Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I've Got the Sick House Blues!

Yet again I am amazed at how quickly kids recover from illness. Matthew caught the crud I have on Saturday, spent 3 feverish hours asleep on the couch next to me napping yeesterday afternoon...and today was up and rarin' to go despite the lingering cough

I, on the other hand, am definitely not up to par yet. Sleep has been elusive with coughing spasms throughout the night and a strange recurring dream about our family somehow getting trapped in Kazakhstan by terrorists and having to fight our way over the border and over the mountains into Kyrgyzstan in order to evade capture. Yea...as you can tell it has been some way-out-there night drama

I have spent the last 6 days doing nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing. I am trying to learn when to STOP when my body asks it, but of course sometimes I don't have that luxury. It seems that for the past couple of years I am getting this respiratory stuff like clockwork every 6 months and have a 2+ week battle fighting it off. While I will readily admit to being somewhat whimpy in character, this stuff is nasty and Dominick has been sleeping in the other room to try and spare himself the misery.

I am glad I hit the library just prior to coming down with it, as at least I had plenty of reading material at hand. In between watching a borrowed collection of DVD's of the first season of "The West Wing", I have read 8 novels since Friday. They include:

1) 1 James Patterson thriller
2) 2 Karen Kingsbury Christian romantic/family dramas
3) Spiritual Sayings of Khalil Gibran
4) Growing Up Amish - The Teenage Years
5) Joyce Meyers 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life - And realizing I am really, really complicated!!
6) While They Slept - An Inquiry Into the Murder of a Family: This is a really interesting study on one real life case of parricide.
7) "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before" - This is an insightful and interesting read which is leaving me conflicted as I read it. Much of it is common sense to anyone who has given this much thought, and some of it is helpful to inform us of how to parent and raise our children differently. I actually don't see my generation of children as being a fit in this "Generation Me" and am thinking that this economic downturn will limit this kind of self-centered thinking. This book was published in 2006 right at the peak before the decline began.

Boring, I know. But it beats daytime TV!! This batch of books was less eclectic than is my norm. Usually a bi-weekly visit will have 8 or 10 novels that are all over the map in terms of subject matter. I don't always read them all, and like to have plenty to fill in should I have picked a loser or two in the bunch. Now I have had tons of reading time this week as I have felt so lousy and been in bed a lot, and this probably looks as if I totally ignore the kids while I am kicking back on the sofa reading and eating bon bons. But I am fortunate enough to be a fairly quick reader, and most of my reading during a non-sick time is usually done after the kids are in bed, or when in a car on a long trip. In a normal week I plow through 3-4 books a week and usually have them laying all over the house in various stages of completion.

The Generation Me book will be one that stays with me for awhile, I can already tell. The conversation on the sense of entitlement of most young people today is one that needs to be held, and the focus on "Me" is one that is well explained and contrasted in this work. It is something we continually fight against in our home...or at least try to maintain a balance about. The idea of "healthy self-esteem" being fostered rather than earned is one I tend to buck against a little. While I can certainly understand both sides of the coin on the issue, I am a firm believer in the fact that "self-esteem" CAN be overrated, that our incessant spouting about it means that often our kids are deprived of the true self-esteem building experiences that are so important...and that in many parents's minds today "self-esteem" is often mistaken for spoiling and pampering.

I want our kids to earn things, I want them to gain confidence in themselves as they gradually develop skills, I want them to not feel they are entitled to a $250,000 house and a $70,000 salary upon graduation from high school. I also recognize the reality that in today's world it will be significantly more challenging for them to obtain a home and a decent paying job than it was for us...and it wasn NOT easy for us and STILL isn't. I want to find the balance between encouraging them and complimenting them on true strengths and gifts, and overinflating their egos to create a monster of entitlement. I want them to learn that giving to others has a reward unlike any other and that our greatest happiness comes from that very thing rather than concering ourselves only with our own gain. It took me years and years to figure that out, and when the day arrived that I truly embraced loving my neighbor as myself I instantly became a healthier and happier individual. I'd like my kids to understand that at a much younger age than I did.

Well, don't know where that tirade came from but let's move on....hahahaha!

We are trying to restore health in the LaJoy house quickly as we have a great camping trip scheduled this weekend with several families from our church, and then next week we have a road trip to Wichita!! I need to feel better, I need to get out of the slump I have fallen in the past couple of weeks. There are a few things going on which have knocked me off center, and I need to gain some perspective. There is nothing like time spent with great friends to get you thinking about all that is good in your life rather than focusing on fears for the future. The boys were cheering today as we talked about our Mommy and Sons road trip. Much to my surprise they are looking forward to being in the car, singing and watching movies and talking for so long. They are very much looking forward to the end of the road where we will gather the giggling gaggle of kids and have a blast playing with friends.

In the meantime, the boys are busy making up silly backyard games and enjoying hanging out doing nothing. They have their dedicated dirt barrel to play in which is part of our raised garden. I couldn't begin to count the hours over the years that thing has been played in...with $3 worth of plastic army men and popsicle sticks to build barricades...and water as pictured to the left to flood and create moats.

We also are tending Dominick's favorite summertime garden project where we are growing tomatoes, potatoes, corn, peppers, carrots and onions. Yea, I know we have 3 acres of land and the barrells look silly, I know it makes no sense. But I also know we have very little time to garden and weed it all, and so we found this was a way to have a garden we could actually attend to well. And it works! Our neighbors laughed at us like crazy when they first saw us growing corn in it, saying it'll never work and thinking I am sure "City Slickers" but we had the last laugh when we were nibbling on our ears of corn and our homemade salsa!

The boys were playing on the trampoline today and made up a new game. Kenny was trying to "shoot out" the bubbles that Matthew and Joshie were blowing. In the meantime, Matt and Josh both got soaked and they all had a blast. I am sometimes so grateful that it takes so little for my kids to be entertained and happy!

And here is a photo of Matt at his birthday party with the traditional Lajoy chocolate cake with sprinkles on top and magic toothpicks in the center. It wouldn't be a birthday without it!


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you got it too.
If you are in need of another good
read, try Fruitless Fall by Rowan Jacobsen. Very interesting.
Get well!

tabolskys said...

Hi Cindy,

I think I have had the same sickness as you- it's awful. I'm praying that you get over it soon. Another great author is Terri Blackstock. See is your local library carries any of her books/series.

melissa :)

Bob; Carrie DeLille said...

You're just the coolest, Miss Cindy!! I marvel. You are everything I want to be!! I'm so weak in this world and wish for the same things for my children as you do for yours, but am so sadly influenced.