I found my bliss for awhile just after the 4th of July. We escaped on a spontaneous trip to our favorite place in the world....Maine. Four whole days at the ocean. Four whole days, just the four of us. I returned peaceful and refreshed and determined to make this summer different, better than the last several summers have been.
Two summers of magic shops, 1 summer with a brand newborn, 1 summer pregnant, 1 summer struggling with PPD, 1 summer full of surgeries.....summers around here haven't been exactly what summers should be....especially for kids. I was determined to make this summer different. And I did!
I have four siblings. My kid have nine cousins. With the exception of holiday gatherings we don't see each other all that much. Two of my siblings live in Kansas...we live in NY. A trip to Kansas was not happening this summer. I wanted to have some good family time and to let my kids have some cousin time. They adore their cousins and their cousins adore them. Luckily for Matthew and Anne, eight out of their nine cousins live within two and a half hours of us. So we got back from vacation and I set out to plan the rest of the summer full of visits with family and friends, playdates and sleepovers for Anne.
Daddy stayed home to work and the kids and the dog and I headed out to my sister's for a few days. We had a blast. My only disappointment was that when we went to the zoo the Penguin Exhibit was closed. The next week I packed everyone up and we went to my brother's. We had a fabulous time.
Then we came home and got everything together for the Penguin Party! Yes! My Matthew turned three! Crafty me had so much fun getting ready for his party and throwing it. We had such a great day.
But trouble was brewing for this Mama long before the birthday bash. I think it started before we left for our visit with my sister, when I was pulling weeds in the backyard. For a week or so I was waking up in the morning feeling like I had a pulled muscle in my groin, but that feeling went away after a half hour or so each day. Then while we were visiting my sister my nephew and I were walking the dogs and I slipped, just a tiny bit on a wet wooden foot bridge. I felt an intense pain in my hip that I struggled to walk off. That was followed by a series of little incidents that left me with the same kind of pain. Then it became harder and harder to walk. I had a hard time during my visit with my brother so I went to the doctor as soon as we got back. My doctor determined that my injury seemed to be a weight bearing issue with my left hip joint. She sent me for an X-ray and referred me to an orthopedist. The X-ray showed nothing. I had to wait 2 weeks for my appointment with the orthopedist and the pain continued to get worse to the point where my leg would give out when I tried to put weight on it. My husband bought me a cane which helped a little bit, until I tripped on it the first evening I had it. That was the end of the line for me. The pain and frustration over the whole situation brought me to tears, and I don't come to tears easily. That fall wrenched my hip so badly that I could no longer put any weight on that leg. My husband called the orthopedist the next morning and got me an emergency appointment. An MRI was ordered which I had the next evening. As it turns out I have a stress fracture in my left hip joint. I am now alternating between using crutches and a wheelchair. I cannot put any weight on my leg for six whole weeks. Surgery is a possibility if I do not seem to be healing or if I fall and injure the hip further causing the stress fracture to become a complete fracture.
So my summer turned out interesting for sure. I am so grateful that I got in those family visits when I did, and that I was able to give Matthew his Penguin birthday bash before it all became too much.
Now I am in an interesting predicament. I have a five year old starting kindergarten in two weeks and a three year old starting pre-school in three weeks. I won't be able to put weight on my leg for at least six weeks. It is a frustrating and discouraging position to be in. I am not sick, and if I don't move around too much I don't feel any pain in my hip. So I feel fine. Yet I am confined. Cooped up with two little kids. I have to be really careful because the slightest wrong move could cause a complete fracture. I can't really do much to care for my family and my home. I am actually relying on the kids to help care for me during the day when my husband is working. They are being really great, but they are still very little. I can see in their behavior that this situation is stressful for both of them, especially my daughter. I am so thankful that I am not in this alone. I have my church family, my friends, my in-laws and my parents. People are bringing us meals, cleaning my house, helping me care for the kids.....I have done things like this for others before, and now I am truly seeing first hand how important it is. What a difference a meal can make, a clean bathroom can make. For the first time I realize the importance of being a part of a community, something bigger than your own family unit. This is a frustrating time for me yes, but I know that I am going to have help and support and LOVE to get me through it. That makes all the difference in the world.
This is the best summer ever!