Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dear Friend

Dear Friend:

I saw that you posted something yesterday, and I wanted to leave you an encouraging word, but your post disappeared. I think (and I’m projecting here) that you were worried that it might be seen as complaining in some way. I didn’t think it was, but I get that things can be misinterpreted, and I get why you might be cautious about that.

But I wanted to encourage you anyway, and if I missed the point and you’re fine, then maybe somebody else needs to see it. And maybe I just need to say it to myself.

It is completely normal to feel isolated and exhausted when you have a young child, or more than one of them. I have a supportive and involved husband. I have good friends. I have a sister that helps us out way more than is reasonable (like, WAY MORE). And still, sometimes all I want in the entire world is to go to the bathroom by myself. Or finish a conversation without having to rehash – for the eighth time that day – the guest list for a theoretical birthday party that is months away.

Children are relentlessly needy, bless their bottomless little souls. You can fall in and get lost in there.

I really, really wanted children. I worked really hard to get them. I wouldn’t trade them for all the cash in a casino. I know you. I know you are a good mom, and how much love you have in your heart, and that you will do what needs to be done.

It is okay to say that it is hard, and you are tired. It is okay to miss what it was like to not be a mom; to leave the house with a credit card and twenty bucks and your keys and not a care in the world except whether you should really have gone with the other sandals. I wish I could give you a hug, but here’s what I can do instead:

YES. You are totally normal. And also (this is a projection too, since I’m not there yet): This will pass. Then it will be something else, but at least it will be different, right? (RIGHT?!?)

And finally, this: I love you. You rock. I hope today is better.

Can you hear me now?

We decided to try a medication alarm for my mom to see if it helps her remember to take things. I was setting it up, and I think someone was having a little fun at work when they were designing the volume options.

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What a Weekend

It really has been quite a weekend. We didn’t have any big plans as such, but I don’t think I’ve stopped moving all weekend except for the hours I’ve actually been sleeping.

Paul worked on Saturday, but came home and immediately packed up the boys and some food and took them off to a new fishin’ hole in Coshocton County.

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One of the guys Paul works with has a cabin down there and invited them all down. No fish were caught that day, but the boys didn’t much care. They had a grand time running up and down the path beside the dam, and getting their feet wet in the lake.

I stayed home and cleaned the house, did laundry, and went after all those projects that I’ve been putting off since I don’t even know when. I didn’t get through the list, but I did make a pretty big dent.

On the way home, the boys stopped in at the local tractor pull to see their cousin, who was pulling later that night. The tractor pull means two things: 1) Summer is really here. 2) Supervision under the sole eye of Papa, whose threshold for good behavior is somewhere in the vicinity of “don’t make your brother bleed, and don’t sass grownups.” In comparison to the regime under Mama, it’s quite relaxing.

Sunday was church followed by a next-door fishing trip, followed by company for dinner. Company included a six-year-old boy who can outrun both Levi and Elias. He let them catch up occasionally so the game of tag didn’t get too monotonous.

I kept after the house projects on Monday, and a great deal of gardening was done by everyone else. They planted brussel sprouts, which I’m pretty excited about. I’m on a huge brussel sprout kick lately – words my ten-year-old self would have found entirely unbelievable. What did I know then anyway?

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We had pancakes on the porch this morning after Mary Lou and the boys got back from the Memorial Day ceremony at the graveyard. (There were no really interesting stories from that jaunt this year, which is nice for Mary Lou, but sad for us. One year the public prayer was interrupted by heartbroken sobbing about a lost worm. Mary Lou was pretty embarrassed. She really liked that worm, I guess.)

20140526-180614-65174766.jpgMom and Elias continued their shameful track record regarding public displays of affection.

Mom is continuing to have major lapses in memory and logic. Today she was trying to copy family information from one Bible to another. She couldn’t figure out how to list her children in birth order, even though the original list was organized that way. In a more entertaining turn, she could NOT figure out why she didn’t have Mary Lou’s wedding date written down. She was bemused to learn that it was probably because Mary Lou has – so far – never been married.

She’s definitely slipping more, and maybe a little faster. It continues to be sad and hilarious in turn, and sometimes simultaneously. I’m glad that she can still enjoy her grandchildren so much. Even if she can’t always remember their names.

I know that this isn’t what the remembering of Memorial Day is really about, but I am grateful for the memories we made this weekend – funny, upsetting, and ridiculous as they may be. I hope your weekend was as good.

 

Random Thoughts (and a Cutie Pants)

Levi had his closing preschool program tonight. He still has eight days left in school, but he got his certificate tonight, along with an alphabet binder. Every page is a picture made with one of his handprints. I have no idea how they got that many children to do 26 handprints each like that. I’m sure it was over time. But still. Wow.

20140521-215446-78886775.jpgThe intrepid graduate collects his loot.

I haven’t written much lately, mostly because I feel like my brain is in a thousand pieces. It’s hard to get them all to settle down and make coherent thoughts. When I can, I mostly need to use the coherence for work. But, in the service of not getting out of the habit entirely, some tidbits for the day:

  • Levi has an appointment at the CF center this afternoon, at which we are hoping that they will say the PICC can come out and we can stop with the IV antibiotics. I forgot that was on the schedule when I got dressed this morning and I’m wearing capri workout leggings and sort of interesting hair. I think they’re just going to have to manage their horror.
  • When Levi was finally on the bus this morning, Elias turned to me and said, very sweetly, “Mama, can you deal with me now?” Hmm. I may need to work on my phrasing. Maybe a move from “I cannot deal with you right now!” to “Please wait until your brother is on the bus, darling child and the light of my life.” We’ll see how that goes.
  • Speaking of Elias, the other night Paul had promised them French fries when I was away at a meeting, and realized that he didn’t have any cooking oil. He asked Elias to go ask Gigi for some, and was surprised at his enthusiasm for the errand. Then he realized he hadn’t been clear on the item for pickup. Cooking oil. Not cookies. Poor kid.
  • It is less than a month until I leave for a week for a wedding. By myself. I can’t decide whether to have a party or put my head between my knees so I don’t hyperventilate. So many moving parts. Halp.
  • Do any of the rest of you sometimes feel completely overwhelmed by and unqualified for your jobs? No? Just me, then? Forget I said anything.
  • I am taking a deep breath.
  • I am doing that again.

Onward and upward!*

 

*Bonus points if you can name the book without me revealing the rest of the quote.

 

 

Masked Men

The Scrat masks are going strong. Tonight they’ve added superhero capes (also gifts from easy marks at the hospital) and Levi is sporting his version of a night cap.

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If you’re unclear on the provenance, those are his size 3 pajamas that he outgrew but will not relinquish.

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Our children are mental.

And as much as it pains me to say so, I find this to be a clear argument for nurture over nature.

Scrat au deux

Levi had an appointment at the hospital today, and he scored an eye mask. One for his brother, too.

I admit that they look different with them on, but they don’t look substantially more goofy. Huh.

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It’s possible they’ll be more bruised, though. Elias put his on and promptly walked straight into a wall.

Great Strides Time

Twice a year, I raise money to help cure cystic fibrosis. Great Strides, a nationwide walk/run event is held in the spring, and it’s that time. (The other event is a group cycle in the fall.) I’m really behind this year – the walk is Sunday, and I haven’t done anything. And I won’t be at the walk, since we have a family event at the same time.

But as one of the coordinators said, the walk is really the celebration and not the main event. The main event is the fundraising, because the money we raise goes straight to research for a cure.

They’re really close. I met a woman with CF last month. She’s on Kalydeco, which is one of the drugs that the CFF has helped fund. She now does ultra biking distances and runs, because she feels so amazing on this incredible drug. She has a different genetic mutation than Levi’s, so that drug can’t benefit him yet. But a drug combination designed for his genes is nearly ready.

I confess that I do sometimes wish he had a little less energy (or that I had a little more). But I don’t really mean it. I hope he’s still well enough when he’s thirty to want to ride a bike some distance I think is insane.

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So, if you’d like to join the fight, we would be delighted to have you. Any amount is appreciated more than you know.

Click here to help keep Levi crazy.