There's nothing better than a real fire in a fireplace. My 8 year old son Will was enjoying ours the other day—the first real cold day we've had this month. As he was mesmerized by the flames he said to no one in particular, "You know what I like to do with fire?". I decided to cut him off right there. I feel like there are some things you don't let your kid verbalize. Cause once they say it, they feel the need to do it.
I'm so glad it's Thanksgiving break. I have a houseful of boys, and one man, who are all incapacitated to some degree. Will's wearing a walking boot, Jack's icing a particularly painful pulled muscle, and Billy's finally medicated for a nasty cough that's kept him sleeping alone on the couch for almost two weeks. And there is nothing better than recovering at home during a little Thanksgiving break.
Of all three of the males in our home, Will's injury has been the most serious. And expensive, not that I'm adding it all up or obsessing about the new couch I will never buy. We are actually just very thankful he's only in a walking boot, and on the road to recovery. Initially I had no idea of how bad Will's foot injury was. I picked him up from school the day it happened and he limped his way into the car, complaining of how bad he hurt his ankle while getting into line after recess.
My reaction was, "Will, please don't overreact. You tend to make a bigger deal out of these kinds of things than they really are".
I continued to ignore Will most of the evening due to the fact that from 4-7pm every night, a variety of catastrophes usually happen. Mothers everywhere know what I'm talking about…Getting dinner on the table, Jack's homework, Faith's piano lessons, my own selfish drama… By bedtime, I realized for the first time that my kid was in serious pain. And it was not an overreaction. He was suffering. His ankle was swollen and he could not bear any weight on it at all. I felt terrible as I finally looked at his foot. I listened to him, really listened for the first time, about how it happened and how he was feeling. (cue the sad music ) He had huge crocodile tears, and I did too. I told him I was so sorry that I didn't take him seriously.
And the MOTHER OF THE YEAR award goes to….Not me.
We are ten days post injury, and Will loves his boot. The doctor said it was a bit "Darth Vader-ish" which obviously earned big points in our little family of Star Wars nerds. I love his boot due to the fact he doesn't need crutches any longer. Young boys are a hazard in crutches, to themselves, and to my walls. The doctor reassured us we are on our way to healing, and Will's going to be better in no time!
I'm so thankful. And not just because that's the right thing to say this time of year. Tonight our family spent the evening with my aunt who is facing surgery in a week for cancer. Aunt Sharon isn't pretending she's not afraid of facing her illness head on. She's scared and has moments of shear panic. But she knows God has every hair on her head numbered, so He must know about some stupid cancer cells too. So she faces it with boldness and courage, and trusts in God. I am watching her now, as I have watched my mom, my Grandma, my aunts, and my sister all trust Him as life throws us curveballs. Sometimes the curveballs are sprained ankles and a nasty cough that keeps you awake for two weeks. Sometimes it's raising four children you met less than six months ago. Sometimes it's cancer. No matter the curveball, we are not alone in this life. For this, and so many things I am thankful.
My life isn't perfect. People don't like me. I have horrible hair. I am not rich. I'm a jerk to Billy. My kids say "shut up". I put myself before the needs of my own children sometimes. I blow it all the time. And yet I am covered in grace and forgiveness. I will come to the table on Thursday with gratitude. And I will bring rolls.