You'd think it would be easier each time.
But no. It is not.
From the moment you give birth, you assume incredible responsibility for your child.What they eat, how much they sleep, how much stimulation and social interaction they receive..
Their health - emotional and physical is in your hands completely.
Each time you relinquish control over an aspect of their lives, a piece of you goes with them...
....their first day at pre-school, their first sleep over, their first day at grade school, sleep away camp and so on.
Each time you put them in another adult's hands, you hopeand pray that they will take care of them as you would.
But somehow there is nothing like handing your child over to a surgeon, knowing there are inherent risks in anesthesiology and surgery and yet doing it anyway, because you believe it is in their best interests.
I watch as my son morphs from college student to surgical patient. As he swaps his shirt for surgical gown.As the pieces that identify him - his glasses, his smile and his phone are replaced with a surgical cap, woozy eyes and blood pressure cuff.
I find a spot on his face to kiss him goodbye that is not hidden by tubes and leave him to the nurses in green.
I know what to bring -my tea, my laptop, my book, my paperwork, my phone. I watch the slightly drunken wall clock, tilted to one side. It is only 7.10 am. We have been here an hour.
And then it is 11.00 am and the surgeon is crouching by my chair, explaining about tying the ligament, about excruciating pain and pain meds and the size of the tear in his shoulder.
And all I can think, is that I have learned that surgery is just the beginning, not the end of this problem. That the plan he is laying out for Benjy's recovery stretches from hours, to days to weeks and months.
But at least, Benjy's care is back in my hands. I just need to rummage in my bag for my "care-giving" hat and put it back on again.
It has hardly had time to gather dust.
I know many of you have waited whilst your loved ones or children had surgery. What was it like for you?
Thank you for all your messages of support. Each one is greatly appreciated.
You can read about why Benjy needed surgery here.
You might also be interested in
Caregiving Part 1
Caregiving Part 2
Love in The Time Of Crisis ( reflecting on my husband returning from brain surgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia)
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