Jim and Char arrived again on December 9th to stay with us for ten days. I had quite a bit to do on my holiday to-do list, so it was great to have extra hands to help and keep Raine entertained. He is really loving his special time with Grandma and Grandpa when they visit! He especially likes to play iPad with Grandpa and show him his toys. He is a little less interested in Grandma until mommy and daddy leave, and then he gives hugs and holds her hand. Dan was feeling pretty well the 2nd week of December, so we made it out to some holiday parties together and he was able to help us with our baked goods for friends and family. And of course, he was thrilled to use his Traeger grill again and cook for his parents, as well as take them out to his favorite lunch spots. With him at work, I concentrated on my business, cleaning/organizing our home (the ever-fulfilling coping mechanism...how many times can you rearrange things?!?) and setting up some new connections for guest blogging and adding new features to this blog. I am pleased to announce that I will guest blog for LCA for Valentine's day. I'm really looking forward to that and reaching a greater audience. I'm not sure where this is all taking me, but I'm content to be along for the ride.
The latter half of December was tricky as the house quieted after Jim and Char's departure, I continued to try to do pop-up shops, and Dan fought a common cold in addition to new side effects of the 3rd chemo round. I now get Raine to and from daycare, feed him, bathe him, play with him (basically try to keep him entertained, alive and safe, and in bed. Surprisingly, this is NO SMALL FEAT.) Our routine used to primarily call for daddy's help with all of that, while I was typically working late at the store or focused on my computer for my business. But now Dan needs to rest. So my obligations have shifted. I would like to say that the switch to a more prominent mom-type-role is going well, but I'm not feeling naturally suited to it. I'm not a cook. I'm not very adventurous. I am in pain or tired so often. I'm stressed out about the drastic change in our budget. However I am doing my very best to be intentional with Raine. I try to keep myself in the moment and embrace silliness, be prepared and/or adapt to sudden changes, and keep my patience. I am sure he eats too many french fries, watches too much iPad, and complains to his friends about how lame I am playing CARSANDGUYS. But there is no shortage of cuddles and kisses, compliments, and tender care.
There will come a day when concepts of cancer and serious illness will begin to percolate in his mind, and then realizations about losing loved ones. He will connect dots and have more questions than we can probably imagine that don't have easy answers. I am doing my very best to make sure he continues to have the most firm foundation of support and love from Dan and me. What we have established and build now together, each day, can never be taken away or undone. We continue to love to cuddle in bed together in the morning. I'll admit, I really love blankets and pillows and lounging. It's gold. Add chocolate to that mix, and I am in heaven. Especially on a bright, quiet morning with my boys --all four of them-- cuddled around me. I just feel like the luckiest version of myself ever possible.
Those are the moments I am looking forward to in 2015. I want to smother myself in moments of touch, kisses, glances, giggles, and nearness. Good conversations and long stretches of reading. I'm looking forward to creative projects, and more food and drink, of course.