It’s exactly the right kind of time for some serious mother-appreciation.
My mother is with us this evening; right now, she and my son are doing a ‘science experiment’ from a little booklet I picked up (it’s a clever little book – one page has the experiment, and if you flick it over you get a short explanation of what’s happening). We had dinner together – home-made ravioli – and later, she and I will go to one of the three big churches here in Lueneburg to listen to some festive organ music.
I don’t know what I would have done without my mother this year. When we moved here in spring, my son didn’t have a space in daycare for the first two months – so she looked after him. And boy, did they have adventures in the forest! Then, when my husband was away again for over four months, she picked up my son from daycare one or two days a week so I could go for a mental-health-preserving run after work.
The reason she was available is that she just went into early retirement. She has arthritis in her wrists. She has been a nurse all her life, starting training as a 17-year old. The last twelve years of her working life were dedicated to palliative care. After two years of ignoring what was going on with her hands, she finally went to see a doctor. Three docs in a row tried to treat her for carpal tunnel syndrome, until she finally took matters in her own hands (…) and went to a hand surgeon. When that surgeon looked at the x-ray of my moms wrists, she cringed.
A year later, my mother has been trough a bunch of treatment options, and finally – two weeks ago – she had her wrists partially fused, using some bone marrow from her hips.
Now this may all sound awful, but my mother is an incredibly tough cookie. And moving here and having her and my son be able to spend so much time together is one of the best things I can say has ever happened.
This post was first published on Nature Network, which has since been discontinued. The post has been moved to SciLogs, where you can also read the comments made at the time.