Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Ordinary Days

The twinkly lights have gone dark.  The Nativity scene is put away.  No wreath adorns our door.
This is the downtime.  The calm.  The ordinary days.

It's hard not to see this time as the absence of something.  In the place of glitter, glitz and celebration, we have preemie lockdown, snow delays, and children with no good outlet for exercise.  I am tempted to wish for the return of the cozy buzz of Christmastime or to long for the sunshine and freedom of the spring that lies ahead.

But I'm trying to embrace the ordinary, recognize the value of balancing our uptime with this downtime.

The children are learning to fold laundry.  I am absolutely swimming in it.  Drowning, more like.  So, we're spending our very ordinary afternoons matching socks and kissing corners and toting little loads to drawers.

They are learning to play cards and board games.  To find each other worthy opponents and satisfying playmates.  To choose teaching over abandonment when they find another's skill lacking.

Sometimes, I feel like running from the screaming and the whining, turning my back on the conflict.  Sometimes, I find myself hissing at them to CALM DOWN and STOP SCREAMING and--most laughably--to EXERCISE CONTROL of themselves.  Agh.  Pot.  Kettle.  Black.  

So, I remind myself that these ordinary days are life training.  For me and for them.  There will be conflict in life, there will be confinement in life, there will be sacrifices and missed opportunities.  There will be ordinary.

The beauty comes when we embrace it.

It's taken me this long to not resent middle of the night wakings.  But these two boys, one whose health depends on night wakings and one with whom I very nearly didn't get the chance to wake, have finally taught me.  The Mister and I split duties...him mostly dealing with Buddy Boy, me mostly dealing with Warrior.  We are up more than we have ever been before...and thankful doesn't begin to touch it.

Our Christmas was quiet and lovely.  We couldn't travel because of Warrior and both our families were elsewhere, so it was just our little family.

In fact, all of Christmas vacation was quiet and lovely.  I was so looking forward to the children being home because I felt like I missed summer completely.  We had movie night every single night and fresh-popped popcorn on the nights the Mister was home.  We only left the house for doctor's appointments, so pajamas were the uniform from one bath to the next.  We read book after book and art-ed all day long.  It was so great.

My brother and his family came for a quick visit, which made it all the more festive.

And the twin cousins finally met!  My sweet niece was born on Warrior's due date, so they are perfectly paired.

The Mister planked.  With some assistance.

Just before Christmas, Little Guy turned six.

It was the first year our shy little soul has ever wanted to celebrate with friends.  He invited a few school buddies and his brother to go bowling.

It was so much fun to see him enjoying it all and so sweet to meet the friends we've been hearing about at home.  Kindergarten has been so good for him.

As soon as school started back, we finally got some snow!

Warrior and I have continued to check specialists off the list.  Thankfully, he has been released by everyone we have seen so far.  We await a comprehensive assessment by a developmental psychologist and the results of his most recent blood work for anemia.  A few different doctors that we have consulted with have agreed with one another that it seems like he just took his prematurity really hard, possibly that he was more premature than we thought, because all of the little quirks he has displayed at home (apnea, color change, temperature irregularity, lack of strength for nursing, extreme sleepiness) are typical when a baby is premature, but should have resolved by his due date.  My mama-pinion of recent, though, is that he is getting markedly stronger and more resilient.  He's become an accomplished little nursey baby!

These ordinary days are life.  Sweet and tiring, freeing and stifling, too long and too short.

They are part of the whole.  And we are living them, loving them.


Jessica said...

As usual, a beautiful post sweet friend. Here's to all of our ordinary days spent miles apart but in communion. And thank you for that needed reminder (when the days are spent indoors) that to teach control, we must model it ourselves. It can be... hard to remember.

Unknown said...

Such a heart warming retelling of your blessed holiday time... I adore your photos, they also tell such stories... Thinking of you and your quite wonderful ordinary days <3 hugs, Monica

Unknown said...

Ordinary days: LAUNDRY! What a lovely post. Miss my sweet friends-- but so glad that life is continuing to grow, evolve, and blossom into something so wonderful!

Julie said...

your ordinary day are oh so beautiful!

tarheelmom said...

So glad you updated! Your kids are sooo cute!
What a lovely post with so many wonderful thoughts on the ordinary days. It is so tough to be mindful of how important those days are...teaching moments, loving moments, growing moments.
*And I have 4 kids, so I know what you mean about laundry. I do theirs once a week and it takes at least 8 loads and covers the WHOLE ENTIRE COUCH! ha ha

BettieBoyd said...

There is nothing ordinary about your days. Best pictures ever, too! Full of love.

Wanting What I Have said...

I loved reading every word! And I completely identify with what you've shared. I'm so glad y'all are doing well! Thank you for sharing. And your photos-beautiful!!!