On August 2nd, I tripped over Daphne in the kitchen and landed with my arms fully extended out in front of me. I immediately knew that I had hurt myself pretty bad. I sat on the kitchen floor in shock, trying to tell myself that it would be okay and I'd be able to move my arms in a few minutes.
It wasn't okay. And I couldn't move my arms.
So Mark took me to the Emergency Room and the x-rays showed two broken arms.
As the doctor came in and out of the room, the enormity of the situation kept hitting me. I was simultaneously filled with questions and dumbfounded. I would start to laugh because it would all seem so ridiculous and with seconds I would start to cry because....it was all so ridiculous! And then I would realize that I couldn't wipe my own tears or blow my nose. It was all becoming clear.
Who is going to change diapers? do dishes? do laundry?
Can I drive? feed myself? wash my face? do my hair? make a meal?
The short answer: not me.
I wouldn't be doing any of those things. Everybody else was going to do them for me. For six weeks.
Here a few things I learned over the six weeks I was in double slings and completely useless.
People bring food. Lots and lots of food. And I couldn't do a dang thing about it. I had to ask someone to feed it to me and that's a hard thing to do when you want your third mini cheesecake in a half an hour.
Everly did not understand the situation. She wanted to be held. I wanted to hold her too, but I also wanted her to stay as far as possible from my arms because they hurt like heck the first 3 weeks. I was terrified of every bump and jostle.
I learned that I would need to brush up on my powers of persuasion. Ever tried to talk a child into putting themselves in time out?
No easy task.
I learned not to take for granted the ability to hold my child's hand. It's a hard thing to walk side by side with your little girl and not be able to save her from tripping and scraping up her knees.
I learned to be content to be a human pillow. It was all I had to give.
I learned more about the kind of man I married. He did everything with kindness, gentleness and good humor. He was doing his work, my work and taking care of me. That involved showering and dressing me every day, brushing my teeth and my hair. He learned how to do a ponytail, shave legs and even apply a little mascara. And then, occasionally, I would call him at lunchtime to come help me use the bathroom.
Bye, bye pride.
I was completely at the mercy of my children. Human pillow fort? Yes, please. I'll sit right here while you make that happen.
Mark took over a lot of the cooking.
And so did everybody else. Necessity is a fine teacher.
I found ways to participate in life with my kids. One of their favorites was painting my toenails and feet. I loved the way it tickled and they could rinse it off and start all over.
Also, watercolors do not wash off as completely as you might think. I wasn't too concerned, though. I had no plans to wear open toed heels.
I'll stick with my trusty black flats.
I was cared for by my mother for weeks. She cooked and cleaned and played with the kids. She also put together the preschool poster that I was responsible for bringing to Anna's first day of Preschool. She worked so hard to measure everything out and do a nice job.
Jean and Joe also came a stayed for a couple weeks. Jean ran the house and laughed with me as she tried to feed me my dinner without making me feel completely embarrassed. I'll admit, it was tough for me to be in that position. But she made it much easier.
Joe and I had many long conversations about books we were reading. I had lots of time on my hands.
The kids sat down to make Thank You cards for all the people that were helping us (there were a lot).
I learned that help can come from places you least expect it. Dalton John held Everly's hand as we walked to the school to pick up Laney and Megan.
I learned there are lots of ways to contribute. Even if it's being an obedient patient.
And I learned to sit and enjoy life for a little while. Turns out there was plenty to see.
Maybe taking a break isn't the worst thing to happen.
But I'll be glad when it is my choice again!