It just hit me. It's been one month today. We have made it one whole month, and I am not sure I have ever felt more accomplished in my whole life.
That's a big statement coming from someone who has spent this one whole month lying in bed. I used to fantasize about lying in bed. I dreamed of it. I yearned for it. Now I would do anything to get out of this damn thing.
But we have made it one whole month, baby girl and I, and I couldn't be more humbled, more grateful, more in awe of people's humanity, and some days, perhaps more grumpy. But whatever.
And oh, the lessons I have learned. Lessons I will never, ever forget.
Like lessons about my people - you know, those people that make up that village we so often refer to in poetry - are the best people I know. My people have fed us for the last month. My people have called and texted and written cards and dropped by just to say hi. They have listened to me cry and reminded me to breathe. Sometimes my people bring Dilly Bars and books and blankets and brownies and hot chocolates and burgers and movies, and they sit in my bed beside me to shoot the shit. You have no idea how much shooting the shit in bed means to someone who can't get out of bed. My people have watched my kids and picked up my kids and taken my kids to get a Christmas tree and taken my kids to make Christmas ornaments and most importantly of all, loved my kids like I do. This is, after all, how you ultimately know who your real people are.
Like lessons about my family. It's funny how in times of crisis, you want your mom. I want my mom. And so she comes, with People magazines and newspapers and an unrelenting commitment to my boys to literally smother them in love. She is the giver of pep talks and the carrier of hope, and she loves me so deeply and so dearly that I just want her. I want my mom. You know how it goes. And my mother-in-law. I want her too. She brings me knitting projects and sandwiches and takes my cat to get groomed. Yes, groomed. I love this woman. And my father-in-law who finishes yard projects and runs to Costco and hauls hospital beds into my living room - yeah, I love him too. And my brother and sister and their families who come into town to run my children ragged and who call me all the time just to remind me they are there or to complain about the sound of Rachel Ray's voice - God, I love them so much.
Oh, and the lessons about marriage and about knowing you found the right one. You know those articles people pass around about "The 10 Keys to a Successful Marriage"? The ones that say stupid crap like, "Never pee in front of each other" and "Do it all the time"? Yeah, they're stupid. So freaking stupid. And wrong. Because sometimes the shit hits the fan, and sometimes where and when you pee and how many times you manage to do it in a month mean SHIT. Yep, that's right. I said it. Because this husband of mine is a freaking warrior. He has taken the reigns with grace and strength and through exhaustion and stress, still manages to look me in the eye and say, "Love, I may have the busy part, but you have the hard part. Don't ever forget it." I love this man. I don't know what I did to deserve him. But I know I found the right one.
Perhaps the biggest lesson of all is the one about parenting. When you're in the trenches, it often feels like one failure after another. Why are they beating the crap out of each other with spatulas? You are seriously throwing yourself on the floor because I won't let you wear shorts? In 32 degree weather? Dude, is there a reason you are standing on top of your chest of drawers? When you are banished to the sidelines, you are forced to observe. And when you observe, you see the truth. The truth is, they are amazing and strong and resilient and kind. They say "thank you" and "please" and "I'll be gentle, mama." They still beat the crap out of each other with spatulas, but you know, they also have each other's backs in a way that is fierce and committed and real. They are brothers, through and through, and I am so very proud of who they are and who they are becoming. To say I love them feels inadequate. I love them so much it hurts.
And let's not forget the lessons that only weeks and weeks of bed rest can offer. Like 'Downton Abbey' might be the best all-time show ever made, and I don't understand why Matthew can't just come lay in bed with me. I just need a day. One day. Did you know there are people who spend $30,000 on wedding dresses? And that you could potentially fix an entire week of meals in one day? Did you know that online Christmas shopping is soooooooo much better than going to the stores? I love it. With a passion.
We have made it a month. A month of lessons and most importantly, of life.
Just three more to go.