A Care-Taker's Dilemna

August 26, 2011 by Rieshy

Yesterday, as the doctor told me that my 3 year old may be experiencing growth plate issues or necrosis of the blood supply to his hip that would require surgery, he added, "But I don't want you to worry."

I almost laughed.  What's one more really expensive, possibly necessary or possibly unnecessary test that gobbles up another day and another dollar?  What's a few more care-taker decisions in a long succession of decisions?  Decisions that I constantly second-guess.

The thing is, I was relatively sure that his pain and limp were related to his metabolic disorder.  But we weren't sure.  Turns out (after x-rays) I was probably right. 

Today at my 17 year old's piano lesson I heard her teacher telling her that since she has small hands she must learn to think through and re-arrange her fingering so that she can play a piece with the same ease and power of a pianist with a larger hand.  Perseverance despite a shortcoming.

In a life of faith, is it possible that the propensity to worry is the equivalent of small hands?  If so, it's something I need to take into consideration.  If so, I can clearly relate it to the passage in James 1:1-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


August 24, 2011 by Rieshy

Last night I was reading a book about the planets to my 3 and 5 year old.  They were seated to each side of me, slurping down their before bed snacks. 

We came to a page with a picture of the whole solar system.  Things were going well.  I asked a few questions about the sun that my 5 year old answered confidently.  Then...

Then as usual he stumped me.  My 5 year old pointed to Mercury.  "How would I die there?"

What?  I tried to brush the question off and we moved on to Venus.  Again, "How would I die on Venus?"

"Well, you wouldn't be able to breathe there..."  He interrupted me, "Would I burn up?"  He made a weird choking face to illustrate.

O.k., moving on.  But with every new planet the same gory questions about possible cause of death.  12 year old listening from the kitchen and making death-throe sounds didn't help.

All I can say is that teaching little boys does not remotely resemble teaching little girls.


New Year

August 23, 2011 by Rieshy

Yesterday was our first day back to school.  I generally fly by the seat of my pants, but this year I had invested a lot of planning time so that the kickoff to school would flow smoothly.

I just forgot to carefully plan that before breakfast my 12 year old was going to get locked out of her dogsitting house, with the dog.

Talk about an adrenaline rush- my daughter calls me and tearfully announces that I, "Must Drive Over NOW!"  I thought the dog was dead.

The (non-dead) dog spent the day with us.

I also forgot to plan that I would have 2, yes 2, flat tires.  Should have penciled that in.

Thanks to the unknown (and slightly scary looking) gentleman who knocked on my van window and told me something was wrong with my tire,  I was able to drive straight to the tire store before it went totally flat.  By the way Discount Tire rocks.  They found a huge bolt in one front tire and a screw in the other front tire.  The joys of living near new construction.

Did my planning pay off?  I did.  I knew where to pick-up after everything fell apart. 

I just hope today's planning doesn't reap quite the same benefit.


More Nocturnal Nonsense

August 21, 2011 by Rieshy

The other night I couldn't sleep so I sat in the den and wrote sloppy prose and checked email.  About 3:30 a.m. I heard it.  Something rattling a pan in the kitchen.

I stopped breathing and my fingers froze above the keyboard.  A mouse.  A large one by the sound of the rattles.  I ran for backup.

My newly awoken husband went into the kitchen and looked around while I stood on a chair in the dining room and watched.  Yes, I stood on a chair.   Frankly, I loose 3 dimensionality when it comes to rodents.

My husband rattled everything I could suggest but nothing made the same sound.

He went back to sleep.   I did not; I lay awake considering a rodent menance.  Until I heard it again.  A LOUD metal rattling sound.  The Rats of NIMH dismantling the oven?

I sat up and peered out through the bedroom door only to see a dim shape swish down the hall.  O.k. not a mouse, not even a rat.  I got up to investigate, but as I crossed into the living room a form floated past me, a form with a maniacal smile.

A nanosecond of terror and then laughter.  A smiley face Mylar balloon with trailing ribbons was free-floating through the pitch dark house.

My hair was still standing on end when the balloon was suddenly sucked up into the ceiling fan and, with the now familiar large metal rattling sound, it was slammed to the ground and trapped under a rocking chair. 

My husband pointed out later that the possibility of a mouse caused me to shriek and run for help yet an unknown form moving through the house, making large sounds caused me to... investigate?!?

I'm too happy knowing I don't have mice to mind a spot of teasing.

Things at 2 a.m.

August 20, 2011 by Rieshy

Things that go bump in the night:
the chirps of a son's uncharged and dying cell phone

wake you, but you don't know why.
Thoughts under control by day,
wander at will.

Things done
things undone
things that might be.

Things that go bump in the night grow,
and suck oxygen.

Sleeplessness and reason,
are not happy companions.
The devil's in the details
and the darkness,


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Game Designers, Take Note

August 17, 2011 by Rieshy

I walked through the den and noticed my 15 year old daughter on her older brother's computer.  Steam was open and the screen looked like she was playing one of her brother's games.  Yet, nothing seemed to be happening.

"What are you playing?"

"Half-Life, the zombie version."

"When your brother plays this there are zombies attacking and lots of shooting.  Are you sure this is the same game?"

"Oh, yeah.   This game is Great, it has all these beautiful old houses in it.  I go into a house, shoot all the zombies and then I do this."


"Well, it's the fun part.  I clean up the mess and then rearrange all the furniture until the house looks really nice.  I have a gravity gun, I can move Anything."



August 16, 2011 by Rieshy

Most of the time, if someone asks me the ages of my children, I stumble and trip and have to think.  People's expressions falter when they have to wait patiently for me to spit   it   out.  I'm sure they think my children are imaginary- what type of mother can't remember ages?

This is the time of the year when I can remember everyone's ages.  When our oldest daughter has her birthday it makes everyone's age odd or even, with our youngest daughter being the marker by being opposite neatly in the middle.

This time it's 19, 17, 15, 12, 9, 5, and 3.  See how handy that is.

We planned it that way.

I found this picture of our 17 year old this morning.
She was 35 in a 6 year old body.
 Actually she hasn't changed much.  
Happy Birthday Sweetie!  

And quick, someone ask me my kids' ages so I impress myself by rattling them off without thought.


Do It Yourself Health Care

August 13, 2011 by Rieshy

At the park Monday I was watching the kids play when my 5 yo climbed up to the monkey rings, grabbed a hold and then, hand over hand, worked his way to the other side.

Today at the pool I watched the same 5 yo launch his body face first and swim a couple of body lengths underwater.

Where did he learn these skills? How did he develop the strength, despite his hypotonia, to do these things?

Swim lessons? I priced swim lessons at the beginning of the summer, too high.

Physical therapy? We are still on the waiting list for physical therapy.

It was old fashioned family fun.

We had been told by the PT that swimming would be the most beneficial and least risky activity to build strength and endurance. How often is medical advice so pleasurable?  Our local rec center has a sloping pool entrance.  It was perfect, something all the kids enjoyed. We made it a priority to go to the pool as often as possible, and...

I just let them play.

Monday at the park, and today watching my newly self-taught swimmer?   I'm thankful for such a glorious summer of do-it-yourself health care with fabulously concrete results.


Curious Lines

August 6, 2011 by Rieshy

Yesterday in a lull between sizzling summer heat and summer lightening storms, that also sizzled, my Littles and I played in the driveway.

They didn't want to.  They were grouchy from being stuck inside, grouchy from being sick, and envious that the big kids were off doing mysterious big kid things; they just wanted to watch a movie.

We went outside anyway.

My three year old looked at our huge double driveway, perfect for scootering and bike riding, and complained that there was nothing to do and nowhere to ride.  Until I handed out the sidewalk chalk.  Immediately they began to draw streets and lanes and stop signs.

They had a blast.  They even drew rest stops and parking lots.  It was hilarious watching them fill up their scooters at the "gas station."  They pantomimed entering their PINs before using the invisible pumps.

What is it about lines and walls and rules?  We pretend to ourselves that we desire total freedom, but when confronted with it... the first thing we do is draw boundaries.


Night Sights

August 3, 2011 by Rieshy

Last night, in the wee hours, I heard someone sleep-talking and went to investigate. I found my three year old sleeping, half off his bed, wearing the sleep T-shirt I had put him to bed in along with the surprising addition of a pair of his dad's black socks.

His dad has size 12 feet.

The black socks were pulled up to the top of his thighs, almost to his spiderman underwear. They looked like hip boots ala the three musketeers. They also resembled the thick black tights I saw several Japanese teenage girls wearing under micro shorts recently.

As a young married couple we wanted children, I don't remember exactly why, but I'm pretty sure it included a lot of rosy and unrealistic expectations.

Reality is sooo much more precious.... not to mention funnier.