Molly: (throwing open my bedroom door dramatically) I here! I here, mommy!
Me: Well, hello little one! Did you have a nice nap?
Molly: It morning time. Good morning.
Me: It is afternoon time. Good afternoon.
Molly: (mountain-goating onto my big bed)
Me: Little Ms. Molly MaGoo, I have a question.
Molly: What your question?
Me: Today, are you a fish or are you a chicken?
Molly: I not a fish. I a mermaid.
Me: Oh yes, now I see it.
Molly: You see my tail? (kicking her feet) It porple.
Me: I do see your tail. Look how strong you are.
Molly: I strong. I chicken, too. I chicken with mano (brother) and I mermaid and I Amália.
Me: I am so happy to hear it.
Molly: You play with me?
Me: Of course!
Molly: I go get my cars and books and (pinching her fingers together and making her voice squeeky) teeny tiny small things and come back and we play. Okay? (batting her eyelashes and grand gesture nodding)
Me: I can’t wait.
Molly: YAAAAAAAAAAAY! (using the covers to repel back off the bed,running out of the room, curls bouncing) One second, mama. I be back! Onnnnnnnnne second.
(and we played and read and laughed from my big bed for the rest of the afternoon which was the best of all possible medicines)
Me: Throwing Pots, Cracking Jokes, Loving Life Outdoors After a Long Year and a Half Housebound
Me: Olá, Senior Paulo. Como estas? (Hello, Mr. Paulo. How are you?)
Senior Paulo: Bem, Obrigada. Olha, Henrique, aqui está a sua mãe. Ele estava preocupado que você não iria chegar. (I am well, thank you. Look, Hank, here is your mother. He was worried you weren’t coming.)
Me: Ontem, Henrique disse que eu poderia sair de casa mais tarde, a fim de perder a multidão dos pais. (Yesterday, Hank said I could leave the house later miss the crowd of parents.)
Hank: (exiting the school gate) Hi mom.
Me: Hello, Hank. Did you have a good day?
Hank: (shrugs) Kinda. Até amanhã, Senior Paulo. (See you tomorrow, Mr. Paulo)
Senior Paulo:(ruffling his hair as he walks past) Tchau, Henrique. (Bye, Hank)
Me: Obrigada. (thank you)
Senior Paulo: (smiling, squeezing my shoulder) De nada, é bom vê-lo com boa saúde. (It’s nothing, it is nice to see you in good health).
Me: (blushing) Graças de Deus! (Thank god!)
(walking away from the school)
Hank: You were late.
Me: I am sorry. I thought this was your idea.
Hank: It was, but then it got really late and I was worried.
Me: No, I left at 5:30pm.
Hank: Yah, and it is 6:00pm.
Me: NO way.
Hank: Way. It never takes you this long to get to my school and I was worried you were sick.
Me: (throwing an arm around his shoulder) Sorry, buddy. I did run into some neighbors and chatted a bit. I am sorry I worried you.
Hank: Oh, that makes sense. (walking automatically into our favorite café)
Me: (taking a seat) I know it is all new that I am feeling like my old, pre-Molly self.
Hank: It’s very new and my favorite thing ever. I missed you so much picking me up from school and last night when you, papa, prima (cousin), Molly and me…
Me: (opening my mouth to correct his grammar)
Hank: I… Molly and I went down to the court yard to play kick ball that was my most favorite night of my life. We laughed so much and played and played. All of us. Even you.
Me: (biting the inside of my cheeks to no get emotional) YOU are someone special, Hank Pereira. (clearing my throat, taking a moment to order our after school snacks) Listen, I get it. I wasn’t the only one who was sick for a year and a half. YOU may have been physically well but it was very difficult to have a sick mama. In your own way you were sick along with me. Thank you for being a part of my team.
Hank: (the sides of his mouth covered in pastry) It’s like I keep waiting for you to get sick again. You were sick for so long.
Me: This new medication is keeping our resident RA/AS* dragon asleep for most of the day. I am loving taking advantage of my restored health, energy and living with less pain is… It’s like… (struggling to keep from crying).
Hank: It was like living the worst day of your life over and over again every single day again and again.
Me: (proud) I could not have said it better.
Hank: I was there. I saw you.
Me: I did my best.
Hank: I saw you doing your best every day.
Me: Thank you for noticing. Every day, once you went to school I said to myself, “Hanford, you get that blog posted and you have achieved something. Anything after the blog is bonus.” And posting that blog was a fight. Then I would rest and my next goal was resting enough, not using too much of my energy so that I could spend time with you and Molly when you got home at night.
Hank: And you would. It wasn’t like now, but it was enough before you had to go back to bed so so early.
Me: We did our best.
Hank: And I visited you in your big bed, but now…
Me: Now I can do so much.
Hank: You are working again and working with clay and you take me to school and you pick me up and you are less yelly and your face is happy and not showing your hurting and you are like the you before you got sick: laughing and singing and dancing and joking and talking to me.
Me: I am grateful.
Hank: Me, too. I will try to worry less.
Me: You are doing your best.
Hank: (taking a huge swig of his orange juice) I have to go to the bathroom and I love you very much.
Me: (silently sobbing while he walks away, dabbing tears with a table top napkin, fishing for my sunglasses, getting up to settle our bill, barely wincing while standing with my pain being about a 4 on a scale of 1-10 even after a full day of non stop activity, so grateful)
* I live with severe Rheumatiod Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis (RA/AS) . Three months ago I was for the most part housebound. I began a new medication that has greatly improved my quality of life and lowered my pain by 75%. My family and I are beyond grateful. To read more about my illness you can visit my dedicated Rheumatoid Arthritis page.