All the ornaments and festive trappings disappeared while I was sleeping the other night, like magic. The husband was on nightwaking baby duty (that baby. he does not sleep.) and I guess they kept each other from crying by boxing up Christmas, putting it all away. Thanks, husband. There’s something so terrific about having stuff happen when you aren’t looking. I get stuck in thinking that I’m the magicmaker, that I am the only one doing things when no one else is noticing. But that’s a little like standing in a fun house of mirrors and seeing my efforts reflected infinitely. I do good work, no question. But so does he. And I sure do appreciate it. It takes the both of us over here -not sleeping enough, grumbling a little, and trying really hard- to keep this ship afloat.
It was a merry little Christmas. We ate the cinnamon rolls and the egg casserole that we always eat. We opened gifts, we played games together. It was a sweet day for the five of us.
The day after Christmas, Ulysses got his cast off and THAT was wonderful. I am afraid that updating his recovery from surgery will be confusing since I haven’t yet bothered to write about the hospital stay, but I’m going to do it anyway. If you’re following along, he had both lower legs amputated, but there were two very different surgeries involved. He has two very different legs. I call his right leg his “short leg” because, simply, it’s shorter. His right leg was amputated through the knee and it was a straightforward surgery that required only soft-tissue healing. His right leg has been completely healed for weeks. But his left leg, his longer leg, his stronger leg, was a more complicated surgery. His Shriner’s surgeon fused bone together, to create a sturdier, weight-bearing residual limb, and bone takes longer to heal than soft tissue. There is not one way to amputate. Not all amputation surgeries are the same. And that’s why some people can be fitted for prostheses in just a few weeks post-surgery and some people in that same time frame are still healing. Ulysses had a cast on his left leg for seven weeks. That was seven weeks of difficult movement, wardrobe challenges, and no bathing. I am so glad he’s out of that cast. It’s been a long seven weeks.
He had such a happy, splashy bath that first night without a cast. He doesn’t talk much yet, but with all the splashing and kicking he was doing in the tub, I’m pretty sure he was telling me that he was glad that the cast was gone, too.
And that’s what I want this upcoming year to feel like. I’ve never had a cast, but I saw the way Uly stretched out in such relief after that fiberglass shell was pulled off his leg, the way he kept looking at us in kind of a dubious surprise. I thought about how we pretty much spent all last year preparing for and recovering from two HUGE, MAJOR surgeries. And I thought, I hope 2013 is the surprised stretch. I hope 2013 is the relief. It’s kind of a bum deal Ulysses was given, that’s the harsh truth. He will have to work harder to do stuff you take for granted. That’s not mama bear feelings, that’s fact. But how much easier will it be to do all the stuff he needs to do if we aren’t preparing or recovering? I guess what I’m trying to say is that this last year felt like shaky transitioning. I would like the new year to have less breath holding, fewer new worries, more trusting, and so much splashing.
Hey. Do you know that feeling you get when you are lying on the ground on a warm day, with your eyes closed, and your face turned toward the sky, and you can see the sunshine through your closed eyelids in a shadowy, orange kind of way and it feels like you’re floating and everything is fine forever? That’s what this song sounds like to me. You’ve probably heard this one before, I swear it was on a commercial or something recently, but I’m using to do my part in setting the tone for the new year. I want everything to be so fine.