Braxis woke with a great gasp. His nose covered in sand and dirt, his entire frame cold and wet. Lying on the bank of the icy river, his body throbbing in agony, he crawled forward, dragging his heavy torso up onto the dry ground and out of the lapping ripples that swirled over his back and legs. How long had he been lying here? He wondered. Turning his stiffened neck sideways, he glanced upwards to the sky that was beginning to darken, the caked dirt that clogged his fur slowing his efforts to swivel himself around. Shaking as furiously as he could, he managed to dislodge much of it before sinking back down into the grass below. He would have to wait it out. Once the darkness and the shadows that were growing longer each moment passed over him, his energy would be renewed, and the flesh wounds inflicted by the pestilent little rebels would heal.
In June, our less than two year old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Not just any brain tumor, but a large, rapidly growing one which destroyed his eyesight almost completely in a ridiculously short amount of time.
It took months from the first signs something was wrong, and a lot of pushing from us, for the medical world to find the correct diagnosis, only to discover that had it been a few days longer he would have been permanently blind. A few weeks and… well, I don’t want to go there.
Sometimes, there are days when having it all together is clearly not a phrase that describes me. Actually, lots of days. When there are places to be, a husband and children to love on, work to be done, chores, more chores, and an Irish temperament to go with it, all sorts of things can go wrong, and wrong in so many ways.
When days like those come along, I really have to make a choice. Do I beat myself up for every single thing that I didn’t do perfectly, every choice I made that turned out wrong, wallow in regret for words I’ve spoken in a pressure-packed moment, drown in guilt over a parenting choice I made, or do I make a decision to remind myself that we’re all learning, here. I’m pretty sure I know which I would have chosen not so long ago.