For more than three years I was a stay-at-home mom, caring for a critically ill child, working part-time from a home office and attending OT, PT and pediatrician appointments. Our little family made every attempt to stay safe by avoiding crowds, practicing healthy habits and germaphobic rituals, and ensuring we never attended events where there may be illness.
We skipped family holiday celebrations, we avoided parties, we rarely accepted any invitation that included other children and when our presence was expected or necessary, one of us went and one of us stayed home with our son.
We chose our child’s health above all other priorities. And if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change one decision.
But now, we no longer have to stay sequestered. We don’t have to fear gatherings of our friends and family, or a child with a minor cough, or germs we may have acquired from a doorknob or hand rail.
Each day as I navigate my grief, I am realizing I am also navigating my reintroduction of sorts into the ‘real world.’ I am attending family gatherings and rekindling old friendships and playing on the floor with all the kids I love, even if they’re covered in snot or coughing into my neck as I cuddle them.
I’ve missed these connections. But I miss my baby more. I will attempt to nurture my relationship with this new world. I will love and treasure the times I get to spend with the amazing people in my life, who accepted our ‘family bubble’ and kept a safe distance when it was most important, but who are now more close and more available to me, my angel and my heart than I ever knew possible in other human beings.
To those individuals; thank you for gently carrying my bubble and keeping me from evaporating when it popped.