I’ve been absent for quite some time. I realize it is because I’ve been waiting for something big, or profound to say. Something that would make me, and others, think it was good I took the time to come back. Only the truth is, I have nothing in he realm of profound to share. Over the last couple of months there have been lots of different directions we’ve been pulled in: my daughter’s spine condition, my son being hospitalized with a very nasty form of bronchitis, my son finally turning a corner after 2 weeks, to then catch such a nasty eye infection he couldn’t see for days, a realization of just how stiff my daughters hands are, my son being diagnosed with a type of movement disorder, trying meds that have side effects (oh my!), dealing with the effects of one missed dose, (oh so terrible!). And I’ve had a promotion at work, the normal stresses and strains of work life and we’ve had to deal with negotiating relationships with birth family (not easy, not easy) and the bills, well they make you loose sleep at night. Or they do me. And just when I think I’ve somewhat balanced things, a new need (not want) presents and we start all over again…
But I realize something. Where I’ve been going wrong is I haven’t really stopped to notice the little things. I’ve been so busy, so tired, so overwhelmed, so on my own trying to find a clear path for us all (you know, a month with no new diagnosis, no new $2000+ bill) that I’ve not taken the time to stop and stare at flowers, or pick up my camera to catch a bloom, or a smiling face, or jumping feet.
I’ve realized I’ve approached this blog with the same mentality, if it can’t be easy, if it can’t be a big, or symbolize a profound change, then there’s nothing to say, no beauty to be found and that simply isn’t true. The last almost three months have been stretching beyond belief, but they also have been filled with joy. My son transitions so much better now and doesn’t need to have 2 hr temper tantrum simply because of a change in routine (hallelujah!). My daughter learned to ride a bike (pure joy!) and despite being more fearful than I have ever seen a child be over the task (shaking and spluttering and crying, oh my!) within 3 minutes she was off and never looked back. My children now express their love to each other, have learned to play nicely together and don’t compete constantly for my attention. We have had a few beautiful walks, a lovely friend taught them how to plant, we were able to rent a community garden plot (think allotment if you are a Brit) and have oh so many plans of what to grow – this weekend folks, this weekend! And the greatest thing is the small things my heart tells me, the daily swelling of love that builds and erupts like a mini volcano, the joy I have when I pick my loves up from school, the happiness I have knowing we are all together.
Yes, there are some major challenges. My day starts at 5 am each morning and rarely ends before 11pm. I couldn’t tell you the last time I was able to do much of anything for me. And in truth, after almost 9 months of motherhood to two, I do need some time to myself (right now I’m either at work or with my children), but that will come. Right now the budget doesn’t allow for a baby-sitter, even for an evening. And while I do often think it would make me a better mother to have a break (I think the biggest challenge is there is no one to even watch them for 20 minutes while you run an errand or have a nap when you are sick and desperately need sleep) I also accept fully my time and place is with them. Fully with them and that makes my heart skip a beat with joy.
And as I write this, I see that over the last few months the close people in our lives have done small things in so many ways which brought the gentle love we needed and a reminder to me to keep breathing. From a friend afar who phones and prays for us daily, to my children’s Godparents who always help me out with childcare in pinch and include us as family. We’ve been blessed by a friend who lets my children feel loved and accepted and part of something and the same friend has given us more bags of soil, coffee, flowers, food and immune boosters (as well as a bike!) than I could even count or express my gratitude for. This outpouring of love made me remember a value that was so important to me and so rare here in the west, the value of living as a community – meeting each other’s needs and sharing each other’s joy in big ways and small. Thinking of other people daily. Sharing. Giving. Receiving. Unifying.
So there are no profound words, I’m far too tired. But I’ve decided to come back to blogging (oh do I have some apologies to make!). I hope it awakens in me the desire to focus my lens (literally and figuratively) on the small things – my children’s smiles, the flowers we pick, the seeds we plant, the steps we take. And once and for all, try to live the life I believe in.