"The Tightrope Walker"

"The Tightrope Walker" by Jean-Louis Forain

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flu Anyone?

We faithfully had influenza vaccinations back in the late fall, and yet flu has plagued us for the last two weeks.  Sophie was the first to get sick.  She starting complaining late on a Saturday afternoon of not feeling well, but by midday Tuesday was back to her old self.  Sophie's count about 3 days.  JD complained for about a week, but seemed quite fine.  He easily seemed to manage his cough and some congestion.  JD's count a week, but I'm deducting time for minor symptoms so let's call it (a generous) 2 days.  Molly had a very hearty cough, heavy congestion and a fever.  She is still congested, but seems to be on the mend now.  Molly's count a full 7 days.  All in all the flu vaccine seems to have lessened the symptoms and helped my little family to get over the flu pretty quickly.  I'm grateful for this, but what about ME?

I had the flu vaccine too and yet I've spent a miserable 14 days feeling like I was hit by a large, speeding transport truck.  I started feeling crummy the Monday after Sophie fell ill and it was all down hill from there!  Three days in bed with a fever that made me feel like I had taken heavy hallucinogenics, another three days laying around on the couch coughing and with no energy, and finally when I thought I was starting to feel better I was hit with a sinus infection that sent me back to bed for another four days.  YUCK!  All I can say is the flu shot didn't help me much!

To add insult to injury my lovely JD decided that his best course of action would be to minimize all contact with illness in order to stay healthy.  Picture this: you are lying in bed shivering and feverish at the same time, just praying that someone will take pity on you and do something remarkably creative to make you feel better when in walks your beloved husband.  For a brief, hopeful moment you think he is going to hug you and make you feel better, but NO!  Instead he stands at the end of the bed, hands shoved deep into his pockets, and grouchily asks what he can get you.  And, when you sit up to cough he takes a full two steps back!  Yes, that is how JD and I spent the bulk of my confinement - me wishing he would save me from what felt like certain death and him mentally trying to calculate the cost of a hazmat suit while avoiding even touching my baby toe on the off chance that it was a carrier of the disease.

Flu vaccine aside, the worst part is what happens when the Mommy is taken out of the game.  Two weeks worth of laundry piled up, utter chaos in every corner of the house, and don't even get me started on the food situation.  A friend said it best in an email to me last week, "It is never good when the Mom goes down!"  My fingers are crossed and the cold and flu remedies are put away, now here is to hoping the remainder of the winter is a healthy one!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Living Legacy - Part 2

With Christmas, New Year's, illness and everything in between I haven't had a chance to be here in a while, but I haven't forgotten the conversation I started a while ago about living legacies.  In fact I have been thinking frequently about what I want my children to take forward into the world and I have come up with a list of the few most important memories I want to build for my children.

First, I want my girls to take memories of family traditions forward into their lives so they can create their own traditions.  Christmas breakfast, birthday parties, movie nights with popcorn, stories at bedtime and more!  I want the girls to look back and be able to remember not just special holiday traditions, but everyday and special treat traditions that we did as a family.  I want them to be able to build a life that is their own.

Second, I want the girls to have memories of JD and I loving each other.  I want them to remember us hugging, kissing and being silly together.  I want them to remember us holding hands and saying, "I love you!"  I want them to be adults who show affection and aren't afraid to take a chance on love, even if they might get hurt.

Third, I want the girls to have memories of doing things with their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends.  I want them to reflect on their childhood as being a time when we fostered their independence and encouraged them to care for all those around us who are important in our lives.  I want them to remember us encouraging them to make new friends and try new things - to be adventurous, to be social, and to be themselves.

Finally, I want the girls to have memories of disagreements gone right.  I want them to remember squabbles and tantrums - by themselves and us - that we solved together.  I guess what I'm getting at is I want them to look back on their childhood with a blurred memory of disagreement, but a clear memory of the problem solving, empathy and compassion that followed.  Taking empathy and compassion along with a healthy dose of problem solving into their adult lives will make their lives so much easier and, oddly enough, fuller.

In a nutshell I want the girls to reflect on our time together now as being when they learned to have fun and laugh, to be adventurous and innovative, to have compassion and empathy, but above all else to be someone who loves and is loved by others.  A tall order perhaps, but shouldn't our biggest and brightest goals be for our family and children to happily succeed in life?