The past 5 days have been rather intense around here. Our wee Seraphina has become quite ill, including a persistent fever that would spike as high as 105.1 and required 2 trips to the Emergency Room, antibiotics, too much Motrin, and hardly a wink of sleep. Her poor little body is fighting so hard and yet she manages to smile and play between the highest points of her fever. I've attributed them to waves, like surfing......when her fever is down we're just kind of paddling along the water, relaxing and enjoying the extra snuggles but when her fever reaches it's climax it's "all hands on deck". She and I have become quite the team, I've learned her unique style of communication that lets me know she needs intervention, that the fever has become too much. We're both working hard to balance fear and worry with acceptance and patience. It's so hard. We're both so tired.
As you can see, not much else has been kept on top of. Between having my sick little babe and the other littles at home full time, homework (which I've barely just glanced over), trying to keep everyone fed, keeping the fire going, not to mention the never ending piles of laundry *sigh* one thing in particular has been far from my mind; holiday preparations. Nary a decoration or Christmas tree have appeared yet in our home. We've got the simple gestures of our Nature Table and Advent Garden (which has become a resting place for our cats) and nothing else. Typically, I'd be quite bewildered by all of this chaos. I so love this time of year and all that goes into creating the holiday mood within our home. Having said that, I'm OK with a delay in this year's preparations. It will happen, eventually. We will get our tree up and decorated. We will continue to add our little handmade additions to our Nature Table and Advent Garden. We will bake to our hearts content.......just not right now.
If there's one thing this little Angel has taught me through all of this is that nothing is more important than the gift of time. St. Nicholas had written a letter to each child stating that each one would individually receive quality alone time with each parent each day. As a large family we have noticed how quickly we can become detracted from our ability to carve out enough time with each child. Some nights my husband and I go to bed realizing that we haven't spent alone time with each child in quite some time. I've got a bit of leverage in that department as I'm able to be home during the day so I do get that quality time with the littles, but my big kids is a totally different story. Seraphina has, through her persistent illness, opened my heart to accepting that all that little piddly stuff will always be there and the time I gain by ignoring the pressing call to clean or do laundry or wash dishes can now be spent chatting with my 12 year old, or fawning over make-up and hair accessories with my oldest daughter, or learning a new song with Charlotte, or goofing around with Kiki, or simply snuggling the day away with my little Seri in a nest on the sofa. Those nagging tasks will get done, but not before each child has received the time they most certainly deserve.
Not everything is lost in this; I have, at the very least, been able to keep up with the addition of a star each day thus far in Advent. It's a beautiful thing to see the ceiling above our Advent Garden fill up with these colorful stars. This has become a favorite quiet spot for Kiki to play. I have to admit, I do feel quite peaceful when I look over and see the soft glow of the lights beneath the cloth, the empty stable as it awaits the arrival of those coming to welcome the Baby Jesus. I have learned that there is peace in patience.......so, I will continue to cultivate patience during this week of healing.
Where are you finding your peace these days?