Sunday, January 21, 2024

Going Viral

 It's like a potluck. This virus went all out for us. It took a smattering of all the worst viruses combined and made one big tossed salad of horrible for us to enjoy. Just when you're finishing one course, it's on to the next hellish surprise. 

My ride on this train started 9 days ago and I have a tiny hope that I might regain my energy and all the other things I've lost in the process in another few weeks.  10 days ago, I was hiking through the hills. That night, the chills started. Violent chills - the kind that shake you to pieces. Then, the aching. Four days into the aching I felt like my everything was just pulling apart. I wasn't able to sleep both because my fever was uncontrollably high, but also because the aching simply prevented anything except wishing I was no longer alive. :-) 

Bumpy was an incredible nurse, never leaving my side. Several times she climbed onto me to make sure I was awake. Each time my temperature had risen dangerously high. I'm not sure how she knew, but she did.  Aberdeen took care of the whole family. She dutifully worried about each of us and was available for cuddling 24/7. There's something incredibly comforting about a soft body snuggled up as close as it can get. 

My parents were the unsung heroes of this story. My mom made us countless meals and it was absolutely critical. My dad helped keep the A-frame stocked in pellets for the fireplace and he even came and cleaned out our filthy horse pens before the encroaching storms arrive. I simply do not know how we would have made it through this without them. 

The absolute worst part of the whole ordeal has been watching the kids suffer and being almost entirely helpless to assist them. They didn't have as severe of a case as I did, but they were suffering incredibly. Kris also got it, but his case was mild, thankfully. 

After facing fevers, body aches, chills, chest congestion and subsequent coughs, diarrhea, vomiting, exhaustion, loss of appetite, taste and sense of smell, and then the loss of all energy, we are all finally, slowly turning a corner. We're not ready to take on any marathons yet, but I was able to brush my hair today. So, you know, there's that. 

It's viruses like this that make us paranoid. We heard of it hitting those we love all over the country from Virginia to Oregon, but we were holding out hope that maybe just maybe we'd dodge the bullet. Alas. 

Here's to goodbyes... saying goodbye to this virus will be a joyful event for each of us. We're ready to begin wandering again. 

Monday, January 01, 2024

Dog food in my trebuchet


The vulnerability of motherhood begins before we even know we're pregnant. Then, throughout the pregnancy we are left to wonder - all the things. Living as a mother feels like taking out your heart and holding it out into the wide, broken world without protection and leaving it utterly vulnerable. The considerations that are most likely to keep me up in the wee-morning-worry-hours are always about my boys - these creatures I helped usher into the world. How shall I keep them alive? How to keep them healthy? How to train up their hearts in the way that they should go? How to protect them from the things that this world will throw against them? How to help them understand and be capable of love? How to help them navigate the impossible? How to guide them to be strong and courageous and simultaneously humble and kind? How to teach them to not bite each other, not eat their boogers, not pee all over the toilet seat, not be too loud, not be too rambunctious, not be dinosaurs in all the ways... 

Madigan made a trebuchet out of popsicle sticks and successfully launches dog food from it, much to the delight of the canines in our midst. His mind is constantly in the works, creating, improvising, improving upon and imagining projects. And his projects are without exception, remarkable. He has a lot weighing upon his heart and it is sometimes hard to know how to help him navigate it all. 

Kelton woke up and came to chat with me in bed. He said, "Mom, I think I have a crush on you." Well, that won't last, but it's precious. We've been listening to books before bed every night and he makes us tea, grabs a blanket and snuggles close, leaning his head against my shoulder in utter contentment. I treasure these things in my heart. 

Lochlan has been a blur of energy, whooshing about the house in his fluffy cape, often at a full canter, smile upon his face. His screaming has been replaced with laughter for the past several days, which translates into a lot of laughing all night long. Though the relentless wakefulness is slightly agonizing, the laughter is musical in it's way. Tears replaced by joy are a welcome feature. Praying for answers, always and forever. 

Declan is practicing his littlest brother's patience with adept accuracy. However, it's beautiful to see their friendship blossom as it has these past several months. They (MOSTLY) set aside their ability to be the thorn in each other's side, very much due to Declan's leadership on that account. They seem to work consciously to build up one another and encourage each other. Declan is wise and discerning in so many ways and his ability to see into the hearts of others is humbling. 

We're off to explore again this gloomy, winter afternoon. I am thankful I have been given this day, with all that is vulnerable in it, with all that hurts, with all that has been abundantly beautiful and filled with joy. We are going to go see my tree as it silently escorts in another storm. Over the past couple of months, I put together an art project in honor of my tree and my hill to sit in our living room. On the days when we are not able to wander, we can look upon it and be thankful for the excess of what we have been given. :-)