It seems to be taking all three of us a lot longer than last time to recover from this surgery and hospitalization. It doesn't help that we picked up a cold somewhere in the hospital. The Boy is, fortunately, healing pretty nicely and returning to his normal self. He is eating meals and snacks pretty well. Unfortunately, he is also so attached to my boobies that I'm getting sore. Owies.
This afternoon, I had a few moments that really solidified my feelings about our whole situation. A little girl, about three years old, was skipping along behind her mother in the supermarket parking lot, looking just as happy and carefree as she could be. A mom walked through the supermarket with her baby girl, maybe 8 months old, doing the whole googly-eyes and faces and such. And I thought, where are my sunshine and lollipops? Maybe life isn't always like that with kids. I know it's not. Even before The Boy's illness, we had our ups and downs with him. Sometimes he drove us crazy. Other times he was so sweet and endearing that we'd grin for hours just because of something silly that he did.
Now that The Boy's illness is a permanent part of who he is and how we relate to him, we can look at our life together in two ways--everything is that much more of a blessing, or we have so many more chores than other parents. We feel both, frequently. The first time that we saw him smile after his surgery, either time, was magical. But those few post-surgery days were SO hard. I pumped milk for 5 days, every 4 hours during the day. It was hard to hold him, and sometimes it was better for him not to be held, because his position made breathing a little problematic.
Spending time going to the hospital (planned or unplanned), the doctor's appointments, waiting for results, taking his temperature and wondering if we'll have to go to the ER, hoping upon hope that he'll keep his meals down, and getting him to take medicine--now far more complex than just the applesauce--is what most of our lives seem to be now. It's hard to focus.
I'm starting to get a little worried about his development. In many areas, he is advanced. Specifically, in his fine motor skills and in some of the ways that he plays, he does a fine job. He knows how to use a spoon and fork although usually his fingers are his preferred dining implement. But he doesn't walk. He doesn't say any words other than "mama" and very rarely "dada." He has a checkup with his pediatrician next month, at which point we can discuss some of his milestones and whether we should truly be concerned.
We just hope that we're getting close to the end of this cancer crap and he'll be done forever with it. Of course, he won't really, because he'll have frequent scans to make sure that none of this stuff comes back. A little something hanging over our heads, and his head once he is old enough to understand, for the rest of our lives.
It has to be worth it. He's too beautiful. He's precious.