Tomorrow will mark the end of 5 straight weeks of sickness for our Jack Jack. No breaks. Wednesday we enter our 5th straight week with infected ears. Typing that makes me cry. For all of the people who have said to me that you’re not supposed to sleep when you have young children, I want to punch them. We’ve done sleep deprivation. We’ll do it again. It’s part of life with kids- I get it. Unless you’ve had a child with bad ears, you don’t know this lack-of-sleep. And it’s not just that– it’s so much more. It’s like having a newborn. A newborn who weighs almost 30 pounds, doesn’t sleep all day, and is mobile. He needs to be held or in the car for sleeping. When he’s awake, he doesn’t feel good so he wants to be held a lot, and he’s not slept in his crib in 3 weeks. Bye bye free time. Remember that, Tommy? Give it a good Jack-wave on it’s way out the door.
We are in a difficult season. A season of all-hands-on-deck taking care of little man so nothing else matters. Which really, I had a realization today as I was wanting life to get “back to normal”, that that is exactly what my job is. I am here and tasked right now with the taking care of the little man. It is my privilege and my “get-to” do not my have-to do. But in all the chaos I forgot that it’s a “get-to”. Truthfully, it’s really easy to take care of him when he’s smiling, happy, sleeping like an angel, eating well, and all of those perfect child things. Reality is, well… that’s not reality. Reality is harder. I’m not the only parent who lives reality– all do. And we all have a different reality. A lot of people’s realities are harder than mine. And I like my reality. I love our sweet life. We have so many blessings– so much richness abounds in this family, this home. The blessings are all around.
What I’ve realized tonight, as today has been a game changing day, is that my mindset must change. I can continue to mope around, sad about Jack’s on-going issues, the state of my messy house, and the lack of progress on anything I might want to do… OR I can choose joy. I have to accept that I can’t control this. I can’t be in control of it, I can’t plan it, I can’t fix it. These are my circumstances. My circumstances do not define me. So while I may still shed tears over my sweet, hurting boy, that does not keep me from living a life of JOY. So tonight, I resolve to accept what I cannot change… and in the mean time, to be ok with the fact that dinner and the whole mess is still in the kitchen, the highchair’s not been wiped down, the living room is messy, and the pile of laundry is growing high again even though I just.caught.up. As Tommy reminded me, “it’s just a house. and he’s our boy. we won’t remember the house. we’ll remember sweet baby boy.” Wise words from my man.
So hard as it may be for me to walk past every mess without cringing, I will try. My first priority each and every day will be Jack and meeting his needs. If I have a few moments, I will work on what I can, and not be frustrated when I don’t get to finish it. This is life. And maybe my typing it here will help me remember it all.