We are back at Bethesda as always for our long therapy morning. Frank is in PT first, running on the treadmill and doing his sprint agility drills. We spent some time yesterday working on agility at home, and it is still so interesting how many things are easy, and then you find things that are so difficult to coordinate. He still struggles with his balance, not general balance, but things like walking toe-to-heel, or one leg stands. We really need to try to get more balance activities in each day, but that goes for a lot of things we need to try to do.
Frank is bored, which is our biggest battle right now. Trying to keep him active enough that he feels like he is getting something done each day, yet not making him so tired that he cannot function is still very hard. He thinks that it is time for me to go back to work, that he will be fine by himself, yet when I am not home, he calls, repeatedly, checking in with me, asking questions, wondering where things are, what I am doing.
It makes it hard to know what decision is the right one for our family. Being home seems to be fairly stable for Frank right now, but very much not stable for the kids. The focus is shifting from managing so much of Frank's world to trying to stabilize the kids before school starts. I am not sure we will be able to make that happen, but we are actively working each day to reduce stress, symptoms of fear and uncertainty, and worry. The worry is what is the hardest for me to watch - I just want my kids to be okay, and not see them glance at Dad and wonder how he is at that moment.
The kid reality is the harder reality for me right now. As I have said before, this is a new phase of recovery, and this part is much harder for the kids. It is a blessing that I am home with them to assist with working through this process - I think it may be a rough start to the school year.
We all just want what is best for our children - but right now, it is hard to know what that is. I have found that sometimes the best thing to offer is a long hug. Sometimes it is all I have to offer.
There was a nice moment of normal this week - it took me by surprise, and it showed me that we are still living in such a bubble most of the time.
I was at Barnes and Nobles with my daughter. If you know my daughter, you know that being there means you are in for a loooong wait. She loves books. As she headed of into the world of teenage fiction, I wandered around to the bargain section to browse. I picked up a book, thinking that my 10 year old might thing it fun, and then another craft project for my 7 year old. As I walked away to try and see where my daughter was, I thought to myself that these would make great Christmas gifts, and I could tuck them away for later.
That thought actually broke my stride for a minute. I have been so unable to think past each moment, or even a few days ahead because of the uncertainty of our lives. To find myself in a moment of planning for Christmas, months ahead from now, and having a positive thought, was startling. I love Christmas, it is for me a very long, happy month of decorating. To think of it even today seems so unnatural, so odd to think that far ahead in time.
But what I think it means to me is that it might be okay to look forward, to try to think past the here and now just a little bit, and try to make some plans for the future.
Baby steps forward, but that was definitely a step forward for me.