Ready to Launch

Somewhere in the middle of last year, I decided that I would write a book.  I had the content captured in my blog and my private writing, but knew that it needed to be organized and re-written and edited.  Still, it was something I wanted to pursue. Continue reading

When Sickness Strikes

When Sickness Strikes

We were a house full of sick people. Autumn showed the first signs, with crusty eyes and a runny nose. Then I went down with a short-lived fever overnight, complete with sweats and chills. Then Ger said he didn’t feel well and slept off his illness for hours. Quentin remained healthiest, though that’s a relative term as he still seemed to be tired and was certainly crabby. And Theo was hit the worse, with eyes that clearly indicated how poorly he felt, followed by a fever.

Throughout her little cold, Autumn has remained cheerful. The rest of us moaned and groaned, but the smile never left her face, nor did she seem to be bothered at all by her cold symptoms. It didn’t stop me from constantly checking her forehead for a fever, or wondering if her rosy cheeks meant spiked temperature, or making sure the thermometer was nearby.

After tucking her in for the night, I was compelled to check on her. The cold was only part of it. She had spent all day rolling around and now I had new, unnecessary fears of her rolling over in bed and suffocating. I know that’s not how it works, and when they roll there’s no way to stop the rolling at night, but I had this image of her somehow twisting in her sleep sack in an untenable position.

I could hear her as soon as I entered her room, because of the little snort that accompanied her stuffy nose. Somehow that still wasn’t good enough and I risked waking her by turning on a light, just to check her position in her crib.

Then I had an even more unnecessary urge to check on Theo. My big 8-year-old, with only a fever, of which he’s had dozens before. I’d given him Tylenol, which he has also had more times than I can count. For some reason, I needed to check on my sick child. I had to turn on the bathroom light, across the hall from their room, rather than turn on anything direct. I cracked open the door and it was so dark I couldn’t see anything. In his bottom bunk, I felt around for his head. Finally, my hand grazed his cheek. He kicked his leg as a reaction. Still breathing.

I know that rainbow babies are frightening enough, without the extra strain of thinking there might be something wrong.  A friend of mine has a rainbow baby with a cold.  Another had a baby born with some pregnancy complications.  Their fragility when they are so little is palpable.  And somehow that fragility has now projected itself onto my older children, reminding me that I cannot protect them.  Theo’s flushed, sick face was a reminder.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” -Confucius

Two Dogs

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For my baby shower, my sister gave me a stuffed sheep for Theo.  It was white and very fluffy and as the months passed it became his favorite, named Baa.  When he was not even two years old, we lost Baa at the pediatrician’s office.  I frantically asked my sister to please send two backup Baas.  I rotated them out so that they could be equally loved and interchanged.  Then a laundry error revealed that we had two Baas in our possession.  We lost one of the two last year when we came home from an overnight stay at a hotel without Baa.  Down to one. Continue reading

She Would Be Two

Quentin always wants to be where his sister is. He adores her. When I’m nursing her in the morning, he will come tiptoe into her room and say “Hi Autumn!” in a quiet singsong voice. Most of the time, she will look directly back at him and give him the biggest smile.

This week I said “Can you believe she is five months old? Does it feel like she has been here forever? Or can you remember when it was just you and Theo?” He thought about it and then said slowly “Well… but when it was me and Theo…. I always wanted… a baby sister.” It made me smile, in both a happy and sad sort of way.

I have been working on moving some of my writing into a book that I can print for at home; something tangible. Later, the same day that I had this discussion with Quentin, I was working on content from June of 2015. I don’t think I have read it since I wrote it. We were in Hawaii, and I “spilled the beans” to my family that we were having a baby girl. I was about 11 weeks pregnant at the time. Looking back, I am marveling at how little I wrote in the summer of that year, compared to my usual volume. I was horribly sick with pregnancy nausea, that lasted beyond the first trimester, but I was uneasy. I knew, I knew somehow, in my gut, that something was wrong. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t articulate it, because there was nothing to say other than “a feeling.”

Nelle would be two. That baby sister Quentin wanted would be a toddler. She was due on January 12th. Or the 14th, depending on which doctor’s estimation I use, but since the 14th is our wedding anniversary, it is hard for me to think of that day as my due date, so we’ll go with the 12th. She would be two years old.

Instead of a toddler, it is a 5-month-old baby, and aren’t those the most paradoxical words… “instead of”….