This week was a birthday week in our house; #3 entered the highly anticipated “double digits”. I say birthday week because although the birthday is actually just a single day, the preparation leading up to said event requires a few days of work on my part.
I usually try to be organized and accomplish the birthday-related tasks (purchasing decorations, gifts, cake, etc.) in advance. But our oldest three have birthdays in three consecutive months. After coordinating #1’s birthday in September, followed by #2’s birthday in October, a little birthday fatigue sets in by the time #3/s rolls around in early November. I find myself typically scrambling last-minute to arrange the finishing touches on the preparations.
The eve of each child’s birthday finds me decorating the dining room in his or her individual style, a tradition which I started years ago. The kids LOVE to wake up to a gaily decorated dining room to begin their birthday. The night prior I inevitably stay up too late, grumbling and yawning as I tape up streamers and struggle to assemble those Party City centerpieces that never quite seem to fasten correctly. But along the way we’ve cultivated this tradition, and it means so much to everyone, myself included.
So the morning of #3’s birthday, I woke up early to prepare a special breakfast* (*not cereal), and was in the midst of shepherding children towards the door and off to school, my mind occupied with my massive “To Do” list.
And then it happened.
I couldn’t describe how, because it happened so fast. But as I was grabbing my keys, a certain child -who has an issue with gravity but shall remain nameless- somehow managed to trip… over.. nothing…
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Thankfully, the child was ok, BUT- the child’s entire body managed to land onto the pinky toe of my right foot.
You now the one- that used to go “wee wee wee! All the way home.”
It was no longer “wee wee wee-ing”, but rather, “ARGGGHHHH EEEEEE-ing”.
Because it was BROKEN.
I should mention here that I knew it was broken right away because it’s not the first time it’s happened. For some reason, that particular pinky toe tends to prefer to be the rebel of the group, and to do it’s own thing rather than stick with the group. I’ve managed to break it twice before, both times while pregnant, and both times because when the rest of my foot halted behind the metal shopping cart, that toe decided to just keep going.
But at 8:33am on a school/birthday morning, there is no time for coddling. So keys in hand, I limped besides the kids to the car, dropped them off at school, then headed to the stores to complete the birthday missions.
Now granted, a broken toe is certainly not up there in the ranks or injury as, say, a broken arm or ankle. But it smarts. And I must have been quite the sight as I awkwardly stepped my way through Target, scooping up gifts and leaning on my shopping cart for support.
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I limped my way back to my car, deposited my bags into the car, only to realize… my keys were missing. In my haste, I hadn’t brought a pocketbook, so I had tossed my wallet and keys into the basket of my cart.
No keys meant no leaving the parking lot. Which then meant no picking up the preschooler, no wrapping gifts, and no cooking birthday dinner.
BACK into the store #6 and I went. And if you’ve ever taken a trip to Target, you know that it’s rarely a straightforward event. I needed to retrace my steps… which in this case, looked something like THIS:
(The best part? 25 minutes of panicking and searching, only to find the keys jammed into one of the Target shopping bags. Thanks, #6)
I rushed home to wrap gifts and cook the birthday boy’s dinner request (spaghetti and meatballs), all while the toe throbbed madly. In my angst, I texted The Captain to report on my unfortunate condition:
THAT’S how you know you’ve been married 15 years. Like I said, it may not be a broken wrist, but would it kill you to use a single exclamation point?? Or an emoticon expressing concern? Just saying…
The evening was a flurry of meatballs, birthday cake, and flying gift wrap. And the birthday boy had a BLAST!
(The toe, however, had far less fun, turning the colors of a Southwestern desert sky.)
Go easy on the shoddy polish job; it’s been awhile since flip-flop weather!
Despite the setbacks, the birthday boy felt cherished and appreciative of his family’s efforts in celebrating him.
And that’s what it’s like to be a mom.
It’s those days where you suffer with a bout of stomach flu, but still tenderly hold a child’s head over a bowl as he or she is also sick.
It’s those days when you stay up late, chugging coffee, to decorate, or ice cupcakes, or make an emergency run to Walgreen’s because your child forgot that they HAVE to have index cards for tomorrow.
It’s the moments that you cook a dinner that someone inevitably grumbles over, yet bellies are filled. The moments when you hug a child with a scraped knee until the tears stop flowing.
It’s the moments when you smile through gritted teeth to reassure a guilt-stricken child that no, your toe won’t be broken forever, and of COURSE you know it was an accident.
(it’s also the bajillion things you do in between…)
And it’s the moments when your birthday child hugs you tightly, and looks into your eyes with his own eyes shining with gratitude, and thanks you for making his birthday so special.
This job of parenting is HARD- full of blood, sweat, tears, and occasionally broken bones.
But it’s worth it.© Copyright 2015 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom