Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a minute of gratitude

                Yup, Chris is  standing! Standing and starting to walk. The docs gave him the all-clear to drive and said things are coming along with his healing, so he is starting to put weight on the leg. He says it's like pins-and-needles, but it's good to be doing it. We also learned that his bone density is not good, which explains why it's so easy for him to break bones. (The man lived in the PNW for 20 years and never took his Vitamin D. Let this be a cautionary tale.) But, the good part of that is that it's reversible with diet and vitamins and exercise. It may take years but he can turn it around.

I am in awe of his determination to get better, and how quickly he's been able to do it. We're not all the way there, not yet, but when I think about how far he and our whole family have come, it really is so much better than it was.

In Quaker speak, a minute is a statement of strong belief that a Meeting or an individual would like to publicly share. Ever since the accident, I've been writing a minute of gratitude in my head. It's been hard and painful and scary, but we've also been so lucky and supported and nourished.

When Chris called me while waiting for the ambulance, I frantically texted some friends and asked for Light. From those first panicked horrible minutes when I knew he was hurt but I didn't know the extent of it, I knew we were being held, and it kept me going through the fear and anxiety.
That was the beginning of our communities coming forward to support our family, and when things were
really stressful, I would just recite my list of thank yous in my head.

For the friend who came over and just helped me think through what decisions I needed to make in those panicked early moments.
For the people who watched my kids, sometimes for most of a day on short notice.
For the people who brought us food, almost every night for five weeks.
For the friend who came over and jumped my car, when my distracted self had left the inside light on.
For the friends who conspired to send us each a gorgeous flower arrangement and give our days some beauty.
For the friend who came over and moved my couch so we could make space for Chris's hospital bed.
For my amazing mom who said "when can I come?" and co-parented with me for weeks. She's the only reason my kids had Halloween costumes, and the only reason I didn't go insane.
For the family who sent us love and support from afar.

I don't know what we would have done without all of you. I really don't.

I also really loved the honesty that people gave me. "Cooking is just not how I'm going to help you guys."
"I really can't do childcare but I could do this." I loved the gift of people being realistic about what they are capable of and offering only what they could. Because that gift of being authentic and honest is so valuable and precious.

I've been on the other side of this equation, I've been the one bringing meals and organizing the gifts. That part is fun. It's fun to give and feel generous and useful and connected.
Being on the other side is hard. It's hard to be the one who needs help. It's hard to feel vulnerable, to know that you can't do it on your own.
We all have our chances to be the giver and the receiver, all our lives. I hope that next time I am the giver, I can be as honest and realistic as the ones who have helped us. I hope that next time I am the receiver (please let that be many many years from now)  I can remember that we all have our seasons of needing help.

Meister Eckhart said "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."

I can't decide if they are the smallest words or the biggest words I know. Both, I think.

Thank you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cold and clear

It's been cold and clear here these days. Foggy mornings and sharp bright afternoons. School's out for the week so we are planning projects and playing with friends. Confession: I have started listening to Christmas music. Yes, already. It's funny cause I used to hate it, when I worked in retail and then as soon as I left I couldn't get enough. I like this one and of course, all of these.

Brixton is still on his writing fixation, it's new and it's exciting. He wanted me to help him write a sign that said no grownups absolutely allowed. I told him I wouldn't write something that excluded myself, so he made his own version of the sign.

We have some mostly good news about Chris but I'll save that for another post.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yarn along- Brixton's hoodie and the problem with trilogies

I'm working on Brixton's hoodie, to go along with Unity's hoodie.  The pattern is from the last issue of Taproot. It's coming along well, just like the first one.

I finished reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth, and I was disappointed. I felt like her books were similar to the Hunger Games in that they started with a strong premise and good world-building and then the second book was ok but not great and the third book was terrible. I don't know if it's the pressure and fame or just that it's hard to write trilogies, but I felt like Allegiant was flat, the action was confusing and inspiring and the end was just unrewarding. I wish there was less pressure in the book world to create these trilogy/movie tie-ins, because I think the authors get rushed and scattered and the work really suffers.

On to the next thing, I guess...

Yarn along.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sucker punch Monday

Yeah, this Monday hit us hard, right between the eyes. We'll all fending off a bit of a bug. Both kids were up multiple times during the night complaining of head aches and ear aches. And then....Brixton has been having this problem with markers. He had some in his bed, unbeknownst to me. Two nights ago he drew on his sheets and his wall. I took them away but he had more secreted away. The next night he drew on the rug in their room. I took them away again, as well as the rug. Yesterday he drew "x"s all over the living room walls. I don't know what this urge is, after he's gotten in trouble twice already, to put his mark on all our spaces. Now he is scrubbing off the "x"s and regretting his choices.

Someday we'll laugh about this, right?

Friday, November 15, 2013


In between doctor appointments, Chris and I had a little time for lunch and rolling around together. (Ok I just reread that and saw how it sounds. But I mean in his chair! Cause he can't walk around, you know. Sigh.)
His muscles are sore but they are improving, as the nerve endings tingle and stretch and reach for the old movements. Inch by inch, we are seeing progress. 

                                         Reading comics in the waiting room.

                                    I'm working on Brixton's hoodie now. He's excited. Reading a Seattle writer's
                                  memoir of his wild college years and the twisted beauty that he loved. He's a
                                  good writer but it's a turbulent story. I'm taking it slow.

Brixton knows the story of Papi's accident so well that he can dictate it to the preschool teachers when he draws his daily get-well card. 

Inching forward. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Queen of Small Moments

This weekend we had self-portraits and sibling portraits. 

Chris had a one man circle pit, with his music and his wheels.

  We dressed up and played house. Went swimming and hung out with some friends. Brixton had a playdate with a set of triplets that we know from Meeting for Worship.

I'm grateful for each day of him getting better, each day of our family being loved and supported and fed (physically and emotionally and spiritually) by our communities. I'm thankful for bones that heal, and family dance parties to Led Zeppelin and friends that stop by with zines and stories. 

For all this, even this, yes, this. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Unity's hoodie

I am so pleased with how this one turned out. (It's the hoodie pattern from Taproot magazine.) Of course there are some mistakes that I wish I'd done differently but altogether it knit up quickly and was a lot of fun to make. Brixton wants one next and I'm looking forward to doing this pattern again. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

This weekend was nice, a little bit calmer than our last which was needed. The kids had swimming and girl scouts and that was it. The rest of the time we just hung out, knitting and playing the same games over and over. Brixton loves playing "animal shelter" these days which involves him as a kitty at the shelter and you pick him out and take him home. Then he goes back to the shelter and you pick him out and take him home. 

Unity has gotten into reading the Magic Treehouse books and has been racing through them. It's so fun to see her get so wrapped up in a book. 

Chris is hanging in there too, doing his physical therapy and getting ready to take his wheelchair to work. We are doing ok. And I'm so thankful for that. 

Friday, November 01, 2013