I took the kids and a picnic dinner from White Spot out to visit Eric in the hospital this evening. They hadn't seen him in a few days and he was a bit more active today, so out we trooped. Luckily, Eric got moved to a private room yesterday, so we weren't liable to disturb anyone (too much).
The kids were varied in their responses. Finny was cautious and FULL of questions about every single piece of equipment and medical paraphernalia visible in the room. Lucas was rolling with the whole scenario until he thought he nudged Eric's bad hip. Then he collapsed into a heap of tears and ragged breathing. It took a bit of convincing to get him to go back anywhere near the bed. Then he was back to his chipper and cheerful self very quickly. All three were pleased when Eric walked us to the elevator.
We got in the car to drive back home and Molly erupted with a long monologue about how scared she'd been to go. She was relieved, she said, that it was "actually all pretty okay". She told me that she was worried that she'd see him lying in a bed hooked up to machines, with his blankets up to his neck (inwardly, I thought it was a good thing she didn't go the last two days). She was happy that he was still him.
I thought about it. I sometimes forget what a big girl she is becoming...she was thinking about the whole thing from a more cognizant perspective than I might have guessed. I knew the kids were feeling stressed, but it strikes me that Molly's concerns are pretty spot on...they were the same worries I had. I told her exactly that. I wasn't sure what I would see when I meet Eric on the way out of the recovery room on Tuesday. I was scared too.
We talked for a little while about how our worries build up sometimes into proportions out of whack with reality. We decided that often, bravery is rewarded. She felt better than she would have had she decided to stay home (she told me she was thinking about it...).
It turns out there is nothing like a Triple O burger shared with your daddy (or husband) to set your fears to rest. He still loves his strawberry milkshake. He still eats his fries in the same (slightly annoying but lovable) way. He's still the same guy.