Mine – not hers but we’ve both been affected.
It happened so quickly that I didn’t have the chance to explain to her that not only would I not be coming home in time to cook her tea, bath her and carry her to bed, but that I would be gone for six whole days. I was just gone, absent without warning and it felt unbearable. In my panic I was sure our bond would be damaged by my sudden departure so I can only guess how it felt for her, and explanations were left to those who kindly jumped in to care for her in my absence.
Now we’re all dealing with the aftermath.
Crucially, I can’t bend down and I can’t lift her. Doesn’t sound that bad but it’s created a space between us that wasn’t there before. Now I tower stiffly over her, my stance so different to usual, essentially talking down at her and she doesn’t like it – I don’t blame her. I wish I could sweep her into my arms, or kneel down and kiss her face but I can’t. It feels very formal.
Mummy has gone from being a big strong, person she could bounce off, to a stiff, weak temporarily disabled one she needs to be careful around (as everyone keeps telling her!) Despite the constant reassurances that I will be back to my old self in time – a concept she doesn’t understand anyway – she rarely answers when I speak to her and constantly demands toys and presents and sweets – something she was probably given a lot of while I was in hospital. I find it heart wrenching.
I know that life’s not perfect and stuff happens all the time but it feels big. It’s brought loads of stuff up for both of us, for me how I can’t bear to be still and I really struggle to find the patience to recuperate at the right steady pace, and for her? .. Well tantrums and it’s anybody’s guess what else but she’s reacting differently as each day passes. My husband tells me not to worry, that our bond is strong and secure and my presence alone is nourishing and comforting to her. I trust his judgement and try to stay positive. There are encouraging signs. This morning as I woke up she did slip her hand into mine and whisper “Mummy, when you are well you can pick me up again” and gave me a kiss. I’ll just have to wait it out.