January 2015, In Retrospect

Farewell, January 2015, and good riddance. It was a hard month, a scary month, and long month. Now that we’re almost finished with it, though, I’m feeling a little more positive. Here’s a look at our first month of the new year. 

By far, the most important and terrifying day of the month was January 5.

Wilder fell, to put it far less dramatic than it was, and took his first (and hopefully only) trip to our local ER. Medical staff there felt he needed a more complete look from children’s trauma specialists, and possible surgery, so we went by ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Omaha.

We were incredibly lucky that his only major injury was a skull fracture. Every day I think about what could have happened but didn’t, and I say a prayer of thanksgiving. And then I feel guilt. I think of all of the babies whose mamas don’t get to say “thank you for letting my baby be OK,” and whose prayers are agony-filled pleadings and promises. I don’t understand it, and it hurts… but then, who am I to hurt? I get to say that thank you. It’s hard. Thankfulness is a good response, but I’m convinced it can’t be my only response. I’m still working on that.

I saw this letter on Facebook shortly after Wilder’s fall, and it made me weep. To all you mamas and daddies who fight for your babies every day, advocating and caring and being the brave ones because that’s what you do, I am in awe of you.

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So we got to come home, and life was still here.

It’s hard to shake that experience, though. It’s taken time to be able to process it without making a joke about how his name fits his personality, or something else. We got to get back to our grind, which meant work and play and a wonderful, low-key rest of the month.

It was really necessary for me after this December. For lots of reasons, my favorite season wasn’t my favorite season this year, so—even though it was almost the middle of the first month of the new year—it was time to shed that skin and move on. And that felt good.

I love the newness of a new year.

New budgets. New challenges. New ways to think about faithfulness and what it looks like in our lives and in our home. New opportunities. New ways to push ourselves, change our family, build on our dreams.

We had to make hard choices and came up with surprising decisions. I love big, life-changing things… in fact, as silly as it sounds, I crave it. Give me all of the big decisions! Let’s move! Let’s make a career change! Let’s have a baby! Etc.! (Just to clarify, that’s illustration, not exactly how those conversations go. All that to say, our record shows Aaron and I tend to do a lot in a short period of time.) But this month wasn’t a time for “the next thing.” For everything there is a season. 

We each fell victim to the superbug (stomach virus) last week. Shepherd and I were hit hardest; Wilder threw up as we were pulling in to the parking lot at church; and Aaron stayed home on Monday because we needed him that badly. Almost everyone we know has had it, so maybe that means we can all start feeling a bit better soon.

The boys turned 13 months old and 35 months old in January.

January was a weird month for Nebraska weather. We had almost two weeks of spring-like temperatures. My boys played in our snow-melted yard without coats or hats on several afternoons. Wilder finally started to mellow out a bit; his extreme personality softened a little and he realized we’d all be OK if he started playing by himself quietly. Aside from a fractured skull, Wilder has six teeth, walks like a pro, screams in both delight and anger often, and is overall an incredibly expressive baby. He loves an audience.

Shepherd talks and talks and talks. He loves his Mickey Mouse collection: Big Mickey, Little Mickey, Baby Mickey, and Space Mickey (the latter two are actually his brother’s). He’s asking more questions about motives, and he’s got a delightful little personality. He loves routine. He picks up on emotion very quickly and has to make sure everything’s OK. If he senses discord, he internalizes it and becomes withdrawn.

The boys are opposites in many regards, but they love each other. Shepherd will remind us about “his baby” and refers to Wilder has “my baby bruh-ver,” which happens to be the cutest thing in the world to me. Since Wilder learned to walk, they’ve started chasing each other in circles, doing laps through the living room and kitchen throughout the day. Wilder usually chases, and once he catches up to Shepherd giggles erupt and hugs break out. Occasionally there will be a push and Wilder will end up crying, but it’s rare.

I’m really thankful for these days, even the hard ones.

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