Last month, my family visited the King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibit at the California Science Center.While we marveled at the artifacts (many of which have never left Egypt before), my ten-year-old son, Ryan, kept focusing on King Tut’s young age when he became ruler of Egypt.King Tut was only nine years old, earning him the nickname “Boy King.”
We joked with my ten-year-old son that he was a year behind.Actually, I think Ryan is a great mix of innocent, little boy and mature, young man.But in many ways, I fear that my illness has somewhat colored his childhood, prompting him to have experiences and knowledge I didn’t have when I was his age (and younger).
Because Ryan only knows me as I am now — a mommy who has an illness, whose legs often hurt, who takes a lot of medicines, and who sees the doctor fairly regularly.
It got me thinking of a personal essay I wrote last year for www.Mother.ly. Click here to read, “My Son is Already Becoming My Caretaker – And It’s Both Heartbreaking and Inspiring.”
When you first look at the picture above, all you see is a lush, green hanging plant.But if you looked inside, if you looked down at the soil that is hidden by the leaves, you’d find more than a plant.You’d find a bird sitting on her nest.And in that nest, if the bird flew away, you might get lucky to spot the baby birds in there.
A week or so ago, we discovered the nest when I was watering our plants.I accidentally startled the mama bird, and after she flew away, I saw four small eggs tucked into the nest.
Those eggs have hatched, and now this plant on our back patio is home to a bird family.
Yet when you first walk by, all you see is this plant.“Our” bird family is hidden.Just like my autoimmune disease.
It’s funny how the mind works, but discovering this nest, listening to “Tweet Tweet” (my son’s name for the mama bird), has got me thinking about a piece I wrote for MUTHA Magazine. Click here to read my personal essay, “Can Acknowledging My Weakness Actually Be a Sign of Strength?”