For weeks DH and I have been walking around like zombies, griping about some ache, pain or bruise, bags under our eyes, or sheer exhaustion. Each day we go through a litany of symptoms and attempt to self-diagnose each other with the helpful assistance of that friend of all hypochondriacs, WebMD. Could it be a late flu? Mono? Shingles? Anemia? Lupus? Are we bi-polar, at risk for coronary artery disease or carbon monoxide poisoning? What about glumerulonephritis or histoplasmosis, which sound painful and terrifying? Were we attacked by lyme-disease carrying ticks?!! When I woke this morning with back pain so bad it actually hurt to take a deep breath, I finally decided it was time to make
the guinea pig DH a doctor’s appointment.
By chance I saw our curmudgeonly neighbor, Miss Mary, as I was coming home from work. “Saw you at the park with T yesterday. He’s really moving since the last time I saw him.” Crickets. “Uh, yeah, he gets around pretty good.” “Good! He was halfway across the field before your husband even noticed he was gone!”
I could have been relieved that we weren’t suffering from some horrific ailment, but instead my first thought was that we’re just too old to be parents of a toddler, to chase him around and play rough and throw balls and swim and bounce and dance and all the things he loves to do. DH and I were both athletes through college but let’s face it, life with an “active” child (read: he of non-stop movement and sound, even in sleep, during which he typically creeps his way around the crib three or four times per night) is a lot different from the sports of yoga and beer-drinking to which we were more recently accustomed. Maybe he’s been done a horrible disservice by the Universe by being born to us instead of some marathon running, long jumping, bicycle riding Olympic-hopefuls.
But who am I to take issue with the decisions of the Universe? My aching back is from piggy-back rides home from the park; DH’s bruises from playing “Hulk Hogan” and other vintage wrestling heroes. No one told me parenting would be a contact sport, and I suppose for some families maybe it’s not. Who’s to say if the marathon running Olympic hopeful even knows how to do a half-Nelson? For now I guess we’ll consider ourselves to be “in training” and I’m hopeful that, if this is anything like playing college sports, at some point the soreness and exhaustion will wear off. Until then, we’ll stock up on Tylenol and Icy-Hot, keep one eye on the kid and the other on the goal.