Friday, December 30, 2011

relaxation, prayers and recovery

We'd had plans to drive up to New England this week and spend New Years with my family. But, we began to reconsider when we realized Carolyn had not responded to her amoxicillin and spiked a temperature on Christmas day. When I tucked her in to bed on Christmas night, she was covered from head to toe in hives, thanks to a delayed allergic reaction.

Our decision to stay home was confirmed when the day after Christmas, Elizabeth, after taking her new bicycle for a spin around the driveway, hopped off and ran over to tell me how excited she was about riding and en route, twisted her ankle and fell down. When she still couldn't walk the next day, I brought her in to the pediatrician ... who sent us in for an x-ray ... where it was determined that she had suffered a hairline fracture.


Carolyn accompanied me to the doctor with her sister, and while we were waiting for her x-ray, we were subjected to televisions that were locked on CNN. Although we do read the newspaper, we don't watch much news at our house because it isn't as much "news" as it is the most horrible recent events, run on a continuous track.

The girls are learning to read, so they were deciphering the captions. "Mom, did that boy die? What happened to him? Where were his parents?" I tried to distract them with coloring books and flashcards, but when images of the devastating fire in Connecticut flashed up, they were mesmerized. "What happened to that house? Oh my goodness! Were there people inside? I really hope there weren't people inside...."

Yeah, I'd really hoped that, too.

Like quite possibly every mother in America, I've been unable to stop thinking about Madonna Badger and it's impossible for me to fathom how she is going to move on in her life. Over the past two days, the children have asked me questions about what exactly happened and I've tried my best to answer their questions, appropriately. While I know that people endure losses everyday, this particular tragedy has really gripped my heart and many of the coping mechanisms that I typically employ are falling terribly short.

So we've just been hugging our children a whole lot tighter. And all the expectations that we'd had to pack in a week of adventure have fallen by the wayside. We've had no plans and no agenda and it's been incredibly relaxing. Just as our fleet of doctors have ordered.

Because Elizabeth's fracture is so small, she isn't in a cast.

(At least not yet.)

And because we want to keep her "quiet" we equipped her with a walkie-talkie and some binoculars and camped her out at the kitchen table while her father played an awesome game of hide-n-seek in the woods.


Charlie is darting around the yard with one walkie-talkie. When the kids would see him, they'd yell it over the walkie talkie. He was very stealth and was only spotted once. When I traded spots and went outside to hide, I fell in the creek and lost both of my shoes in a mud pit.

The kids immediately saw me, flailing about.


So I retreated to the house where we made banana bread in the shape of a train.


William set up a Harry Potter museum in his room and offered free tours.


He'll make a fine curator one day...


He hasn't taken these glasses off since Sunday. (I need to hide them.) Look at that sweet little face. Did I mention that he lost his first tooth two weeks ago? He was at a birthday party and yanked it right out. Such bravery!


Everyone has received pedicures.


And since Santa brought all the children Camelbaks for Christmas, there has been a lot of hydrating going on. There has also been a lot of baking and juicing and napping and game-playing and reading and knitting and happy memory-making.


This has been the most wonderful week of the entire year. So like a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter, I'm storing up all the relaxation and awesomeness for what I hope will be a very good start to 2012.