gratitude today (is hard)

The scent of hyacinth is so intense it seems to reach my gut, just below the place where the ache of want, angst, sadness, anger and resentment settle. I try my best to sooth these feelings using gratitude. It isn't always or wholly possible—or necessary; I need to taste the fullness of my sentiments lest they eat me up.

Gratitude today is hard. Calvin is in his sixth day confined to bed. He likely has a broken hip. It needs time and space to rest and mend. He injured it at school last week just trying to sit. He tumbled when he partly missed the seat. I'm not sure where his one-on-one was. His school hasn't told me yet. It appears, not on him, at least not close enough to block his fall. Thankfully, he's nothing if not resilient.

Gratitude today is hard. Hard because Calvin is itching to exit his bed. But we can't let him put weight on his left leg. We're getting better x-rays soon to clearly see his injury's extent. The only time he gets out of bed—so far—is when he's soiled or wet. Crouching down, I scoop him up, lift and set him on his changing table. It isn't easy. He's ninety-two pounds. But I'm strong, I lift correctly, and he holds tightly around my neck. When we wipe him up, we must take care not to move or jar his leg in ways that hurt, which makes the cleaning difficult. He can't use the potty for the foreseeable future. Instead, we have to deal with dirty diapers and "blowouts" again. One step forward, back two steps. The situation is disconcerting at best.

Gratitude today is hard. Calvin won't be able to walk for up to six weeks. I'm not sure he understands his restriction. I wonder if he'll suffer setbacks. I wonder how much his muscles will atrophy. I wonder how well he'll be able to walk when it's all said and done. I wonder if he'll suffer long-term pain, the kind which isn't obvious to others, but bothers nonetheless.

Gratitude today is hard. Calvin's movements are already seriously limited, more so during this pandemic. He can't just go wherever he wants whenever he wants, like other eighteen-year-olds. He has to go where I go, and I with him, except when he goes to school. Now his freedom is further restricted. I had been hoping, as the weather warms, that I could take him for mini walks on the back roads or for a yards-long stroll in the nearby woods. All that is now impossible. It's not even clear if I can manage lifting him into the car just to take a ride on back roads.

Gratitude today is hard. Our boy is defenseless, helpless, trusting, innocent. He relies on others for exactly everything. Expects us to be there for him. To help him navigate and to assist. To catch him when he falls and trips. Though he walks quite well on the straight and flat, I tell those at school to stay close, to keep their eyes on the ball—on him—at all times, especially near obstacles, on stairs and in crowded halls. His poor vision and bad coordination are mostly why he has a one-on-one. It isn't the first time he has suffered injury. Regrettably, humans are fallible. I for one should know.

Gratitude today is hard. Even so, I'll look for reasons to be thankful: a walk alone in the forests and on back roads; sunlight streaming through trees and windows; a cozy home; tons of dear and generous friends; an awesome dog; a supportive, interesting, creative, loving husband, the meals he makes and the way he is with me and his son; the rich fragrance from hyacinth sprigs picked just for me; most of all, my son Calvin, his sweetness, affection and awe-inspiring resilience. He's always there for me no matter what, even when I stumble in my mothering, graciously, he catches me when I fall.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for continuing to write so clearly, so honestly, so beautifully.