"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Monday, September 9, 2013


Four months ago, yesterday, my son lived through open heart surgery.  I have been thinking and reflecting on this for the last day or so.  Not a lot, but it's been hanging out in the quiet part of my brain that seems to like to talk to me at 3 in the morning or so.  That part that used to whisper "what if..what if.." now whispers "do you know how fucking lucky you are?"

I do.  I really really do.

I get that every single day between then and now has been an absolute gift.  I think about the things that we have done together- every smile, every laugh, every argument- and how grateful I am that I had the chance to have them.

When I am exhausted and he is covered in Kleenex dust- AGAIN- I remember the way the tubes and the needles looked, when they lived inside his body.

When I am pissed off and angry that he is awake and walking downstairs at 430am, I remember the way the hospital looked and felt and sounded in the middle of the night.

When he refuses to eat whatever it is that I made for dinner, I remember the fact that he used to not be able to gain weight.  He has gained almost 11 lbs since May.

In the last 4 months, it is like we have hit a reset button on Sebastian.  He is off his meds.  He is stubborn and defiant.  He is hugging and loving on everyone.

I have been to the zoo with him twice.  We have been to the drive in.  We have read tons of books.  We have told jokes, had fires, gone for swims.  We have eaten in restaurants, ordered in pizza, gone to RibFests and eaten at carnivals.  We have slept in, gotten up early, had naps and stayed up late.

All of it is a gift.  I know this.  Every day, I think this. 

At 5 am, when his light flicks on and I hear him make his way to the bathroom, I usually stumble up.  I wait for him to finish.  He comes out, and looks at my face, with the creases from the pillow still drawn across my cheek.  Every time, he smiles.

"Good morning, Mommy."

Sometimes he will do his funny skip over to me and we hug.  Sometimes he walks past, and I smack his butt to get him moving, and to hear him laugh.  Back up the ladder, back into bed.  Good night Mommy.  Good night, baby boy.

Best way to start the day.  Really it is.

Sometimes, he tries my patience.  Sometimes I forget to be grateful.  Somedays, like today, when he started back at school, I am a little bit glad for some time apart. 

But then I realize.  4 months.  4 months between the great wide open and the big bad unknown. 

How much have I changed in these 4 months?  I don't really know.  In some ways, not at all.  I still worry about the same things, I still make a lot of the same silly mistakes.

But I also think more.  I am a little, tiny bit more selfish.  A good mom is sometimes a bit selfish, because if she is happy and healthy and balanced and at peace, then she can be there and present for her kids.  For a long time, I didn't understand this.  I do now.  I understand that life is nothing to take for granted.  I understand that there are no second chances.  I know that today is never coming back.  And really, all you ever have is today.

Today.  Sebastian started school today.  What a good day.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new year, new miracles".


  1. Thanks for the reminder! We should all take the time to appreciate our kids, whether they've been through surgery or not!