Sunday, October 21, 2007

Life as I Know It

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is "My first act as Queen......."

I have no idea what to write. Those of you who know me as a control freak par excellence are now pulling your jaw up off the floor. The notion that I have no idea what to do when given charge of the world is somewhat surprising. World peace; no more hungry sick children; safety and a comfy bed for everyone....these are all laudable goals that come to mind. But I haven't been able to figure out how I would get this done. Then there is the fact that I'm working on not being overwhelmed by the things that I cannot control. So.

In the meantime, things in the tiny fiefdom that is Sassafras House have been changing and I decided to write about that instead.

I haven't written much about this, largely because it seemed whiny to complain about my difficulties when my seven year old is managing a broken leg. And he's managing it incredibly well ---- the boy has been a trooper, rarely complaining, and generally managing his temporary handicap with incredible grace. So to whine about how his broken leg has inconvenienced me seemed like being a jackass.

Since we moved to this house two years ago, the playroom has been JT's haven. That has allowed me to roam the first floor in peace. Sometimes he'd watch TV downstairs, but mostly he'd play upstairs. My living room was free from the detritus of childhood (read: no tiny Playmobil figures under foot) and it was quiet (meaning I listened to NPR) while I went about my cooking, cleaning, reading, and writing. I am a pretty high energy person and I work with high energy teenagers, so the quiet is important to me. It allows me to relax and rejuvenate. On weekend mornings, JT would quietly head to his playroom when he woke up. I would hear him up there and then enjoy a little extra sleep, knowing that he was happily playing. Toys and games arranged in the playroom could stay out for weeks on end, because the door to the room could be shut and I didn't have to see the playroom chaos. It was a happy arrangement. And it helped to facilitate our mutual independence.

But one of the side effects of a broken leg was that JT couldn't get around easily. And he was afraid; preferring to be by my side. I love the boy to distraction but that by my side deal was sometimes overwhelming. At first, he couldn't really get to the attic and I didn't want him two floors away, unable to easily navigate the stairs. And he was also adjusting to his own limited independence ----- needing help to do EVERYTHING. The poor child couldn't even get himself a cup of water to drink. And don't get me started on going to the bathroom.

I realized that our newly circumscribed existence was temporary, but it was sometimes exhausting. From the moment JT woke up in the morning until he went to bed at night, he accompanied me. Running errands with a child on crutches is just not easily managed, so I saved those chores for the Sunday afternoons that he visited my ex. He's a chatty little thing (like his mama) and our constant togetherness could be overwhelming. The quiet in my home at 8:30 pm, after he went to sleep, felt just luxurious. But by then I was often so tired myself that I couldn't stay up long enough to appreciate it.

When JT got the walking cast three weeks ago, he slowly began to expand his world again. It started with the ability to walk around the house and step-by-step, he's become more independent. He can walk short distances at school and at home (and, among other things, that means he can carry his own backpack again). He can get a drink of water and he can once again help with some of the chores around the house. We've been able to go to Target for short trips. We went to the mall on Friday night. And this weekend, he once again reclaimed the playroom as his own zone.

The impetus for his triumphant playroom return was some new toys ----- cowboys and Indians with a great need to engage in a long-term epic battle ----- and he wanted to leave them sitting out. That's playroom approved. So on Saturday morning I headed upstairs to organize the heap and clutter.

It was a giant mess.

A cataclysmic disaster.

But when the Mama cleaning tsunami was done, the chaos was reigned in.

And Sassafras House is peaceful once again.


Robin said...

Ouch, a broken leg doesn't sound like much fun at all. I'm glad to hear the worst is over and you're both able to get some space again.

Chelle said...

Here's to peace, quiet, and regained independence!

Glad to hear the boy is becoming more mobile.

gautami tripathy said...

Glad to know that the leg is mending nicely.