Back to life, back to reality

The vacation is over. The children have returned. The schedule is resumed. The fall planning has begun. The rules have been reapplied.

We’re back to our life. But with some changes. (NOTE: One being that I’ve been picking at this post on and off in 5 minute increments for about 4 days now…)

Last night, after Thane’s bed time, my husband, eldest and I laid on a blanket in the backyard, vainly fighting the full moon and suburban light pollution for a shooting glimpse of majestic fire. We laughed, joked, poked each other, and listened to the symphony of insects performing every summer evening. This was a moment that probably would have been an option in our pre-vacation world, but that we would have been to stressed, blind or busy to see. In the lassitude of people whose emotional needs have been met, though, we had a really joyous hour together.

In other urgently important news, Grey does not have a loose tooth. No he does not. He has TWO loose teeth. His bottom two center teeth are extremely wiggly. One has an imminent departure date. I was sniffling a little at dinner about him losing his teeth. He got very sad and tried to assure me that he’d done his very best to take good care of his teeth – brushing and flossing them! Factual analysis of his actual oral hygiene practices aside, I had to rush to reassure him that losing teeth was perfectly normal and expected – but that I like him the way he is and it’s hard to watch him growing up so fast. He gave me some big hugs, that made me feel better about it. (At least until I consider that I should be banking them against the inevitable teenage hug-drought, but that’s just borrowing trouble.)

And then there’s my knee thing. I believe I’ve agonized at length over here about my KNEE and how I’ll have to actually have surgery. I feel like a total wimp. I’ve always seen myself as a strong stoic person (hey! Stop laughing!) In fact if you’d asked me why I chose to give birth – TWICE – without drugs I’d say something about how it wasn’t actually that hard after you got over the screaming bit, and the toughest part was that your jokes just weren’t that funny between pushes. (Ah, hormones! How easy you make it seem in retrospect.) I begin to suspect, however, that I’m actually a wimp about medical procedures. You see, I have no problem with needles. I’ve given about five gallons of blood. No problem! And I’ve never caviled at the procedures I’ve needed. But, uh, I haven’t needed any. Or at least many. This will be my first time unconscious. Not asleep, but knocked out. I’ve never fainted, blanked out, passed out, gone unconscious or had general anesthesia before. This will also be the first time anyone has ever cut me open in any way. And it will definitely be the first time someone has inserted a cadaver tendon threaded through my knee, after trimming off ragged bits of meniscus.

And the more people I talk to, the more this surgery sounds like a big deal. I mean, weeks and weeks of badness. Probably two weeks of incapacitation, followed by a long period of limping. I don’t do well with incapacitation. I prefer to tough my way through the pain and do stuff anyway. In this case, doing so will be stupid and irresponsible. I have no coping skills for when I’m not allowed to tough it out.

It probably means I will have to (gulp) ask for help. So my husband will be with me the day of the surgery. My MIL (who is a saint) is flying down for that week. But that second week? I’m hoping I will be able to limp to the bathroom and get lunch for myself by that second week. But no way can I take care of my children, do the laundry or dishes or make dinner. And our household generates enough work to keep TWO people busy full time doing it. I’m terrible at asking people for help. I’ve had so many kind friends volunteer, and I don’t know how to graciously and gratefully accept.

I guess this whole surgery thing will teach me many things.

But first! We have a first day of kindergarten approaching. I’m hoping to sneak in a camping trip over Labor Day. I have two neat kids who are a ton of fun. My husband brought home about 20 boardgames from Gencon. We’ve had fun playing them together, and with friends. (And hey! We’ve been married for eleven years now!) And all my counters are completely covered in the bounty of my CSA. (Seriously, two watermelons and two cantaloupes!)

And of course, my usual sporadic once-a-week-a-third-of-what-I-want-to-tell-you postings will now resume. At least that should improve with surgery!