I landed yesterday. Settled into something that felt almost like a coherent thought. Slowed long enough to enjoy the sun and forced myself to still for a few moments. It felt a little foreign.
A month ago as we were preparing to move, I was organized and ready. A move to the other side of town didn’t sound challenging. I was a little lethargic after pushing hard to get my sister settled in the house she and her husband built, but late nights staining floors and cleaning were fun. I was needing a slight re-charge after helping my parents pack, paint, and clean the interior of their new house while my mom was down with a back injury. I knew I’d pull it together for my own move. I had my lists, my boxes, my days mapped out. Somehow with the help of amazing sisters and parents I painted 4 bedrooms and a hall in our new house and got everything clean and ready for move in.
Then six days before moving Everett woke up with a raging fever. We stayed home with popsicles, Tylenol, and Netflix for him and packing tape, coffee, and adrenaline for me. Then Haley got sick, followed soon by Hudson.
I wasn’t frantic but was sleep deprived. I remember very little of the week. I do remember in the middle of one night hearing a thud and knowing it was one of the kids. I jumped up out of a sound sleep, hurdled boxes, and found Hudson passed out on the bathroom floor. Apparently, at the height of his fever he woke, realized he had a bloody nose, rushed into the bathroom, and when he ran back out to get me, managed to slip and fall backward. I’m still not sure if he was knocked out or passed out, but either way the blood from his nose and his sprawled out body woke me fully … for the next three hours. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep fifteen minutes before my alarm went off.
My meticulous plan of productive days while the kids were at school morphed into a house full of sick kids, “Mom, more juice please. Mom, WHY did you pack the ninja turtles already? Mom, just hold me.” I did. Then as soon as droopy eyes closed for sleep I was up and running.
Moving day wasn’t as organized as I’d hoped and we started out with rounds of Tylenol. Through fuzzy eyes and foggy brain I thanked the Lord for parents and sisters who helped with everything practical and kind friends who moved boxes and brought meals in the chaos. Turns out lasagna can make me teary in such a state.
Instead of spending the first days enjoying the new house, I brought Everett to the doctor. I’m pretty sure his fever broke as we sat in the waiting room. After seeing the doctor he was finally hungry, as these things seem to go. He was back to school the next day.
I have a vague memory of taking Haley to get an x-ray because the doctor was concerned she had developed pneumonia. It was sometime after cleaning the old house but before applying touch up paint to it. As I was walking out of the doctor's office the school called. "Darla's in the office, sick." Of course she is.
Haley's x-ray was clear. Darla bounced back. I was able to say a frenzied goodbye the blessing of a house I was leaving behind.
The weeks since moving have been a level of chaos I can only choose to see as comical. At one point plumbers showed up to re-plumb the entire house. They were supposed to have it done before we moved in but instead decided to do the entire thing the day before my foster licenser was scheduled to examine our house. I refused to let it faze me. Haley and I used bathrooms at my parents and did all we could do at the house without use of water.
We thought the plumbing was finished but the morning the foster licenser was coming we woke to ice cold showers and no water pressure. Turns out a fitting busted under the house and was filling it with water. I was laughing, popping ibprofun for my headache, and rescheduling my licenser.
In the midst of these bizarre events (and after we hosted Easter for 22 of us) I decided to get chicks so the kids could have something fun while I was running around like a chick with her head cut off. It turned out to be good timing because the night before we got them, one of our rabbits mysteriously died. Darla took it the hardest, but she quickly took to a little black chick she named “Puff”.
Everett came to me the next morning. “Hey mom, does it look like Puff is dead?” He nonchalantly opened his hand open to reveal a limp, unresponsive chick. “She was laying like this in there. All the other ones are chirping.” Ugh. So much for the good timing for new animals.
It was a hard day for Darla wrestling with big faith questions, “If God is all-powerful and He could’ve saved Puff and Blackberry, why would He say no when I prayed they’d be safe? Why my animals?” We prayed. We talked. We went to Scripture. I begged God for wisdom to direct Darla to Him (as I dozed off comforting her at bedtime). He answered, and then as a sweet bonus for her one of the barn cats had kittens.
This morning I found myself staring at my calendar feeling miffed. “Wait, isn’t it the beginning of April? How did I get here?”
Somehow I'm here and the fog is slowly lifting. I’m relieved because it's time to talk details with a publishing company about a:life. Also in the blur of April, Sean and I attended a two day Empower to Connect conference. It has been changing my parenting and the way I see trauma and healing (look up Empower to Connect and The Connected Child online- whether you have spare time or not.) I’m looking forward to processing the information (in a hot shower with new plumbing). Sean has been d.j.ing events on the weekends, officiating weddings, and is planning a trip to India (yes, the country) next month so it’s probably best I slow down and have a look at the spring ahead.
On Sunday my kids informed me that their Aunt Megan (who lives with us … oh yes, that’s been another element to this month, hasn’t it?) hadn’t been down to the river. I assured them we would rectify that situation. As soon as church ended we threw on shorts and grabbed a picnic blanket. We moseyed across the road and down a path to a sandy spot–Megan and me talking while the kids ran ahead. There was talking, splashing and sand in hair. Mostly there was a collective breath, a sweet afternoon of rest, a regrouping, and a contentedness. We don’t need to know what might be brewing ahead. Today is sunshine. I may even have time for two coherent thoughts.
Just throwing myself out there a bit...