It’s 6:12 AM. I hear a loud “thud” as he plunks out of bed, tip-toes barefoot across the hallway, and then rustles the sheets as he climbs into bed. He quietly slides in next to me like a canned sardine. He couldn’t possibly get any closer. Then, he whispers…”Mom? Mom? I love you Mom…I love you. Is it story time yet?” This is particularly the routine when his father is away, and although I am tired, I realize that moments like these are fleeting.
It has been a long week. For the past 3 weeks I have been dealing with lower back back pain. It began from training for a 5K run but escalated due to lifting – be it books for school or my solid 40+ pound boy. I had gone to see the chiropractor and was doing considerably better, but last weekend I pushed things too far. I woke up last Sunday night and could barely move. Amazing how you can go from walking – even if unconfortably – to relying on your spouse to help you stand up and even get dressed in a matter of hours. Frustrating…humbling…and at times…humorous.
Ben wouldn’t give me help unless I asked for it, and I didn’t want help unless I felt I needed it. Having been together for as many years as we have, I didn’t need to comunicate this to Ben. He knew. One time I was face planted on the bed waist up while trying to get the the tail end of my body on. I was reaching for the headboard. He stood there…and waited…and waited some more… “Okay… I guess I need help,” I finally cried out. It hurt to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. Yet he had patiently waited because he knew I was determined to try on my own, and when I needed him he was there. Strong. Patient. Encouraging.
I have a new appreciation for being able to move….a new empathy for those who suffer from pain that keeps them from moving physically with ease…particularly for my mother who has dealt with back pain for years and my sister who has had her fair share of back troubles as well… and I have a new appreciation for friends who are willing to take an active 4 year old boy out swimming or for a trampoline jumping session while his father is away. They say it takes a community to raise a child, and these past few days I’ve seen evidence of that and been touched by people’s generosity. I may be able to move better than I did earlier in the week, but I am slow moving and trying to give my body the rest it needs to recover.
I am very much looking forward to returning to work next week. I love my job! My movements will be slower as I’ve been told I still need to “baby” things, but I will be out of the house and with a staff and students whom I love dearly. Part time work gives me the best of both worlds – time with them and time with my boy. I’m usually always on the go, so to be couped up all week has been awful.
Will I be running a 5K this summer? No. I’ve decided that when the doctor gives me the “okay” I will focus on other forms of physical activity. I think God was trying to remind me that I need to take better care of myself. I thought I was…but not quite. I have a son to keep up with, and Lord willing, more children on the way. Adoption home study visit #5 is set for this coming Tuesday, and I hope to fill you in this week. I also hope to make some changes to my blog over the summer in between travels to Caton’s and university classes…it is in need of a makeover and updated info.
So where have I been this week? Nowhere physically. Everywhere mentally. Laying in bed gives one a lot of time to reflect, to think, to pray, and it reminds you to be grateful for the little things in life…even something as small as carrying a laundry basket up the stairs (Don’t worry Ben, I haven’t done this in your absence…yet…).