a pain in the neck.

Jack is killing me one hug at a time.

Jack’s hugs are legendary. They’re intense and over-powering. He doesn’t just hug with his arms. He uses his whole body – his whole soul (if you believe in that kind of thing). Generally, these hugs are encouraged and stolen as often as possible. Something I look forward to as I get him out of bed each morning and as he steps off the school bus in the afternoon. But, this week I am avoiding them like the plague.

I woke up last Friday with a little crick in my neck, and by Saturday afternoon I found myself on the living room couch, crying to my mother on the phone because I was having trouble getting myself up. Dan rescued me and took me to the doctor. With a shot in the ass (not sure of what – I didn’t ask too many questions), and a pile of pills, I was sent home and told to “take it easy for a few days.”.

If you know me, you know that those are welcome words. Binge watching bad TV without guilt, generally would sound like a mini-vacation, but I wondered if the doctor really understood my ability “to take it easy” and the hidden dangers that lurk in our house.

Luckily, it was Saturday and Dan and Anna are unbelievable caregivers. They took charge of the dogs and the cooking, and set me up on the couch with a heating pad on my neck and my feet up. I was on a cocktail of valium, steroids and muscle relaxers and was finally able to forget about the pain and focus on the horrors (and blossoming love) unfolding in the Foxworth grandparent’s attic.

Jack was my partner. He loves nothing more than hanging with his mama on the couch and never complains about my choice of viewing (one of the benefits of having a non-verbal child). But sitting quietly on the couch watching Lifetime’s attempt at the Flowers in the Attic trilogy was far from relaxing. Jack would throw his leg on my lap, making me move and sending a spasm to my neck. Then he’d grab my arm causing the same reaction.

It happened again and again and I started getting frustrated, which made Jack sad. I could see him trying to figure out what he was doing wrong and how he could fix it. Suddenly, his beautiful brown eyes locked on mine and he knew what he needed do to make his mama feel better. He went in for a hug. Unbearable pain!

It’s been days, I’m off my medicine and feeling much better, but every time I see that look in Jack’s eyes, I get a little nervous. It’s going to be a few weeks before I can trust those arms around my neck again.

Love, Jess

Here’s just one example of the intensity of a Jack hug. Be warned.


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