Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trying to trust

I remember standing under harsh fluorescent lights in the little room behind the nurses station. I was in the yoga pants and t-shirt I wore for bed. I might not have had my glasses on. I was crying because I was worried. Henry had a fever, a low grade one, but a fever nonetheless. His heart rate was "normal for a baby his age," but high for him. And he wasn't right. I didn't know what was wrong, but I knew something was wrong and nobody really seemed all that concerned. A few days later he turned blue in my arms and was rushed back to the CICU. The next day he hovered on the edge of dying. That time he didn't. I knew something wasn't right, but I didn't have the evidence I needed and I couldn't convince the fellow standing in front of me as I blinked in those artificially bright lights that "normal for his age" didn't work for my boy.
I worry sometimes that something is wrong with me and I won't be able to get somebody to hear me in time. And part of that is that I simply worry sometimes that something is wrong with me. Brian talks about waiting for the other shoe to drop, but mostly I trust that I'm okay, will be okay. Sometimes, though, something little sets me off and I start to get anxious and and it builds and builds, because knowing that something isn't right isn't always enough. And watching my girls, I remember just how much me being okay matters.

It's been a long week of vague symptoms and feeling off and an doctor who couldn't see me, but I feel comfortable right now with a fairly mundane diagnosis of a stomach problem exacerbated by a virus (and far more anxiety than was probably warranted). My doctor ran some blood tests, and I'll check in if things persist or get worse. I'll try to breathe and to trust again that I'm okay.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Back to winter

As if to mock me for my premature sense that spring was imminent, winter blew in bitterly cold and blustery yesterday. This morning the thermometer hovered around 10 and despite the bright sun, I suspect we'd need a lot of bundling to get out there.

It reminds me of grief sometimes this time of year, the messiness, the sudden U turns and backtracking, the moments of hope, the sunshine looking happy and bright but hiding the frigid temps.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sweet and sour

It's such a messy, hopeful time of year.

Around 5:30 every evening I look out and marvel that it is still light out. The kids wear snow pants and coats, more to keep them dry than to keep them warm and I abandon my hat and settle for a fleece instead of a real coat. Our dirt driveway is puddly and muddy, and so is my kitchen floor.

Last night we got a covering of snow, enough to cover the yellow from dogs and orange from Kathleen's snow marker and the dirt from snow clearing. Lacy flakes were still fluttering down at morning light and the sun peeked over a fresh start.

We used that fresh whiteness for a sweet treat. As a kid, after reading the Little House books, I tried to make sugar on snow. I got the Vermont Maid out of the cabinet and brought it out, cold, and poured it over some clean snow. It was sweet and slushy and kinda gross, and I didn't quite get it. Today, I got some of our real maple syrup out, some of the end of the gallon we bought last March, and boiled it. The first attempt was similar to my childhood efforts, so I googled sugar on snow and pulled out the candy thermometer, and wow! It formed these stiff icicles of maple that turned to taffy in your mouth. It stuck to our teeth (and the girls' hair) and we'd try and lick it off and pick at it and then eat some more. I pulled out pickles from last year to temper the sweet, and we stood out in the muddy driveway mixing sweet and sour, winter, spring, and summer.

Warm days and cold nights the sap rises and drip drip drips into the containers on tapped trees with a gift of sweet and the promise of spring.