Warning: This Blog Post will be all over the map!
I sit here typing with a dim reading light as three little boys are asleep on the floor of my bedroom, creating a sleeping bag and pillow obstacle course that I am surely going to trip over during the middle of the night when I have to make an inevitable bathroom run. We had a tremendously loud thunderstorm for a few minutes at bedtime, one that even had my heart pounding a bit faster as it caught me off guard with a loud CLAP, so we decided it was "camp out" time. We actually have a "camp out" in our bedroom once a week or so, as the boys love to fall asleep near us. Often in the dark I will tell silly stories made up about them and their friends, adventures of heroism and courage and far off lands...and they are often idiotic and admittedly include a reference or two to intestinal gas being released either via burps or...well...you know.
I currently have 23 emails yet to answer, and I apologize if yours is on the list, but I felt the blog calling me so it took precedence this evening. The 23 are what is left of over 65 today, so I made good progress with deleting the advertisements and answering several as quickly as I could. Sometimes I feel as if the blog and email tasks associated with it, as well as emails regarding church and Cub Scouts is a full time job in itself! I half joked about being a "stay at home mom" who is supposed to suddenly have a ton of time on her hands with all 3 kids in school who can BARELY keep up with anything as I have so many tasks on my "to do" list every day. I think I need "people" like the movie stars (or reality celebrities...Ewwww!) do! Hahaha! Just kidding on that one, for sure!
It feels like I have a ton of things to say, none of which are at all very interesting, but you clicked on the blog so now you are all subject to my disorganized drivel!
This Sunday, during "rug time", our Pastor asked the kids about loving your neighbor and loving your brothers and sisters. Kenny wasn't present, having spent the night at his best buddy's house, but Matthew and Joshua were. As the other kids were asked about whether they loved their brothers and/or sisters I wondered what the boys' response was. Much to my surprise, instead of the goofy response I expected they both unequivocally and quickly said they loved their brothers...and when pressed with something like "Are you sure? All the time?" and again without even looking at each other both Matt and Josh were firm and certain in their response.
I thought of that this morning as we once again had to go through more vaccinations, this time just one for Kenny as they were out of vaccine for the second one that he needed and Josh needed as well. As you long time readers might recall, the last visit was a tough one and I really was not looking forward to the emotional build up and fall out of this one. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about as Superbrother Matthew saved the day! He had been hovering around a bit as we were getting settled in the office where the injection would be given and I asked if he would like to go in the waiting room and wait but he declined. After they were all ready they directed me to the chair I was to sit in with Kenny held in my lap, and already Kenny's heart was racing. It was then that I realized Matthew's plan as he grabbed another chair and placed it right in front of Kenny's so they were facing one another. He then reached out for Kenny's trembling hand and placed it in his, and told him "Squeeze it as tight as you can...it will be over super quick!" and then he proceeded to tell Kenny to look at him and not the needle while he made the silliest faces ever! In a moment it was all over, and Kenny's ragged breaths were soothed as he stood up and was embraced in a bear hug by his wonderful brother who told him "See? You are SO brave!"...and off we went as the County Nurses looked at us with incredulity and I heard them say as we walked out the door "That was the neatest thing...what nice boys!"...and I will admit to a teensy weensy bit of chest puffing as I flared my feathers and walked down the hall with my 3 little heroes all in a row.
I am so blessed...so BEYOND blessed...to parent these special little boys, whose hearts are so big.
Today was a big day in the progress of Kenny's cleft treatments. We had to drive 2 1/2 hours to the specialist in pediatric orthodontia who declared that Kenny's palate has spread far enough, and we can now move forward with the necessary steps for his first surgery. I will be contacting Shriner's tomorrow to see what our next step is, but I am assuming we will still not have surgery until after the first of the year as they shared with us on our visit there that their Operating Rooms will be shut down during November and December for remodeling. Along with that good news...well sort of good news but perhaps not in Kenny's eyes...Kenny now has braces! They placed the first set of braces he will need on his upper teeth so they can straighten out his very crooked front ones. They still don't know if he will need more pulled, but it is highly probable that at least 2 more will have to be extracted somewhere along the line as one has an exposed root and I am amazed it hasn't caused him pain. Ten minutes out of the office and he acted as if he had worn braces for years and they seem to be giving him no trouble at all. Joshie and Matthew were VERY impressed when he arrived home and flashed his tinsel smile.
I had a Not-So-Good-Very-Bad-Day yesterday, and you know how it goes when the ball starts rolling down hill and it gains momentum. I had very little sleep the night before for unknown reasons...ok, if I am honest here it was probably due to a little too much Diet Coke a little too late in the evening. Anyway, that probably exacerbated things throughout the day. I received the bad news that an extended family member has pancreatic and lung cancer. I have very little extended family, and that which I do have has been estranged for years due to reasons I am not even sure I myself understand. There was no "event" which caused this with my parents and them, just a years long lack of concern and consideration for others which eventually led to no contact. I think that sitting back and watching this play out over the years and throughout my childhood made a big impact on me, and is one of the reasons I work so hard at encouraging the kids to see one another as their most important relationships, the ones which can most be counted on. I don't want my kids to end up with the kind of sibling relationships that both of my parents ended up with. So hearing this news created conflicting emotions, brought up lots of old feelings I thought had long since died, and of course filled me with compassion for someone I have vague memories of as a child as being an ox, with large hands the size of tree limbs almost. Later in the day I was the recipient of the hospitality of the Colorado Highway Patrol's welcoming committee as I was coming into town and got a speeding ticket. It was earned as I was more concerned with getting the boys to their first Tae Kwon Do class than I was watching the speedometer. In the evening I was left feeling like an utter failure over something and wanted to throw in the towel completely, but common sense got the better of me and I know in a few days I might be able to view the situation from a different perspective as I have asked God for enlightenment on it all...but He might figure that keeping me in the dark is the wisest course of action. Forgiveness can be hard, can't it? And sometimes, that forgiveness needs to be of ourselves and that is the hardest.
Tonight I feel very unsettled. I received word out of Kazakhstan adoption circles this afternoon which is not good, and I am trying hard not to let the Rumor Mill fuel my growing anxiety which I know is also born somewhat from other things going on around me, but it is hard. We have come so far, and I have had faith for years that I clung to and won't let go of...but this is seriously one of the hardest things I have ever done. Trying to remain filled with faith and trust is really all we have to cling to at times, as there is nothing concrete to grab hold of. I try not to allow myself to question the leading we have long felt and to let go of it all, and sometimes that effort is in vain. It is not that I am not patient, because life has taught me that in many ways. Maybe it is the fear of misplaced faith, or the fear of losing hope...or maybe most strongly it is the fear of never having forever.
And in the midst of that unsettled heart rests a tiny light that burns ever brighter as others reach out. As I typed this blog I had a call from someone who knew of my difficult days yesterday and today and he wanted to say "Hey! What's Up? I care...". Isn't it sad how all of us...each and every one of us, has the power to help someone feel comforted with just a few words and sadder yet is how few of us exercise that power.
Well, much like the past couple of days events, the storm this evening has passed. My 3 boys have now grown to 4 as Dominick is now snoring solidly nearby. The thunder and lightening have moved on, and perhaps too the emotional turmoil of the past couple of days will pass over as well.
All we can do is have faith, show kindness, practice compassion. It comes back round our way eventually, it really does. Everything else is up to Him.
And the storm rolls on...