Tomorrow is mothers day 2023, but today is mother’s day too. I certainly got a gift today from my children.
We woke close to 8 today. Soft sunlight and sweet spring air filled the room through the open window. The first sound I heard was my husband in bed greeting our daughter in her bassinet beside him. She cooed with delight. Ellen is the happiest baby, and she makes me the happiest I have ever felt.
George joined us in bed shortly. I tackled him and tickled him and he squealed with joy. George greeted Ellen, touching her cheeks, mouth, nose, and brow with tenderness as they smiled at one another. That boy loves his sister. And that girl loves her brother.
George turned his attention to me. My booboo. he tugged the collar of my night shirt aside so he could gently trace the scar. There’s a sticker on it marking where the radiation boost will be directed in two weeks.
My skin is dark, burned, sore, itchy, fragile. My body hurts. The evidence of radiation almost encircles my torso, extending from the midline of my sternum, to my under arm, around to my back. I don’t wear bras anymore. I wear loose baggy button-down shirts for comfort and confidence and it allows me to dress, undressed, and go about my day relatively comfortably.
My minds feels like its got sun poisoning. Foggy, slow. Its somewhat similar to chemo. But I’ve changed my approach to it. I’m gentler on my body and mind. I’ll take a break and close my eyes when I need to. Feel my breathing. Tell people what I’m doing and how its taking care of myself. I don’t look at my phone or seek stimulation the same way if I’m resting. I am more reflective and introspective and I have more practice and appreciation for the results of giving my body and mind grace and healing. I am proud of myself for learning this lesson.
(Now that I’ve learned this lesson, I’ve also learned that I have to practice it. Rest and grace and healing don’t happen just because I realized that I learned how to appreciate it. No, I have to use this skill, I have to practice it everyday to continue to heal.)
But this happy morning in mom and dad’s bed I was in no pain, and fresh from a good nights rest. Ellen is a good sleeper, thank goodness for that. George finished examining my scar and curled on top of me and softly said,
I love you, mama.
More than a whisper, quieter than his speaking voice. I had done nothing to prompt his declaration, we simply allowed George to greet the day in his own time. The sentiment was the purest love I’ve ever felt.
The morning continued and George directed us around as toddlers do. Mama sit here, Dad sit there, feed Ellen. I go upstairs, I do the laundry. Pick me up, carry downstairs. Stand here, open the gate, stand back, close the gate, but don’t stand next to the gate. Ok, come, close the gate, then go back.
I can brag that my two-year-old is incredible. He surpassed every 24 month milestone ages ago, and as far as I can tell he’s met every milestone for 3-year-olds. He speaks and moves and thinks so well. Sharing is even frequently successful! I mean, he needs to be coached through trading items in order to share, but the sharing gets done and no one cries.
Ellen is also a high achiever. A couple weeks ago, at her 4 month checkup, her pediatrician observed her rolling onto her side, engaging with people and interesting things, being alert, and smiling and laughing at Nick and I. Dr. Cozza shook his head and declared that there was no discernable developmental difference between Ellen and other 4-month-old babies. Remember she’s a premie. A premie who underwent chemotherapy. A premie who underwent chemotherapy and arrived on Christmas Eve. During a historical blizzard. I mean, the obstacles this tiny human has overcome is astounding.
Happy Mother’s Day 2023
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