We. Are. Home. Last night we pulled into our driveway just as we have done a million times before, but this time it was different. I got out of the car, opened the back door and pulled my baby out of his carseat. I stood there in that driveway and held him for a moment. Tears ran down my face as I realized that at one time during all of the chaos, I had considered the fact that this moment may never happen. I looked around at all of the familiar houses. I enjoyed the cool, still evening. I breathed in the smell of the lilac bush at the neighbor's house. I resisted the sudden urge to return to my running regimen right then, because as soon as my feet hit the familir pavement, I was ready to go.
I finally came into the house and began crying again at the sight of my children's bookbags sitting on the floor. Bookbags have never meant so much to me, but in that moment they represented two healthy, extremely capable children who have completed the end of their school year without my help. I LOVED seeing the toys all over the ground because it means that my children were happy and playing. They didn't have to think about what muscles to use when reaching for a toy. They didn't have to concentrate on the fact that they were in a sitting position. These things that I had never even given a second thought a month ago, are now precious gifts.
We were terrified when we walked through the door. And, we are still scared today. But, somehow all of the normal tasks of a day make life so much more bearable. I had to comb my daughter's hair this morning. I had to shower (in my own bathroom!). Easton seems to be more comfortable too, and even rolled over today which is a skill that we'd been working on in the hospital but could never quite master.
We didn't have to prepare any meals. People continue to bring food and monetary donations. I didn't realize how great the meals would be. But, when you are so focused on watching every move your baby makes all day long, the last thing you think of is what kind of meal to prepare. Luckily, we've got more support than any two people deserve.
I don't understand why all of it happened, and I still don't have any acceptable answers. But, I can now see some of the beauty that has come from such pain and frustration. People who have never met are working together to create a sort of bubble of protection and giving around my family. Children are bringing their piggy banks to school and emptying the contents in support of my son. They are setting up their lemonade stands and advertising that all proceeds go to Easton Superman Zanger! And, we have learned to appreciate the "small stuff." I LOVE the mess in my house. I LOVE the smell of lilacs. And I LOVE the familiar faces of my hometown.