Prayer Request: I had a fever today and lost the nausea battle. I think the fever has gone down but please pray that I’ll be well. I have been unable to enjoy my friend RLP’s company and she’s leaving tomorrow. MagicB is taking care of things. Please pray for a safe trip to PDX for her. Thank you!
JCJ’s mom, R, recently introduced me to a new friend. In her introduction she wrote that I reference “My children” in my writing but I am in fact single and childless. I am actually referring to my nephews and nieces. To clarify, let me just inform my friends that all of your children are actually my children. E.g. when I first came home I was SO thrilled to understand that B&G were expecting a little brother or sister for K. Waiting for L’s arrival was a welcome bright spot on my horizon.
When I found out the S’s were expecting #3 I called my sister and said, “Well, at least someone’s doing her duty!” And now they have welcomed E into their family, and I am so pleased. I told JLSS that my anticipation for E’s birth was only matched by my excitement over E&R’s new arrival (due ca. Christmas). Now there are additional babies to wait for and I am thrilled to pieces over the prospect (good job, F&N!). I am also very enthused by the children who are already here, e.g. the first or second Sunday I was back in MD I asked GSK the question that had consumed me for the past month: “Who is Uncle Sport?” His son, B, had informed me, “I beat Uncle Sport at the Wii,” on a video K had made me with greetings from my chapel family. That was right before C fell off the chair and had to be escorted out of the room.
So I love kids. I just want to make that clear and relieve any anxiety parents might feel over the questions their children ask me. Example: A few weeks ago 2+ year old P|F was eating his lunch and I was sitting at the table with him. “Aunty Ning,” he paused between bites, “What’s that thing on your neck?” “You mean that pretty necklace?” His mom tried to steer the line of questioning into smoother waters, but P|F wasn’t having it. “No, that other thing. The boo boo.” I laughed and JLSS told me she was sorry, and also noted that you would have thought that her son would have noticed the scar and asked about it in the past year, but no, he waited until he had a nice close-up view and a quiet moment to make his inquiry. I smiled, remembering when his big brother, N, had asked the same question a few months ago, and told him it was the hole the doctors had to make to help me breathe.
Isn’t that the best? I love how little ones ask these questions so innocently, like when another sweet girl asked me, “Did you lose your brain?” It was an honest question! And a valid one, too, but I was able to tell her that I hadn’t lost the whole thing – only a little bit. I know that so many of these children (many of whom I’ve never met) have been among the most faithful in prayer for me. I think it must help them understand the situation by latching onto something they can see, like that thing on my neck, or something they can talk about easily, like my brain. I don’t mind these questions at all – they make me laugh, which is good, and these kids are often asking what other people are thinking, but don’t say.
I’ve found that kids kind of just accept the way I am right now and work around it. My three eldest nephews and nieces are old enough to remember the way I was in my old life, but Ezra isn’t. He was born when I was living in OR and when he arrived I marched up and down the cubicle aisle at work telling everyone “my son’s” new name. Hannah, Josh and Karine are careful of me and help me do things when I’m with them, and I often wonder what they’re thinking, e.g. if they are comparing what I could do then vs. now. But they’re probably not comparing – I am.
Ezra, meantime, likely recalls nothing before I had to sit in a wheelchair. On the day I was informed that the ADA did not cover people in my kind of situation (when there is no known timeline for recovery) and I lost my job, I cried. Ezra saw me and informed his mother, “Aunty Ning Ning is sad.” So Ruth sent him over to give me a hug. That was just what I needed. On the specific day I parted ways with Intel I was visiting Ai Ai and Timmy – so I celebrated “Separation Day” by eating frozen yogurt with Hannah and Joshie.
When we visited E&R last week Karine held my hand as we walked out of their gymnastics class so I wouldn’t fall down. When I headed up to their guest room for a nap later, Ezra came chasing after me holding Ed in his pumpkin suit. “You forgot Ed,” Ezzie told me in his husky voice, and put Ed on the steps for me. Isn’t that sweet? Given the amount of love, care and enjoyment these children offer me, any questions they feel led to ask are free game.