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Monday, October 24, 2011

Injury Alert

So in my older post, "So Wonderful,"  I talked about my trip to the E.R.  and how being a medical wonder was not fun.  This past week I had a follow up with the doctor and while she still couldn't confirm if I had a kidney stone or not, she was feeling confident that IF did, I surely hadn't passed it yet.  Again, I'm not sure of how this diagnosis came about, but the look on my face read anything but "Thanks doc!"  I'll have to keep you posted on my joyful trip. 

This week though, I'm looking at The Boy, now 4, almost 5 years old, and wondering how it is that we have had so few trips to the E.R. up until now.  He did take his father and me to the immediate care 2 weeks ago tomorrow- with a broken arm.  I've never had broken bone before, nor has my husband.  I haven't had a child with a broken bone before either.  There was no mistaking this though!  Seeing his arm hanging at such an odd position with a strange bump protruding from the elbow made me have to work to keep my lunch down. 

Long story short, he fell off his bike, broke the arm in 2 places below the elbow and since the immediate care insisted on a specialist (that wasn't in any big hurry to get us in), his bones had already started to heal- thank you Lord! in the proper place.  Therefore only a temporary cast was needed.  Tomorrow! Tomorrow he goes back to the specialist to HOPEFULLY get the cast off.  I really don't think he could have survived a full 6 weeks in a regular cast.  The hardest part has been that he hasn't been able to ride his bike.  "Two feet on the ground," straight out of the doctor's mouth.  Oh how I've enjoyed repeating that phrase over and over. 

I really believe that God built boys differently.  I mean, I know they are different, and there are always exceptions in a few girls, but generally speaking, I think the testosterone blocks the brain cells from properly functioning about 99% of the time.  One only has to look at "America's Funniest Videos" to see that nearly all the clips of dangerous, stupid stunts are performed my guys.  More specifically boys- or men who haven't moved out of the boy stage.  While my kids enjoying watching this show, I feel like I have to be in a 4 foot radius from their ears to follow up each of these types of clips with "Don't you even think about doing that!"  Of course my warnings are usually drowned out by "Cool!" or "Hey, I bet we could do that!" or just all out laughter- this all coming from their Dad! 

I know, as parents, we haven't aided the whole don't do dumb stuff warning when we have toys like skateboards, scooters and a trampoline.  What can I say, I like spending my time issuing warnings. 

The bad thing about experiencing a brake in a bone is that I'm "on edge" now.  When I hear one of the kids crying "that cry," I'm there before the tear leaves the eye, panicked and on alert.  Today The Cute one who gets Everything Free at Garage Sales came inside the house crying uncontrollably that her head started hurting after playing leap frog on the trampoline.  Certain that she'd not been hit, didn't bend her neck wrong or anything of the like, my worry mode was set to alarm. 

You know, if you can actually see the injury, it really helps to make the "run to the doctor decision."  Unfortunately this isn't always the case.  It is in those times that one relies on their tried and true "Momisms."  You know what I mean.  My favorite one is: "Rub it."  Like that is going to make it better!  Well, my kids seem to think it does : P 

My husband tells of a football coach that would reply to most pains:  "Rub some dirt on it."  Hmmmm.  An expansion on mine. 

My daughter tells me her friends' dad's is:  "Suck it up!"  Okay,  might work- if I knew what to suck up.  

Another one- oh how these come to mind when you start thinking about it-  my husband has a "cure" that he uses when his panic mode hits:  he hands the child a quarter and tells them to squeeze it. 
Really?  I can't believe they would fall for this.  Okay, maybe keeping their mind on squeezing would be helpful, especially when dad is there pushing them to "keep squeezing" if their grip relaxes.  I would think that my kids would be smart enough to tell their dad that a dollar would be easier to squeeze though and would ease the pain a bit more! 

Back to The Cute one who gets Everything Free at Garage Sales.  After a bit of aspirin and a cold washrag (another Momism), she decided she felt better.  Of course this was after most of the nightly cleaning of the house was done.  

I do believe my kids have taken my heighted alerts to their advantage!

In the meantime, I hear there is a cold front coming in that is bringing rain.  Oh, too bad you can't ride bikes in that.  Well, actually you could, but Mom is on alert -remember. 

I'm having Dad take The Boy to the doctor appointment tomorrow.  It's not that I don't want to go; it's just that I think that dad, gracing me with the 2 boys at the end of the sting of kids, has to pay his dues in bringing the testosterone level a bit higher around the house.  That and I don't think that the doctor would appreciate me telling The Boy to not worry and just rub it!  I'd rather see them off from the house, be ready to greet him with "I'm so proud of you!" when he returns.  I do think I'll stick a few extra quarters in dad's pocket before he goes though! 

Surviving Myself (outside of the E.R.),
Mary

Oh- one last thing.  On a techinacal note, I am still working on the whole leave a comment thing.  I wasnt to assure you that if you try to leave a comment, you can do so by clicking "leave a comment" and then choose to send it under "anonymous" and the comment will get to me- just not saved to the post.  So feel free to comment away!

UPDATE: The Boy got back from the doctor today and with head hung low, announced he'll have 3 more weeks of the cast.  Poor boy, still no bike : (

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dangerous Discontent

I have recently been reading a book by Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwanda holocaust of 1994.  Her book is entitled Left to Tell, and I highly recommend it to older teens and up- http://www.lefttotell.com/ .  It is very graphic in description of the horrors that took place in her country.  She, along with seven other girls/women survived by hiding in a 3' by 4' bathroom that belonged to a local pastor.  They stayed in this bathroom for 91 days, often times only sharing 1 plate of food amongst them.  More than once they would hear groups of killers, standing just inches away from their hiding place, chanting gruesome killing songs and calling out their names as they searched houses and streets hoping to add them to their killing list.  It was a shocking discovery that Immaculee found when listening to these killers and once getting a peek at them that these were not hardened, trained killers or soldiers that cried out for her blood and the blood of her people; these were her neighbors and friends that she grew up with, played with, that her own family had even helped out before with money or shelter.  She struggled with disbelief as much as she struggled for comfort and yet, it was in that tiny bathroom that she found peace.  Encircled by contempt, she found contentment.  Surrounded by discontent, she found love.   

Now, if you are like me, and pretty much any other human being, you have to be asking- How?  How could she find harmony in the midst of war.  One way she did this was by the grace of God.  Imaculee is a practicing Catholic who always found a joy in prayer.  She treasured her faith and the traditions that her family had grown up with.  There in a cramped bathroom, she retreated to the depth of her heart and conversed with the creator of the earth and found hope in the chaos.

This almost sounds "easy," doesn't it?  I can only imagine that it wasn't.  I would never want to experience the disarray she encountered.  Reading her story is so heavy, so sorrowful and yet incredibly insightful.  I am carrying her story in my heart, in my soul.  It has me thinking about events and people in different ways. 

I am dumbfounded, as was she, by the actions of friends and neighbors.  Just as it was in Germany.  There too Jewish people found hate expressed to them by neighbors and loved ones.  Afterward, we stood shocked at what human beings can do to one another.  We probably even confess with our lips that we could never do something like that ourselves. 

And yet, I propose to you, are we really so different?  Imaculee herself experienced the hate that drives a human to the desire revenge.  She struggled with it until she found the forgiveness of Christ. 

But not all of us are hidden away in a 3' by 4' bathroom with killers calling for our blood.  We face discontent on a far different level and probably daily.  For some, it may be very mild- a dissatisfaction of others' actions or even their possessions.  For others, it may be a bigger, growing discontent of dealing with moral situations at work or struggling with political actions of the government. 

When Adam and Eve left the garden, they experienced discontent.  But if we had been there, would we not also have "messed up" along the way- bringing sin and sorrow to every generation?  Sure, it is easy to say "No!" with 20/20 hindsight, but being "in the moment" brings each of us to the reality that sometimes our choices bring us and others discontent. 

Lately, I have experienced a level of discontent that is disturbing me.  No, I am not out for revenge- more so, I am longing change.  This discontent is on a personal scale.  It is not aimed at the government, my neighbors, my friends or my family.  I am feeling uneasiness in my lifestyle.  What I find so disturbing though is how much my restlessness has an effect on my family.  

In my heart I feel the Lord calling me to shun some of the influence of media upon my family's time.  It is so easy for me to "veg" out in front of the t.v. at the end of the day- I crave the mindless entertainment!  It was actually something I grew up with- with a t.v. in nearly every room, I could tell the time of the day by what was on the tube.  I have strongest memories of t.v. characters from my youth than I do of  daily activities.  It is a addiction I struggled with and still do.  When I had my first child, I made a decision to fight against this desire.  The t.v. went off and I forced myself to live in the moment.  I have worked to keep this habit suppressed for the last 16 years.  Usually I feel pretty good about it.  I allow my children around 1/2 hour a day, 3 times a week of viewing what we call "Jesus movies."  On the weekend, we would watch a bit more- indulging in a full length video each day.  However, as my older kids hit the teen years, we've found the  convenience of replay episodes online,  which led to a creeping back of the old habit of more viewing. 



Our first week passed.  I won't call it a roaring success.  I won't even call it overwhelmingly enjoyable.  It is hard work to work against the influence of media!  I know though that anything worth having is usually accompanied by hard work.  Sadly, many nights, we called it to an end went to bed early.  It was like we couldn't find enjoyment amongst ourselves unless we had the t.v. as a distraction. 

Discontent.  There it is again.  Discontent without the media, discontent with media.  Don't get me wrong- I am not comparing my discontent on the level of Imacculee's or the Jewish holocaust.  But discontent has to start somewhere.  It has to be given birth, feed, and nurtured. 

In distress, I watched myself and my spouse as we hit a weekend- the 2 nights that my husband doesn't work.  He has a second shift job and doesn't get home until after midnight.  These 2 nights are supposed to be a time when we can work and build our relationship.  Where did I find us on Sat. and Sun. night?  In front of the t.v.

Discontent.  Tearing at my heart.  Letting Satan in.  Finding unhappiness in my life.  I just want to give into the easy answer.  Turn to the media, embrace it.  It wasn't like we were unhappy being tube heads.  We laughed with each other, shared jokes about, and had discussions about our viewing.  Unfortunately it doesn't really build relationships; it doesn't strengthen us. 

Discontent.  Without the t.v., I have found I have a "boring" life.  Don't pity me with the use of that word.  I don't mean that I want to leave my life, give up my family and run off with the circus.  I mean I have lost myself and my ability to function with those I love and I crave change in such a fashion that I am actually restless.

When we have discontent in our hearts, is it not a quick jump from uncomfortable feelings to hate? 

I will leave you on that question.  Ponder it.  Pray about it.  Respond to it.  And if you feel led, comment on my blog about it.  We often find answers in the places we least expect- so please share your thoughts on this subject.  You could help others- you could help me. 

Discontently Surviving Myself,
Mary