I haven’t written because my hands hurt too much to type.
I haven’t written because my body shuts down too quickly for me to stay up after the children are asleep.
I haven’t written because my words were on lockdown because of court cases and confidentiality clauses.
I haven’t written because children, so many children, so many children with so many special needs.
But they are amazing, and worth it, and I am happy.
Yesterday I got up at 5am, and they got up at 6am, and it was too painful for all of us.
Except that we have learned that time together is more important than anything, and that every minute counts. So when a meeting was required in Tulsa, I dragged them with me, just so we could have the hour before and after as we traveled together. We have so many car traditions and memories! I was glad they all came because my afternoon family rescheduled, and so we were able to go play at the zoo and relax a bit in the afternoon. It was really good for us!
This morning I finished work while the kids did their school work, and then we tackled their closets. Barrett is busting out of his clothes, so I was able to pull out all the boy clothes under size 4, and Anber is exploding out of her clothes, so I got all her 3’s packed up for the Baby in a year or two, mostly not worrying about if she will still be alive then or not. I dug out all the too little baby clothes, and the extra winter infant things, and got them all packed away to pass on to families waiting for baby supplies. The big kids are growing, too, and I cleared out their size 6 and 7, and packed them up for Anber and Barrett. They still have their winter clothes that fit, all of them, but having this much done will sure make it easier when it’s time to drag out spring and summer clothes!
Nathan and I also edited our books, going through them and finding some we could pass on to others. I went through the last of my mother’s shoes and found some clothes I could let go of, and we all felt pretty good as we continue to clean out our house after the years of fostering and my mother’s passing and closing down my private practice offices and having a house full of toddlers. There are so many layers we are able to release, and it feels so good to let go!
It was gorgeous outside this afternoon, so the kids played outside for a really long time. That kept the house quiet enough the baby could sleep well, which gave me time to prepare for my part of the party Monday night. I’m assigned the miracle berry tasting party after the game is over, and it is very exciting. I am overwhelmed because we don’t know how many people, and because a tasting party by nature is a lot of tiny bites of a lot of different foods, so there is a lot of preparation work to do. I got everything organized today, though, so all I have to do on Monday is get the tables set up how we need them and all the little bites displayed and ready for players to grab when it’s time to taste the berries! It’s going to be such a fun night, and we are all very excited to help our friend Joshua.
We had quinoa with peas and carrots and green beans in it for dinner tonight. We were passing out the dishes to all the kids and ourselves when we realized it was our first meal that the baby could really eat with us! She was delighted with her plate of food, and did a great job eating! She is trying so hard, though when home health was here today for her RSV shot, we did find out she has lost weight again. I think it is in part due to her being off oxygen part time the last week, as they wanted us to see how she did if we kept her off for a little while. It’s so frustrating, and we just want her to be well.
Nathan took the kids to see the Shrek play at the high school in Owasso tonight. His mother went with him, giving me a glorious night off to get some work done around the house. I tried to use the time wisely, focusing on things I cannot do when the children are home! I got my notes and treatment plans done for work, and got the books for Nathan’s business caught up, and found the title for our paid off car, and uploaded the new birth certificates for Kirk and Barrett and Anber to our dropbox file for backup and got the originals secured away in our little safe, sent more information to OSD for Mary’s application to deaf school, completed paperwork for the baby’s adoption, emails answered, essays written to earn publication creds and house money, our Owasso rental cleaned up for new renters coming Monday, and all our bills paid and double checked our tithing – which we are trying to do extra since hearing that CES fireside talk.
It felt good to get a few things caught up and be a little productive!
Nathan is feeling the same way since starting new medicine for narcolepsy. They think that may be what’s going on, more than just whatever hormonal things were causing problems with his oxygen and his sleep. He’s getting so much done in a day, and staying awake for it! We’ll see how he adjusts over the next few weeks and if our insurance will keep paying for it, but it’s been fun to have him present in a new way. That is to say, present and awake in a normal sense, if you are measuring normal by what it’s like to be a dad of six preschoolers, including a baby that mostly sleeps through the night but not quite.
He and his mother are on their way back here now, with sleepy children who mostly had a blast, and with only two baby fits to report. That’s pretty good! I finished in time to almost write, even though there are a million other things I still need to share… like how I was able to meet Kirk and Barrett’s biological mother for a drive by hug while we were out yesterday, or the funny songs Anber is making up lately, or how the baby’s mother responded to realizing she had lost rights and that we would be adopting her. There is so much to share, and I really want to, and I really will.
But in the meantime, I am learning so much.
I am learning that serving my family comes first, and that caring for my husband makes me happiest, and that the best way to nurture my children is to be sitting with them in whatever activity, and not with my phone or on the computer or any way distracted.
It’s a whole new meditation practice in being present, that’s for sure, but it has made us much happier and more attached since we have been home together these months. What at first seemed impossible now seems to be the greatest blessing, and I am so grateful. They are amazing, and we are all learning together – mostly they are amazing, and we are learning.
“But whatever the era, whatever the times, one thing will never change: Fathers and mothers, if you have children, they must come first. You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children. Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.” (Washington Post, 2 June 1990, p. 2.)