Saturday, July 30, 2016

Success

It's Saturday morning with less than 2 weeks before school starts, and we are not at the inlet as we'd planned to be. We are not worn out from Sea World like we had hoped to be. But we are worn out.
Early Wednesday afternoon, The Dude, who had slept in until 8:30 that morning, took 2 bites of his quesadilla and declared himself too tired to eat. I felt his head but he seemed ok. The fever didn't hit until about an hour later.
He was still burning up all night last night, 4 days into it, though so far he is better this morning. Aquaman started Thursday afternoon, and like clockwork, Greystoke got it yesterday. So no Sea World, no inlet. Very few outings whatsoever. And the 5 minutes I did venture out in the car on Thursday were far more eventful than I wanted to handle.
A quick run to 7-11 for a last minute dinner item. Got it and made it home in record time. I often leave my keys in the car, so I always leave one door open until I get the last passenger out but this time I didn't, because I was trying to set the bags down first. I never lock my doors.
But when I went to open the door, all the car doors were locked and Greystoke was still strapped into his seat.
No problem. My neighbor had just pulled in, I asked her to stay with him while I ran to get my spare.
Which turned out to not be in its usual spot. We had taken it in JT's truck when we went out of town and hadn't returned it yet. JT wasn't due home for another hour, and by the time I made it back out to the car, a few minutes had passed and Greystoke was already sweaty. Quite calm, a little confused as to why I was just standing there looking at him through the window, but ever patient as he always is..., and definitely sweaty.
I called 911 and the police were there in less than a minute, looking a little worried about what to do next. I thought they'd have a tool to get into the car, but their only tool available turned out to be a baton and they were hesitant to use it. Until I offered to get my hammer out of the garage and do it myself. Then they broke the window for me.
It wasn't until I pulled Greystoke out of the car that he admitted, with a whimper: "that was pretty scary!" but he was none the worse for wear. My nerves were pretty shot though.
The police guessed that the car had some sort of electrical failure since one of the doors would also not open, even after manually unlocked.
Luckily we were planning to sell the old car in the next couple of weeks to our mechanic so for now we are sporting and sweating the garbage bag look. But the whole experience was highly stressful and totally humiliating and guilt-inducing. I think I have recovered now. I think.
Greystoke definitely has, I don't think he remembers it.

That night he slept straight through the night from 7 pm-6 am without waking up once. I had just taken down his toddler bed and moved him to a twin mattress on the floor because he did not seem comfortable on the little crib mattress, and it worked like a char. Unfortunately, I took forever to fall asleep since my adrenaline was still so high and also because he has not slept through the night for 2 years so 1) my body is used to waking up and 2) I had to keep making sure he was still breathing...because going from waking up every 2 hours to sleeping for 11 hours in a row is a pretty drastic change.
But trust me, I will take it!
I haven't been pushing potty training since we're also doing night weaning but today Greystoke has declared that he does not want to wear a diaper and has stayed dry in underwear all morning. So I don't know what will happen when he wakes up from his nap, but for today I am pretty impressed.
At first I was pretty bummed that our 2nd to last week of this awesome summer had to be spent indoors with sick kids, but by today I have come to embrace the opportunity for rest. I have no qualms about letting the kids have unlimited screen time when they are tired and feverish and have headaches so that has pretty much been the extent of the last half of our week and will probably continue through today. Yesterday we had some handy men come and spend 6 hours doing repairs around the house that we have been putting off forever, and we have had a little more time to clean, though for some reason I am so exhausted that I haven't done as much as I should. So it is nice to have the house feel more in order.
Except that JT, when cleaning yesterday, put away all of the kids' toys way up high in the garage where I can't reach them...all but the Legos and one bouncy ball, and then went to work.
So we are having to get creative with what we play with today. He cracks me up,
We are also spending this week getting everything ready for school so that we can have as many adventures as possible next week when everyone is feeling better. Our only outing yesterday was to the pediatrician to get Greystoke's medical forms for school. We sorted and labeled all the kids' supplies. And today I think our one outing will be to go get some school shoes. Then we will pretty much be ready. At least physically.

So all in all things are going well. We adjusted to our change of plans. We're trying to enjoy the process. At least they are not all sick the first week of school.
I have not been feeling well at all these past few days, and I thought perhaps I had some adult version of their illness, but I realized suddenly last week that of course...it is hormones.
Weaning is hard for me. Night weaning has not been hard emotionally. I am totally ready for it. I can't believe how nice it is to have my body back to myself all night.
But hormonally, it's a doozy. I got quite depressed when I weaned The Dude, and looking back it was a very chemical feeling. I am not at all depressed right now. But I am totally exhausted, ridiculously weepy, and just have a general crawling-out-of-my-skin feeling. I am not used to these hormones. Night nursing completely protects me from the usual swings of womanhood, and it is an adjustment getting back to it.
But I'll make it.
I have been going through some of Paul's letters during my quiet time lately, but the other day I deviated and read a devotional from "my utmost for His highest" that I saw on Facebook, and I was so glad I did.
"We should never have the thoughts that our dreams of success are God's purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite.....
What is my vision of God's purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me."

What mom does not need the exhortation to stay calm, faithful, and unconfused in the midst of the turmoils of life.
Life can be anything but calming, it can totally challenge our faith. It is ridiculously confusing.
Success as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, as a nurse...these things are all so important to me. I am a perfectionist. I want to win at life. But winning doesn't look like succeeding. Sometimes winning is staying calm when you lock your kid in the car on a hot summer day, and telling the policeman that it's just a window when they thank you for not being mad that they broke it. I could really care less about that car and its windows.
It's embarrassing to have all your neighbors come watch while the policeman break your kid out of the car, it doesn't feel like success.

But it can be.
Success is staying unconfused when your hormones are raging and your kids are all feverish and there is less than 2 weeks before life greatly accelerates.
 And that can sometimes require a constant refocusing, but it's possible because of Him.
"What He desires of me is that I see Him 'walking on the sea' with no shore, no success, no goal in sight, simply having the absolute certainty that everything is alright because I see Him 'walking on the sea'."
"We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself."
Today is the goal. Today is the process. Even as I struggle with watching my fertility return as I pray for the infertility of my twin sister, who is preparing to do IVF again in the upcoming month.
We all went to Doubles yesterday just to get out of the house for a few. I love that they play Christian music all the time, and while we were there, I heard a song I haven't listened to in a long time: "Help me find it" by the Sidewalk prophets. I almost teared up right there in the restaurant surrounded by my crazy boys making enormous messes.


So in order to fully indulge in that emotional moment while in the thick of my hormonal state, I listened to it again by myself this morning after Greystoke fell asleep:
"I will wait for You: You've never failed me yet. I will wait for You. If there's a road I should walk, help me find it. If I need to be still, give me peace for the moment. Whatever Your will, whatever Your will, would You help me find it?"
He always has. He always does. The uncertainty, the confusion, the sadness, the thankfulness. And He can turn them all into success.
His success.

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