I almost forgot about January.
I was so busy looking forward to getting back into the routine, using the last of my 2nd trimester energy (does that really exist?) to "nest" and get the house cleaned up, and enjoying the cooler weather that I forgot about illnesses.
Probably I've just been spoiled because before the past 2 weeks it had been 7 months since we all had so much as a cold. But this week has made up for it. First colds, then ear infections, and then a fever virus for the boys. JT and I both caught the cold too. He's definitely still under the weather as he finally has a day off after working 6 days in a row, and I was starting to think I wasn't going to make it through this cough without a visit to the doctor. I think I turned the corner last night, though I still feel unbelievably exhausted.
Oh January, now I remember.
Still, the warm sun and the cooler breeze at the park helped me snap just a little bit out of the funk. Yesterday our only outing was a trip to the park across the street. The boys moved slowly on their Big Wheel and Little Tykes car down the grassy ramp they're usually zipping down. Going through the motions and trying to enjoy it, but crying through half of it. I dragged myself off the bench a couple times to push a swing or give a hug.
Do some children actually get sleepier and less busy when they're sick? Because mine don't. Mine continue their usual activities but cry and fight during them. If allowed to nap, they're up all night. Scratch that, The Dude is up all night anyway when he doesn't feel well.
My friend C once said that she just lets them watch tv when they're sick, to "keep them from sinning." I like that policy and have adopted it myself. Yesterday it was the current favorite: Handy Manny, and a lot of grape juice. When I started to feel so sick that I couldn't go on myself, we all got in the bed together and watched "I love toy trains." It was a shockingly bonding experience.
Other than illnesses though, life is going along quite smoothly. The baby inside of me continues to grow, and his wiggles are now visible through my clothes when I take the time to look. We haven't talked about names in a couple weeks, though there are a few we both pretty much like. Eventually this little one will have a name. I think I was 34 weeks with the Dude before we finally made a decision. Names feel like a lot of pressure to me. My feeling is that God has named him already, we need only to find which one it is.
Aquaman got his 2nd report card. His fine motor went up to grade level this period, and his reading skills continue to be above grade level. His teacher feels that he is doing great. I hope they're not going to give us a hard time about holding him back at the end of the year. His teacher noted that he has to be frequently encouraged to interact with his peers, as he prefers to remain beside her. I wasn't surprised at this. He tells me every day that he sits by her at recess and during free center time rather than engaging. He does not seem upset or feel left out, he simply prefers adult company. Adults are predictable and stable, and with his sensitive nature, other children's emotions overwhelm him often. She noted that he is very inquisitive, and questions her constantly, with "deep" questions for that of a kindergarten student.
His confidence remains quite strongly intact, but this is really only his first year in the "real world", and I worry about its erosion. He's different. I respect and admire those differences, and as we grow we realize the value of it. But it's hard to be different when you're school age. Differences are far less tolerated. I pray for God's sustenance of his sensitive and deep soul. That it will not be calloused or buried through his experiences. I pray for wisdom to know when to gently nudge him out of his comfort zone, and when to give him a little more shelter. He is still so small.
The busy season of JT's work is about to begin, and the fatigue at the thought of it comes and goes. Soon the season will be starting: tryouts and trainings on top of his regular schedule. It is an exciting time and a much-too-busy time. And this year he is exploring a new idea, if he ever has time to launch it. I am excited to see what God is going to do through him this year. I only hope I can muster up the energy and find the time to help him follow through.
The through the Bible reading has deepened my New Year, and I look greatly forward to spending a few minutes reading every morning. The story of Abraham, and how he and Sarah did not believe God that He would give them a son, even after He directly came and told them is one of the stories that has most spoken to me so far. At first I thought to myself: how could you not believe God, when He came and told you several times that something was going to happen?
Then I had to look deep within myself and realize that Abraham was not the only one with this struggle. And so my question these past couple of days to God has been this: "what promise have You made to me that I have laughed at?" There are some He has shown me immediately. There are others that He is still yet to reveal. The theme of this year, I feel quite sure is unfolding is: faith. Will I believe? More than what my eyes can see?
Will I realize that as it was (I love the Jesus Storybook Bible's wording on these things) "as easy for God to give Sarah a baby boy as it was for Him to make all the stars in the sky."? And will I follow and not fret when He leads me out, not knowing where I am going?
One of the most beautiful things I have seen through my Genesis reading has been how God chooses people not because of who they are today, but because He knows they have a heart to follow Him, and He knows who He can make them tomorrow, through His grace and mercy.
God chose a man Abraham, who laughed at His promises, and then later praised his faith in the book of Hebrews. He chose a chronic liar and cheater, whose name, Jacob, even meant "deceiver". He uses the desperately fallen, in spite of ourselves. That gives me so much hope.
It's Sunday now, and health wise we seemed to have turned the corner. The boys stayed fever free overnight, and my cough has loosened enough to make me feel that the end is near. Today, perhaps we will have energy for the first time this weekend to set off on some sort of adventure. Maybe later this week, now that the dust of first trimester, Christmas, and illness has settled, I will finally be able to go into nesting mode and get the house better prepared for our latest addition before the awkwardness of 3rd trimester comes along.
I'm praying for deeper faith as we move along. Faith that goes beyond what my eyes can see, that sees hearts and not earthly details.
Faith that is not bound by gravity, but loosed by His Promises.