It’s been almost three months since surgery number seven. I’ve started to recover from that, and we’ve even begun to talk in detail about what’s next. (Three more surgeries in the next 12-15 months if you’re curious.) I’ve recently started to stumble around without crutches part-time. That milestone simultaneously makes me think about both how far I’ve come and just how far I have left to go.

Besides playing a lot of basketball, I used to dance around the living room with Bella, my then two-year old daughter. We’d go to the park regularly. I’d help Lauren make dinner, and, with some occasional reminding, even help clean. We’d all run errands together, go swimming, or do one of a dozen other currently impossible activities. (Unfortunately, my doctors have said that I’ll never be able to clean or do chores again. Basketball is a possibility, but chores are out. Lauren heard this herself, but I don’t think she believes it. It’s so encouraging how strongly she believes in my recovery and that someday I’ll once again be able to do anything she puts her mind to.)

Going from being a fairly active individual to overnight being virtually bed-ridden for months has been interesting. During that time, we’ve cancelled vacations, missed two weddings for good friends, and I’ve experienced more of my daughter’s moments via photos and videos than I’d prefer. But I’ve never felt luckier, and bit-by-bit, things are returning to normal. This week, we resumed dancing around the living room, albeit in a much more awkward form, and trust me, it was bad before. And since I can kind of walk without crutches now, I’m even able to carry my own trash to the trash can. It’s difficult to tell which of these capabilities brings Lauren more joy.

Anyways. The point is that it took too much for me to fully appreciate the little things. It feels clichéd, but it’s true. I still haven’t adapted to the changes, but for everything we’ve lost, we’ve gained something else. Hopefully someday I’ll physically be 100% again, and if that day comes, I hope more than anything else that I never lose this deeper appreciation of the little things.