It’s been a journey, friends. If you’ve followed along on the blog, you’ve been with us through it all.
We’re not done with this eye cancer yet, but we’re approaching another major milestone.
My husband, Seth, hasn’t been into the office since Friday, January 30th. On Monday, March 2nd, he’ll return. He’s been working from home for two weeks now, and has made particularly great strides each of the past 12 days. It’s hard for a wife to measure the health of her husband, but let me just say he fed the kids breakfast this morning AND made oatmeal for me without prompting. That says a lot, don’t you think?
I’ve asked Seth to share a guest post on the blog this Monday, his first day back in the office. (Yes, I’ve been quietly and gently suggesting it all week. Today at lunch, he finally agreed to draft something this weekend.) So you’ll hear more from him very soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to share how I know we’re ready to move on to what’s next…from my perspective as wife and caregiver.
Halfway through through the month, my daughter participated in a week-long cheer camp. Two weeks ago, all the girls on the cheer team were scheduled to perform at a boys’ basketball game. Seth was still sleeping 75% of the time, so I had to haul all three kids out to the game by myself. Okay, so sports aren’t necessarily my favorite thing in the entire world. Neither is hauling all three kids to any big event by myself. But I thought I was ready. I thought I could do this. I thought it might be just fine. It was, in fact, fine. But it wasn’t awesome. Granted, I did have a three year old with me and it was bedtime and it was late, but by the time halftime came and the girls finished their performance, I was READY. TO. GO. I didn’t realize how drained I really was until I was out at a major social event. My ability to socialize was ACCEPTABLE, but not ADMIRABLE. When I saw how social and talkative everyone else was, I realized how tired I was. When I saw how much fun everyone else was having, I realized how much we’d been through and how much we were still on the mend. I was tired. I wasn’t really ready to go out yet. I wasn’t ready to chat it up with anyone. I just wanted to see my daughter perform and go home. So I did just that. After our daughter performed, I picked up all of our stuff, let the two older kids stay with friends, brought the baby home to bed, and went back a half hour later to pick up the two oldest. Half of a basketball game was all I could handle and I never once felt guilty about leaving early.
Contrast that with last night. Our son had a band concert. Seth was awake, alert! Ready to go to the concert as if nothing could hold him back, as if he never had eye cancer in the first place, as if nothing had ever happened. We went as a family. My parents had decided, last minute, to come for the concert. So we met them in the auditorium, too. I wasn’t super social with everyone, my mother and their mother, but I never am. I did, however, feel MUCH more energetic than I had at the basketball game two weeks ago, and MUCH more ready to socialize when we did engage with people we knew. Seth was fairly energetic and chatted with a handful of people, and he even kept an eye on our girls while my parents and I chatted with the superintendent. This was a MUCH different scenario than two weeks prior when Seth was in bed and I was out on my own, fatigued with three children. We all left feeling good, not drained. And I’d dare to say, we all left with a sense that this was quite “normal.” Yes, “normal.”
So this is how I know we’re ready to move on to “new normal,” whatever that is.
Today is Seth’s last day working from home. He complained a bit this morning about his eyes being more sensitive to light than they had for a while. And he’s still working in our bedroom with every blind drawn. But he took a lunch break and we went to McDonald’s to celebrate, just like we did the first day he started working from home. We enjoyed chicken sandwiches, just like we did the first day he started working from home. Only this time, he enjoyed a shamrock shake with the baby.