Long ago there were endless days of cleaning up spills and toys and crumbs. Of picking up sleeping bodies to move them to bed and heavy strollers thrown into the back of a creaky van. Day after day of entertaining young minds with a balance of silliness, songs and facts, probably more silliness. I never knew when the last day would be – the last time I would need to wash a little body in the tub or check to make sure all the shampoo had gotten rinsed out. I wasn’t aware the last night I read them all a story that it wouldn’t happen again. Until it didn’t. Motherhood is a constant presence until some aspect is no longer needed. That muscle atrophies without use.
This month my almost-man son had surgery that prevents him from walking for six weeks. 42 days. For this small window of time, I have been washing hair and getting up in the night to dispense medicine. I have driven him every single place he has needed to be and pulled out the stroller, I mean wheelchair, and thrown it back into the trunk. Over and over again. I have advocated for him with doctors, surgeons, teachers and coaches. And I have watched quite a few movies and YouTube videos I wouldn’t have chosen. I have mostly enjoyed this time of caregiving, probably because I am acutely aware of how short the time is that I will be needed.
It’s been a tough month. I have been reminded just how hard those long days were, and that I am so fortunate to have been the one who spent them with my treasures.