Another failed attempt

We took the boys to the park a few weekends ago; I got depressed.  It was a beautiful sunny day with this nice gentle breeze that kept the sweat at bay. It was my idea to take them.  I was restless and confident.  My therapy had been going good, my anxiety had been stable and my physical well-being had not felt ‘at risk’ in over a week.  I needed air and if I felt that way, the kids must have, too.
It was a small park set off from the road and no one was there.  A long and wide field-type area possessed more than half of the park.  There was a set of swings, a couple of picnic tables, a slide and some monkey bars.  It was a nice, quiet little place and as we approached, I felt good about my idea to leave the house as a family and do something together.  I never do this anymore and my kids and my husband were excited about this venture.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that the park is just not very exciting for me.  I cannot climb the steps with them, I cannot assist the baby up the ladder and down the slide; Hell, I cannot even catch him! I cannot put him in the swing and I cannot hold him up as we pretend he is swinging himself across the monkey bars.  It was just depressing.  I wanted to leave within ten minutes of watching Kasper run and play with the boys.  I held my grim face and tears back as I distanced myself from them and their games and I spent most of the time there watching ants circle an old popsicle stick that could not possibly have anything left about it attracting those ants.  I smiled when the old “Hey mommy! Look!” rang out across the park to grab my attention and I praised big brother Skas for teaching little Boonshka how to stop himself from sliding off the end of the slide but I felt none of that joy that I feigned.  All I felt was this heavy sense of hatred for myself and my body.  It does no one any good for me to complain about the things my inaction has caused or worsened.  I kept it to myself.
Days later, we took the boys to one of the few McDonald’s that have a decent outdoor PlayPlace. I watched Skas run from the play area to the table for bites of nuggets and fries.  I thought nothing of it while I ate my own heart attack and handed Boonshka apple slices.  I kept an eye on the grackles around us, making sure none would attack my table, food or children while periodically eyeing the other parents sitting and watching their children playing and enjoying the outside air beside a busy main vein road from inside a high fence with us.  Do we not notice how we prepare our children for a ‘locked-in’ lifestyle now? Everything is in a fence because parents are just as dumb as the people we are protecting ourselves and our children from…it’s a strange type of conundrum.  It wasn’t until Kasper stuffed that last bite of spicy chicken into his mouth that I realized all of the other parents were obese.  That shouldn’t be a problem, right?  I watched Kasper wait for Skas near the end of a tunnel slide and scare him when he came sliding out.  Skas screamed and ran into the square opening leading him into the plastic jungle.  No other parent got up to play with their children like my husband.  They sat there cleaning off the trays their kids left behind with their chubby fingers picking up the left over greasy fries and jamming them into their mouths.  I wanted to scream; I became angry.  How do these parents not care?  How do they not know what they are missing?  I remember climbing into other PlayPlaces with Skas before my stroke and I remember his laugh as I crawled around behind him, my flip-flops forgotten amongst a pile of tinier shoes of kids probably wishing their moms would crawl inside with them.  It breaks my heart to know without a doubt what I am missing because I got to experience it for such a short time.  And here these parents are, completely unaware of just how uninvolved they are with their children and how involved they could be if they would just get up off their asses and participate in the fun and games people like myself are forced to miss out on.
People get 2 things confused: taking something for granted and taking advantage of something.  They are two completely different things.  I truly feel that, for the most part, I took advantage of my body before it became this pathetic limping and lethargic vessel.  I could have always done more but I feel I did more than most as it was.  It’s about the only true comfort I have in all of this.
The parents at McDonald’s take for granted what they have and they destroy it.  They don’t walk to get a napkin, they make their kids stop playing and tell them to go get the napkins for them.  They don’t play with their kids actively; they hand them tablets and other distractions so they can sit and breathe heavily while doing absolutely nothing productive.
I took my kids outside a few days ago because I had that same craving for fresh air. Boonshka’s PT recommended taking him out to walk in grass to strengthen his ankles and core and improve his balance before he reaches an age where it becomes difficult.  She also suggested trying to get him to kick a ball to help with his coordination.  Yeah, these are things most people would get and do just because their kids are boys but for some reason Boonshka has never tried to kick a ball and he’s 2.  I wouldn’t have noticed if his PT had never asked.
I thought, since he has trouble walking and kicking, that I would be able to help him with this activity while Kasper played catch with Skas.  It sounds like a beautiful family event in the making but that is not at all how it went once we were all outside and started playing.  I took too long to retrieve the ball after each kick (come on, I wear a stiff brace,  and I get nervous in the lumpy grass without my cane so I’m super slow).  Boonshka had little patience for this and would become distracted and would try to wander off or after I ‘kicked’ the ball back to him he would act like the ball was new and something he had never seen before.  It was very frustrating.  After less than an hour of disappointment after disappointment, I sat down with a bottle of bubbles.  It was not fun for me, the bubbles make your fingers sticky and slippery at the same time and the liquid was of a cheaper variety so the bubbles were difficult to form.  My attempts at normalcy are becoming more futile and pointless and a waste of time.  But I keep trying.  I cannot take what little I have for granted and I must take advantage of every muscle available to me before I lose them all (is that even possible?)..

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