As much as I try to not let my chronic pain get me down, and try not to let my distress show around others if I can help it, there are times when it's hard to miss, especially by those who know me well. And for my kids, who are 4 and 6 and fairly intuitive, understanding "Mommy's owies" has just always been a part of their daily life.
I always reassure them that Mommy is okay, so that they don't worry, but they have also had to grow up knowing that there are times when I have to rest, and there are times when they have to be very gentle with me. To their credit, they are always very understanding, and do everything they can to be helpful when I encounter my own limitations. And they give outstanding gentle hugs.
This week has been a particularly painful one, thanks in large part, I'm sure, to the weather. (Any time there is a change in barometric pressure the pain tends to increase, so the summer storms here in Arizona are always a fun time.) I've been doing my best to manage, and the kids have been doing their best to do anything they can to help.
And in their infinite sweetness, they decided to throw me a party. As my son explained it, "We know you've been having a hard time lately, so we wanted to cheer you up." ... You know those moments when your heart feels like it swells up to the point of bursting? Yeah, this was one of them. It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly tender and caring children so young can be.
Of course the party also included presents. They had managed to get into my stash of gift bags and tissue paper, and wrapped (in that beautiful way that only kids can) several of their own toys as their gifts to me. To see how casual they were about the whole thing, it would seem like they had hardly done anything at all. But to me, at that moment, it was everything.