EOGs, DNA, and the Wood Chipper

Crazy seems to be running down the family tree branches today. There is a great deal of intertwining personality traits that run deep in my children and it was highly evident this morning. Anxiety, over achievement and things we cannot control are all topics we faced in my house today!

EOGs (End of grade testing) is upon us and my 4th grader is anxiety ridden. Her anxieties do not come from pressure put on her by anyone else but herself. She, like the rest of the females in the family, strives for the best. I had to pry the practice test out of her little hand as she said, “PLEASE just one more problem!” Keep in mind this child KNOWS her stuff – extremely high A’s all year! The idea that this one test carries so much weight has her tummy in a twist. I had to pull out the good parenting as I reminded her how awesome she is, and this test does not define her. I begged her to lighten up and to just remember to do her best. Her best effort is always good enough! I absolutely hate to see a 10 year old carry soooo much anxiety over grades.

It’s funny how this personality seems to be a common trait. My college Junior (oh my God, she’s a JUNIOR now!) is the exact same way. What an example she set. She never knew anything other than an A, and can be found in the library at 3am working for those grades! Today I snickered when I realized she called me last week with that same tummy twisting complaint during finals. I find it more than hilarious that she just left to begin her incredible research project on…wait for it…DNA. My 20 year old was flying around trying to pack everything in her car for the summer! She had a possessed look about her as she worked to achieve her packing goal. I am utterly convinced there is a specific little part to our DNA, that when that helix is unwound, has a big arrow pointing to crazy! I don’t mean sociopath crazy – I mean “why-do-I-do-this-to-myself crazy.” There was frantic packing, list making, talking to herself and preparations for first-time apartment living. Then there was the realization the equipment that will be used for research is worth more than our house, the pressure of the research itself and what it can do for science, not to mention her career … You see where I am going?

The entire morning for me has been spent helping to prepare my precious children for very similar (yet opposite ends of the spectrum) endeavors. Education and knowledge. As their brains continue to be shaped and molded, mine continues to be a tremendous challenge. The disease that inhabits my brain has flaired in a major way, and for 5 days I have been in pain. I could barely handle a 4th grade math problem, and discussing DNA research is like understanding Russian. My own anxieties have been high as I return to Hopkins this week. Meeting my incredible neurosurgeon, combined with the pressure of another possible brain surgery, paired with all that could go wrong leads to a control freak death spiral. However, my crazy is shining through today for an entirely different reason. I have issues with heavy noise and static, and I have faced the past three days STRAIGHT with 8+ hours worth of chainsaws and wood chippers at the neighbors! So when my house finally calmed down, and I was all alone, the incessant buzz has me feeling like the conductor of the crazy train. Pain meds – check. The feeling of extreme anxiety – check. Frantic thoughts of reenacting the chipper scene from Fargo – check.

By the end of the day I believe we will all be frazzled and ready to collapse. EOGs, DNA, and the Wood Chipper. Enough said.




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Filed under Brain, College, Mary Beth, Sarah

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