I am so happy to be writing this post because we have reached a major milestone. Today Eddie is six weeks post op. This is a magic day. Six weeks is the point where his sternum has healed. Six weeks is the point where he can begin really pushing himself to get stronger. Six weeks is the point he can begin driving and lift his arms and push and pull things heavier than a two liter bottle of pop. Six weeks is a magic milestone.
The doctor asked him to hold off until Labor Day to increase his activity and disregard the restrictions, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to wait any longer on driving. He’s itching to get behind the wheel.
Despite that, he was reminded yesterday and today that even at six weeks, he’s not quite back to normal. Yesterday he had a couple of sneezes and today he got the hiccups. If you’ve never been around someone that has had open heart surgery that has sneezed, I can assure you it will make them jump out of their seat because it is so painful. At this point, he says it’s not as painful as it was, but it still makes him grimace and say “ow”. Today was the first time he’s had the hiccups since his surgery and it was bad. As usual, he handled it like a champ, but I’m glad they didn’t last long because it was rough for him.
As for D, he is in his second week as a kindergartener and I am in awe at the transformation already. He is truly blossoming. His vocabulary has expanded by leaps and bounds as has his thought process. He thinks much more of cause and effect and connects ideas. This leads to some pretty precocious and hilarious moments. Eddie and I have often had to turn our backs or walk into another room to keep from laughing in front of D and encouraging some questionable behaviors and statements. Tonight D was having a meltdown because he learned that calling Mama a “butthole” would mean one could not go to McDonalds for a Happy Meal despite having looked forward to said chicken nuggets, fries, sweet tea, and toy for three days. (Oh, that’s a story for another day’s blog.) While D was crying uncontrollably on his bed, Eddie and I heard from the hallway, “Oh, my precious McDonalds! When will I ever get to enjoy you again. My precious, precious Ronald McDonald!” Eddie and I skirted out of eyesight as quickly as possible and cracked up silently. At that moment, I realized I had an adult in front of me.
Right then I told Eddie that I have enjoyed every single stage of his childhood and being his parent. Yes, there have been some long days, sleepless nights, and fits of rage, but there has always been something fun and enjoyable about each stage…..the infant, the toddler, the preschooler, the elementary years, middle school, and stepping into high school years. While we have our moments where we can see red and argue and we certainly don’t always see eye-to-eye, I don’t know that there has ever been a more enjoyable stage than to have a conversation with your child like you would an adult. D is not my only child to have blossomed. In these last six weeks, Eddie has been so relaxed and honest and funny and strong and humble in ways that I have never seen before. Had it not been for this experience of surgery and recovery, he could not have become the person he is today. The maturity, wisdom, and calm I see in him takes decades of life experience to achieve.
I know as a 16 year old there will be days when he will still be a 16 year old with sassiness and a rebellious streak and emotions that mimic a roller coaster, but this will be his center. Has has changed in amazing and divine ways and that is an even bigger milestone than a bone healing.