I feel like this picture could be in a magazine article about a mother's love or loving an athletic kid or sports injuries or being totally exhausted because you love your kid so much and you want to protect them from everything and anything and ahhhhh. This picture pretty much sums up the last 11 days of my life--hovering/exhausted/a tiny bit irrational/a whole lot of heart bursting love and gratitude/determined/I got this but woah I'm tired/motherhood. But it's not the whole story.
There's other parts of this story...There's the night before surgery full of Peyton's pain and grogginess and my fear. There were the beeping machines, his scary low heart rate, the no sleeping, the worrying.
There's the story of the morning. A new day full of light and hope and still the worry but it seemed a little better in the light. Waiting for your kid to get out of surgery sucks, there's no pretty, cheery or light way to say it. Waiting and wondering and not knowing is hard.
But then there's the story of healing. After Peyton got out of surgery and we found out things went well, I felt like I could breathe so much easier. He's young and so healthy except for the broken leg, he will heal.
It's now time for all of us to heal. Watching their brother get hurt on the football field and rushed off in an ambulance was scary. Seeing their brother weak and needing help is strange for all of them, but it has also given them a chance to show him how much they love him and taught them a lot about compassion and helping each other out.
The biggest story of healing is Peyton himself. I truly think he is a special kid. He hasn't complained once (except for his leg being itchy under the wrappings and brace). He is nice and polite to everyone he's met. He is strong and stoic. He is already working hard at his recovery.
There's the story of going home. It's actually a very funny one, at least I told Peyton he will think it's funny in a couple years. It was just the two of us and it was ridiculously hard to get him and straight-leg-only brace into the minivan. The more I tried not to bump his leg the more I bumped it. We finally made it in and on our way home, it was so hectic I didn't stop to take a picture (and he might not have been so polite if I had tried!).
There's the story of food and friends and family dinners. The physical therapist nicknamed "Sergeant" told me not to baby him and to get him up to the table for meals. So that's what we did. He was groggy the first couple days, but then a few neighbors came by and played video games with him and ate dinner with us and he smiled and laughed and acted more like himself. Sarge was right.
We practiced with the wheelchair on Friday. There were no students because of a teacher professional development day. The halls were eerie and quiet. Peyton was frustrated. It was a little depressing.
But thank goodness the siblings were there to brighten his mood and distract him.
This past Sunday night we went to the kids' basketball games and cheered each other on and told stories and it felt almost like normal.
And THEN this past Monday, I dropped Peyton off at school in his wheelchair because he said he could do it and the doctors and sarge agreed. I couldn't sleep the night before because I was so worried and I might have gone up to the school Monday on my lunch break and secretly watched him in the lunch room to make sure he was okay. But come on! I mean for the past 11 days I have been by his side and worrying and thinking about all the what-ifs and oh my god life is so fragile and scary and we are so lucky that we are mostly so healthy and my heart breaks for people that are going through more and ahhhhh.
The stories from the past 11 days are about hurting and healing; breaking and mending; worry and love; coming together and feeling grateful; and being inspired by how life moves on and the strength of my kid.