Sometimes my immune system goes a little haywire, and last week it went after my joints. Walking was hard; typing was almost impossible. It was painful, but I also knew I needed to keep it light for my children, who are inclined – like me, like my mother and grandmother and who knows how many generations of women before me – to worry. A lot.

So I nicknamed my frozen hand “The Claw.” As in, “The Claw can’t put the dog’s harness on – can you do it?” My kids would laugh and put the harness on – or whatever else I needed help with. They didn’t worry, but they did help me, again and again. I felt wave after wave of gratitude for them.

And when motion is difficult, I appreciate it. I watched my family members move with ease and joy. I watched them run and jump and go to the park and take on what felt like miles of stairs. The dog got to sniff every blade of grass on our walks, because I had to take it really slowly. Even she seemed to understand, and she just rolled with it. Even though it was slow going, I was thankful to be in motion.

My immune system has settled down this week, with help from medication – my hands are much closer to full range of motion, and the dog gets to (has to?!) move more quickly on her daily walk. I appreciate every movement of my fingers, every step, every turn of a doorknob. I appreciate the medication that is making all of that motion possible. But most of all, as always, I appreciate the beings around me, who move around me and with me and for me when I cannot. Whatever my range of motion, my heart is full.