One of the things that hits me over and over again as my memories come up, is not just how often we had shitty things happen, but how often Kidlet is smiling in the pictures I took of him . . smiling in the face of really shitty stuff.
That really became apparent after the accident. He wanted pictures of everything, from the wounds to the Xrays, to the various casts, he had a plan at the time (and it needed to be documented for insurance anyway), but it meant lots of opportunities to have the camera out. We have so many pictures of him in various stages of healing, throwing a grin for the camera.
And the truth was, he was laughing and happy through most of it. There were shitty moments but we found ways to be happy.
I talk about resilience and grit and how I have a sense of humor in the face of all this. I talk about finding the joy and laughing when I want to cry.
Sometimes I wonder which one of us started that, did I learn it from Kidlet, or did he learn it from me?
I know he went through a lot and I know these smiles weren’t just for the camera. I remember the first time after each major thing where I’d hear his first real belly laugh. Mostly it was with his online group of friends through the computer or the Xbox, and I’d finally release the breath I’d been holding. By the way, these are the same friends he still has, some of them have been commenting on my posts and holding me up now.
But the smiles typically came within moments or hours. Even while he was still laying on the ground after the accident he smiled and cracked jokes. Even in the trauma room he was making jokes through the morphine . . .okay, that was drug induced probably. In the days after, figuring out how to get him into the house and how we were going to make it work, he was joking about how crazy our luck was. And smiling.
We fell apart, we screamed, we raged, we cried, but we came back together and smiled.
We found the joy in all of it.