That guy. The really cute one with a heart as big as the sky, and eyes that turn ice into a puddle is our lemon-loving, five year old powerhouse. I have always found it quite ironic that he loves to eat lemons so much while the very nature of who he is causes our family to encounter some very sour and sticky situations. He is as pure, sweet and refreshing as cold lemonade on a hot day, but 6 weeks before our family trip to Disney World, he jumped off the school playground equipment backward and broke a bone in his foot...
When I received the call from his sweet teacher, I didn't really know what to expect when I arrived at school. I didn't know he had broken anything, but I knew he was hurt because a mama just knows when she sees her baby react in a certain way. He was hysterical. I was alone and had both of my young sons in tow as I rushed him to the emergency room. My husband met me there and took our other son home while I stayed and finished the hospital procedures with my little guy.
After the x-ray had confirmed the break, we made our way back home with an appointment for ortho the next day to get the cast and figure out just how to proceed. He was to wear a hard cast for 3 weeks followed by a boot for 3 weeks.
At the end of those 6 weeks (to the day) was day 1 of our family trip (with the entire extended in-law family) to Disney World.
There we are, in all of our cast-less glory! (not shown: the cast-less foot)
Thankfully, the day before our big trip, our awesome doctor said that my little guy could say farewell to the removable boot and live life to the fullest, once again!
Cut to a different angle of the same photo and see: same cast-less foot, but now wrapped up by an ER doctor... the day after we arrived in Orlando.
You read that correctly. The day after we arrived at our vacation resort, my exuberant and excited young son jumped into the resort pool from only the 2nd step (far less than his usual jumping escapades) and re-injured the same foot he had just regained use of. He began crying in the pool and made his way over to the ladder where I had rushed to meet him and carry him out of the pool. The pool staff brought us an ice pack and I ended up carrying a very tearful little boy back to our resort room.
Being as it was just so early into our big family vacation, we couldn't allow this setback to damage or even change our previously made (and paid for, may I add) plans! It wasn't re-broken thankfully, but it was badly bruised near the bone on the bottom of his foot and very painful nonetheless. He didn't want to miss ANYTHING and we didn't want to disappoint an already disappointed little guy.
My husband and I decided to make it our mission to make this week the best week we possibly could for our two little boys who had looked forward to this trip for as far back as they could remember. We knew it was NOT going to be easy and proved to be even more difficult than we anticipated because of some unforeseen obstacles. However, we decided we would pray for strength and we would persevere for our kids, no matter what.
A quick trip to Target to purchase two cheap strollers was how we made it through an 8 hour day to Magic Kingdom and periodic swapping of "carrying the five year old duty" between my husband and other family members was how we made it through the rest of the week.
My lemon- loving, sweet as sugar young son who never uttered a complaint or a whine the entire week after re-injuring his foot, sure did challenge us to make lemonade this past week.
Sometimes, being thankful is as easy as breathing. Other times, all it takes is a ripple in the calm water to bring about a pause, that challenges you to look past the situation and into the real blessing that sometime lies beneath what is seen.
For our family, what was seen was an injury that threw a wrench into our vacation week. My son was in pain and so was I. I didn't mention that I also injured my shoulder and needed an MRI (still awaiting the upcoming date). I knew that entire week, pushing the stroller, carrying luggage and my son, that I was not helping my shoulder to heal, but through the pain I prayed for the strength my son needed from me.
That's what was seen, but what we felt and experienced that entire week was nothing short of a miracle disguised as loving family members, an understanding big brother, supportive spouse and laughter to last us a lifetime. What we saw? Pain. What we felt? Priceless.
What we are? Thankful.
"Start counting your blessings and you won't have time to count your burdens."
- my wise mom
We have each other, and with that, we have it all.