This Rocky Life: Note to Self

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Note to self: do your best not to leave writing this weekly column until Saturday.

It is in times like this, as I am waiting in the emergency room, where I am reminded that last minute writing is not such a great idea.

I sit next to the hospital bed where my daughter is in for the third time this week. The second time, they found she had a collapsed lung, which required a tube, that now not functioning properly. It has been quite a week for her and I wouldn’t wish her pain, discomfort and consequences of this down time from work and school, on anyone.

On the other hand, I have had the pleasure of being with my fifteen month old grandson, 24/7 since Tuesday. I must admit that caring for him has been one of the most challenging feats of late. I love him to bits, but he has me wiped.

I feel like I am a new mother, getting into the routine of having a little one around. Although he has been over for sleepovers before, this has sure been different. Considering he gets into everything, is fast and energetic and can whip around our stainless steel pots like they are tools in his rock band, I haven’t had more than a couple of moments of rest since his arrival.

Add this on top of the fact that I can’t sleep properly when he is with me, I had to rearrange my work schedule, my husband was away the whole time and I am like a walking zombie, I am grateful that he is off to his other grandma’s for the night. It’s amazing how one’s perspective can shift so quickly – being in the emergency room, after the last four days of full-time grandma, actually feels like a walk in the park.

Speaking of walking, we did our best to stay occupied, entertained and busy this week. We went for daily walks in the stroller and around the yard, to the boardwalk, the mall, the grocery store, St. Joseph Island, visits with family and even did a little bit of work at my office. He especially liked the twirling office chair.

Other than the half a dozen bug bites we got in our sleep, from all of the mosquitoes that came in from opening and closing the screen doors, the whole roll of toilet paper he threw in the toilet, the mishap on the stroller, where he tipped it and did a bit of a head stand on the way down, and the $120 it cost me for locking us out of the car, on the Island, we managed pretty well this week.

This experience; however, gives me a much greater respect for parents of young children. Parenting is an around the clock responsibility and comes with so many ups and downs that it is amazing that anything else can get accomplished in a day.

I learned that I had to nap during at least one of his naps, I had to do at least one load of laundry a day, to stay on top of things, if I didn’t make the bed first thing in the morning, it didn’t get done and having a lid on the garbage can was clearly not enough to address the perpetual smell from dirty diapers.

Life sure has a way of throwing us for a loop. It can be exhausting, draining, depressing and tiring. We can feel defeated, beaten down and so confused about why certain things happen. Sometimes, we just can’t make any sense of it.

All we can do is stay focused on the present moment, take action where necessary, engage in activities that are enjoyable, as much as possible, and appreciate the blessings that we do have, in the midst of struggle.

As my grandson giggles, while drinking his bottle, causing it to spill all over his chin, rubs my arm lovingly, as we are cuddling before his nap, says, ‘ball’ whenever he sees anything round and is the most adorable little monkey on the planet, he reminds me that there are still lots of things to be grateful for. I am also appreciative that family is so accommodating and helpful.

We will all feel much better when my daughter is healed up, but in the meantime, I still thank God for our blessings. With time, prayers, shovelling out the house and some serious sleep recovery, everything will seem rosier soon. Sleep can heal almost anything; hopefully.

‘The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.’ ~ E. Joseph Cossman

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