Set Design and Silver Linings

January 27, 2014 by Rieshy

Yesterday my 6 year old ran inside for a cloth to stem his accidentally sibling-bonked and bloody nose.  He headed back outside so quickly to play that I had to follow him to fetch the bandage I had used to wipe his face.

My 7 year old ran up and gleefully announced, "We wanted to pretend we were soldiers and play War, and look, now the porch has blood splatters all over it. Isn't that Great!"

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The Thud Of The Missed Bounce

January 23, 2014 by Rieshy

This weekend was a weekend spent on "hospital-watch" with our 7 year old son.  His Fatty Acid Oxidation defect makes him uniquely vulnerable to any illness that compromises his ability to eat.  Hospital-watch simply means closely monitoring and doing anything, I mean anything, that will get continual calories into him; his body just burns them up.  It means having bags packed and being ready to drive to our children's hospital the moment it becomes clear that his body is revved too high to be treated at home. 

Sometime I feel like a fireman on a steam powered locomotive.  Sweaty and grimy, shoveling fuel non-stop into a furnace that must be kept going in order to escape the murderous galloping outlaws chasing along behind.

We had success this weekend: No Hospital.  That's the best resolution of any hospital-watch. 

Now I'm bouncing back.  I always always forget how tired I am after a hospital-watch.  Even a successful one.  It's utterly draining in a confusingly disproportionate way to the actual amount of sleep missed.  

In similarly train-themed illustration, this is how I now feel:

Except Buster Keaton made everything funny.

I tend to forget that I always feel this way after a hospital-watch; I forget to go easy on myself and my family.  I forget to pray.

Because during a crisis I pray- afterwards I feel thankful and pray.  

And then I don't remember that I still need God every minute of every normal day.  That's when the lack of sleep hits.  That's when I worry and fret thus wasting the energy I do have.  That's when I become obnoxious to my family.

That's when I thud.

So- I write this to myself and to other parents of chronically ill children: take care and arm yourselves to cope with the sometimes monumentally difficult ordinary days post-illness.   

They are the Grindylows of caretakers.  


In Which Vomit Figures Heavily

January 21, 2014 by Rieshy

As a young, rosy cheeked and bloated first time pregnant woman I had a lot of daydreams of what motherhood would entail.  I was realistic (ha!), I knew that childhood illnesses were part and parcel of the gig- but I only envisioned a slightly feverish, sweet smelling child lying in bed and looking up adoringly while I read the Velveteen Rabbit out loud and simultaneously served herbal teas and warm home-made bone broths.  Bodily fluids never entered my imagination.  Bunk beds never entered my imagination.

Vomit certainly never made an appearance in any daydream I've ever had.  Vomiting from bunk beds?  Nope not in my repertoire of mothering images.

My husband was the first discoverer of the initial episode of high altitude hurling.  I'm pretty sure he never daydreamed about lovingly stroking the sleeping forehead of a precious child in a top bunk while simultaneously stepping his bare feet into vomit.

A day later and with people on the mend I made a foolish decision, after all nothing could happen in the time it took me to take a relaxing 2 mile run in rare January sunshine, right?

Let's just say that I am currently taking a break from steam cleaning the boy's room and am thankful to God that their bookshelves are on the opposite side of the room because pretty much everything else was baptized by a second rain of disgustingness from yet another child during my relaxing run.

Really?  Really?  The Cretans had toilets several thousands of years ago yet my children remain unfamiliar with them?

My husband moved the furniture and later today I'm repainting.  I kid you not- I have to repaint.  My first choice would be a flame- thrower but I'm always thwarted from that by the difficulty in finding one to rent.

  I would resign but for my many blessings:

  1. My secret stash of emergency chocolate.
  2.  My 21 year old son who has helped with the clean-up, twice.
  3.  My 19 year old daughter who kept me company through the night while I fed my medically fragile 7 year old every hour until he was better.
  4. My husband, not because of how great a Dad he is (which he is) but because now I will always be able to laugh when I think of his feet.


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Boy Brains

January 20, 2014 by Rieshy

Never underestimate the power of a young boy's brain to make connections other than the ones you expected.

Out errand running and treasure seeking in the china isle of a thrift store my 12 year old son found a navy blazer in perfect condition and the size of my 6 year old.  Now generally speaking when I'm thrifting for china my boys are thrifting for nerf guns not church clothes so I was a little surprised by the level of excitement engendered by the discovery of the jacket.

When we got home my 6 year old raced inside and changed from brown cowboy boots and jeans and a tee-shirt to black cowboy boots, jeans and a dress shirt.

With great satisfaction he slipped on the blazer and- 

with a twinkle in his eyes reminiscent of Clint Eastwood, he shifted slightly to push back one side of the blazer in order to reveal the true purpose of the blazer.

"Too bad we don't have a shoulder holster too," commented his 7 year old brother.  


Meditative 6 Year Olds

January 19, 2014 by Rieshy

I am a morning person and have always been one.  Some of my earliest memories are of watching my bedroom clock while straining to hear the first hints of movements from any other human in my childhood home.  I could not fathom why, Why, WHY did everyone but me insist on staying in bed past 5 a.m.? Why was no one as impatient for the company of my conversation as I was for an audience?

My mother has had the last laugh, in that mysterious payback system of grandchildren. It is my youngest child who is my earliest riser and of all my children, his activities have always been the most unpredictable;  he's amazingly handy with screwdrivers, scissors, door bolts...

Recently, I've found something that produces a quiet morning state in him- Gong Fu style Chinese tea.

  It amazes me how quietly he will sit drinking his tea when he is allowed to pour his own.

Quiet is something I encourage.  Even quiet punctuated by slurping.  The Chinese lady in the tea shop taught him how to slurp very loudly because slurping is polite in Gong Fu Tea.  I think she is just a very clever sales lady- what 6 yo boy doesn't love to slurp?

I don't mind the slurping- a small price to pay to postpone early morning talking, or shooting sounds.

He loves White Peony tea the best.  Oolong second.  It cracks me up to hear him ask for Oolong by name.

Wait a minute! I suddenly understand why my mother started allowing me to drink coffee when I was 5 years old.  Growing up we had a huge Sunday meal complete with company and conversation and yummy desserts.  I thought it was the ultimate luxury and mark of my own maturity to be served a cup of coffee during dessert and allowed to scoop my own sugar and serve my own cream and sip my very own, very special grown-up cup of coffee....  I had no idea what my mother was really up to.

I guess I'm just continuing her legacy of caffeinated quiet.



When Bucket-lists Coincide On A Saturday

January 18, 2014 by Rieshy

Two of my daughters somehow discovered that they harbored deep seated and complimentary desires.

One longed, somewhat understandably, to throw a pie. 

Another longed to have a pie thrown (arguably less understandably) at her own face.  I won't name names.

They purchased heavy cream.  They whipped it.
Then they fascinated (and warped) their little brothers by fulfilling each other's desire.

My husband and I don't understand but we had fun capturing the moment...

and the moment.

And then we slipped inside before our offspring could turn on us.

How's your Saturday?


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