Monday, January 7, 2013

Comfort In the In-Between

Being the 7th of January, it's more than time that I write something for the new year, don'tcha think?

But what to write?  I'm in the enviable position right now that there is nothing pressing on my brain pan, as eager to get out as a golden retriever pup into the first snowfall.  Things are quiet again.  Things are in-between again.  I have a list of people that I have to call today, of appointments I have to make.  I'm tempted to leave it until tomorrow, just to have one more day of in-between peace.

That's not to say that things aren't happening around here right now, because they are.  Both babies are rapidly becoming babies no longer.  Each new day brings new things, new masteries.  There is a lot I can tell you about teeth and four point crawling and self feeding and new discoveries and talking and the task of switching them both over to a new size... and I will, rest assured.  Just not right now.  I want to stay in the in-between.  Its relative quiet is soothing right now.  After the hectic holidays and over two months of sickness and working through the New Year, you will permit me this little self indulgence.

There is still a lot to consider here in the in-between.  It is a softer place than others, full of things like gratitude and remembrance and reflection.  There is little "tasking" like there is in other places and a lot more awareness.  Like this morning...  Normally, Miss Zoe is a whirlwind of colour and noise by breakfast;  unfortunately our little Zornado had a restless night and woke up several times.  I'm not sure if it was bad dreams or what, but she resettled herself each time.  Sean carried them both downstairs for breakfast sometime around 10 am this morning and standing Zoe on the kitchen floor, started about the job of buckling Wyatt into his chair.  Zoe disappeared upstairs in a flurry of little bare feet and returned shortly afterwards with her blanketbunny and tookie (soother).  Normally, they reside in her crib during the day;  she happily flings them aside to get a running start on the day.  Not today.  Bunny had to sit near her at the table and once breakfast was finished, she curled up with us on the couch.  Still in her jammies, her eyes wide and her fingers entwined in bunny's familliar softness, she rested, watched TV and had a quiet morning with us. Wyatt took up the assignment of tearing the living room apart on his own, but for a few hours we spent an almost magical sweet time with our little girl.  She has since regained her energy and her almighty screech, but for a bit I got to snuggle with my girl without her restless squirming.  I got to consider how long and beautiful (and how unlike mine) her eyelashes are.  How very big she is, yet how small and delicate her features still are.  How perfect each little one of her "toesh" are, even if she does have her Dad's Fred Flintstone feet.  A camera was no where at hand to capture this time, so I only had my mind's eye to freeze this morning forever.  It's certainly not as reliable, but I'm hoping in my twilight years that some of this will remain, when so little else will.

As we cuddled on the couch, Zoe occasionally sighing as I stroked her hair, Wyatt surprised me with his determination.  In his crawling around the floor, he had arrived at a point where the coffee table blocked his view of the TV.  He heard Super Grover come on and instead of attempting to crawl over to a better vantage point, pulled himself up to a high kneel on the coffee table and shoved all the toys out of the way to get a better view.  I started laughing, almost dislodging Zoe who was curled up in my lap.  His solution was elegant in it's simplicity and he smiled,  his chubby elbows bracing himself on the table as Super Grover showed up for another awkward adventure.  He has come so far in the last few months, despite the rounds and rounds of viruses and bacteria that have sapped his energy and impacted his ability to breathe.  I am grateful to see the spark back in his eyes and the impishness back in his grin.  I am grateful to see that his ears have become unblocked and other than the discomfort of growing teeth, is returned again to health.

My eldest had become a little house happy over the Christmas break.  I think he was as relieved as we were to return to school this morning, to see his friends and return to a routine that involved more than meals and bedtime.  He'll turn seven this spring... all angles and coltish, he amuses us every day with his "awesome dance moves" and "beautiful singing voice" (his words).  He is kind and artistic and scientific and everything I would ever imagine I would want him to be.  Even when he leaves gobs of toothpaste in the bottom of the sink or "art" all over the house.

Before Christmas, Sean and I found ourselves having a shared moment of thankfulness.  We had gone out early to do some Christmas shopping and although we had fed all the kids and deposited Quinn at school, we had neglected to look after our own needs.   We stopped at Tim's, grabbed a breakfast sandwich and some coffee and plunked ourselves down at one of the tables in the sectioned off area in the mall and began to wolf our breakfast.  The twins were in the stroller and were given a Timbit or two to nibble on.  I was finished my sandwich when I looked up and nodded to Sean "Look.  Twins".  A couple was wheeling up to the Timmies kiosk with a huge double stroller complete with baby buckets and lots of blankets... the tell tale signs of new-ish little ones.  The Mom saw our stroller as they were wheeling up and called out to us "You have twins too?".  We smiled back and the inevitable twin parent conversation ensued.  While her SO waited in line, she leaned on the mini wall and we talked about our kids.  She looked like any other twin parent in the first year:  exhausted, unwashed, rumpled and in great need of adult conversation.  I was briefly shocked when she asked me "were there any complications?", and nodded that yes, they had spent some time in the NICU.  I held back Wy's heart issues and DS as I didn't want to scare this new-ish, still exhausted Momma; although there is really nothing scary to me (and you), being in the know, it's a bit unsettling to some people, especially complete strangers.

As it turns out, this Momma needed this conversation much more than I had thought. 

Her twins, a boy and a girl, were nine months old at the time of this meeting.  Although they were born at the same hospital as mine, her son was whisked immediately to Sick Kids.  He has Situs inversus (mirror organs) and had a few complications that went with this (although he was much better now).  Her daughter had difficulty breathing and a few abnormalities, such as a cauliflower ear and a few other things, such as an umbilical hernia.  They were in two different hospitals for months.  I could empathize a bit with the NICU stay, with the worry and having to quickly get your head around new and seemingly frightening things.  I told her, as we sat in our island in a busy mall at the height of the Christmas shopping season, about Wyatt, his heart and his extra chromosome.  She flinched, like everyone else does when they hear the words "Down syndrome", but at my casualness, my son's adorable chatter and the recognition that both her still tiny ones too had delays ahead brought her around quite quickly.  I also think that watching us have a relaxed coffee together also calmed her a bit and gave her a bit of hope for the future.  The first year of twins can be hell;  you don't fully understand that until you are in it and you don't understand how far you have come until you are on the other side of it.  We took our leaves and as we strolled up the length of the mall, Sean and I talked about our chance twin encounter.  We both were of the mind that we were very very thankful... that both our kids had been reasonably healthy, all things considered (AVSD's, chromosomal disorders and inguinal hernias aside), that our NICU time was reasonably short and that we had reached the point of being able to savour a cup of coffee, on a reasonable amount of sleep, before spoiling our kids at Christmas-time.


There is a storm coming, that much I know.  I can't see the clouds gather yet, but it shimmers, like a migraine aura, on the periphery of my vision.  This year, although one of great promise, will still hold some darker times for Team Logan.  That's not a subject for today either, here in our in-between.  What we do have is an appreciation of certain parts of 2012.  This blog, its growth, its accomplishments, its wonderful fans and yes, even its critics. I am thankful for all of those who read weekly and share some of the things that I put down here.  I have been doing this for almost two years... that is another passage of time that causes me to shake my head in disbelief.  January 13th is the two year anniversary of my first post, recounting another storm, namely my son's in utero AVSD diagnosis.  Soon it will be their second birthday, if you can believe that either. 

Here in the in-between, there is comfort; security. Despite what is coming, the sun is still shining here and it feels warm on my face.  I am acutely aware of my many blessings and my surroundings, as I sit here and write. I'm aware of my coping mechanisms too, as I wear a Hawaiian style shirt and flip flops with my khaki's rolled at the ankles while the reflection of a Canadian winter wavers ever so slightly on my screen as I hit each key.  There is thankfulness.  There is much gratitude.  My daughter and I are very alike, as I wind my fingers through this time and settle with it's familiar softness.  2013 has started with contentment.  There's a lot to be said for that.  I will excuse myself for the time being however as there is a little girl with a bunny who is gazing up at me with dark pools for eyes as she puts her head on my knee.  There's another little one behind me making clear "lalala" noises at some of his favourite toys; yet another sound that will raise eyebrows with his workers.   I think those phone calls will wait until tomorrow.  The in-between is much more promising for today.

2 comments :

  1. Enjoy the peace and I have no doubt that you will weather any storm and find beauty in it.

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