Attempts at Disneyland

24 02 2010

As a parent, I think it’s natural that after your kids have been through something tough, you want to give them something fun. To try and make up for it somehow.

Our original attempts at fun included going to  the park and a movie with Aunt Amber.

Colby walked the fence line, but the other three seemed most excited about the little hammock tucked under the slide.

The next day, we had to take Aunt Amber to the airport.

Thanks for coming, Amber! You’re the best!

One nice thing about having to be somewhere at a certain time is that once you finish, you’ve got everyone in the car, ready to go–and in this case, hours before it would have normally happened. Since Disneyland was too far away, I decided going on a hike would be just as fun.

Who doesn’t want to enjoy the sunshine after a cold, dark winter?

My kids, apparently.

They cried and whined the entire hour drive to the trailhead.

Except . . . oops. We didn’t actually make it all the way to the trailhead. Because of the snow.

That’s right, folks! Mountains generally have snow longer than in the lowlands. Give this Idaho girl a prize!

But we had driven and hour to hike, and hike we would, dag nabit.

Little Red cried whenever I put him down. So I carried him most of the time.

Here’s a better picture, taken without that awful flash, and with Mr. Colby on my hip. Rainbow had to hold my hand the entire time, Eden slipped and fell and was grumpy forevermore, and Zack . . . well, Zack had an awesome time. That made the entire hour-drive-each-way-for-twenty-minutes-of-hiking worth it. My plugged in boy was unplugged, and enjoyed it!

 A creek we crossed–

We had to stop for Rainbow to relieve herself (of course!) and Eden decided she needed to go, too (of course!), so I took some tree pictures. Lots of tree pictures. But I will only subject you to one.

In the end, not exactly Disneyland . . . but still fun! 


Hard Decisions as a Parent

22 02 2010

Three days last week, I went with Zack and Rainbow and their dad to the children’s hospital.

They, unsurprisingly, didn’t want to go.

There was screaming.

There were tears.

There was begging and pleading. “Please, please, PLEASE, Mom! It’s my body! Why can’t you let me decide? I don’t want to do this!”

I tried to answer back calmly.

I arranged for them to be given a priesthood blessing, if they wanted.

I gave lots of hugs.

I cried with them.

But I still took them.

I have recently discovered the burden of parenthood increases exponentially when one is required to make medical decisions–possibly life-altering medical decisions–for one’s children. One of the things that makes it so hard is that once their feet are set on this path, there is no knowing “What it could have been like.” That reality is lost forever, superseded by this new reality that, let’s face it, was forced upon them by their parents.

[Deep sigh.]

I wish I could tell the future.

Was it the right decision?

If the kids were choosing, the sacrifice of their personal comfort right now is too great. Hospitals? Needles? I.V. poles? Side effects? Definitely not worth this nebulous you-won’t-break-as-many-bones future we’re holding up for them as a prize. Since breaking bones isn’t a given, it’s hard to weight the benefit of infusions against it. However, because in their cases broken bones aren’t simply possible–they’re probable–as a parent it becomes necessary to weigh those odds.

Dear Zack, I don’t want you becoming hunched over before you’re even a teenager because your spine is weak.

Sweet Rainbow, I don’t want you to have constant back pain at the tender age of six.

The medicine they were given in infusion form is supposed to help their bones become stronger by slowing the process of resorption. I really hope it works. I prayed a lot.

And I believe getting the infusions was a good choice.

The greatest difficulty lay in causing them pain–two of my sweet children–when that’s the last thing I ever want to do, when I would take that pain upon myself in a second if it were possible.

Stick me with a hundred needles, and please make their bones stronger.

It doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.

They cried and screamed at the hospital. (I cried, too.)

But they were brave.

They got it done.

I am so proud of them.

See you in three months, Hospital. We won’t miss you, but we’re glad you’re there to help us out.

Here’s hoping for a strong-boned future!

A Picture is Worth Three Words

14 02 2010


12 02 2010

I just found this note on the table, and started laughing so hard I almost had a coughing fit:

Eden and I have been butting heads lately . . . a lot.

But I love her to death, and am so glad she thinks ahead for any problems.

Just in case.

What’s that Smell?

11 02 2010

A lot of people have asked me how this little guy is doing in school.

It’s a long day: he catches the bus just before nine, and doesn’t get home until 4:10. That’s a lot of hours for a three-year-old to be away from home four days a week.

However . . . he seems to be enjoying it. He doesn’t cry when he gets on the bus (and neither do I, anymore), and he’s really perfecting his pointing skills. He’s also got a few more words under his belt (off, fee [for dolphin], car, yuck, and door) and is learning to jump.

I was able to go and observe last week for a couple of hours. It did my mother’s heart good to know that, even though he’s enjoying school, he doesn’t completely forget me while he’s away. I arrived when the kids were just finishing recess, so when Colby walked into his classroom I was already there.

Oh, the smile!

Oh, the hugs!

It doesn’t get any better than that.

All through his morning work, he would remember I was there, watching, and he would look at me and smile.

All through lunch, he would turn around and give me hugs.

And I readily admit one of the high points of my day is when the bus rounds the cul-de-sac, bringing him home. I can see him in the window, and when he sees me he grins like he just won the lottery.

Of course, there have been adjustments.

Back when Zack (and I tried to find a picture, but that was before we had a digital camera) was about this size–

pretty much the size of a button, but covered in black hair–we were in a married student ward, but we shared the building with several singles wards. That little Zack was just so cute that complete strangers would always ask me if they could hold him. It didn’t take long before I noticed these ladies would leave their scent on my baby. I would go to snuggle in his little neck, and be hit with some strange perfume. It was the wrong smell, the not-my-baby smell.

Colby comes home smelling of other women.

It saddens me, of course, a kind of mocking reminder that I’m not taking care of him all day.

I suppose there comes a time in the life of every mother when they have to face the fact that they can’t be everything their baby needs.

And it’s okay. 

It doesn’t mean I love him any less.

He’s doing great, and I’m so thankful there are people with the skills and caring it takes to teach my baby what he needs to know.

Tres Twice

4 02 2010

Ahh, the pinewood derby. Cub scouting’s finest event. Yes, I even like it better than the Blue and Gold Banquet. There’s just something about the creation of the car and the thrill of the race that makes my heart pump with glee.

And if that didn’t, watching this redhead streak around the gymnasium with utter abandon would.

I love the derby no matter what, but, hey, I’m not complaining if a trophy gets won.

Neither is he.

Rock on, Bulletmobile!



Sick Days

2 02 2010

I always find it interesting that I’m most grateful for my health when I’m sick.

I’ve been sick for two days.

The kind of sick where your insides feel jumpy and your outsides feel the same. Where even the brushing of your clothes against your skin feels like sandpaper, and you’ve eaten so little you’re weak as a newborn kitten. Where the ache starts just between your shoulder blades and starts spreading, spreading like the dread you feel in your heart because you know, all vitamin C- and zinc-popping aside, it’s coming and there’s no way to stop it.

The virus.

It’s been hopping through the family like a drunken ping-pong ball, taking one of us hostage here, grazing another one of us there.

When it reaches the captain of the ship, though, things (meaning food preparation and laundry, picking up and putting away, those sorts of things) grind to an unweildy halt.

They don’t matter so much, really, when a body’s being reamed out.

Who needs food, anyway? Clean clothes? Pah.

Two days, and I’m starting to come out. Self is reasserting. The long nap this morning helped, as did the hot bath this afternoon. Thank goodness for ibuprofen.

Now I start the slippery slope of recovery: doing, but not too much. I don’t want to land in this land again anytime soon.