This has been the worst experience of my life. The hardest, the scariest and the most potentially devastating experience. It has also had it's upside. I know, it's hard to find good in something like this but there are good parts.
The biggest of course, is that I have my son back, whole. We were at his follow up with pediatric neurosurgery and there was a couple with their 9 or 10 year old boy there with serious mental problems and he was wheel chair bound. At first I thought about how if things had turned out differently that could have been Andrew, Mickey and I. Before this I would have felt bad for the parents and I still do but I also understand now that having any part of your child is better than not having your child at all.
I've also become a better parent. I used to have a really hard time with getting mad when my kids misbehaved. It was a struggle for me to discipline them and stay calm. This whole thing has brought me the perspective I needed to realize that whatever trouble my kids cause, it's not worth getting angry about. Belongings are replaceable and bad attitudes are normal and often caused by my lack of attention. I'm grateful for that. I wish I could have learned it another way but sometimes lessons that come hard are learned best.
Another good thing is that I'm now a huge proponent of CPR/First Aid. I tell everyone I know to go get certified or recertified. I'm checking our area for local classes so I can get mine redone as well. Currently, the most recent one I can find is late July and I'd like to get it done sooner than that. The last time I had mine recertified was in high school when I was a life guard and that was a long time ago!
I've learned a lot about faith and mine in particular. I've realized that praying for strength is just as important as praying for help. I've learned that asking for help is not weak or greedy.
I've learned that people care, and care deeply. From the stuffy doctor who saw Mickey on the first and the last day in the hospital and had to leave quickly after I hugged him to the Clackamas County 911 dispatch team that has kept him in their thoughts, people from all over the world have cared about my son.
I've also reaffirmed some things about me and my life. I hate suspense. I don't like not knowing how things are going to turn out. My body does not respond well to stress. My coping mechanism is planning and trying to fix things. Andrew is my rock. He is who I've always turned to whenever something major goes wrong. I love my children more than I can properly express it.
Finally, it's also made me glad for some of the things that I already do. I already hug and kiss my kids every time I get them in or out of their car seats. Drive-by hugs and kisses are the norm in our house. I have thousands of pictures of my kids and quite a few of me with them. (Not enough of those though, must do better!) And, I tell them I love them multiple times each day.
Well, that's enough of that. :) We had Mickey's first check up yesterday. He got the okay to take his neck brace off! He had a quick x-ray to check him out and he's all cleared! They don't even want any follow up appointments. Well, unless he starts having pain or something. He's so excited and can't wait to ride his bike again. I was a little hesitant as the collar was a kind of safety blanket for me but now I'm okay with it and so glad he's healing so quickly.
So, thanks everyone for sticking with me through all of this and I am so glad to have you all and your support. It means the world to me!