As a mom, it’s always hard when there are things I can’t fix for my children.
In February, Ari injured his scapholunate ligament while playing lacrosse, but he wanted to finish the season.
We had X-rays done, and since it wasn’t broken, Ari continued to play.
But the pain never went away. And as a mom, that was hard to watch.
Even though I couldn’t take the pain away, I knew that we needed to look into the pain and see if there was something we could do to help Ari.
As parents, we definitely want to fix the things we can.
We had an MRI done which showed that there was a tear in the ligament. So we took him to the University of Florida to have it operated on.
Unfortunately, it was a complete tear, which required reconstruction surgery.
This means they had to take parts of another tendon and ligament to try and repair what was left of the original ligament. Then they pinned it all together.
Ari now has a cast that goes from his thumb all the way to just below his armpit, which he has to wear for two weeks.
After the two weeks are over, Ari will be moved into a shorter cast. Sadly, it’s still a four-finger cast where he won’t be able to move his thumb for another ten weeks.
Once those ten weeks are up, Ari will have the pin removed. And hopefully, he will be able to return to his daily routine.
When your child is hurting, you just want to fix it.
It’s a really hard thing as a parent when your child gets injured. You just want to be able to fix things and make them better.
The entire process has been really painful for Ari, and he’s really hurting because of it, although he’s been taking it like a champ.
Still, he’s been lying in bed for two days, and it’s really hard for me to know that I can’t just magically make it all better.
There are just some things I can’t fix.
As a mom, I can give Ari Motrin, bring him water, and make him as comfortable as I can. But that’s about the extent of what I can do to help him.
I can’t make the pain go away. And I can’t make the recovery time shorter.
Things simply are what they are, and there’s not anything I can do to change that.
As parents, that’s the struggle. We want to fix things.
But, unfortunately, that’s not real life.
Life is messy and complicated, and sometimes things get broken that we just can’t fix on our own.
Thankfully, though, broken things often mend with time and a little bit of patience.
Our kids don’t actually need us to fix things.
In all of my desire to fix things, Ari hasn’t even asked me to.
I’m putting all of that upon myself and feeling guilty that I can’t do anything to help him.
I think that’s because, as parents, we want to make sure our kids are well cared for, happy, and healthy.
And when I am in a situation where I can’t change the suffering of one of my children, it makes things very difficult for me.
But in reality, Ari is going through this experience with grace. If it were me, I would be whining and complaining—but he isn’t.
Every time I ask him if he needs something, he always answers with, “I’m fine.”
Of course, for most of us, that would mean freaked out, insecure, neurotic, and emotional. But to Ari, it means there’s nothing I can do, so be at peace with it.
This whole experience has given me time to step back and look at things from a whole different perspective.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Honestly, I really don’t love this saying, but I have to admit that there is truth in it.
The hard things we go through in our lives change us, and they actually do make us stronger.
Ari has had knee surgery, foot surgery, shoulder surgery, finger surgery, and now wrist surgery. He has had a lot of surgeries. But he’s also a very aggressive athlete.
He always puts his best out on the field, so injuries are going to be a natural part of life. That’s something Ari has already accepted.
And therein lies the key for us as parents—acceptance.
I’m learning to accept the things I can’t fix.
I’m getting much better at recognizing that my need to fix things is just my need.
But my children’s struggles aren’t about me—they are about them. And they are important to their growth.
The hard things my children face are strengthening them and building them into better humans. This is something I have to remind myself of on a daily basis when I’m moving through their trials with them.
And when I have those moments of sadness because of the things I can’t fix, I remember the importance of accepting the things I cannot change.
Then I simply do the things I can to show them they are not alone and that I am with them every step of the way.
Life is what it is.
I say this often to my children, “It is what it is.”
Sometimes there is just a process you have to go through. There are surgeries to have, weeks to wait for recovery, and even pain to bear. And all the while, patience and perseverance are required.
But that’s just the process, and it is what it is.
Of course, this doesn’t make it less painful, and it doesn’t help my heart to hurt any less.
But it reminds me that when our kids are struggling, instead of trying to fix it, we need to be there to support them and help them through the process—whatever that process looks like.
The reality is that the hard things in life are going to reach each one of us in one way or another. And we will each go through those experiences in our own unique way.
Because of this, there are always going to be things I can’t fix in life.
But there will always be things I can do to make my children comfortable and help them feel loved as they move through the challenges life throws at them.
So for today, I’m not going to focus on the things I can’t fix. Instead, I’m going to focus on loving my child through the process.
Because, as a mother, love is always something I can do.