Sweet G went to a dear friend's sleep over birthday
party last night. As I awaited her return this morning,
I thought about how this latest phase of G's recovering
health feels like a venture into new and known territories.
That sense of anticipation, of waiting to hear about the
night's adventure and if it was a success (it was),
reminded me of when G was little and was first going
to birthday parties. New steps, new beginnings, but
what is new is also a return to what is old. She is
launching again toward Independence, as her body
strengthens and recovers. We have been here before,
but the view looks a little different from this vantage.
I find myself pausing to stare at her when she talks with
vigor about her day's adventures. Her cheeks glow,
her skin is pink and vibrant, her hands are warm, and
I want to mention all of this. I want to tell her how
beautiful she looks as she pulls Bananagrams from the
closet, but that's not what normal Mom's do.
It is a funny, tenuous place, between dire illness
and remission. That line between saying too much
and too little is faint and moving, like seaweed
on the tide line. We do not like to be complimented
for something we used to do without effort. To have
your Mom comment on how good you look in everyday
activities is at best embarrassing, and at worst a
reminder of where you've been.
We have our eyes on our ultimate destination. We are
looking for that place where everyday activities, and
even special occasions, do not warrant planning and
back up planning and check-in at completion. We are
waiting for simple things to be common place, and for
the glow of health to be unremarkable.