At the Winter Solstice, when the days start getting shorter, I start to panic a little bit. Sure, sunshine and warm weather can change anyone’s outlook, but when you have a chronic illness, the metaphor of hybernation can be soothing. Less guilt, less sadness, less regret, less feeling-left-out to feel between late fall and the end of winter.
Every morning, when my little guy greets us over the side of the bed, I look at the sunshine sneaking out from behind the shades and I have to work to stop the panic. Spring. Neighbor season.
I love my neighbors. Well, maybe not ALL of them, but most. But once the sun comes out, I will be reminded of all the things that parents do with their kids. All the places families go. All the physical things like walking, swimming, hiking, camping, social things that exist outside the world of chronic illness.
I’m tired. There isn’t much I do during hibernation season, and for my body, hibernation season lasts for 12 months. And then repeats. I don’t create the isolation, this disease does that. I don’t try to make my kids the super freaks, but they don’t get invited many places, with the exception of birthday parties (note to self, visit independent gift shop to buy two birthday presents this week). The isolation swallows us, just like the snake. And the gardens? Oh, my. I already have Creeping Jenny coming out of the rocks. I will look out the window at my garden and I will wish I had the energy to weed. To plant. To keep up.
So, what’s the solution? Move to Nunavut? Till it under and see if anything thrives in the gardens? Teach my 5 year old how to cross the street to go to the park himself? Let them ride bikes all day long while I sit on the steps? Or just go to the park? Hope that Kristin is there to push him on the swings?
It is barely March and I’m already wishing it were fall. I bet I’m the only person in the Midwest feeling this way. But here I am. Today. Wishing we were heading into hibernation season, not out. Spring is coming. I want to find a way to rejoice.