Life

Broken Leg

My little boy broke his leg this past week. His Femur, clean in half. I could describe the events that led up to it, I could describe how I beat myself up for the 48 hours following it, I could tell you how when I'm trying to fall asleep at night visions of that wobbly leg come back to me, making me toss and turn and pray for peaceful dreams. But telling you that it was by far the scariest day of my life is sufficient enough.

We quickly knew he'd be alright. Well, it actually felt like an eternity--but in the grand scheme of things...

We were told he'd have to wear a body cast. There goes summer. Would he be able to walk when it came off? Would we have to start school late? He had been talking about the State Fair since his grandparents brought him home from it LAST YEAR. The boy was excited to go. A body cast would have made it impossible. I kept thinking about how disappointed he would be. How I let him down.

His daddy stayed the night with him at the hospital, because he's a daddy's boy and siblings aren't allowed past eight. I think it was best anyway since Ruza was really starting to bug him and she really didn't understand and couldn't handle what was going on(she's still been very needy of our attention, but loves helping Eli out, so I try to make everything we must do for him about something SHE gets to help us with, and that seems to work out just fine). Still- I couldn't bear to leave him, adding to my guilt.

I came back the the hospital with such a shock the next morning to find out he was in surgery. Surgery. Kevin explained to to me best he could, but the poor guy barely got any sleep the night before and couldn't really describe the moon to my liking even on a good day. I was worried, but held on to the little information I had via the Kev-filter. The surgeon said with the surgery he would be more comfortable during the rest of the summer, and he would be able to move around more. Most importantly, he wouldn't have a body cast. Alright, I'd just have to put my trust in Kevin and the Surgeon now, there wasn't anything else i could do.

My worry quickly subsided when I noticed I wasn't the only mother in the waiting room that was crying. My child only had a broken leg. He was having surgery so he could be outside and feel a sprinkler. I KNEW he'd be alright. After overhearing another surgeon talk to another family, I knew the future wasn't so certain for the rest of those mothers just yet. When I was sitting in the recovery room with my sleeping boy amidst all the other children and crying babies, I heard a mother(who sounded MUCH stronger than I ever could) reply to a nurse about her infant "No, this isn't his last heart surgery" and went on to mention how she had three other children at home. Good lord.

Since we've been home I can't help but think of all of them. Some are still at the hospital waiting, wondering, some have to take their children back for more heart surgeries. I won't even talk about the scream I heard coming from the Blood Disorder and Cancer wing as I was walking to the elevator towards recovery. We just have a little boy with a broken leg. Thank God for that, we are lucky indeed.

 

4th of July

There was a boy with a loose tooth at a Fourth of July party who badly wanted corn on the cob. Anybody knows you can't celebrate the 4th without a cob, and everybody knows you can't enjoy a cob with a loose tooth. Gramma was happy to help, being the professional tooth yanker she is, and the 4th was saved(even though it was actually the 3rd).
There were water guns, kiddie pools, corn on the cob, melons, temporary tattoos, sparklers and lots and lots of family. Since we celebrated yesterday, I'm work work working today. Maybe we'll walk down to the lake for some standing-room-only fireworks later to round off the holiday with perfection...or maybe we will go to bed early since we're all still exhausted from yesterday. Either way, I'll be satisfied. Holidays with young children are always unpredictable, so it's best to not have any high expectations.
So Happy 4th fellow Americans, and Happy Monday to the rest of the world!

some days go this way...



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Some days go swimmingly. The children busy themselves while I work away happily at something, I feel fulfilled, and it's a joy to serve them when they politely ask for whatever it is they need.

Other days go like this-

Me: Yay! I'm going to get work done!!

Ruza: no you're not. I'm going to poop all over then you're going to spend a good half hour cleaning up everything.

Me: Alright, a bit of a setback, but it happens. No problem, I have everything and everyone cleaned, bathed, laundry is churning...I'm going to work now! Yay!!!

Ruza: Umm....Well I just peed everywhere so good luck with that, sucker.

Me: (deep breath) Okay, I can handle this. I mean one after another doesn't seem so fair...but it's certainly not poop and we just got through that now didn't we?

Ruza: You know that glue that was left out?...

Me: stomping around at this point because I'm fed the frak up, but it's done and I'm going to effing WORK.

Kevin: I'm coming home for lunch now, what are we having.

Me: defeated.

Ahhhhhhhhh.....but these are the jerks whom I love and they are what drive me to do what I do with the utmost care and devotion. It will come. I will work. Thank the heavens and earth we are all healthy.

Pass on the pesticides



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Since we asked our landlord to call of the spraying of our lawn three years ago...it has turned a brilliant and beautifully wild kind of green. We have two HUGE pine trees in our side yard, and when we moved in, nothing would grow under them. It was a barren brown landscape.
Now it's all abloom with wild violets, billowy clouds of clover, and some other lovely little purply wild flowers. Later in the summer when the spring flowers disappear, they are replaced with a spray if the daintiest white blossoms that look like twinkling stars scattered across a bright green beyond.

More ground coverage means more bugs, more bugs means more birds!! I love sitting by the window watching them busily collecting, but even more, I love watching my children watch them. When they call me over excitedly to watch with them, for a moment I feel like I did something really right.

I love the thought of our yard as a little community in itself, a refuge for wildlife from all the manicured lawns in the neighborhood.
Don't get me wrong--we keep it tidy, it's not all wild prairie...and if by tidy, we're talking about keeping the lawn mowed, and not about all the children's sticks and outside toys laying about(if we're talking about the later, then I guess it's not very tidy). But I feel like there's something more visually pleasing about a lawn made of a variety of lush greens, rather than just grass.

And I'm not going to lie, a MAJOR bonus is that I am gifted bouquets of flowers other than the run-of-the-mill dandelion(though I get plenty if those too;)).

January was cold and harsh



I think that being a little frightened of Betty Boop cartoons when I was little is partially what made me an artist.

I thought so the first time I showed this to Eli. He ran and hid behind the rocking chair in the other room, and peaked through the bars in its back to watch it.

"Do you want me to turn it off?" I asked.

"No, just let me watch it from here."

And when it was done, "can we watch it again?" came a little voice from behind the rocking chair in the other room.

I told all this to my (step)dad the next day. This is the man who, wherever we lived, always had two drawing tables in the basement sided by side, so we could work together. I told him my theory about fear, betty, and art, while we were all outside one crisp fall day. He was playing Pickle in the Middle with my brother and Eli..Eli being the pickle. "Most definitely" he said to me without hesitation, followed quickly by a "throw it lower so Eli has a chance" to my brother.

This all took place about a year or two ago. The connection came to me the other day when I was thinking about how fear drove me to finish all those paintings.

About a week ago, a childhood friend, Rachel, passed away...this happened a week before her baby girl's first birthday. She was 27 years old, and found out she had pancreatic cancer two months after her daughter was born.

To break it down, Rachel was the daughter of my Aunt's best friend. My Aunt was one of my main caretakers throughout my childhood. I stayed with her a good portion of the weekends my dad was supposed to have me during the school year(he had to work most weekends, and she is his only sister), and I stayed with her in the summers because my mom and stepdad worked, they couldn't afford full time childcare, and she was too far to simply drop me off and pick me up in the evenings. I'd see both sets of parents, alternating, every other weekend. I came to consider her home, my home. I thought about that often when I was little...but I digress. Point being, I played with her friends kids a lot... I always felt a part of her community.

About a week before she died, I was over at Aunt Sue's house when she told me the news...Rachel was going downhill fast. We sat at the table, talked and cried. On the ride home I cried, I cried myself to sleep, had bizarre fever dreams, and woke up a disaster. I took it really hard, I just couldn't separate my reality from hers. I was filled with more fear and sadness than I have ever felt.

I don't know how to put it into words, but it threw me into some strange sort of production mode. I couldn't make excuses to not do anything, or feel sorry for myself for "not having space" (which I want to punch myself in the face for EVER complaining about, now that I know better)when I knew Rachel was dying. She couldn't talk, she couldn't move, she couldn't feed or hold, really hold, her baby girl. I sat there and held Ruza, or shuffled a deck of cards over and over for the first day after finding out, thanking God I had the dexterity to do something as simple as that...but the next day I got to work. I drew, I inked, I painted, I thought of Rachel. She is infused in those braids, and I will always think of her when I look at them.

So... Fear. We're old friends. Fear is usually behind most I do, and thinking about it, it always was. But so is Love.

Do my eyes deceive me?!

Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God...

Ruza actually went over to my work space, picked up the bed and bunny I've been working on, gently carried it over to her little toy house(while looking over her shoulder to make sure I wasn't going to stop her), and set it down with all of her other things to admire.  She just sat there and looked proudly as if this completed the scene.  That scene being a bunch of little animals scattered chaotically outside her little dollhouse...but no matter.  It was HER scene, and she needed something I made to be a part of it.  This is a first for me.  This is a dream come true.  It may not seem like much.. but for a girl who avoids my handmades like the plague, often pushing them away with an "aghck!" this was a giant leap forward.

Seconds later she leaped up to get dressed her uniform, a Jessi the cowgirl costume with pink Elvis-esque pilot sunglasses, and play with her kitchen set in a different room... but I have proof of that one tiny sliver of a moment.  Photographic evidence.  And if she never touches one of my creations again, I will cling to this picture...and that moment, until my dying day.

It's there, just to the left of her.

I wasn't going to show this until it looked fabulous, covered in beautiful paper with bed clothes and all, but this moment was pretty darn fabulous, so what the heck...here's another:



Ugh, and yes, our Christmas tree is still up.  It's coming down this weekend.  I've had a hard time letting go this year.  Anyhow, here's to more light streaming into the house!  After the tree is gone we can rearrange our living room to be a living room, not centered around a TV.  I'm still trying to convince Kevy to work my sewing machine into the design.  So far he's not going for it.  hmpf.  I still have some work ahead of me, I suppose.  Wish me luck.