Photo: While Mommy got this house together so as to make it acceptable for Nana’s visit, two little bears got to building in the playroom. These are the results. It was either this or a picture of the surgery scar. You’re welcome.

 

Healing is not a painless gig, Dear Reader, so you’ll be getting no lies out of me this Friday. But for all of my discomfort, there is much more gratitude. Irrationally, I also feel a little bit of guilt. This episode is over. I get to walk away with a scar and a story. I know two good people who are in real battles with real cancer and I can’t do anything for them except give money and send prayers. I feel lucky, I feel helpless, I feel strange… So, I will not complain. I will be grateful and prayerful, remembering my fears from a few weeks ago and extending myself to help others.

I will give my thanks as much as I can because so many of you have cared while so many others have taken care of me and my boys. I’m filled with gratitude. I wish I could be more articulate about my feelings.

Of all the people I need to thank, on the top of my list must be Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. For a week now, I’ve had to trust them with other adults. First with the car shopping and test driving and then again during the surgery and recovery. Our marvelous neighbors took them for a bit, our very dear friend from church took them as well and, of course, my mom had them for the many hours it took to get things done (my procedure was delayed significantly. I was supposed to go in at 1:30 but they didn’t take me until 5). Each time I returned and asked how the boys did, the reviews were glowing:

“They’re such great kids.”

“They have been so helpful!”

“There wasn’t a single tear!”

“I’ll take them anytime!”

Not a single complaint. No blow-ups, though there were a few fights between the brothers (the usual non-sharing fights. One fight about thrown dirt). There were no real disasters, no instances of rudeness. All of the adults were worn out by the time I got my boys back, but there was always a sincere report of fun and happiness, an expression of joy, an offer to do it again.

How easy my boys made my life this week. How much pride I feel for the two of them! When I most needed them to be at their best, they performed beautifully.

My Quiet Thoughts are about all the fights and worries that I’ve so often recorded in this space as I’ve raised my two little boys. To mother is to be a trainer. I’m cultivating two little lives, instilling expectations, and values. I’m strict and old-fashioned, I’m stubborn and inflexible. The internet tells me damn near daily that I’m doing it all wrong because of some reason or another. There is nothing more gratifying in the whole entire world than to leave my two boys in someone else’s care and to know in my heart that they will behave the way that I expect them to.

Of all the things I’m grateful for, the many, many blessings that aligned to make this all happen, I put those two boys above all. It would have been so much more difficult to do all of this if I also had to deal with bad behavior. Or if the boys had a reputation for not listening. Or if I had to constantly apologize to the people in my life because the boys did destructive things. My boys were my greatest support system this week and they have no idea.

There will be other tests and challenges for us ahead. Yet, I’m hopeful today, Dear Reader. I learned that I can really trust in my boys this week. I also learned that we’ve established a wonderful little support network here. Remember when I felt unanchored and alone out here a few years ago? We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

Thank you for being a part of it, Dear Reader. Thank you for your care, your love and your prayers. Don’t think you aren’t part of my network of support. You have a powerful role in it. You are wonderful and I’m so glad you’re here.

It’s a cool, rainy Friday evening here in MetroWest. Such a contrast to the hot sun and blue skies of yesterday, not to mention the hot house! We finally took the second blanket off the bed! Full leaves are out now, though that gorgeous New Green hue is still here and spreading across the  landscape. Lawns are getting their manicures, flowers are finding homes in decorative planters and my groundhog has made his spring debut! I swear that sucker has put on five pounds already.

For you, Dear Reader, I wish fresh smells and breathtaking sights as the world continues to wake up and show off. I wish you the gift of a little plant to put in a window or on your porch, bringing some of this vibrant Spring energy into your life. I wish you live music out in open air, something folksy, something you wouldn’t normally listen to. I wish you clapping hands (always slightly off rhythm) and off-key singing from the crowd accompanied by bright smiles and belly laughs. Sing the words even if you don’t know the song, Dear Reader. Fill the world with your notes! I wish you pastry, light and fluffy, with whipped cream and fresh berries. I wish you excellent company to share it with, and a story to listen to as you eat. Don’t forget to share a few stories of your own this weekend. As always, I remind you that you are loved by many, admired by more, and you have done so many things to earn a place in people’s hearts.  There are people who would do just about anything for you. There are the obvious ones you can think of off hand, but I bet there are a few more who would probably surprise you as well. In the moments of doubt, in those quiet gray spaces that you may sometimes slip into, try to remember that. Make sure that you tell someone else, too. Spread the gift: tell someone you love them, tell someone else you admire them, and offer your hand in support to someone who may need it. How wonderful the world will be, yes?

Until Monday, be kind and take care.

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