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April 16, 2011


This week spring took a holiday. Did it go to England now that April’s here? It was cold; a good week to be stuck in the house. Or rather, it was a should-be-stuck-in-the house sort of week. Except we were too busy.

Joy’s discomfort hung like a cloud. I had heard that the first 48 hours after the removal of a spica cast was “tough” and with her cast coming off last Thursday, I did the math and figured last weekend would be the worst of it, so we booked a typical week: a meeting with Hope’s Dr., a business trip for my husband, a dentist appointment for Hope, school, and three therapy sessions at FAC for Joy.

The whipped cream and cherry was a sleepover at Nana’s for Faith, Mercy and Hope, which allowed me to clean sort and organize the frightful basement (think 18 months of decision making deferred while I was writing) to get ready for the upcoming book and garage sales. The girls had a great time at Nana’s. I didn’t quite finish, but made a huge dent in the fright while my husband was out of town.

But I didn’t calculate for the next night: Hope’s staying up way too late, finding it impossible to fall asleep without a photograph of herself and daddy in her hand. This was a first –and surprisingly hard to do now that I’ve gone digital. I rummaged in our bedroom by flash light so as not to wake Joy and retrieved a spare copy of last year’s Christmas card. Hope fell asleep with her face pressed to the photo.

I did not calculate Joy would need narcotics to fall asleep for a week after the cast came off, or that the narcotics would give her nightmares and wake her repeatedly at night. Nor did I know it was Tornado Awareness Day (or whatever Thursday was) when the tornado siren woke Joy both from her nap and again in the evening after she’d just drifted off into over-tired sleep from no nap and the nightmares the night before. The silver lining was I didn’t have to wake up just to turn her. The nightmares were my alarm clock.

I forget how much of the evening it takes to put three of four children to bed on my own when my husband travels. (Faith goes on her own.) My husband always puts Hope to bed, which is an hour-long production on a good night and longer on most. (I think he needs to keep travelling so I appreciate him more when he is here.)

It is impossible to forget that Hope has a harder time when her daddy is gone. But this week it caught up with Mercy who grumped her way through exhausted from having less mommy-time and fed up with “bubble-radar” vigilance –defending her personal space from sibling invasion.

And, no: I couldn’t NHA Hope out of it. It took the edge off. But her increase in impulsivity and provocativeness came from the changes in routine and disrupted sleep. Her brain functions less-well, period, including to parenting.

Then there was the ordinary routine stuff: making OT and PT and well-child appointments, getting new orders for those appointments, scheduling a sleep study for Hope, clipping the mats out of Daisy’s hair. (There is a reason God made most dogs shed. Having hair instead of fur makes Daisy hypo-allergenic, but high-maintenance.)

Some exciting things happened, too. I was asked to consult on a new history project; we got a diagnosis for Hope (and I was blessed with a stack of reading courtesy of MOFAS); and our iLs (Integrated Listening System) set arrived, which should have  me jumping up and down (while alternating hands across midline). Except I’m just too tired to jump.

But if there is a good-kind of tired, I guess this is it. I’m tired because I’ve been so abundantly blessed, like the Forsythia in bloom, wearing snow. I can’t deny the green buds and yellow flowers on the bush, even if, at the moment, they are deep-chilled. Looking out my window, pondering God’s goodness, I realized that the forsythia would probably be carrying half the snow-load this morning if not for all the buds and flowers.

God has blessed this bush with roots that go deep into the soil and branches that reach up high to the sun. Into each life a little snow must fall.

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