Looking back, I’m not entirely sure how I did it. I was walking down the stairs on the playground at the train park. Then, an awkward step to avoid a kid was all it took. In an instant, I was laying on the ground yelling, “Oh my God! Oh my God!” I had heard the snap. And, oh my God, I had felt the snap. An hour later, X-rays at urgent care confirmed what I was pretty sure I already knew: I had broken my ankle.
I had plans to see a concert that night — one of my rare nights out. I was devastated to miss it. I was also saddened to miss my walks during what is a fantastic time of year in Phoenix. And yoga and strength training, which keep me sane week to week, were going on the back burner for at least six weeks.
And perhaps worst of all, that following Monday, I had planned to take my son to the zoo. I was so excited to take him. It was going to be so much fun! But there was no way I could keep up with an almost-3-year-old as I hobbled around on crutches.
I spent that weekend in pain and zonked out by the painkillers and exhausted by my depression over not being able to take my son to the zoo for our special mother/son day.
As the past couple of weeks have gone by, my injury has improved, though I'm still not weight bearing. My mom brought me a scooter, so I can be a bit more mobile and a bit more independent. I’ve found workarounds for a lot of things. I’ve “adapted,” as my mom says.
I can’t do everything with my son I used to, but we’ve found other ways to have fun. The scooter makes “choo-choo tracks” in the carpet, which he loves. We’re watching more movies, and we’re starting to plan his third birthday party via Pinterest.
One thing I haven’t done is cook. My husband has been picking up our lunches and dinners for the past two weeks. We’ve gone out for brunch on the weekends. I miss cooking. I miss my local market. (I suspect they’ve noticed a dip in their sales numbers too.) While planning meals can be stressful sometimes, I still miss it.
And I recently got a little glimpse into the fact that my son might miss it too. He’s asked about pancakes for breakfast more than once now. He loves to stir, and he’s starting to want to help flip the pancakes. And he loves eating the chocolate chips while he waits for the first batch to come off the griddle. Once a week, pancakes have been our thing … a nice break from the usual frantic pace of our house in the mornings.
As a person who’s had “real” pancakes, I know that these aren’t the best-tasting ones around. (It’s a dairy-free, egg-free mix, and we add water.) But they have meaning. And knowing my son misses them (and, I like to think, the experience of making them) … Well, they just mean that much more now.
I knew I’d miss my walks. I knew I was sad to miss the zoo. But I really had no idea I could miss pancakes this much.