Finally, the kids are back to school after 18 long days at home. The first ten days were spent laying on couches quietly recovering from their winter-long sickness. But the next 8 days were spent fully recovered, running ramped through the house; obsessively fighting and yelling in voices that are meant for outside only.
It was a hard week for me.
I'm not sure that I'll ever understand it but the more I talk to people and the more I simply look around, I see that it is not really all that strange for a mother to be fully single and raising her children. I'm not only perplexed by how that is possible but I am quite literally sick at the knowing.
My only job; my only true purpose in this world for this time is to be right where I am, holding Mabel's body endlessly while she squirms, twitches and babbles inside of my arms. The only thing that I know I am created for in this exact season is to be engaged with my sweet baby at all times. I could never imagine not seeing her, not holding her, not smelling her, not washing her, not feeding her, not caring for her every single need. I can't imagine not seeing the interaction she shares with her siblings. I can't imagine knowing that her life will be short but choosing not be a part of it. It's disheartening to say the least.
What I'm noticing more and more about my children is the character that God has already placed inside of them. Braden is incredibly tender and sensitive yet he is brave and intuitive. Just yesterday we took Nora to play at Nanny's house. Uncle Jake and his friends were shooting guns toward the timber. Braden told me that he chose to get up out of his seat and stand in front of Mabel because he was worried that a bullet would hit her. He said that he thought he would much rather it hit him than his baby sister. My eyes filled with tears and I told him how incredibly proud I am of him but also how happy that moment made God. I talked to him about how the Bible tells us that there is no greater love than a man who would lay down his own life for a friend or for someone he loves. And I watched as he listened to me intently. He will pursue great things in life, I know. He already has a keen sense about what is right and wrong and he is very adamant about showing his affections and convictions at every turn. He is a fine boy, my boy.
Between the two older children she is still having the hardest time with all of the change in our lives that has occurred throughout the past year. Emotionally I just see that she struggles more than her brother. But I also see great and encouraging gains. She is spending a lot of time out on Nanny and PooPaw's farm and I'm so thankful. Uncle Jake has good friends who seem to be very good with her and they'll never know how much that truly means to me. They shoot bows, play outside and interact with her really well.
Here at home she still has a breakdown almost weekly where she really cries hard for a few minutes, often not knowing why or not being able to explain it. I understand that some of this is normal. I also can't help but feel completely devastated for my sweet girl and her little heart. It just seems so unfair. However, I do see her opening up and feeling more comfortable within our home and I'm proud of the structure that I've worked really hard to maintain. The stability that I've been able to provide has helped give her some sense of safety and normalcy and I am so thankful. I will do whatever it takes to always do that for her, and for all of us, as I now it's necessary to move forward in healthy ways.
Over all Mabel is good, although there have been some changes in her over the last couple of weeks. For instance she is having new seizures; something I haven't noticed until now. She clicks her teeth together and her eyes are rolling in a different way. She is still letting out a random cry with tears (something she hasn't ever done-shed an actual tear.) There are some concerns, for example, she is having much more noticeable rigidity at bedtime, but for the most part I'm really impressed with how the new medicine is still helping. Today she had a random low-grade fever and every day is still very much unpredictable in the areas of choking, swallowing and seizing. I've learned to focus solely on her care and cuddles rather than the devastation of knowing what these changes probably mean for my girl.
Most nights I find myself in bed around 8 pm. Rather than staying up to think, write or analyze the day's events and our current situation, I choose to rest. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I literally choose to lay my body down and let it all go.
And I've noticed a considerable difference in the amount of stress I feel throughout the day now compared to when I was really divulging through my own internal mess.
I haven't decided if it's a coping mechanism, some part of my grief reappearing (the denial part maybe) or simply the very gracious gift of focusing on the present that I've learned so well to exercise in. Whatever the case may be, I truly do feel happy and content in my days and for now, that is really vital. If I'm happy and if I'm healthy then the little people depending on me will be as well.
And as it has always been, that is my main concern.
For tonight, the house is quiet and there is a very warm bed with clean sheets calling my name. I am so thankful for the moments of solitude that the night brings.
Reflection, growth and change occur there.
And those are the things I welcome here, deep within me.