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Photo by Flickr user Carlos Varela (Creative Commons license).

I hope you didn’t think this post’s title is a metaphor.

I mean, it is, of course, because nearly everything is. But I’m referring today to literal heavy lifting.

Kiddo is finishing up week 2 of being in a cast and the fact that my back hasn’t yet given out is some sort of minor miracle. I had taken for granted how liberating it was for both of us when he learned to walk, then to be steady on his feet, then to go to the potty…

…it occurs to me I never wrote about potty training! Probably because I was too busy, you know, potty training. Then partying once he mastered it. Anyway.

I had taken for granted his completely autonomous mobility. Now he needs me to pick him up and move him everywhere and I’m surprised how tired I am every night. I’m always tired, but good grief–he might be a former preemie who’s still under the growth curve, but these days, it feels like he weighs a metric ton by noon. 

One major difficulty has been taking him out places. Yes, the lifting and maneuvering a stroller again (remember strollers?), but it’s more about the public bathrooms. I can’t lay him down on those floors (ew) to get him ready to lift him onto the potty. I can’t hold him with one arm and shimmy his adorable camo shorts and monster undies off his adorable behind with the other arm because I’m a mere mortal and also, I can’t imagine that would be comfortable for him. So when we’re out and he says he has to go, I race home. No accidents in the car yet, phew.

Before Jax broke his leg, I was lifting him only a handful of times a day, usually for epic hugs. He could crawl up into my CR-V and into his car seat all on his own. (Lifting him into his car seat in the middle of my backseat without bumping his leg is the most physically challenging thing for me.) Certainly he could, ahem, climb up onto the couch and jump off it on his own. Now I’m lifting him at least 50 times a day. Bed to floor. Floor to chair. Chair to potty. Potty to eating chair. Eating chair to couch. Couch to car seat. Car seat to stroller. Stroller to chair. Chair to floor. Floor to potty. Constantly. And of course he isn’t feeling 100%, so he doesn’t want me to leave the room, which makes completing all the everyday stuff harder.

I have that feeling again, of being a new mother tethered to an infant who needs always to be held. Fortunately my life is a LOT better than it was when Jax was a newborn. When I get tired, I pull that punkin to my lap on the floor and count my blessings.

You want a metaphor? OK, I give in. Besides the arms workout and the back strain, I feel like I’m also carrying the burden of knowing Jax is uncomfortable, sad about not being able to play at school, sad about wheeling past the playground, sad about not being able to use his spinner swing in the backyard or his scooter or Power Wheels in the driveway, sad about not being able to go on hikes, sad about not being able to run and bounce and be almost-four years old. He handles it well, especially now that his pain seems to be minimal. But I am carrying his spirit, constantly hoisting it up with games and encouragement and treats. It makes me ache for him, but I’m glad I’m the one doing this lifting. Jax has always been tougher than me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is just a little update because I don’t have much energy to tackle other topics this week. I appreciate everyone’s kindness after last week’s post. Right now, we’re holding up–literally and, fine, metaphorically.

Have a great weekend.