Wednesday, October 31, 2007

an adventure...

first off, let me say that everything is okay.

yea, you parents out there know that phrase is actually code for "something bad happened...but don't you worry your pretty little head about it". and the bad thing is...13 days ago my son got his leg broken in soccer practice.

because he is an overachiever, it was a massive break...both bones...both compound fractures....compartment syndrome that needed to be surgically addressed by fasciotomy (WARNING...this link is NOT for the weak hearted) know...a gigantic painful mess.



two surgeries, four days in the hospital and a week at home recuperating -- we are now returning to the semblance of normalcy. we are all back to work and school. now the fun really starts.

when kelly and i have faced challenges in the past, we've always tried to maintain a "hey, isn't this adventure going to be fun?" kind of attitude. usually, at least in our estimation, the challenges had not been too taxing...for example:

question: how do you get two adults to work and a toddler to daycare with one car of which the clutch is going out?
answer: it's an adventure! and, bonus! we can come up with ways to bend the space-time continuum to get everyone where they need to be on time.

question: what happens when the drive part of the transmission goes out, but the reverse part still works?
answer: drive in reverse, silly!

not all of our adventures are car-related (okay, a lot of them used to be), but we always worked it out. this situation, however, has proven more interesting than any other we had faced previously. and, in addition, now we were dealing with a teenager -- an independent teenager who was quite used to taking care of himself and controlling his own destiny. imagine the implications, if you will.

so the three peas are adjusting, to say the least, and growing in ways we didn't think possible, to be generous. but it is all working out...each day gets a little bit better than the day before. there are setbacks, but those are to be expected. we are learning to enjoy small and large victories whenever we can (nathaniel was elected homecoming king a week and a half after the accident and was able to attend homecoming to receive, and proudly wear, his crown!)

but mostly, in this year of "lasts" (last halloween before college, last homecoming dance, last EVERYTHING before college) i am seeing this adventure as an opportunity to cherish the time i get to care and nurture my son back to 100% health. seeing my way clear to that end, though, has proved to be difficult as we are all frustrated and teetering occasionally on the edge of despair, but still i try to focus on the positive.

home is where we let our guard down. the outside world may never see us crumble, but within our own four walls, we can relax. often that deep exhale is accompanied by a flood of tears or a primal scream from our toes or a hysterical laugh that cannot be understood by anyone other than family. that is where we are these days -- putting our best face forward and coming home to unclench our jaws and help each other walk again.

Friday, October 12, 2007

different, but the same...

last weekend, a mood overtook me and possessed me to get all my hair cut off. the entirety of the thought process lasted less than 29 minutes, and the total lapsed time from initial formation in my brain to the shampoo girl sweeping up billowy piles of my locks was 2 hours.

and now, a week later, i'm left feeling wonderfully light, but conspicuously exposed. my long hair was a shield, a curtain that kept the outside world at bay. now, though, with by tresses chopped to shorter than chin length, i'm out here, flapping in the breeze, for all the world to see.

and you know what? when you make a drastic change to your appearance, people who barely know you feel like that is an opening to comment -- "wow! that's drastic...what made you do it?" almost-strangers ask. "none of your business!" is what i think, but politely, ala miss manners, answer, "i was just ready for something different."

i looked in the mirror yesterday and felt like a different heidi was looking back at me. almost as if the hair was plopped down on my head and that by virtue of it being different, it made me different...but it doesn't. still me....