back in the saddle


Em and Soph are skiing tonight with Ralph, and I have some time to write. It's been awhile. As Ralph began to recover from the pain of shingles, I started to feel sick. Whatever it was, bronchitis/cold/flu, it took two rounds of antibiotics for this mama- who would rather stick with essential oils- to heal.  I hate being sick.  I rarely get sick. Moms aren't supposed to get sick.

Rachel is also just finishing yet another round of antibiotics for a recurring infection.  Unfortunately, it seems that she needed a stronger med to meet the match of a stubborn UTI.  I was frustrated with the med the docs prescribed because it isn't meant for children, and it is supposed to be taken on an empty stomach - with the stomach staying empty for some time after each dose. does that happen with my 8 yr. old who is on continuous feed through the g-tube? We decided to create our own feed for Rachel that included more kale and less calcium, and we switched to just water for a time before and after the dose.

our faithful Luna keeping Rachel company as she mends

Sometimes I shake my head at the skillset we are achieving with these kiddos of ours. The other morning, I thought nothing to quickly replace Janneke's g-tube before she wheeled onto the bus. If you would have told me that 8 plus years ago, I would have shuddered. We were just adjusting to g-tubes at that time. Now it's like changing earrings.

As I dealt with being sick, I had too much time to reflect.  I told a friend this illness was like having a mini mid-life crisis.  With so much time to cough and think, I not only felt a constricting feeling in my bronchials but also in my head and heart.  When I am healthy, I fill my days with busy stuff.  Being sick, I found myself questioning not only what colour to paint the hallway, but also what kind of dreams I could dare to have for 2015, our care plan for Rachel and Janneke when we are older... the big stuff.

Recently, one night, as I attended to Rachel, I found myself wondering if anyone else would know that sometimes the girls get cold, and every night, they need a hug, tubing check and change of clothes. As Rachel gave me hugs (her arms rubbing my face and arms), I fought back tears.  How long will we be able to take care of our girls in our home?  Was our experience of being sick and not being able to take of our girls a reminder to start thinking about those future plans? If we found a home for them when they are older, would the staff check on them and comfort them? Would they lovingly adjust them in their beds to avoid bed sores and then sing to them at random times in the night?

After tucking in both girls, I returned to our bed and stared into the dark. I considered waking up Ralph and having him worry with me. Not helpful. Instead, we talked about it in the morning over a coffee - and tried not to cry about the reality of being forever parents to our very dependent girls.

Some parents are sentimental about their kids growing up and becoming older- highschool, drivers' license, university, jobs, etc.  If I have any of that sentiment in watching Emily and Sophia grow, it is shadowed by the angst I have in accepting the dependence of Rachel and Janneke.  Consequently, I have very little of that sentiment with Em and Soph growing up.  I love them and want to see them thrive - because I am conscious of my sadness in knowing that Rachel and Janneke will always be dependent.

That tension between parenting the independence and dependence affects my confidence in purpose and dreaming.  For the kid who meticulously coloured in the lines with all her colouring books as a kid, I miss having a nicely defined role for my 9-5- like being the astronaut or President I was striving for at 9 years of age.

Yet, I cling to the promise that all of this will be new and perfect one day. That in time, we will learn to trust God's plan for our kids - and the people that He will bring to us to help us. And in the meantime, my identity, my purpose in life, is bigger than me.  It's about showing grace and living a commitment to be true, intentional and loving.  It might sound fluffy, but it's exactly what I gotta strive for.

The hallway colour is still undecided, but I did learn to arm knit. Seven scarves later, I'm confident the next one won't come undone while running errands.

Now, catching up on news and big world stuff, I am sad to read the events of France and Yemen and name just a few.  Why some of the deaths are given attention while many more are not as popular is difficult to swallow.  Such brokenness - a culture of fear and lust for power burying peace over and over again. We cannot forget that we are part of a bigger story, and we can't forget there is a world that needs good people who seek peace and reconciliation.  We need to make life awesome for each other wherever we go - let love be multiplied.

I will sign off with this pic of our Lady Bono - she wears orange and yellow glasses at school now to enhance her vision - and a lament from our other favourite Bono (post 2001):

Heaven on earth
We need it now
I'm sick of all this 
hanging around
sick of sorrow
sick of pain
sick of hearing again and again 
there's never going to be
peace on earth

peace on earth
hear it every Christmas time
but hope and history won't rhyme
so what's it worth?
This peace on earth

may there be peace,