My twelve-year-old son Luke throws open the front door, stomps in with muddy boots, and shakes off his wet wool shirt. His blond hair, flattened by rain, lies dark on his head, his cheeks burgundy from the wind. I take his cold face between my hands, warmed by the wood stove and a cup of steaming coffee and choke back tears.
He looks at me, puzzled.
"Thank you," I manage.
"No problem," he shrugs.
I hurt my back and have been on the sofa for a full week. Standing and sitting sends my back into spasms, and a combination of laying flat on my back, popping ibuprofin like candy, and applying a heating pad keep the worst pain at bay.
Four days ago, the pain felt a little better, and I walked out to the barn to check on the goats. I didn't lift anything, and yet, when I returned to the house and bent slightly to lower myself onto the sofa, my back went into violent spasms. Again.
Since then, I've committed to laying low, so to speak. A nearly impossible "task" when running a homestead, a household, and raising kids.
My three kids and husband now do everything for me, and they do it willingly, hence my sentimental tears when Luke came in from doing morning chores. I am touched by their uncomplaining help.
Do you think lounging on the sofa all day long for many days suits a person like me?
Still, here are some perks about this whole
1) The kids make amazing breakfasts. They made home made waffles three days in a row, with all the fixings. Whipping cream, maple syrup, blueberries, the works.
2) I get to practice receiving. I like being the one nurturing, supporting and holding space for others. Now it's my turn to be nurtured. Bring it on, baby. Where are the waffles?
3) I get to rest. I don't have to explain this one, do I?
4) My family cooks breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Heck, some of them CATCH dinner. Here is Luke after landing a beautiful silver salmon in the Skagit. Steve cooked it up that night. It was delicious.
This back injury is not the best timing. We borrowed a handsome (albeit stinky) billy goat from a friend so that he can breed my goat ladies.
I would really like to be out there to observe it - not because I'm a pervert, but because I want to see when the baby-making occurs so I know at what exact date to expect goat babies. I want to be there when they are born.
I'm not used to feeling so disconnected from my animals and my garden. Usually, I do chores outside first thing in the morning, every single day, month after month after month.
Ideally, I would trudge out to the goat barn several times a day to check if goat sex was happening, but I can't do that with my awful back.
Instead, I send the boys outside to report any strange behavior and to check the goats' rear ends, since there will be tell-tale signs if the deed happened.
Yup, nothing like homeschooling to give you an education in real life.
When I went to the barn the other day before re-injuring my back, I took the camera to capture what's going on at the homestead in fall. I was blown away to see so many things blooming so late in the season, even after weeks of steady rain.
Come with me for a little stroll. You don't mind if I lean on you every now and then, will ya?