Well minutes after I posted “the new normal” I thought to myself, maybe I spoke too soon.
It had been a few days filled with many, hard hours parenting kids who were fighting, Brian having to work a lot of nights, then getting sick etc. We lived through the last 10 days. And now I’m tired.
What has helped is when I hear you guys are reading this. Or when you ask how we are doing. We have doctors checking XS’s ears, a speech therapist giving us pointers and encouragement and so many friends (some have adopted, some haven’t) who have asked how we are and are praying for us. Run-on sentence complete.
We had a lot of firsts still in the midst of the pterodactyl’s return:
Brian took the kids “camping” out in the backyard. I wisely slept inside. After 20 minutes of peace and quiet, I heard little footsteps coming up the deck. Then a face in my window. And a voice. Then someone coming in to give me a hug. Peace and quiet for another 10 minutes. And a repeat of the same. Eventually they all fell asleep. Brian is the best dad ever. Sometime I’ll post all about him, his sacrifices for us and how he lays down his life for all of us every. single. day. The next morning he made blueberry pancakes on a one-burner, Coleman stove, in the backyard.
We took the kids to an art event downtown and they all begged (ok 2 out of 3) for face painting. XS let the artist put him into the chair but when she started to paint the face, it was a clear “no way lady.” Eventually we got the shark on the leg, the snake on a face and the flowers on the last face.
The face in the middle up there is starting to become more common. It seems between knees bloodied (at least 2 out of 3 days he gets a band-aid on a knee), toys not shared, waffle dropped on the table or some other (to us) small irritation, this kid is struggling. He just cannot handle frustration: either from the snot this cold keeps producing in his nose, the lack of sleep from his coughing at night or from the major trauma he has endured leaving home, family and country. Maybe we should have called him Abraham.
The good news is there are moments when the big kids act more compassionately than we feel, when he more clearly says “motorcycle” or “Lightning McQueen,” says hello to our neighbors or just those blessed moments of peace when I can blog. Then Brian and I look at one another and say, “we can do this thing.”