Just now Tommy was telling me that I have to see the X Box that my neighbors have. Never mind that we already had one. He wants me to see a certain video game that they have. He has it all figured out.
These neighbors live right behind us and there is a gate between our yards but my critters know that walking on grass is not my favorite thing in the world. So Tommy said we should all drive over and then Aleq could hold my hand as we walk in so I don't fall. He was very matter of fact about it.
It made me realize, again, how normal this all is to the kids. They had just had their 5th and 2nd birthdays and Ana Jain was only weeks old when I had my stroke. They either don't remember or, in Jain's case, have no reference for me before. That is both good and bad.
It is good because I am just mom. I have not really changed much in their minds. My slow pace, my frequent naps, my inability to fight back when Robert tackles me on the bed and they all take turns "getting" mama, (truth be told, I wouldn't fight back anyway), are all normal to them. They see my differences with their friends moms much the same way they see differences in hair color or shoe size. It makes us all easier to recognize but it's really unimportant.
It is bad for much the same reason, though. They don't see the stroke as the lightning strike, one in a million, freak act of nature that it was. When my friend had her 3rd baby and again when my sister-in-law had hers, Tommy remarked that it was time for them to have strokes. I had to explain that not every mom has a stroke. He and Aleq were quiet for a minute and then they started naming moms who are not strokey. It seemed to hit them hard that other families don't have this. That wasn't an isolated incident. They forget about our family's differences and then it smacks them in the face at times. I wish they could see the good outweighing the bad but at these moments all they see is STROKEY MOM. The moment usually passes quickly and we all go back to our healthy state of denial.
Another good thing we have been able to teach them is that every family has sadness and the stroke is ours (for now). Some families have sick children, some kids are not able to have both parents live with them, some people have bad things done to them, etc. We have tried to show them that we are actually very blessed.
The other day Jain got her kindergarten shots and they left bruises on her little legs. When she saw that, she looked at me in a panic and asked if that was going to make her strokey. I hugged her and assured her that she was safe. My heart broke. Although our lives have become so normal, she still knows that a stroke is a bad thing.
At times I just have to shake my head and sigh. None of this makes sense and it's so not fun.
But on the flip side, there wouldn't be nearly as much laughter in the house without strokey mom. They love when I try to say chicachica (from a song) and the half of the word won't come out, or when I try to run away from daddy and the only way they can tell is that I say I'm running. I'm lucky I am so amusing!