I made it downstairs this morning as Miss Sara was giving the boys their breakfast. As I sat on the stool at our kitchen island watching... watching my life it seemed... I had a feeling of despair mixed with gratitude. I'm so glad to have her here - to have her help - to have her friendship. She loves my children so much. But let's face it - if you know me, you know it would have to take a LOT to let anyone - even Mother Theresa herself - drive not just one, but BOTH of my children anywhere. It was a decision that was so difficult to make and it filled me with dread and despair. I hate being sick like this - unable to "be" - unable to "mother" - trapped. I hate it. But Ed and I knew the boys couldn't keep missing school and their routine and their therapy. And, as the doctor told me, there's really no prediction for when I'll turn a corner. It... quite frankly... sucks. Saying goodbye to them this morning was so hard. I had to shuffle my way back upstairs to literally vomit and didn't see them walk out the door.
Can I just say how confused even I am that this Campylobacter - which is basically a food poisoning - has done this to me?? I have been so sick for so long. If I dwell on it too long, it gets me depressed because it reminds me that my body is already fighting disease which makes fighting other things harder. It's a very out of control feeling. If you followed that at all, I'm impressed.
Miss Sara is incredible. When she got to Brian's school - she texted me to let me know. When she and Gavin got to school - another text. I watched the clock and silly morning TV shows from my bed until the text came that she and Gavin were leaving. She wrote:
"Gavin and I are headed to pick up Brian. He did great this morning and was so happy to be back!! He has a surprise for you which is going to make your day... and hopefully the past 14 for that matter. See you soon!"
I couldn't wait.
When I heard the garage door open she sent me a text again:
The three of them came up to my bed and told me stories of the day. How Gavin spent circle time with the Kindergarten class today and will be joining them for music once a week - a way to start preparing him for when he enters Kindergarten next September! How Brian's teachers and friends were so happy to see him and learning that Brian will be "Star of the Week" all next week - the week before his birthday! You could tell that both of them had a great morning.
But the surprise that Gavin and Sara brought home for me was what made my day and my spirit turn around. I know I sound like a broken record, but I really am filled with so much gratitude to have Miss Sara. She knows Gavin. They have a bond. So when I can't be there - she is an excellent substitute. They truly love each other.
When picture day came around a few weeks ago, it was up to Sara to capture Gavin's attention and get him to smile. These days, getting him to sit still is a miraculous feat! But she did it. Here is Gavin's very first official school portrait.
I dressed him in navy blue and chose the blue background to honor his Pop. Pop loved blue and thought everyone looked good in that color. I think I'll always put Gavin in blue for school pictures from now on. A way of thanking my Dad for watching over him, which I know he does.
Can I just say - I love this photo. Not just because he's gorgeous. (Can I say that?) But because of what it represents. Gavin is growing up. And as he grows, I grow. Not just as a Mother - but as a person. This little child has changed me profoundly. (I hear some of my family members saying, "And thank God for that!")
So today's despair for not being there? It was definitely replaced when this photo came home. It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when you realize that your children are happy and healthy... and maybe, just maybe, you're doing a pretty good job raising them after all.
Even from bed.