Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not-so Criminal Minds

I'm not "doing" anything these days. No multi-tasking tight-rope-walking super-woman working mom-dom.

I'm just getting through.

Of course, I do have an excuse. If "'excuse" is, in fact the right sentiment. Unclear.

(Please note: I'm struggling - and failing - to avoid sounding like I'm blatantly stumping for sympathy here. So forgive.) At any rate, I've ruptured a disc in my spine. Currently I can't sit for more than a few minutes at a time. I can't bend or lift. And I'm in constant, significant pain - particularly in my leg. (Cue the requisite "Oohhhh you poor thing"s and "oh that's terrible"s).

It hit in the playground with the boys a few Saturdays ago. One moment I was pushing a tricycle while trying to explain "pedal." The next I was gray-faced, nauseous with pain, and en route to the ER.

Three days (and a ridiculous amount of morphine) later I was released from the hospital. And since then I've been drowning in a steady stream of pharmaceuticals, doctors and more than three weeks of lying in bed. Current approach is all percocet, all the time. Coming this week: edipural steroid injections (with a whole lot of fingers crossing that it works).

So, lots of reading books with mommy in bed. Lots of "don't climb on mommy" and "i'm so sorry sweetheart, but mommy can't do 'up' right now" and "Papa's coming in a minute." Poor papa. And poor boys.

Favorite moment #1:
"Zach, how was school today?"
He put hand on his lower back. "It was OK, but my back is hurting."

Favorite moment #2:
"Mommy, mommy..."
"What is it Jake?"
He has run up holding a cardboard toy drill, taken from a well-loved "fix-it" tool book.
"Hold still. I'm fixing your back." He holds the drill bit against my skin, and procedes to turn the handle. A beat. "All better?"

And moment #3, the classic:
Unseen little fingers yank up my shirt from behind, quickly followed by a succession of damp kisses on my lower back.
After a moment - say, five kisses each - two little heads poke around to the front.
"Mommy, now is your back all better?"

In fact "mommy, your back better? your back still hurting?" is a common refrain. Every day, multiple times a day. And there's a new game in the repetroire: Doctor (Not the naked kind. Not yet). They've created a whole new character named Doctor Super Snap. A doctor and super hero in one single super-duper package. Luckily for me Doctor Super Snap seems to have an endless supply of both bandaids and kisses.

It's simultaneously heart warming and wrenching to watch them navigate through having a broken mommy. Clearly the most traumatic series of events in their lives to date (not counting the NICU - and I'm sorry but I can't believe they were actually aware of that one).

But, honestly, there is a silver lining in all of this: I know without a doubt that they aren't psychopaths.

OK, fine. Maybe I'm reaching And maybe I've been clocking a few too many FBI CSI CIA CBI NCIS medical dramas while on bed rest. But what I mean is these boys of ours are undeniably empathetic.

And I know we are all going to be OK. I'll get better. The boys won't be scarred for life because I couldn't pick them up for a few months (or ever again). They won't need years of therapy because mommy had a bad back. They will indubitably need years of therapy for all the other things I'm doing. But not from this. Soon I will be "doing" again. We will all be OK.

Except maybe hubby. He hasn't slept in a month.

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