I have tried for three days to blog, and just can't get myself to sit at the keyboard and have words flow. This year there is so much on my mind and heart, so many concerns, so much to try to deal with...it is as if I simply don't have the brain space to write anything coherent.
On my heart this night:
1) Mom is home, but is struggling with medication issues, and is really not very stable in her home. I am always worried about her, and it is hard to push it aside. Trying to manage care from far away, deal with MD's who don't have the time of day for you, and multiple visiting staff personnel makes it all so hard.
2) As we left for our little mini-escape, we were SO fortunate that Dominick happened to step back into the kitchen before we closed the door behind us for two days. Kenny left the stove on with one of the burners blazing. Daily we try to remain optimistic about his future, despite the common occurrences that are happening with more frequency like this, perhaps due to Teen Brain. People wonder why we don't go off and leave 14-16 year old kids alone at home all that often or for very long, as they are certainly mature enough. It is because of this very thing. We don't want the other kids put in the position of being Kenny's caretakers, it is not fair, but it leaves Dominick and I in the awkward place of sometimes feeling we need a "baby sitter" for kids this old. Kenny's needs are not obvious to some until they spend some time with him. How do you let a 15 year old mature in ways he can, but keep everyone else safe when he simply can't remember important things? An ongoing dilemma that grows harder with each passing month.
3) An ongoing conversation with a dear friend I love very much who is struggling with a mighty mountain. My heart literally hurts for her.
4) Dominick and his/our future. Looming and heavy, we try to remind ourselves of God's steady presence and provision. We are calm, we are pragmatic, we are seeking and discerning. Keeping on an even keel takes being intentionally in tune, and takes a lot of internal work. We are fine, but brain space is limited largely because of this.
5) Two families who adopted older children, who have experienced things we have not. They have tried/are trying hard, one has made the heart wrenching decision to disrupt the adoption, another is hanging in there but truly suffering. Daily I am reminded that we are a blessed family, no matter what happens.
6) Matthew's back...at the amusement park this weekend, after just two rides Matthew was in pain, something none of us gave a whole lot of thought to because his back has been very stable. When put to the test, it failed on a grand scale, and our appointment in August at Shriner's might be a difficult one. We were already warned that the word "surgery" might be discussed. We really don't want to see him have to undergo extensive back surgery with a serious and long recovery. For some reason, this feels different than Kenny's prior surgeries, maybe because of "Back Surgery Horror Stories" everyone has heard. Watching Matt this weekend though, it is obvious that the sleeping giant is rearing its ugly head, and now we are aware we might not get off too easy with this one.
7) Angela's teeth are another concern. We have to make a decision about some work she needs done that is "iffy" in terms of results, and costly...let alone painful. That poor girl has such bad teeth, and never complains. Sometimes, it feels like we are always being put in the position of trying to ascertain the lesser of two or more evils, with little certainty about outcomes.
Though short, we had a really nice weekend getaway, and it was much needed. We spent time with an old friend and her son catching up, and we just relaxed together with no real need to be anywhere or do anything. The gratitude from the kids for the day at the park was so sweet, and we all had a tender moment at the end of the day, when Josh asked if he could get a stuffed animal, choosing a penguin. He hugged that thing all the way home, saying he wanted something to remind him of his very special day with his family. He is so mature and a 30 Year Old Man inside an 11 Year Old body sometimes, then other times he is all little boy still.
Kenny was Mr. Brave, riding all the scary rides with Angela, our other daredevil, that most of us wouldn't ride and looking very little like the timid little guy of a few years ago. Olesya and I held jackets and watched others, as we decided that we were not going to feel obligated to ride roller coasters that have no appeal to either of us. Her great delight for the weekend was hitting the Russian Market for a few familiar treats.
Mother's Day we attended church, where I was very touched when our pastor shared a story about our kids and an experience she had with them a year or so ago. Hearing of the generous spirits of our kids as observed by someone else and not even known to me, my heart was lifted as I was once again reminded that "success" as a mother can be measured in many different ways. It came at a time when I needed it. The kids and Dominick gave me my favorite bouquet of carnations, and they ordered me a beautiful heart necklace with the birthstones of each of them...and cracked me up when they informed me that they also included Sunny's birthstone, too, because I am her mom, too. So my necklace, when it arrives, will represent ALL my children, furry and not-so-furry.
There are other posts that want to be written, posts that are less documenting our life and more thought provoking, but they will have to wait. They must be simmering and not quite "done" yet. For now, I feel as if I am managing to tread water, which is certainly better than the alternative!