I have avoided talking about this. To you, I mean. Matt and I have been talking to them about this all along.
I can’t even think about it. And they haven’t really processed it, of course. They are 7 and 6 years old and believe that I exist for them (I, too, believe this). They just can’t seem to wrap their heads around 28 sleeps without me. So, we’ve made the trip into being about how I will be when I “heal.” They’re very clever and often use it when I tell them no. “OK, fine, Mommy. But when you’re treatment is done you can’t say no when I ask you to [insert sports activity when I say it’s time for bed]!” They’re geniuses. They’ve been compiling lists of things like a trip to Hawaii, hiking up the rocks at our favorite rock climbing area, and doing cartwheels and backflips in the back yard. [Sigh] I just can’t break it to them that I don’t WANT to climb the rocks and a trip to Hawaii is out of the question until they can manage to get through a one-hour meal at a restaurant without having to pee three times. We are a very busy family and we do a LOT together. We have so much fun going to dance, baseball, karate, art class, tennis, sports conditioning, church, sailing school… (I never thought about this, but maybe my problem isn’t MS, it’s my schedule). Summers are the best because we do NOTHING. This summer will be a lot of the same nothingness, but this time because I will be restricted from activity and public arenas so soon after graft. But nothing says we can’t make up for lost cuddle time in the hammock. This month will fly by for them and for me. There is free WiFi in the apartments and the time difference is only one hour. There will be daily FaceTime and I can still do the “favorite three things about your day” routine while they eat dinner. I have an amazing village as well. My church family knows my kids so well and two of their friends from two other churches are taking turns getting them to Sundays. Baseball is covered by a friend. Dance class is covered by another. Their Sensei offered to video a class so I don’t miss everything. I have a three-ring binder with a detailed calendar and back-ups for every need. My village. And my Mother-in-Law. When Cheryl isn’t here, Jane will be. Jane will be driving a very long distance to spend a month helping to hold down the fort. She knows how to use Skype and she’s got the fun games down like no other. My kids love the board games she brings (sometimes I wonder if she really thought it through when she first introduced them to Monopoly) and they get a lot of joy reading to her. They’ll tell you “Geema” likes to take them to Chinese restaurants and bookstores (bookstores in the mall, not China). But they’ll also remind me that she loves to hug them ALL the time. Matt will be keeping my spot warm on the living room chair where I usually sit and chat with her for long periods when she visits. He’s lucky to have her here. We all are. And my own parents. The ones who fret over their child as I fret over my own babies. As we become adults and parents ourselves, we tend to forget that it doesn’t mean our own parents stop worrying. They have been my biggest cheerleaders since the day I told them about this procedure. My kids will get a surprise package to open every week while I’m gone thanks to them. They covered the distractions side of the plan while I prepared the daily details. They thought of how to keep them thinking of kid things instead of taking on grown-up worries. Pappy and Gwammy crack them up constantly. Pappy doesn’t speak to them, he sings to them, which they anticipate and love so much. They want to whistle like him, too. Gwammy is their movie buddy and captive audience. They choreograph the best dance shows for her. I know they are in the best of hands. I know I’ll be in the best of hands. We’ll forget this month and only focus on the fun ahead!