I haven't been writing much this fall. I think its because I somehow got it in my head that my blog should mean something, have a point, or a purpose. Something other than me whining about laundry or relating the most recent kids' tale.
Know what? Neener neener. My blog. I keep forgeting this. My point when I started this blog a few years ago was just to give me a chance to reflect and chronocle my life. (And why doesn't blogspot have a spellcheck as I type? hmmm? For that matter, why doesn't it have a spell check at all?)
The point of this blog entry is just for me to brag on my babies.
Every year at Christmas, we drive up to Canton to visit with family and friends up in the frozen north. We stay with the Jedi's parents, and spend the rest of the time squeezing in as many visits with others as we can. This year, the Jedi's father (no, that doesn't make Dad a Sith Lord, thanks for asking), this year Dad went into the hospital right before Thanksgiving. After a worrisome week, he was diagnosed with AFib. After another week or so, they finally got medications to even out his heart. He was sent home on oxygen and with a host of meds. He had just started to regain his strength and begin slowly creeping back up towards a healthy weight when he went back into the ER on Monday, four days before Christmas. He had a kidney infection, but his body just didn't have any reserves left to fight off any kind of illness, and the infection just knocked him flat. When Mom called and first described sequence of events and the symptoms, I was worried he must have had a stroke. The doctors put him on antibiotics, but even standing and making it two steps to a portable potty chair sitting beside his hospital bed was a major accomplishment for him on Tuesday afternoon. He wasn't going to be discharged by Christmas, and likely, not even by the end of our stay in Canton.
On the drive up to Canton on Wednesday the 23rd, we weren't yet aware of how long his hospital stay was going to be. I knew how much it meant to Dad to get to see the kids open their presents on Christmas morning. The thought of him not being there for that made me all choked up and teary eyed. We held a family meeting in the van and it was agreed upon (with just a little strong arming by the Mommy), that Christmas morning was not happening until Bapa was there to share it with us, even if that meant we might have to wait until another weekend when we could drive back up to Canton after Bapa was back home and feeling better.
Christmas Eve morning we went to the hospital to see Bapa. Mom got special clearance for the kids to be permitted to go up to visit him (since normal flu season precautions prohibbited minors under the age of 18 from visiting). The kids each made him a drawing to hang in his room. (At one point during the visit, the kids and I had to leave the room because OT had arrived. We headed to the visitor lobby on that floor and worked a puzzle together. We also shared the lobby with a very large extended Amish family, and so were surrounded by gentle German speech as we put our puzzle together.) We grabbed KFC to eat for lunch back at the house, and a plan was hatched to bring Christmas to Bapa the next morning.
Christmas Eve held a party with Mama Mad's family, which was a great deal of fun. The Brunswick elves and all their kin are kind, generous, and funny, and I feel more and more at home with them every time we get together. I would love to relay the "science" quote of the evening, but have been forbidden to do so by Sweetling. The kids slept in the car on the way home from the party. After the Jedi had carried them each into the house and tucked them in bed, we helped Mom wrap gifts and stuff stockings.
On Christmas morning, both children already knew the plan to take Christmas to Bapa. Neither child once asked about opening presents or checking the stockings. (Though Toa of Boy did go stand by the tree and make a visual survey of the gifts.) We all had breakfast and the kids got dressed and ready for the day and then waited patiently for three grown-ups to get showered, dressed, and ready. We put all four stockings in one bag and we put the kids' gifts in another bag (they each had one gift each from Nana and Bapa, so it wasn't like trying to load their entire Christmas haul.) We put on our Santa hats and headed up to the hospital.
In Bapa's room, Christmas greetings were exchanged, and the kids settled into a chair to check out their stockings first. They had each dug out their treasures, when OT arrived again. Dad was very disappointed. He asked, couldn't he please do his OT later? But no, the therapist was going home for Christmas soon, so it was now or never. I told Dad not to worry, we weren't going anywhere and we'd come right back in the room after OT. So, I took the kids, and we headed out.
Neither child expressed the slightest bit of disappointment whatsoever about the interuption. Out in the hallway, I suggested we go check on the puzzle we started yesterday, to see if anyone else had put more of it together. Both children were excited about this idea, and Toa of Boy had to be reminded not to go running off down the hall. The Jedi joined us, and we sat contentedly in the lobby clicking puzzle pieces together. We finished the puzzle and took a picture, and the Jedi went back to check on how Dad was doing. Dad's lunch tray had arrived, so the Jedi suggested the four of us head down to the cafeteria to get something for us to eat as well.
As we sat at the square table on Christmas day with our plastic trays of hospital cafeteria food and bowed our heads to say grace, both children, without any prompting, gave thanks for "seeing Bapa" and "this wonderful Christmas together". Once again, Mommy was all choked up and teary eyed. We put together a chicken salad from the salad bar for Nana, and headed back up to the room. Bapa had saved two cookie packs from his lunch and yesterday's lunch, so that he would have a treat to give to each of the kids. Cookies were happily consumed, and then presents were opened, thanks said, hugs given. Happy children hung out in an arm chair recliner while grown ups visited for a little while longer.
It meant so much to Dad that we came and shared Christmas with him. It meant so much to me that my children did so with patience, kindness, gratitude and selfliness. I think we all came closer to the heart of Christmas this year than we have on any other year.