This past weekend, I took out a bin of summer clothing. I know that I had trimmed this stash down quite a bit after last year, removing things that I've had since I was 21 (or longer) that just didn't seem appropriate for me to wear anymore. I do have a nice collection of crop pants and shorts, and the weather has been so lovely over the past few days that I've been able to wear my summer stuff already.
I actually wore a few different things today--some shorts during the day with the kids (although we slept most of the day because I was tired and I think they're growing), a skirt for going out to dinner post-Passover, and a pair of light khaki crop pants with all kinds of buckles on them for orchestra rehearsal, figuring that neither the skirt nor the shorts were really quite right.
These pants are significant. I think that they either belonged to my mother first or she got them for me, but I started wearing them in 2008. On the right leg, faded into obscurity but still visible if you know where to look, are bloodstains. The blood belongs to The Boy.
June 25th, 2008. We were in the hospital. The night before, we had been admitted because The Boy was to get checked out for possible kidney cancer. Among the exciting things that happened was the event with the resident trying to place an IV in his hand OVER AND OVER again...then calling the IV team only to have them place it in his right hand, taking away his sucking thumb. It was truly a miserable night. At least I was able to nurse him and sooth him to sleep, somewhat. He had a CT scan the following morning, and we were leaving the hospital room after that to go for a walk, maybe to the playroom. All of sudden I saw blood. Little drops. On my pants and on my white shoes (I have since worn out those shoes). There was a problem with the peripheral IV, and it needed to be adjusted. While they did that, I asked if they could free his right thumb. He ended up not finding it until several days after his surgery, but it was a triumphant photo that I took nonetheless.
I don't know why I didn't just get rid of these pants. At this point, they are perfectly fine for wearing in public, as you can only see the blood drops if you look closely. And besides, moms get random oddities on their pants all the time.
Allow me to wax poetic: every time I wear them and see the spots, it takes me back to the hospital in New Jersey. To room 4224. And the Special Care unit, where we spent SO much time. But specifically, to that time in our lives when we understood that nothing was ever going to be the same. Now, even though these pants look mostly normal, the spots remain, as a metaphor for pediatric cancer having forever changed us.