Friday, February 22, 2013

"Thank you for calling Bank of Stupidity, we appreciate your call. For your convenience, we will use an automated hypersensitive robot female to mishear you. Is that okay?"
"I'm sorry, did you say Billing? Transferring you now."
"I'm sorry, I didn't understand that. Please choose from the following options, 'Saturday', 'German' or 'Obstetrician'."
"Okay, you'd like to speak to Customer Service. Is that right?"
"YES. Please for the love of God..."
"Did you say 'Pork Chops'? Your approximate wait time is 94 minutes. Please be patient, you are so important to us. We at Bank of Stupidity live for the sound of your soft breathing. Our customer service representatives are eager to assist you, manic to assist you. Please do not hang up, you are the one bright light in this dismal existence. Our customer service representatives consider you the wind beneath-"
"I'm sorry, I didn't understand that. Would you like to be redirected to a representative from India?"
"Maama. Maaaaaaaaama. Maaaaaaa-"
"Transferring you to India now. Your hold time is 94 minutes. Please remember your ticket number 'FSFBV1DDC' so you can repeat it to your representative who knows 14 English words."
(soft weeping)
"Did you say Customer Service? Please hold. Our customer service representatives are talking to someone they have no affection for while they wait to talk to you. Please enjoy this collection of hit Slayer songs played on harpsichord and triangle while you wait. Your hold time is 106 minutes."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My original plan was to not have kids. I was an ambitious 7 year old, and I knew that being the first female President was going to be consuming enough without throwing in a family. Then later, when the hubs and I simultaneously reached the age of accountability and got married, we agreed that ministry would be easier without kids. I tell you what, nobody knows more than a couple of 18 year olds with wedding rings and a bank account.

A couple of years later we found out we were pregnant (well, I was) and threw that whole plan out, gleefully. Then I had R2, the twins, and then Toby. Every pregnancy, I was sure I was having a girl, and I would name that girl Caitlyn Bryn. So by the time I got pregnant with my 5th baby, I had decided that I only had boys and I was trying to figure out how to name my son after Smith Wigglesworth without naming him Smith Wigglesworth. AND THEN IT WAS A GIRL. Let me tell you how long it took me to decide to name her Brynn. No long, that's how long. 8 years of writing down that name and I finally had my shot. We changed the other name to Kathryn in honor of Kathryn Kuhlman, but Brynn stuck.

I made it to 29 weeks with Brynn, and it was a hard fight. As soon as I had her in my hands, everything changed. There is something so elementally different about a girl, and not just the stereotypical things, although she is awfully stereotypical. There is a fragility in Brynn, a thin veil between her skin and the eternal. She feels, she sees, she knows. It's a strange quality, this iron core of her will and intentions wrapped in an eggshell of passion and emotion and depth. She's beautiful and compassionate and stubborn and sweet.

She is so made of strength. When she was born she was 2 lbs, 12 oz and not much more than a foot long, but she exuded strength. I leaned on that strength for the 2 months it took her to grow enough to come home and then I leaned on it when she would push her tiny frame to crawl, to walk. Now I run headfirst into that strength on a daily basis as she exerts her independence, which I am equally proud of and terrified by. Her humor and her confidence are a strength to me. She gives me such joy.

Last night I crawled up in her bunk to have our ceremonial "last-night-you-are-5" talk, and she told me all the things she planned on doing when she was six. At the top of the list was being much, much taller. She giggled and she planned, and I laid beside her, soaking in the end of five, watching her talk and knowing that she is changing, she is growing.

Whoever she will be, whatever she will do, I am confident in who she is. What a gift my girl is to me. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

I used to spend my days counting down... days still summer, days till school began, till I graduated, till my wedding... and then one day my pastor's wife reminded me that I was discounting today, that all my anticipation was robbing me of the gift of today. Or, maybe even more eloquently, what a salty roommate told one of my brother-in-laws as they worked their way through rehab, "If you got one foot in yesterday, and one foot in tomorrow, you're gonna end up peeing on today."

And then I had a baby no one expected to live, and the countdowns came from everywhere. 24 weeks, they said, 72 hours, the first month, the next hour is crucial. I learned quickly to live in the moment, to let today's worries be enough. The future was an unknown, but today had enough work to keep me busy. So I learned. It served me well, through more babies and bedrests and developmental delays and tours and now it is crucial.

Because now I spend my days and nights in a waiting room. There is no urgency to attend to normal tasks, everything routine seems extraneous and maybe even silly. It seems very important to be in the same room with my baby, to be able to see him breathing and eating and crying and smiling. Sometimes it seems normal in the waiting room, like everything is not wrong, and we live out our days and we talk and we forget for a moment that we are waiting, until we are reminded that everything, everything is temporary. Sometimes that reality hits like solid punch to the stomach, other times it is a tiny gasp of surprise, a bittersweet heartache.

All I know is, without a miracle, my son is on a course to leave this waiting room, this lobby, to be born into what is real. Months, years, we don't know. Today, tomorrow, what will be, we don't know. Somehow he, with his broken body and his damaged brain, understands far deeper realities than I do. On his worst days, talk of heaven will bring out bright eyes from him and his infectious smile, even as we cry.

We're asking for a miracle, or at least for more time. Please, more time. What is becoming increasingly real is our surroundings, our waiting room for the real world. It is undeniable. So for now, for today, we cling to what we know, to love, to waiting, together.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Inside info: I almost always write my blog title last. I ramble through 300 words or so and then after I have figured out what it was that I ended up saying, I brainstorm for a title that will make people interested in reading it. Sometimes Toby offers impractical suggestions for titles, because his kind of nerdy jokes are impractical, unless you, too, are a nerdy joker. Demographics suggest that many of you are, so maybe I should be taking more input from the Tobester. But I digress.

This time I wrote the title first and was reminded of the initially interesting and historical "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters, which have become a scourge on the face of humanity and have made Pinterest even more of a source of rage for me. If you ever think about repinning "Keep Calm and Read Twilight", then I don't know if I have anything else to say to you. I just... our relationship is threatened, I'll say that.

Anyway, back to this blog post. The other night, we went to see the neurologist about R2 and it was awful, really bad. It wasn't new information, per se, but it felt like final information in a lot of ways, and knowing that brought up more questions than answers about all kinds of difficult and completely hypothetical things. Plus, the MOG and I process completely differently, so I had my emotional collapse in the car and built a guest bedroom for a nurse/relative in my head and tried to plan end-of-life-stuff and he was in a totally different place, feeling hopeful that we may be able to ease some symptoms after we get all the dietary and med testing, having already processed the longterm weeks ago. It's so complicated, being married to the opposite gender and trying to grieve preemptively, separately and together-ly. It is complicated. We love each other, we're in this together, but our different-ness has never been more obvious.

So we got home and Toby was laying on the couch, flushed with fever. The other little kids quickly followed suit, Brynn waking up at 3 am hallucinating about her bed dropping down and, later, while she sat on the potty, screaming, "The potty is wobbling, it's wobbling, OH DEAR!", which, come on, is the cutest thing you ever heard. It was almost a relief, if you can believe it, to be dealing with normal kids being sick in a normal way, responding appropriately to fever-reducers, vocalizing loudly about their needs. One of the hard things about R2's illness is that he is completely unable to tell us what hurts, what he wants, etc. It's nightmarish, thinking about how he must feel, unable to even communicate that he is thirsty. He has a few signs and his ipad but currently, we are only able to operate on process of elimination, and that is hard.

This morning, Tristan had a febrile seizure, which was scary because none of my "typical" kids have ever had a seizure, but even with the fear, I was so aware of exactly what was going on and that the most likely outcome was a totally normal Trissy in a short amount of time. So we went to the pediatrician and multiple nurses came in to hold Brynn down for a throat swab, which is sad but also, super impressive, dynamite in small packages and whatnot. Sure enough, they have the flu. So we're trying to keep them quarantined in the sunroom, bribing them with unlimited TV and comfy blankets, and trying to keep them away from R2.

After a bit, when things keep getting bad and then they get bad-der, it starts to get just slightly funny. Or possibly, I am going nuts. Whatever the case, we are carrying on.
© 2012. Design by Main-Blogger - Blogger Template and Blogging Stuff