Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monitoring the Situation

When I shower, I keep a baby monitor on a ledge just outside the shower. The camera is in my and Jeff's room, and is aimed at his bed. It's a way for me to easily be alerted if something needs my attention. It's peace of mind for Jeff knowing that if the vent starts alarming or if he has an urgent need, he can just talk and I'll hear him through the monitor.

One of my favorite things about the monitor is that I sometimes get a glimpse of his and Evie's conversations. I often will hear a little voice come through on the monitor, and I'll peek my head out of the shower to see her sitting next to his bed on a stool (or maybe ON his bed) talking away. Sometimes they talk about what's on TV. Sometimes they talk about the Disney princesses and which one has the best hair. Or she explains to him the difference between a pegasus pony and a regular pony.

Sometimes Jeff will request a snack, and Evie will pitter patter into the kitchen, come back with said snack, and feed him while they watch TV together. It's really, really cute.

Watching Jeff and Evie interact since the accident has been both joyous and heartbreaking. I've witnessed such a transformation in Evie from the first time she saw him after his injury to now. Initially she was shy and scared of the tubes. But as Jeff began to heal, and especially when he could talk again, her timidness and fear melted away. Now he's just regular old Dad. When she comes home from school, she goes up to Jeff, and hugs his arm. Sometimes so tightly she shakes. She gives his hand a little kiss then runs down the hall to change her clothes.

Even though she doesn't say it, I'm sure she misses his touch and the way he used to physically play with her.

I know I do. 

I know Jeff does, too.

Jeff wants to hold her and touch her and tickle her more than anything in this world.  Not being able to do those things is, without a doubt, the hardest part of dealing with this injury. 

One of the very first things he asked me as he came out of sedation following his first neck surgery was, "Will I be able to hold Evie again?"

"I don't know," was my honest answer. We cried about it then. We still cry about it now.

But just like the other sad, overwhelming aspects of this injury, we don't stay in that mindset for long. We focus on the things that he still CAN do. He can still kiss her. He can still feel the warmth of her skin on his face as she wraps her arms around his neck to hug him. He can still parent her. He can still read to her. He can still play with her.

He's still her Dad.

I love these two more than anything else.

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