Friday, December 21, 2018

The Darkness

Hello Out There!

I can't believe I haven't written in so long.  Can you believe I have five two-year-olds?  All at once, I believe it and then again, I can't.  Some days it feels like I could walk back into that dimly-lit Arizona NyICU and hear the slow moans of the scary, life-altering machines.  Other days it feels like there is a tornado in my house, complete with the hum of toy cars, the ear-splitting chords of toddler tantrums, and the heart-warming chime of Isabelle chanting "HOORAY!" as she does her best bunny hop.

I could recount everything that's happened over the past few months, but it would take too long (my bad) and it probably wouldn't be as silly (or stressful) if you didn't live it.  But, I did have a message I wanted to share with you.  

Luke recently started climbing out of his crib (collective sigh from all the moms out there).  I was worrying myself to death about him crawling out of the crib and hurting himself.  As I laid in bed each night, I read about the crib tents.  Those didn't seem like the right fit for us, so I bit the bullet.  I let Luke sleep in a toddler bed.  Granted, Luke has a room to himself (escape the estrogen!) so this evolution hasn't affected the girls.  Well, beyond their jealously of his toddler bed that I found for free on Facebook.  

I digress.  So, we let him start sleeping in the toddler bed, so those of you who have done this transition before know that he did everything but sleep in the bed.  He wanders around the room, looking for trouble, playing with his toys, doing hand puppets in the night light, and anything else he can think of.

One night, he was moaning. So after the allotted 12 minutes of our self soothing philosophy, I got up to go help him calm down.  Luke has a toy bus that he LOVES.  It's one of the few things that I don't let his sisters play with--it's his very own toy. The boy doesn't really have a "lovey," so I keep the bus sacred.  Everybody needs a something, right?

So, I go into his room to help him settle and I can't find the bus. Ugh.  It's dark in his room and I'm feeling around everywhere, trying to find the all-important bus.  I can't find it.  I don't want to turn on the light because that will screw everything up, but I need this dang bus.  The sound machine is whooshing, the boy is crying, and mama is tired.  The dark was so disorienting.  I start to go down the rabbit hole.

He's never going to sleep again.
Am I going to be tired for the rest of my life?
What if I fall asleep at the wheel someday?
Do we have enough life insurance?
Is it time to turn the carseats to forward facing?
Wait.  Where's the bus?

The dark disoriented me and it allowed panic and sadness to run away with my heart.  Finally, this sleep deprived mama remembered her IPhone had a flash light (duh, I know.  I know.  I haven't slept a full night in weeks. Throw me a bone, people).  

I flip on the flashlight and there, right beside my right pinky toe, was the bus.  It was there all along.  Even though I felt like I'd never find it.  That the misery would never end.  That I'd exhausted every single one of my resources.  

It was there all along.

I think a lot of us have these moments, right? There is darkness in all of our lives.  Fears, anxieties, medical bills, addictions, sick pets, arthritis, houses that won't sell, cancer, grief, you name it.   The darkness can overtake us and despair gets the best of us.  

Despair is especially hard during the holidays.  We're supposed to be joyful. Supposed to be full of song and jolly ho-ho-ho's. Well, sometimes we're not.  And that's ok.  My word of advice tonight is don't forget the light.  Don't feel around in the dark all night.  Remember, you have lights to guide you.  Whether that's your faith, your friends, or maybe just a chuckle you get from your kid or an I Love Lucy episode, use the light.  Use the light and let it show you as much as it can.

We'll never have all of the answers or even most of them. We don't know how this life is going to turn out, but I promise you--the light is stronger than the darkness and it has so much more to offer.  Including the beloved yellow bus.

Here are some of my favorite recent photos with these sweet spirits.  




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