I’ve skipped a couple posts this week, one that I should have written about losing Hajjah Jamillah, and one that I should have written about Valentines and how big my heart feels cutting out paper hearts with my little one, and one that expresses my love for WD. But today there’s a different post on my
mind heart that I want to share with you.
This morning we went to a birthday party. Thirty preschoolers and toddlers, one moon bounce, a parachute game, three cakes, and a ton of pizza. It was absolutely marvelous, and wonderful fun as all the kids ran around in freshly made t-shirts, laughing and giggling.
Eventually, Widget (who didn’t know most of the other kids) joined in too. As he did, though, I felt my defenses weaken and my eyes fill up with tears. I stood casually by the piano, choking them back, and then went into the hall and let them out.
I was struck, immediately and powerfully, at how beautiful all these happy, laughing children were, and how casually their parents hovered or sat at the tables talking to each other.
I was struck by how much I stuck out as different, a mom without (much) hair and without breasts and without conviction that today was just another ordinary day. Instead I felt somehow pressured to enjoy every moment, to laugh, to play, to make this the best party EVER … for who knows whether we would be there for the next one?
I was struck by how much I wanted the general happiness in the room to extend to my children, and how I wished that their greatest worries were whether it was their turn on the slide, and not their mother’s serious illness.
I cried and cried, and then a friend found me, put her arms around me, and reminded me that it was completely normal to feel this way. That I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But my boys do have a good life. They are well cared for. They know that they are loved, not just by me, but by many people. They are developing empathy, and they will grow up to be wonderful boys and men.
And then another friend and I sat and talked while the children played, and it was better.
Late last night, after WD and I came to bed, we found a little interloper already snuggled in beneath the covers. While this is normally not a problem, last night we had yet to treat my scars and drain my lymph nodes with a series of exercises. I’ve kept my scars from him (he asked to see them once, but then they frightened him), so I turned away while we did the first steps.
But then something amazing happened. My precious three year old sat up, crawled over to us, and asked to help.
We gave him a simple job, and he did it well. He went to the next room and got the cocoa butter and then, of his own volition, helped WD gently spread it on my scars, murmurring to me all the time. He then patted me on the head gently and told me, “It’s okay, Mom. It’s okay.”
And so it will be. Our new life will be different, but also okay.