Unless you count the fact that I am on a first name basis with the barista at the grocery Starbucks and the express lane checkout guy. Which is probably not something I should announce.
Each and every morning, I wake up, get Avram up, we eat, and then do exercises. For an hour and a half. Take nap, repeat. Then repeat again. Bath time, bed time. Do it all again tomorrow.
I know this is the Dark Side of being a stay-at-home mom. And all of Ave's medical mumbo-jumbo certainly isn't helping. Some days I wish so badly that someone was around to go, "It's not always going to be this hard. You won't do physical therapy forever. He will be able to do things on his own. Just be patient." or "Cassie, pull it together. He's a baby. Of course he hits himself in the face with his rattle. That's what babies do, for crying out loud. Relax." or "He is going to crawl. He won't do the inch-worm routine forever. Take it easy, mama. Don't get your panties in a wad."
But most days, there isn't.
So I go through the day, trying to focus on all of the good. And like I've said before, the good days are totally winning...but that isn't to say there aren't bad days. Frustrating days. Lonely days.
But as I look out over my living room now, on the desk there sits a ballpoint pen that belonged to my Pau-Pau. The rug is a hand-me-down from my mom (which will probably be returned with some carrot spit-up stains on it). The baskets filled with toys are the flower baskets from our wedding, and the play-blanket on the floor was made for my brother when he was a baby. Many of the books on our shelves are gifts from dear friends, siblings, parents, professors. The bottom book shelf is packed with photo albums from trips all over the world, with baby books and old journals.
In our bedroom, there is a hand-crocheted quilt that my Bunika made for my grandparents' wedding over 60 years ago. My wedding bouquet sits on my vanity: dried to perfection, wrapped in the same hanky my grandma wrapped around her wedding bouquet. It sits next to a framed quote, given to me by a dear friend: "Each glimpse of beauty points to eternity." In the drawers of that vanity are so many precious gifts: my mom's pearl bracelet she wore for her wedding, a bracelet from my dad on my 21st birthday, my Yoo-Hoo's earrings that Pau-Pau gave her while they were dating, my grandma's brooch.
The same rocking chair my dad was rocked in sits in Avram's room, covered with a quilt that covered my mother-in-law's bed when she was a baby. A shelf on the wall holds a picture of my mom holding me as a baby. There are frames filled with legacies: a hand-embroidered teddy bear Jason's mom made for his nursery and a shadowbox my mom filled with my first lock of hair, my hospital bracelet, my favorite toys when I was a baby.
My mother's sewing box sits on the dining room table, full of thread and buttons passed down from my grandmother. There is a cookbook on the shelf my mom made me, packed full with family recipes: Bunika's sarmale, Yoo-Hoo's colac, mom's chicken casserole, dad's zucchini pasta. A canvas portrait from our wedding hangs on the wall above a trunk my grandmother gave me when I was little girl, packed full of dress-up clothes.
In the kitchen, a picture hangs on the wall of my great-grandpa Thomas seated at a picnic table. He is surrounded by 5 of his kids, my Pau-Pau included, all barefoot and beaming with sunshine.
If I pause to look past the veil of fear, to lay down the weight of loneliness, I see that we are surrounded by a history of endurance, by a legacy of love, by a fortress of prayer...regardless of the distances measured by miles or time.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."