Saturday, April 23, 2011
For Posterity's Sake: Weeks in Review 117 and 118
I listen to the radio twice a week as I drive home from dropping Audrey off at preschool, switching the radio back to whatever our CD of choice is (lately it's been Dr. Jean songs, remakes of childhood favorites like "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" transformed to "We've Got the Whole Globe in Our Hands" to teach the names of the continents, etc.) when I pick her up. Last week, driving home, the deejay was relaying a story about a nine-year-old hero. While visiting their grandmother, the boy's two-year-old sister had fallen into the pool. She was discovered and pulled out by her mother, but was no longer breathing. The brother performed CPR, resuscitating his sister. When asked where he had learned CPR, the boy replied, "from watching TV."
It's the sort of story that makes my heart stop as I imagine the panicked mother and grandmother. It's also the sort of story that reminds me of the qualities of childhood I love and admire. Only a child would leap to act saying, "stand back, I saw this on Nickelodeon,"* without hesitating to second-guess his abilities. As adults we plan, we fret, we take classes that provide certificates to prove our competence. Then we act.
Two weeks have slipped by here without a Week in Review. The last, especially, has been a week of fretting and attempts to plan as we thought we might be meeting our little guy waiting in the wings. Wednesday morning brought with it back pains and labored breathing, followed by an evening of an often-contracted (although, without pain) stomach. Wednesday night, "just to be safe," we sent the kids to visit their grandparents. Thursday, a stress test confirmed that my contractions were 7-8 minutes apart, where they seem to be happy staying. Now (kids back at home), we wait (with mama trying not to fret about the possible logistics of days to come). There's one thing we've come to learn about kids: they don't come with a plan; they simply act.
The actions, and thoughts, witnessed around here the past two weeks:
Lately, we've been meeting up with some close friends on the weekends. With the exception of a two-year-old, Audrey is the only girl. Monday, at dinner, she was talking about our recent get-together and wanting to have more friends over.
"I want to have a lot of friend boys over," she said.
"I don't think I like you having a lot of friend boys over," Jason said.
"I won't have a lot. I'll just have a little."
Wednesday, while playing outside, Audrey got a splinter. It was still in her hand when Jason got home. "This is very disappointing to me," she said as she showed it to him.
While outside, she had created a batch of "dandelion soup," which had apparently gone missing. She wondered aloud what happened to it.
"Maybe dragons ate it," Jason said.
"There aren't any dragons in this whole world (pronounced whirl - Ed)."
Later, at dinner, she turned to Jason. "Daddy, you have a sweet voice."
Thursday, Nathan moved one step closer to boyhood as he laughed at the sounds of his own farts.
Friday morning, Audrey sent the following text to Jason:
Audrey has sent a lovely message for you. Help Daddy to be welcome for the message. Help him to be the papa. Help him to take his phone to work and help him to bop-a (she paused her dictation to laugh and tell me, "that's silly"). Help him to work and eat his food. And help him to take a bear to work.
Jason's response to me: Darn, I forgot the bear.
Jason's text to Audrey:
Daddy loves his pancake. Help her play with her friends. Help her have a good lunch. Help her earn a sticker. Help her to bop-a! Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side, silly! Roses are red and violets are blue!!!!!
After I finished reading the message, Audrey began to laugh. "Silly-headed put two jokes (pronounced joke - ez) on it."
Saturday, I bought an end table at a garage sale to use as a night stand in Nathan's new room. The table has a small pull-out drawer and a door on the front that opens to reveal a storage space big enough to fit a dainty preschooler once the drawer has been removed (creating the perfect peep hole). It was $5 of weekend-long entertainment as the kids took turns crawling inside and laughing at each other peeking out of the drawer hole. Monday, Nate found a new use for the end table. He moved a stool to the right side, positioned himself on the stool crouched on his knees and proceeded to use the table as a block-building desk.
Tuesday morning, Audrey came into my room saying me her stomach hurt. She crawled into bed next to me and pointed at her stomach. "This belly."
As I worked at the kitchen table that morning during a rain storm, Nathan rolled around on the rug underneath, acting like he wanted a nap. Unable to get comfortable, he raised his hands to be put on my lap. He quickly changed his mind, finding my belly not to be the soft pillow it looks to be, and wiggled back to the rug where he attempted to burrow his head into Emmy's backside. Emmy obliged for a few moments before deciding she was better off braving the storm alone rather than serving as a toddler's pillow.
The most anticipated event of Audrey's week was scheduled for Wednesday, the day I woke up feeling as if early signs of labor were underway.
"Is it your birthday today?" she asked.
"Yes," I said.
"Yea! The Easter egg hunt is today!" (Our church was hosting an Easter egg hunt that evening.).
I told Audrey that we might not get to go if I had to go to the hospital.
"That's okay. The Easter egg hunt is at night. You can go to the hospital during the day."
Later that day (as she does most days), she asked if anyone was coming over. I told her that her Papaw might if I went to the hospital.
"No," she said. "I have to go to MOPS (the group hosting the Easter egg hunt). He doesn't know where the church is."
As we prepare for Easter morning, and what I am sure will be one more day filled with requests for egg hunts, I'm reminded of the unexpected: the concealed goodies inside of colorful eggs; well-intentioned women with thought-out plans arriving at their destination to find it abandoned; and unlikely heroes, willing to act. Wishing you a happy Easter, and the joy of being surrounded by little ones adamant to make you celebrate, regardless of your plans.
*This quote is a complete dramatization. I have no idea what the child was actually watching or really said during his heroics.