but-warmer in the winter, I stick to comfortable, nude-colored (i.e. ugly) bras. BUT, I do put thought into weird things, and in light of the fact that Emma and I had an interesting conversation the other day, and in light of the fact that once, when Emma was mad, she told Katie that she might get breast cancer someday (how is that for a way to totally destroy your 6.5 year old sister? It worked...), I thought I should branch out.
You see, my daughters have seen me in all sorts of strange undergarments this year, and have also seen my chest in all sorts of stages of damage and repair. Living in as busy of a household as ours is, I have chosen quickness of dress over privacy too many times to keep things out of their line of vision. I feel a little sorry for them to have been faced with such a stark reality so young, and have read enough to know that children ARE affected by the physical things they see with regard to breast cancer transformations. And I know that there is a chance either or both of them might have this gene, and might be facing breast cancer in their futures (though I hope and pray that they are luckier that that). So, a big goal of mine has been to be a good role model for them in dealing with my cancer - to keep things real, but also show them that we can still be happy, we can still have fun, and we can still live a really great life, even if we have a screwed-up genetic makeup.
So, in the lingerie section at Target, Mrs. Lucken picked out a blue polka-dot bra. Not for herself, but for her daughters. Just in case they are looking (and especially for the 6.5 year old, who is still more easily scared by breast cancer, but equally fascinated by all things fancy), I want them to see that even if you get a different-looking chest out of the whole thing, you can still dress it up all pretty and do all things girly with it. Who knows if it will help, but I'm giving it (and many other strange little thoughts) a try.
And it is a big pain, when I am wanting to put on a white t-shirt and have to change out of that bra...but each time I see it I am reminded that I am supposed to be keeping things light, and fun, and to keep taking steps for my girls and their futures.