So, week before last, I mentioned how it was my Week O' Perspective. Let me explain...
Remember when I was whining because my computer monitor went out? We bought that stupid thing almost three years ago. For what we paid for it, I intended on it lasting until I was 109. It's an Apple Cinema Display and you know they're proud of their stuff. Apple...love 'em, hate 'em. Apparently, those displays just going out like that are a common occurrence. You would have expected a recall, but Apple doesn't do those (unless one of their products spontaneously combusts or something). If your warranty or Apple Care is up, you're outta luck. And I knew we'd be stuck paying $400 for a 16-year old computer genius to fix our monitor in 20 minutes. And I'm a "it's the principle of the thing" kind of person. I'm not going to pay $400 to fix something I already spent a lot more than that on.
Okay, I'm veering away from my point. POINT IS...it's a stupid monitor. For $160, I can get the EXACT SAME THING (different brand) at Best Buy. But, I was "soooooo distraught" Monday before last over this piece of technology failing me. I went to see if David's monitor (he has a PC...booooorrriiiinnngg...oh, sorry. I'm kind of a computer snob) was compatible. Alas, it was not. Why? Because Apple makes their computers so only Apple crap will work with them. All Apple people are snobs, I realize that. So, I got my laptop and hooked my external hard drives and tablet up to that. Blegh. I hate doing that.
I'm sitting there, with a working laptop, all flustered because I spent 30 minutes doing all of that when 30 minutes of the girls being good is 3o minutes I can get work done. Then, one of the kids, I can't remember which one, comes to the gate and gives me the doofiest grin and laugh and then this look that seemed to say, "Mom...perspective." And I think, Mother of pearl, I am a moron. People lost EVERYthing last week in tornadoes and I'm whining about a completely replaceable piece of equipment. I shook my head in disbelief of myself.
For the past few months, the girls have been getting up at 5:30-5:45 a.m. There's nothing wrong, they're just done sleeping. You people whose kids sleep until 8:00, I don't know what you're giving them, but if you could send some my way, that'd be awes. It might have something to do with their bedtime, which is at 7:30 p.m. We used to put them down at 6:30 p.m. and they'd sleep until 6:30 a.m. So, I guess they're just growing up and require less sleep. They're always happy in the morning, so that's all the sleep they need I s'pose. It is a little exhausting, though. And sometimes I find myself saying, "For the love, babies, sleep later!"
During my Perspective Week, I was following Roger's tweets about Sterling. Y'all remember Sterling? The sweet 5-year old (now 6) who was having brain surgery for a tumor that had been causing consistent seizures. That week, Sterling was having his fifth brain surgery (FIFTH!) to insert these grids in his brain so doctors could map which areas were causing the seizures. (Isn't medical technology amazing? SO thankful for doctors and modern medicine.) Following this surgery, Sterling was scheduled to have another surgery to remove these grids, resect the brain tissues causing the seizures and remove the rest of the tumor. It was an incredibly risky surgery. I mean, he's 6 years old. SIX. YEARS. OLD.
Just so I'm not leaving you hanging, the surgery went amazingly well, the doctors removed 10-12% of Sterling's brain, they resected the affected areas, and got ALL of the tumor. He's at home with his family recovering and doing well. His vision is slightly impaired on his left side, I believe, but doctors think once some more swelling goes down, that might improve. And Sterling is seizure free. Whaaa whaaaaaaat! During all of his surgeries, they draw the Superman symbol on his hospital gown with "Joshua 1:9" written under it. After this last surgery, the nurses came out and told Roger they looked that Scripture up. That tweet had me ending up in a pool of tears. A 6-year old, lying completely vulnerable on an operating room table–his family waiting, trusting, praying, hoping–witnessing to hospital staff. Humbling. What I have done like that lately?
So, back to my "babies wake up so early" comment. During Roger's tweets, he also updated us with information about tornado victims. They had to move Sterling from the PICU to make room for incoming children who had been injured during the storms. A lot of kids were too young to tell people who they were. Some kids didn't know where their parents were. One little boy, 10 years old, was brought in alone. Broken bones everywhere. He was in a lot of pain, so they sedated him. The staff found out that both his parents and little sister had been killed in the tornado. He hadn't been told yet. And here I am grumbling about "having" to get up at 5:30 a.m. to change diapers and pass out cups of milk. I should be honored to have that privilege. My babies...my family, is safe. I'm grateful for Roger allowing God to use him to speak to me through a social network called Twitter.
And the twins are now standing at the gate, holding out their cups for more goldfish crackers saying, "Sna-sna-sna" (snack) and shaking their heads "yes". Oh, my little Olivers. Gosh, I'm blessed.
I love my job. I honestly couldn't ask for a more perfect work experience. My job stresses me out. Those who...whom...who....whooooo-m I work with know that 50% of the stress is my own doing, because I'm a little bit crazy, but the other 50% is cuz y'all know how much we have to do. And I love it. I really, really, really do. Last week, I got to draw a dragon blowing fire into a hot air balloon (in a good way, he was helping keep it up) for a t-shirt. Also, Christina, can I have one?! I get asked pretty frequently why I'm still working now that I've got kids. This is a question asked regularly by people I don't know well, which is kind of weird to me. One lady, I'm totally not kidding, said to me (paraphrasing), "I just think, as a mother, it's our responsibility to sacrifice some things so we can stay and raise our children at home." ?????? Yeah, I know, right. Let me clarify by saying that I think stay-at-home moms are awesome. I have no issue with that whatsoever. I know several stay-at-home moms and they are amazing women, mothers and wives. But this lady was implying that those of us who do choose to continue to work are lesser moms because we're being "selfish". I kind of didn't know what to say. I'm not great with that kind of stuff. I'd also like to add that her young daughter and son in the shopping cart were brats. Heh.
I know I have a very special situation in which I can work and stay home with my kids. And I do not take that for granted. (I take air-conditioning for granted, which I will never do again [it went out on us last week for a day].) I do realize just how blessed I am to work with a place that allows me to do that. I know that's very rare indeed. I enjoy my work. I feel like I get to be a small part of something that makes a difference. It is an honor to work with those people. They are my friends. Even though they don't have fried crab claws, I feel very close to them and I hope they know how much they mean to me.
I don't know what the future holds for us. But for now, I'm so happy I have my job. I want to keep working. I enjoy contributing financially. And I don't feel like I'm being selfish or neglecting my kids. I know I'm a good Mom. When the every day work stresses start up, I'm taking that as a reminder that I'm a very small part of something big and satan will do what he can to attack me. I will never take my job for granted. I know there are others out there looking for jobs and David and I are very fortunate.
I've complained about the size of our closets. "We have too much stuff and not enough storage!" There are people out there scouring through the rubble that once was their house...just trying to find a few baby pictures or heirlooms or anything.
I've put the girls in their cribs with books and shut the door for just 20 minutes of peace and quiet while I finished a project. There are women out there desperate to be a mother...already a mother, just without a child in their arms yet. God blessed us with two at once. Why would He ever pick me for that honor?
I am the lowest of the lows.
I'm grateful for my Week O' Perspective. As ridiculously cheesy as it sounds, the world seems different to me. Not in an arrogant "oh, I'm so enlightened" way, but a "Ruth, you've been an idiot" way.
Funny how God uses a tornado, Firebeard and his son Sterling, and a dragon breathing fire into a hot air balloon to knock some sense into you.