On my desk, which is a bit messy, with stuff piled up, because I have been away for 3 days and I usually clear it at the end of each day, because I HATE clutter and mess, especially in space I have to work or spend a lot of time in, stands a vase, with a single red rose in it. That rose, which cost £2.50 and was bought at my almost 4 year old’s son’s insistence, when we were out shopping today. He also managed to wrangle a box of usually not found in my pantry cupboard sugar laden cereal and a Disney DVD which was on sale (making me feel slightly more justified in buying it) out me me today.
I let him buy it, I let him choose a box of sugary cereal, I let him choose a DVD to take home to watch this afternoon, with is sister. I don’t normally let them splurge like that, we don’t just let our children spend money, like that but the events of this week have put life into perspective for me.
Earlier this week, despite having had a really successful and smooth recovery period from her recent operation, Big Girl developed some complications, and I had to call an ambulance to our home, early on Tuesday morning, and we spent 3 days in a hospital 11 miles from our home, with me staying overnight, with her, and LSH shuttling between home, childcare for Small Boy and being with us (we are eternally grateful to all those who offered to help, and to my brother and lovely child-minder who actually had him for those days) She is now home and recovering, and it was a complication that was manageable with medical care, but it was hellishly scary for a few hours on Tuesday morning. She doesn’t want me to share details, so I won’t but I don’t ever want to have to call 999 like that again.
Whilst I was sitting in the hospital, first in A&E with her, and then in the ward, where she was monitored and given medications I had so many thoughts going through my head. I knew she would be OK, because I have ENT experience and have seen what happened to her, in my work, but also I had my faith, and faith in the excellent medical care at the hospital, and also in my own ability to advocate for her, if I thought she wasn’t getting the care she needed or wasn’t responding to the treatment but I was still shaken, and had to really battle with some anxious thoughts, throughout the event and afterwards. LSH was also very shocked and shaken, (a phonecall from your wife to tell you “get home now, I have called 999” will do that to you) and family around the world have been worried and anxious, because they weren’t able to be there with us, helping us and supporting her.
It’s scary, to see your child unwell, to the point where other people, strangers, have to step in and take over, and tell you what to do, and to give you facts, and plans, that you have no control over. You have to listen and hope that what they are saying is right, and that your child will be ok. There is always that possibility that they won’t be. Life is fragile, the human body is not infallible, and the worst CAN happen. We all hope and pray it won’t be us or our loved ones it will happen to, but it can and does. Watching your child, you feel helpless, scared and for me, my heart felt like it was being gripped, by something that I cannot explain, a cold “what if?” and “this could have been worse” and “why did this happen to us?”
Fortunately, she recovered, and is well on the mend, but whilst I was in hospital, I met two families. One with a little girl, exactly Big Girl’s age, who when I got chatting to the parents, in the kitchen, told me what their daughter was being treated for, and in my nursing knowledge, I know that it’s likely to be life limiting, and her chances of coming through are pretty slim. That shook me, as I watched my own child, get better, that someone else was preparing to support their own child through gruelling treatment that probably won’t work, on a long term. The other family have spent most of their son’s short life in and out of hospitals, because he has multiple health issues, that need a lot of input and treatment and will continue to, for years to come. He may lead a normal life, at some point, but for now, he is “hospitalised” and spends more time in hospital wards, or clinics, or at appointments, that he does doing normal things that a nearly 4 year old boy should be doing. He is a month older than Small Boy. I came away from the hospital this week, taking my child home, thankful and with a new sense of perspective.
We cannot control life, I have been blessed with two healthy children who can go about normally, and whom I love so much, it makes my heart hurt with a breath taking away pain, to think about loosing them. Other people don’t have that. I have friends who have lost countless pregnancies, or tried and failed to get pregnant, who suffer the heartbreak of infertility and not being able to have a child, I have friends who have lost their precious children, who have struggled with the worst thing any parent can have to deal with, and no one can take that pain away. I realise afresh, that I have been given these two gifts to raise and love and send out into the world, and to treasure the time I have with them.
Perspective is good. It makes you see what you need to change or work on. I am not a perfect parent, I never will be, but I can try harder, to be the best parent I can, and I can also change my priorities, and attitude. We aren’t going away on holiday as planned this coming week, the doctors think it is best that Big Girl is close to home and resting. Normally I would have been really upset, we all desperately need this break, we are tired, and we need time away. But, she is on the mend, and we are having a stay-cation at home. We will spend time together and rest and enjoy things, despite not being “away”. I had a fleeting thought that I could catch up on work, blogging, admin, household chores and all that mundane stuff, whilst we had our week at home, but I have banished it. I will not be blogging for the next week. I will not be making sure my Facebook page is flowing with our usual updates and antics, I will be deleting my e-mail apps from my phone and not even opening my mail on the computer and I will be reducing my social media presence, and I won’t be worrying about all the work admin and prep that needs done. It can wait. It is all important to me and needs to be done, but it’s not urgent, or life threatening, and it will all still be there next week. Perspective means for me, taking time out, time off, to be with my family. Perspective is good. Life is good, we have been given some very precious gifts, and this week, I plan to hug them, hold them, love on them, let them have a few things here and there, that normally I would frown on, and I won’t worry about a messy house, or things that need to be done.
So that’s why I let Small Boy buy this rose, and carry it home, to put in a vase on my desk. That is why my children spent this afternoon eating sugary cereal out of bowls whilst watching movies. Life will go back to normal, but for now, perspective is letting me relax and enjoy them and life.