Monday, April 29, 2013

Surgery Time

Hey friends - I hope you're all having a wonderful start to your week!

I got the call from the hospital this morning regarding Ethan's surgery for tomorrow.  Ethan is second case, and the surgery is set to start around 10:00 a.m.  Dr. H has the operating room booked for half an hour, so we should be out of there by lunch time.  This is our first experience with a non-Duke hospital, so I'm a little nervous about that, but I'm certain he'll be in good hands.

If y'all would pray specifically for the following things, I'd really appreciate it:
...a quick, non-complicated removal of the tube,
...easy recovery from anesthesia, and
...lots of rest tonight and low anxiety tomorrow!

Thanks, everyone.  From open-heart surgery, to minor ear surgery, I can always count on y'all to pray with us for our boy!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happier Days

Over the past few days, we've taken a "family breather".  There has been lots of park time, lots of togetherness, and lots of conversations about how we can best help our boy become the man we envision.  A week later, I'm feeling much better about things.

It has also helped to know that "weird" is apparently the word-of-the-day for this other little boy and, from what we can tell, his comment towards Ethan was not malicious in any way.  (Inappropriate, for sure, but not malicious.)

Who knew I could become so undone by a couple of four-year-olds?! That chapter was not in any parenting book I've ever read!

Today we're having a "lazy day", at Ethan's request.  He woke up in the middle of the night with ear pain and, sure enough, he has an infection is his tube-free ear.  His left ear still hasn't given up its tube, so after a quick chat with the ENT nurse about this new infection, surgery is still a-go for next Tuesday.

With that said, I'll leave you with some pictures in exchange for your prayers! Deal?

Ethan and this squirrel would have chased each other around this tree all day if we'd let him.

Nothing says, "It's gonna be OK" like your four-year-old picking a flower for you.

Thanks for checking in, and have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Ethan...

Today has not been a stellar day for you and me.  The frustrations started the moment our feet touched the floor, and have only now been alleviated by you playing outside with the water hose - soaking your fully-clothed self from head to toe. In a day marked by raised voices, hurt feelings, and many tears, I welcome the mess you're creating outside - and the break.

On our way into preschool this morning, I watched as you attempted to interact with another little boy about a toy he was carrying.  His lack of response to you made me think he was just being shy, but my heart broke when I overheard him whisper his true feelings to his mom,

"Mom, he's weird." 

"Be a duck," I thought to myself.  "Just let it roll off your back.  Drop Ethan off with a smile.  Be a duck.  Oh, and kid? I want to punch you."

I let it go for all of four hours, until I picked you up from preschool and heard about what an awful day you'd had.  I was so angry with you, probably angrier than I've been in a very long time.  In an instant, that little boy's comment from earlier in the day sent me into an emotional tailspin.  I found myself wondering if he had encountered some of your behaviors in the past, and if he wasn't simply talking about your arm or your overly-friendly nature.  I wondered if he was somehow justified in his feelings.  I got angrier by the second as I thought about all your body and brain have been through, and how that may be contributing to some of your less-than-desirable actions.  In that instant, the big picture was frustrating and overwhelming.

The emotions of my broken Mama heart went into over-drive, my brain struggled to maintain any form of logic or perspective, and I took out all of those fears and frustrations on you.  I was not treating you kindly as I yelled at you about being kind to others.  I was not showing you respect as I cut you off mid-sentence.  It was not my finest moment as your mom, and I hope you have no recollection of this afternoon as you read this some time in the distant future.

Because, here's the thing.  For all the days we have like today, we have hundreds of others to show me that your Daddy and I are raising an incredible adult.  Your life has come with more than its fair share of challenges, but I like to think that those challenges will force us into a deeper place of appreciation for each other and those around us.

Today, though, I failed that test miserably.  I let some kid who doesn't even know you - wonderful, funny, incredible you - change my outlook and my attitude towards you.  I let a few bad choices on your part define and negatively impact the rest of our afternoon together.  I let my emotions get the best of me, and I failed to show you all the wonderful qualities I'm working so hard to teach you.  I am so sorry for that. 

By the time you can read this, I hope to have a better handle on this whole mom thing.   I hope to be much more confident in you, and in the One who created you.  I hope that if you ever encounter someone else telling you that you're weird, or different, that you'll confidently reply, "Aren't we all?"

With God's help, tomorrow will be better.  And, Lord willing, I'll have many more tomorrows to show you just how loved and special you are.  But, first things first - I'm going to start with today.

I love you.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

This guy...

...has surgery scheduled for April 30th...

...but I'm praying the tube falls out before then!

Will you, as well?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Time Away & Surgery #14

Happy April!

Spring finally decided to arrive here in North Carolina and, based on this week's forecast, it looks like summer isn't far behind.  I love this time of the year, though.  I splurged on fresh flowers at Trader Joe's this morning just to celebrate the arrival of warm breezes and sunny days!

It's a nice change, considering just a few days ago I was traveling to Blowing Rock for my church's women's retreat in the sleet and snow.  Who knew we would be worried about getting up the mountain in APRIL?! The snow lasted just long enough to be pretty, and we were left with sunshine for the rest of our trip. 

We used Beth Moore's "Loving Well" study for our retreat, and I can't say enough good things about it! I've returned home with a far greater understanding of how God's love for me can (and should) transform the way I love others.  The entire weekend was powerful, and emotional, and rejuvenating, and affirming.  Simply amazing, really. 

I am so grateful for the women God has placed in my life to encourage me in my relationship with Him, and with each other!

{insert clever segue here}

So, Ethan needs another surgery.  It's not heart-related, and it's really not even that big of a deal.  But it's still surgery - and at a new-to-us hospital, at that.  We're waiting on a few things to be ironed out, but it's likely it will happen sometime this month (possibly even as early as next Tuesday).

Back in 2010, he had tubes placed in each of his ears.  Sometime between now and then, one of the tubes fell out and that ear has behaved ever since.  His left eardrum, however, is holding on tightly to its tube and it needs to be surgically removed. 


I'm confident that his body is healthy and strong enough to handle another dose of anesthesia, and I'm confident in his surgeon.  I just wish I could exert that confidence without having to send him into another operating room.

As always, your prayers are greatly appreciated for my boy - stubborn eardrum, included.  I'll be sure to update with an exact date later on!

Have a happy week!

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