My Teenager and the Silver Lining Inside of the Pickle Jar

The other day as I was perusing Facebook (as I do much, much too often) I saw someone post this meme:

I mean, how cute is that? Ok, some people don’t think it’s cute, they think it’s manipulative or whatever, but I happen to think that if you don’t OVERthink it, it’s pretty cute. That may be because my husband allllways has to open the pickle jar for me and I have said out loud multiple, multiple times that “If Bobby Rapson ever bites it before me, I’m going to have to remarry if I ever want to open the pickle jar ever again.”

I love pickles, so this is kind of a quality of life thing for me, you guys. As a matter of fact, my mother likes to recall that my very first sentence was, “I want a pickle.”

There you have it. Pickles = LIFE.

So, I thought the meme was cute. But the truth is, SOMETIMES I can get the pickle jar open by myself, especially with a handy dandy jar opener I bought years ago for just that reason. I mean after all, my husband works long hours, and sometimes a girl just needs a gherkin when he’s at work.

Recently however, I’ve been on a really long jar-opening hiatus—pickle or otherwise.  You see, I’ve got a recurring injury to my left hand called DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis and it makes my thumb and wrist hurt A LOT. I actually got it postpartum when I had my first child – my teenager – most women who get it, get it postpartum apparently. I can go years without it bothering me, but I’ve been in the throes of a flare-up for about a month and I’ve been fairly miserable. I’m a writer for a living, see…so having an injured hand complicates my professional life.

pickle jar

And also, it complicates my ability to open pickle jars. Which leads me back to the meme with which I started off this article. You see, I’ve found the silver lining in not being able to open pickle jars (or jelly jars, or even ziploc bags) and lots of other things. And no, it’s not that I get to talk to my husband more, because sadly, most of my jar-opening duties are done before he is home from work.

My silver lining is that i get to talk to my teenager. You know…the one who’s birth instigated this injury in the first place. My nearly 15-year-old son is now my go-to when I can’t open the pickle jar, or the bag of shredded cheese, or the can of corn, or pretty much ANYTHING that requires a bit of coordination and strength. And I kind of love it. My son is really introverted and has his ear buds in whenever it’s humanly possible, so spontanteous conversation with him is a treasure. I love having these excuses to interact with him and ask for his help. I love showing him that his mom is human, that in a family we help each other out, we pick up one another’s slack, and that we give our strength when another is weak.

I’ll be honest, I am sooooo so so tired of wearing this  brace on my hand (that big old thing just for my thumb and wrist!) I am tired of being in pain, I am BEYOND tired of using speech-to-text to write articles like this one (though thankful for the technology), but I am NOT tired of getting a few extra moments a week with my sweet son.

So, I may just not be able to open the pickle jar or the jar of garlic or that pesky jelly jar for awhile even after my hand is all healed up again. At least, not when my teenager is at home to lend me a literal hand…and hopefully a few words, as well.

What’s the “pickle jar” in your home or relationships? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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