I haven't used a term of endearment for the boys in ages. It seems lately however, I've been a bit more nostalgic. Colton was such a big baby from birth- we used to call him "Bubba." And with his middle name being Jack, somehow the two were put together and Colton was either Bubba, or Bubby, or Bubba Jack.
To look at him now, you'd be pretty darn surprised at how round and full his cheeks used to be, and how rolls layered upon rolls of fat surrounded him as a baby. These days he is stick straight up and down- tall and lanky. His goal is to put on more pounds and keep stretching the inches. But its a struggle to keep those pounds on.
So he was pretty bummed last week when he realized he has lost a few pounds again. Why? He works so hard at eating in a healthy way, but tries to consume large amounts of food on a daily basis. He was pretty frustrated to see the loss. But still, I was unprepared for our conversation to come.
He came into my room after weighing himself and sighed heavily. "Mom, do you remember when we were little and you used to cook for us?"
My heart stopped. So much meaning, in such a few short words strung together. How do you even respond? My mind can't accurately even tell me the last time I've cooked a full meal for our family- but it hasn't been years. Yet, this is how he feels? I was so sad to hear him speak his truth.
I decided to tread lightly and talk about what he missed, and see if him and I could devise a plan to satisfy his desire in some way. I could still cook a full meal, couldn't I?
The dinner he misses the most? Tuna noodle casserole. I've tweaked the basic recipe over the years to put a layer of browned panko bread crumbs over the top and layers of sharp cheddar cheese. So we made a simple list, and the only thing we needed was a way to get to the grocery store. But Rick and Nolan were gone for fall hockey in the cities, and it wasn't an urgent need to call someone to take us.
But my Bubba Jack was so earnest in wanting to help. Couldn't he ride his bike to the grocery store? He thought so carefully about all the details and knew he could get it done. In fact, what if he and I went together in the car and he drove, and did the shopping so I could rest in the car? Could he pay for it on his own? Could he get his own debit card? He lit up with all the ways he could make it happen with a bare amount of help from me.
I sit in these moments lately and cannot always keep my composure. He could feel so cheated of what he doesn't have, in so many ways. Of wanting something so basic, yet a true challenge of sorts when your mom is fully in the grips of living with cancer every day. But what he shows me? Is that he will find a way to thrive, with or without me. I simply want to know, both my boys will be ok, no matter what lies ahead.
And Colton rises and meets the challenge. Not ashamed- or embarrassed at how he'll have to be the parent in some ways. My heart feels so full.
It got too late that day, to make it all happen on the spot. But I was on a mission, with a new found desire to simply provide for my family.
Sunday afternoon, with all the ingredients that Rick had gone to the store and gathered for me, I assembled everything into the glass bakeware I had dug out of the cupboards. Colton had gone golfing with a friend. The sheer look of joy on his face when he smelled the dinner in the oven as he walked through the door was so fun to witness. I had been on the way to my room to collapse already. I lost myself in the preparation of everything, but as I stood after putting the dish in the oven, I knew I was done. Exhausted. How can something so small, have such a big impact? I don't know that I'll ever have an adequate answer to that question, but its become an every day part of our lives.
I have to pick and choose, where I spend my time and energy. The basic things can become monumental tasks and consume you for a day. Friday was a trip to Target. Saturday I was able to attend one of Nolan's hockey games here in town. The cold is going to be a huge challenge for me and how it affects my level of pain- so I'm trying to mentally think through how I will maneuver to watch Nolan play this season- but I am determined.
I've received a booster shot every Tuesday which truly helps me muster a bit more activity and I'm so grateful for that. This coming Monday, I'll have a PET scan, then see the doctor on Tuesday for results, and then hopefully proceed on to infusion of one kind or another- I truly don't know what lies ahead.
Again- so much will depend on that one little test next Monday. So I'd like to prepare the same way I always do. Can I take a list of your prayers requests with me? I'll pray, repeatedly, for whatever may be on your heart! Please leave requests below in the comments!
Thank you for showing up here, and reading, and letting me know I'm not doing this alone. The little things you all do continue to have such a big impact on me- they're not so very little at all anymore.