We are right back in the thick of it: school, homework, soccer, forgetting our homework, field hockey, homework meltdowns, flag football, carpools and more homework. Like it or not...we are back in a routine and on several occasions, that routine has been known to set me over the edge. But after today, I've vowed to try to keep it all in perspective.
You won't hear me reading my son the riot act when he tells me he can't do his spelling because his book is in his desk at school. And far be it from me to lecture my daughter about her commitment to the field hockey team. If I spend the next 5 days in my car shuttling kids, that will be ok, because after a day like today, I am going to rejoice in every single ordinary, customary, familiar piece of my routine. Because having a routine signifies that every thing is normal and normal is good. Just ask my friend Amy.
Amy, who lives in Charlotte, spent the day in NYC at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with her husband, Jeff, and her 5 year old son, Grier. When Grier was 2 1/2, he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma; since then, their lives have been anything but normal. Today Grier underwent another surgery and I don't think I've stopped thinking about him for more than 5 minutes at a time. I spent most of the day checking for updates on Facebook and Grier's website. I don't know how Amy does it, but she does it and she's an inspiration to everybody who knows her. And so in honor of Amy, I've vowed to keep it all in perspective. (And, boy, do my kids owe her BIG time).
When I click on her website, I immediately hear Amy's voice and that crazy giggle of hers. And while I know it must be unbelievably hard for her to write about the things her family has been through, she always does it with humor and grace. And most importantly, she keeps it all in perspective. I remember one post back in the spring where she described the grueling round of scans that Grier undergoes every three months. She wrote that while Grier bears the physical part of the tests, she and her husband endure the emotional burden. But that's it, she doesn't go on to question why this is happening to her sweet son and the rest of her family. Instead, she convinces Grier that everybody goes through these tests...and he believes her and is comforted by her. And we almost believe her, too...but not really...but we are comforted by her. And when she recounts an incident where somebody asks Grier about his summer vacation plans and he doesn't miss a beat with, "we're going to NYC to live at the Ronald McDonald house!" we find ourselves laughing along with her. And we can't believe how well she manages to keep it all in perspective.
The last update I received this evening said that Grier was resting comfortably in the Pediatric Observation Unit. I hope Amy and Jeff are resting, as well. But if I know Amy, she's watching monitors and keeping tabs on nurses and IVs and medications and catheters....but undoubtedly keeping it all in perspective.