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Monday, February 11, 2013

Joy & Sorrow


Calvin drew our family picture on the chalkboard a couple weeks ago based on our most recently family picture we just hung on the wall.  (Apparently I have really big eyes and crazy hair!)

He did a really good job and when I saw what he drew I was simultaneously filled with both joy and sorrow.  Joy, because he included a balloon, a balloon he knows represents the one member of our family who isn’t with us physically.  Yet feel sorrowful, because he must draw pictures where his family isn’t whole.

Sorrow & joy fill my heart when I hear his five year old little voice introduce himself to others and upon their question if he has any brothers or sisters, he chooses to tell them that he “actually has two brothers but one is in heaven.  He died.”

I’m thankful that he’s not afraid of the family the Lord’s given him and he’s embraced it.  Many days I feel I have much to learn from that 5 year old.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Releasing


When Marvin and I were engaged we spent time answering a lot of thought provoking questions.  A friend of Marvin’s had given him a list of questions to answer before marriage and we had so much fun discussing what married life would be like.  Unfortunately somewhere along the way I lost the list, but it was similar to this list, just a lot more questions.  Some of them were surface stuff like where you imagine living: apartment, house, but there were a lot of deeper things about faith, raising children, and roles in marriage. 

Looking back, I see two na├»ve 20 year olds who thought we had it all figured out.  We answered all the questions so we were ready to get married, but what was it we were exactly ready for?  I know most of our friends have been married long enough to know that marriage is tough stuff and nothing like what we envisioned it would be when we first said I do.  But isn’t that the beauty of it?  It gets better as our hearts endure hardships, as we disagree, as we walk through life beside our spouse we understand more about whom he/she is and grow to love him/her more.

I remember discussing medical intervention.  We both agreed that modern medicine has its place in helping us fight for life here on earth and it was not our decision to end life.  We never imagined we’d be faced with the decision to end medical intervention with one of our own children. 

You see those two young kids didn’t quite understand how you could love a child yet, and I don’t think you can until you enter into the beautiful realm of parenthood.  When you see that little piece of you, or the one you’ve been asked to raise, your heart explodes with love.  The kind of love that you’d do anything for.

Through teary eyes we watched Seth fight for his life.  We watched his team of medical doctors surround his tiny body and work as hard as they could to find a solution to help him live.  But he was only tethered to this earth through breathing tubes and machines and we knew it. 

We are thankful for his cries we heard in the delivery room, for watching him move his little arms and legs around in his isolette, seeing him open his little eyes, and enjoying him as he sucked on his breathing tube like it was a pacifier, but in our hearts we knew that he was only ours for a short time.  This world that he was being tethered to was not the one he was chosen for.  So when his doctor asked us how to proceed, the decision came with peace.  We let him run to Jesus.
 
The decision to release him into the Lord’s hands, while the most heartbreaking decision of our lives, came with and indescribable peace.  Even though our hearts ache I rejoice in the fact that we choose a better life for him.  I can’t wait for the day when we can enjoy it with him.

Monday, February 04, 2013

New Skills

So Micah’s acquired a few new skills recently.

This is his signature standing head stand.  He hasn’t been doing it as much lately but he sure was proud to figure this one out and it had to be followed by clapping and cheering.


He’s working on his monkey skills on the boys new climbing gym.  (It was their Christmas gift.)

The biggest skill he has acquired is his potty skills.  He is officially potty trained!

We took our New Year’s break to potty train Micah.  I knew it was the only time it would be okay to be homebound until summer time.  Calvin’s preschool wasn’t open so I didn’t need to make the trek to pick him up.  So shortly before the New Year we broke out the undies again.

It went much better this time and I think our potty training boot camp taught us a lot about Micah.  He’s only going to do it if he decides it’s worth it.  So on day 8, he finally decided it was worth it.  Thankfully it was nothing like the first time around.  I think at most he had 7 accidents in a day and I pull all carpets off the floor to make clean up super easy.


He’s been doing pretty good, even waking up at night, dry during naps.  (Although contrary to boot camp, we still put him in a diaper at night and nap.  I need a break people and we’ll get there.)


But one thing I think made a big difference is that I started telling him to Run, run, run to the potty when he had to go.  No depending on Mommy, it was all in his hands.  And guess what.  It worked.


Those strong willed ones are sure tough to figure out sometimes. 


Oh and in the midst of this stressful potty training endeavor I read Self Help Advice from a Two year Old and laughed until I was crying.  Numbers 1, 3, 9 and 12 particularly ring true in our house. I highly recommend some humor during potty training, you’ll need it.