Week four has ended. One month. Wow.
This is tough for the kids, but I think it's tougher for their Mom. She has to "mother" from her bed and it cannot be easy to hear the chaos and commotion, as well as the laughter and games, that are going on right outside her door, beyond her reach. The kids go into her room a few times a day, and in the afternoons, she can sometimes come out and sit outside if it's nice or situate herself on the couch, but we must watch and make sure the twins don't jump on her (because they want to) or play too hard around her (because they want to) and other possible risks (because they exist).
I try desperately to stay out of the way between Mom and baby relationships. This is a tricky path. I am not the mommy. I am the caregiver, for sure, but I am not the mommy. I have authority and I give affection (oh boy, can I give affection, just give me a rocking chair and a toddler and it's over) and I am present for their waking hours and do many similar things that their mommy did/does, so I'm certain that it is confusing for them, but it is extremely important that they understand (and I think they do) that Mommy is ultimately THEE Mommy. There are times when the boy will run down the dark hallway and curl up outside Mommy's bedroom door in an act of defiance against me, particularly regarding "potty issues", (go on Dr. Freud, say something!).
Other than that, it's been quite extraordinary. I've been here a month now and I've made interesting observations. I am amazed at the energy that I feel each morning when I awake. The alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. When I arrive at their house, typically between 7:30 and 7:45 in the morning, the kids are stirring...and it simply doesn't stop from then on. I should be exhausted, and typically I am, but it doesn't hit until I walk into my bedroom at night and get on my bed. And it's not even a "slamming" exhaustion-it's more of a pleasant, job-well-done, type of feeling. It feels pretty good.
The "slamming" exhaustion happens on the weekend. My body just gives up and appears to let my tiredness "catch up" with me. I lay around my mother's house, where I stay on the weekends, and I vegetate. I go to church on Sunday morning and maybe Mom and I will go out on Saturday afternoon, but other than that I work on the computer (while it's on my lap) and just veg. I find that Mom and I share some quiet times together and it's pretty fun. I can make my mother laugh pretty hard and THAT is so much fun, I can't even tell you. Today we made our own clothes detergent and when she smelled the Fels Naptha, it took her back almost 90 years to her own childhood, but that's another post entirely. Glorious.
The high point of this week was Friday morning. It was lightening and thundering. There are two rocking chairs on their front porch and this provided a beautiful view to the lightening show. The thunder was rumbling and even giving loud cracking sounds. I figured this was a perfect opportunity to teach the children how to appreciate these storms and not fear them. We went out on the porch. We felt the rain coming down from the eaves of the porch. I rocked them on my lap. We watched the lightening and listened to the thunder. We figured out that thunder was our friend because it told us, by its loudness, how close the lightening was. They showed no fear. It was delightful. Each of my children grew up learning to love thunder storms. They still do. It's one of my favorite thing about being in Central Ohio. So....I think that was the high point of the week.
That and realizing that something bigger than me is carrying me through this experience. Something divine and wonderful and loving is pushing me and carrying me simultaneously. I know that their Mommy is praying each day for this to happen and those prayers are being answered. I should not have this much energy. On paper, this should not be the case. But life doesn't always happen "on paper". It just happens. I was telling my co-grammy, Abby's mother, who is kind enough to share her glorious apartment with me during the week days, that when I first arrived I thought her big basset hound was in my bed sleeping with me because I felt this big, warm, loving presence next to me at night. She assured me that the dog wasn't anywhere near my room. I wasn't complaining because I REALLY like the dog. Several times now it has felt like a big loving presence is with me. I realize how odd that sounds. I get it. I GET IT. But I'm telling you, I am surrounded by love and uplifted and carried through this experience. God really loves those twins AND their parents...so He's really taking care of the caregiver. The pure love of Christ works mighty miracles.
Mommy prayers....powerful stuff....