#Slice2013 - Day 6 of 31

I'm writing this with eyelids that want to fall like anchors, and a sandbag body.

It's been a long day. It's been a long week.

This afternoon I sat in the office of an orthopedic surgeon with Dos. His knee is wobbly and knocky and not at all 16-year-old sturdy. It's been this way too long, but I'm doing my best not to focus on the bits that make me angry. (If you're new to this circus, read here. And perhaps here.)

The surgeon, in a tornado of words and quips, quickly pointed out that we had exhausted all other options. It is time for surgery. A small surgery, one to two hours and back home again, with a few weeks of physical therapy and my boy should be back to normal. My eyes filled with tears, but The Husband felt me tense up beside him. He squeezed my leg. He grabbed my hand. I exhaled and let the anger go.

(Oh, but those angry thoughts want out of their cage tonight ... this shouldn't have taken so long, this might not have gotten so bad, he's been hurting for so long ... shoulda, woulda, coulda ... )

We left the specialist's office, enjoyed dinner together, and headed over to GoodWill to grab a pair of crutches. Doctor's orders -- Dos has to stay off that leg until the surgery.

He was good natured about it all, in typical Dos fashion. He apologized for doing "dumb stuff" that ended up costing us money (I told him to enjoy the time in his life when he can do dumb stuff and have someone else worry about the cost to repair his bones). He worried that his boss might not let him work until after the surgery (I told him to enjoy light duty, girls carrying his books for him, and less chores). He made jokes about hitting people with his crutches (I told him he wasn't very funny. He hit me with his crutches.)

I asked if he was scared.

"Scared? Heck yeah, I'm scared!"

I nodded, not sure what to say.

He's never had any real medical issues like this before. No broken bones or slings or splints or even a stitch. When he was little, he always stuck quite close to me. All the struggles we ever dealt with came from Asperger's, not broken bits inside his bones.

After finding just the right pair of crutches for a 6'1" boy, I took him home to his Dad.

(That phrase is still unnatural, those words don't fit in my head, saying goodbye still brings tears to my eyes...)

He hugged me with his crutches wrapped around my back (laughing at his own hilariousness), then hobbled up the steps and disappeared through the door.

Tonight as I lay on the couch, surrounded by my snuggle-loving dogs, my eyes begging to be released from duty for the day, a line  from Dos' favorite childhood book popped into my mind. I don't even remember the last time I thought about it, but it fits.

The book is called Turtle Time by Sandol Stoddard. It's about a child that finds a turtle and keeps it for a pet, and how turtle time is so different from our own.

The line he loved so much is the same that wrapped itself around me this evening: "Turtle time is very slow, it waits until it wants to go."

Maybe I need to practice some turtle time. I think Dos has always understood.


  1. I'm glad your son will be "fixed up" soon...and I know what it's like to have a child's medical situation remind me of what's important. Good luck and speedy healing to your son...and I hope you can enjoy your turtle time.

  2. Being a parent is the hardest, hardest, hardest job I have ever done. I especially hate the saying goodbye part! Hugs to you too!

  3. Sounds like it has been quite a day. Parenting just isn't easy. I'm glad you found some words to bring you some comfort, "The line he loved so much is the same that wrapped itself around me this evening: 'Turtle time is very slow, it waits until it wants to go.'"