You never know what’s going to tug on the ole emotional strings.
The latest random tear starter: muddy shoes.
This could be my overthinking brain, but there seems to be a fine line between sharing stories and informing people and people looking at you sympathetically. So it makes it hard to share things sometimes.
Mud on the bottom of shoes marks one of those times.
I want to share the emotions that something so simple can bring. The unexpected emotions and tears are part of this journey, as a parent, as Harrison’s Dad. Things affect me. Things that some people would just look over or potentially be annoyed with.
I had tears in my eyes, over the bottom of my son’s shoes having mud on them. I had tears of happiness and tears from heartache, and as a medical dad, I feel like I should share that.
Then I hesitate. Then I start thinking. If I post something like that, will people see my happiness? Will they reach and understand not just my happiness but the heartache that can and does come from such things? Will they, in turn, become just slightly more appreciative of the small, overlooked things? Or will they look past all that and simply feel sorry and sympathy for my son? Will they feel sorry for me that, as a dad and man, I’m sharing such feelings and being so emotional? How many will, in turn, feel sorry for my wife?
Yes, my son, as he was taking steps in our yard, got mud on his shoes, and when I saw and realized it once we came in, I had to sit down. I wanted to take a picture of the bottom of the shoes to mark the occasion. My son, after being outside, came in with mud on his shoes!
That’s a big deal to me.
None of the typical frustrations from kids tracking in dirt or ruining a new pair of shoes by getting them in the mud. (Which I’ve experienced with both of his older siblings.)
No, this is one of those times when something so common just gets you for a bit.
Not the massive gut punch, but the slow realization of something you’ve not experienced like you typically would have, and the weight of that reality and realization weighing down your shoulders.
The dirty shoes got me.
I admit I do my best to stay strong for Harrison and Jenna. I compartmentalize emotions, events, medical facts, successes, and failures. Whatever I must do to maintain function and composure from one day to the next. Most of the time, I’m good.
If it is a day when Harrison is more tired than normal, he’s leaning and letting his head lay more to the left than he typically does. Maybe a day where his cast is that much tighter to where he can’t eat as much as he typically does, or that he’s barely spoken a word in over a year. All those I can function around. I can compartmentalize the stress and emotion of those daily or weekly events. I can rationally say that it is just one day, that just one day does not make a pattern. I can rationalize reasons and explanations for bumps in the road. I can do all that, and for the most part, I do it well.
Until we have muddy shoes.