It's taken me a long time to write this post, without really knowing why. I put it down and come back to it, trying to figure it out and put my thoughts in order.
I think the thing is that for the first time, possibly ever, I feel physically vulnerable. It doesn't seem to matter how much you know you're only human, how many lectures from teachers, parents, how many things you see and read about life and death. The fact is that, as kids and young adults, a lot of us just feel somewhat indestructible.
Two weeks ago, I woke up in the night feeling ill. Several days and a lot of painkillers later, I was in surgery having my appendix removed. Appendectomies are so common now that they're considered routine and it's easy to forget that they can be life threatening and still have the potential to cause quite a lot of misery. Thankfully, so far, I'm making an excellent recovery but the last few weeks haven't been without their low moments. I keep fretting about complications, even though there's really no reason to think there will be any. I get frustrated about the twinges of pain, impatient to get back to my former level of fitness.
And all this, coupled with now having Little Monster in my life, has made me very conscious of my mortality. It's important to be around to see him grow up. I think what I really want to say is that being ill has provided some much needed perspective. If I'm tired because Little Monster has had me up 3 times in the night, or he's teething, or it's raining when we were supposed to go to the park, it doesn't really matter. I have a gift of 4 more months to spend getting to know my Little Monster. I can't promise it will be without moments of frustration or tears or anger but I do know how lucky I am. Hopefully we will make great use of that time.