Friday, July 16, 2010

Vacating Success

Measurement is a funny thing.

For example, how do you measure waiting? Not time, but waiting. And love? And how in the world would you measure vacation success?

I'll tell you how. An easy way to tell if a vacation is a huge smashing success, is by how much time is spent in Emergency Medical care. The more time spent, the more successful the vacation.

We had just landed in Denver. Land of the Rockies, sunshine, exciting hikes, open air. 24 hours pass, the sun shining, picnics had and playgrounds visited, mountains viewed and smiles turned somber. My toddler started getting sluggish, lethargic, didn't want to walk.. then didn't want to talk, eat. Or drink. Or do anything. (You understand if you know him. If you don't, this is NOT NORMAL.)

Altitude sickness, we immediately think, seeing as we haven't spent a single hour in medical school or done an internship in pediatric care. We bribe him to try liquids. It blows up in our face (just use your imagination with that one. I don't want to discuss vomiting.)

Something is terribly wrong with our otherwise perfectly healthy angel, so we decide he needs care. Off to Urgent Care we go, to see a PA who has--allegedly, as much time in medical school as we have. (But he was a Dad. So, there's that.)

Then, 24 hrs later, my sweet, chubby faced infant, with the dark eyes and lashes that draw you in and hold you there for as long as he cares to gaze, got hot. He started to cry.

An adorable baby is still that when he's crying. But when he's wailing, whimpering, wallowing in the midst of sleep, grunting with discomfort, and looking at you with tears squeezing out of the corners of his eyes, it literally makes you want to reach down and lift up a Rocky mountain to make him feel better. So, we did.

Off to the pediatric Emergency Room we went, just me n' my miserable cherub. I rocked him in triage. He cried. I rocked him in the ER waiting room. He cried. I rocked him after the triage nurse told me to lay him down on the exam bed. He cried. Pink cheeks, scared eyes, in only a diaper, he cried and I rocked.

Upon check out, the girl was nice enough. We had to stay a long while after we were done, since they got us right in, cared for, and discharged. And then .. the paperwork. She entered information in her computer as fast as the very fastest paint can dry, but we didn't mind waiting. My cherub and I. She collected what she needed and said I was all set. "Have a good night!" She said brightly. She was nice enough, but I couldn't resist:
"I really can't imagine anything else I'd rather be doing on vacation then checking out of the pediatric ER." I was joking, lamely. I should have resisted.

So, first ER visit? Check. A baby hospital band for the baby book? Check. Vacation? Check. Sleep, relaxation, rest, exploring new places, basking in the glow of nothing to do but relax? All banked for next time.

**Note: the most important element of our vacation was that we stayed with and had incredible support from two very understanding and very good friends, for whom we are very thankful!! Thanks TKB!!!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Constant Gardening

Remember that fish (Nory?) from "Finding Nemo"? The one that couldn't remember anything?

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." This is my theme music this week.

When I was out in the neighborhood for a run this weekend, in between dashes to the shady part of the street and wiping of sweat out of my eyes, I found myself noting something important.

Some of my neighbors keep incredible gardens.

Some are in front of the house, right next to the sidewalk, so all passers-by can enjoy the color. Some of them are side yards, or a carefully tended patch of flowers by the front porch or walk. Name it, and I saw it. And these gardeners, mind you, range from original owner (from the 1950s) to the young couple who moved in last week, still trying to conceive their first child and kiss Previous Listless Life goodbye.

There is one particular flower garden of spectacular hue, with a half dozen rose bushes bursting with light, color, delicate petal tips, and thorns, just next to the sidewalk on a fairly well-traveled road, for all to enjoy. I've marveled at it many times on family walks. My husband and I have commented how amazing the roses are. My toddler has pushed thorny branches out of the way of the stroller's path. Never knowing the danger of a tiny pinpoint prick on his little finger.

To my surprise, along my run this weekend, I saw the toil. The tired shoulders. The sagging sunhat. The work. I ran past the set of multi-colored rosebushes as the owner of the house was out among the bushes, tending weeds. Plucking unwanted visitors. Examining leaf health. Trimming back unwieldy branches. Tending, tending, and tending. I smiled at him, knowingly. He nodded in agreement. I ran on.

As I ran, I realized the significance of what I'd viewed, what I'd seen on this blinding hot day.

Tending a garden is much like raising children. Time. Attention. An amazing end result, blinding in its beauty.




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