As many know, my four year-old miracle boy broke his elbow last Sunday and has been in a cast since his emergency surgery later that same night.
This particular child of mine exceeds all known levels of cuteness. Every word that leaves his mouth is deliciously honest and he is more demonstrative than a cuddly puppy. He personifies the term “innocent bliss” and radiates a genuine curiosity for everything in life. He is, by far, my sedative---the only child that can get multi-tasking, manic me to relax completely. And I love that.
In the same vein, this sudden chance to nurse my son to health---coddle him, pamper him, bathe him ever-so-gently, lounge around together watching movies, and help him get dressed---has been renewing. As he gets older, who knows for how long he’ll allow me to do for him? He is fiercely independent so I gladly jump at the opportunity now, while he’s willing and unable to do for himself. He is still fragile and a novice at operating his arm-length cast. In a week, he’ll probably be using it like a bat to club his brother when angry. So I’ve got to milk this all I can. Who knows how much more time I’ve got--- a week, perhaps?
Our typical routine includes running morning errands and a visit to the park---together with his little two year-old sister. They are both my 24/7 companions. Thankfully, his medical predicament leaves him no choice but to walk hand-and-hand, by my side as we go about our day. His default setting is to dart ten yards ahead of me, no matter where we are, excited by life and eager to not miss a thing.
It is crazy how we learn best from our personal trials and those situations that disrupt our normal-flowing lives. I really don’t choose misfortune as a means of learning profound life lessons, but it seems that I continue to get my fair share and this time, like all others, I’m learning something valuable.
When my anxiety grips me by the throat, and my head starts spinning in all directions, I become manic. It’s funny because people always comment: “How do you do it all--- with five kids, writing profusely, managing a small business, domestic stuff, exercise….?” They seem impressed. Ha! If they only knew that my stress is manifested by an increase in activity.
Granted I am caring for my son and retreating from a mainly active outdoor lifestyle to one of tranquil home-based activities. And the truth is that I really needed this as well. I have so much on my plate and never stop. Yes, I get more accomplished in a day than most anyone I know, but I pay a high price. My price is my rest, relaxation, a day void of down-time, a lack of quality time spent with girlfriends and admittedly, I miss out on many opportunities to simply just “be” with my kids--- in the moment. My body is always in action and my mind is racing to keep up.
I do hope that this time is different and as my boy heals, I will remember these blissful feelings of stillness: holding him in my arms, running my hands all over that angelic face, and breathing in his sweet little boy scent. I hope I can capture this moment and savor it forever.
Maybe next time I find myself running through life, breathless at 100mph, it won’t take something so painful to wake me up and slow me down...just a bit.