Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 5

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Today was a truly blessed day! Nina and I woke up not in a hospital room but at home! Whoever came up with the slogan "Home Sweet Home" must have undergone some kind of hardship because that saying, in its simplicity, has profound depth! Moreover, it has never been truer for me than now!

How sweet to be back in our own beds, to feel my husband's arms around me, to see my son's toothless grin, to have my spastic dog follow me around because she's worried I'm going to disappear again, to hear screen doors slam every 2 minutes because the neighborhood kids are coming and going, and to see my daughter cuddled with her daddy on the couch watching Scooby Doo. Home Sweet Home!!

Nina and Teddy spent the morning riding their new scooter and motorcycle throughout the neighborhood. They played with their friends, ate Cheetos, left clothes all over the house, forgot to take their shoes off when they came into the house, kissed us, laughed at each other, and lounged. For once, I found myself not caring if their fingers were covered in a gooey orange film, if they left clothes piled all over the place, or if they sat on the couch with their shoes on (...okay I still cared about the shoes being on the couch!).

I didn't care because my awareness about time, precious time, is so heightened right now that I finally recognized how much I missed out on when I was wrapped up/consumed by all of those distractions. Don't get me wrong, as parents it is necessary that we create routines and teach our children to be good stewards of their home, environment, and community. However, sometimes we lose sight of all the small blessings that are right in our face because we are more worried about our kids knowing their math facts frontwards and backwards. I know I am guilty of that!

By 1pm, Nina was tired. She remained tired the rest of the day. She and Todd cuddled on the couch. It was good for Todd to see Nina fatigued and unresponsive. He hadn't really had the opportunity to see her this way. The 5 year old girl that had enthusiastically left for the hospital Wednesday night had returned home a 2 year old toddler who struggled with motor control, impulsivity, and delayed gratification. I had been with Nina the entire time and had acclimated to this "new" little girl. I'm reticent to say "new" because she really wasn't new. Nina was still Nina, but a version that we had experience three years earlier. To say it was startling is the understatement of the year!

Everything was harder. Walking, eating, talking, sharing. Eating was particularly challenging because Nina engaged in "food hoarding" or what Todd affectionately called "stuffing your pie-hole so badly you gag behavior"! Irrespective of what we called it, it was scary. As such, we needed to cut up her food into bite-size pieces and control each spoonful. Of course this pissed off the queen to no end!

My favorite part of the entire day was when Todd (who'd been struggling with feeding Nina dinner for about 30 minutes) turned to me and said, "Apparently her stubbornness hasn't been impacted!" Eileen and I immediately burst into laughter! He was exasperated but so was she! I was glad she was still stubborn. She had been stubborn from the moment she was born and secretly (maybe not so secretly) I hoped she would never stop being stubborn because that meant she was always Nina!!!

Right before bed, the kid and I sat on the couch eating applesauce. Without warning, Teddy turned to me and asked if Nina was sick. My heart skipped a beat! Was this going to lead to scary questions??? I took a deep breath and answered yes. He then grabbed his bowl of applesauce and leaned away from Nina, quipping that he didn't want to share because he didn't want to catch Nina's germs. I explained that he couldn't catch anything from Nina but by then he had been captivated by the umpteenth episode of Sponge Bob that Nina had requested (can I say how much I DETEST Sponge Bob!!!). I sighed a secret sign of relief. I felt like I was playing Russian Roulette with my almost 8 year old and that I'd escaped momentarily! I was sad!

Then right before bed, my husband surprised me with agreeing to take a family photo on the couch, with all of us in our jammies. I love taking photos! In fact, my family members like to make fun of me for how much I enjoy taking photos and how I have the compulsive need to document every mundane event. For years, I have tortured my husband with taking photos. For the most part he has complied, albeit with tiny protests thrown in on occasion just to keep things spicy :) What he doesn't quite realize is that my compulsive need has been injected with the equivalent of meth and now I am recording every smile, activity, conversation, and expression. I especially have an obsession with all four of us having matching pjs and using this photo for our Christmas card this year. In years past, he has outright refused this proposition. This year I think I've got better leverage!

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