Archives For sleep

Fear from Flickr via Wylio

© 2010 Vic, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Hi!

How are you?

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

I know, I know… You think I’ve forgotten about you.

That’s really not true. Like the Willie Nelson song says, “You were always on my mind.”

It’s not that; it’s just that there have been other things on my mind.

Like exercise. You’re right–it’s been three years now since I started exercising regularly. (I still have a “dad bod”). That takes time–and energy.

Then there are other things–more important things. Like my wife’s health. She’s probably going to need two serious surgeries. And my own sleep apnea all but kicking my butt. My son growing up, spreading his wings, about to fly the coop.

And there are job stresses. We’ve reorganized, transitioned to a Shared Services model of IT support, and reorganized again. I’m left, for all intents and purposes, right where I was before. Things were said, promises made, but it all fizzled out. Yes, I’m pretty good at what I do. It’s not that. It’s that by being good at what I do I’ve painted myself into a corner.

But mostly, I’ve been afraid. Afraid I didn’t have anything to say, afraid to say what was on my mind, afraid of change, afraid of not changing, afraid of the uncertainty around my wife’s health. When the fears ramp up, all my latent insecurities bubble up to the surface. Leading me to irrational places. It’s true what they say about fear; that by-and-large it’s False Evidence Appearing Real. Like when a friend didn’t return a text, did I assume this person was just busy and/or presently unavailable. No, sadly I went to so-and-so-just-must-be-blocking-me-in-iMessage.

I was just so sure of it.

You might judge me, or consider me pathetic. Lord knows I do much of the time. I’m particularly good at beating myself up.

Everything is up in the air, in transition, but at the same time other things feel as if they’ll never change. And I don’t know to make them change–or how to change me.

I feel stuck. Running to stand still, never catching up.

Stuck, and afraid.

“Son,” I said. “I would really appreciate it if you shut your alarm off–instead of just snoozing it–before you get in the shower.”

“Hzsbec… Wha? Okay, dad.”

“Thanks, kiddo. You know your mom hasn’t been feeling well, and we’ve been up late. Sure appreciate it.”

“Sure, dad. Wanna play Monster Techno Chainsaw Zombie Slayer?”

————-

The next day: birds are chirping, the warm light of dawn is peeking in the ghost the shades…

“EHN, EHN, EHN” wails the alarm. No one’s turning it off. The soft sounds of a shower are heard.

A shower? He did it again!

Bleary-eyed dad wrenches himself out of bed, shuffles across the hall, turns off the alarm. Meanwhile, steam wafts under the door of the kids’ bathroom. Must be nice…

Wait. Dad knows! Time for Mr. iPod and Mrs. Cellphone to be disappeared. Dad takes them, hides them, tries to find his happy place under the warm covers.

“DAD! WHERE’S. MY. PHONE? AND MY IPOD?”

“Go away. Don’t miss the bus.”

“I NEEED MY PHONE. GIVE IT TO ME NOW.”

“Listen, kid–are we gonna do this? Right here, right now? You’re really gonna argue about that stuff when you need to catch the bus? You don’t wanna throw down with me.”

“BUT WHY? WHAT DID I DO?”

“You missed the bus yesterday, I had to take you to school, and you let your alarm blare into the darkness yet again. Even after I told you to. Turn. It. Off. So I took your stuff. You can have it back later.”

“I thought it was off. I NEED MY PHONE. NOW!”

“Step off, son. Are you trying to wake the dead? Great! You woke up your sister. Just go. Stop arguing, and get yourself to the bus.”

“BUT… BUT…” Sputter, shuffle, slam.

“Oh, God,” I prayed. “Give me grace.”

NOTA BENE: I can neither confirm, nor deny, the veracity of this story, but rather leave it up to you, gentle reader, to decide for yourself if it’s true.

image

Barbie Princesses

God has a sense of humor. How do I know? First: He made you and me. Second: He made children. He also gave us the process whereby children are made. Ahem. I wonder if the angels look down upon us so engaged, and laugh? “This they call ‘love?'”

My wife and I have two of those miraculous entities known as “offspring.” And we also know a little (a very little) of the derision large families often receive: “You have how many?” Only for us the question is “They’re how far apart? What were you thinking?” We weren’t (did you not see the previous paragraph?).

Only that’s not quite true. Certainly passion played a part, but the truth is we were told we wouldn’t be having any children. And then eight years into our marriage, we had a son. A precious boy.

And then the Lord shutteth up my wife’s womb tighter than a water-proof drum.

We had our son, our miracle child, and thought we were done.

Eight years later, after years of questioning looks (“When are you having another one?”), unplanned, unexpected, unlooked (but not unhoped) for, the unthinkable:

In the sixteenth year of our marriage, my wife was pregnant again! “Didn’t plan that very well, did you?” people would ask. “We didn’t plan it at all,” we would invariably answer.

Folks didn’t quite know what to do with that, but it was marvelous in our eyes. We–my wife and I–were often rendered quite speechless at what the Lord had done…

Which brings me to right now, tonight, six years after our daughter entered our lives. As I was putting her to bed, she asked me to read her the story of Princess Aurora’s (Sleeping Beauty) wedding preparations. She has a pillow book deatailing the account of how the princess came to find just the right wedding gown.

My daughter is in every sense a little girl, and my princess. In fact, today is her birthday. Happy birthday, Bella! image

Her brother is no longer little, but is nevertheless very much all boy, and wants to be the hero. So it was, after reading Sleeping Beauty with my daughter, I found myself slaying orcs with my son. (And in the midst of this–two kids wanting my time and attention–my wife was down with a migraine. She hasn’t had one in years. Please pray for Lisa).

And I would like to think that God looks down with pleasure on my little family.

Both children were unlooked for, but both are entirely blessings. Having them in such different phases of life can be exhausting.

But neither my wife, nor I, would trade them in for anything.

When’s the last time the Lord brought something unexpected into your life? How did you respond?

Tired

randomlychad  —  May 19, 2012 — 3 Comments

Tiredness is a pressure behind my eyes, fatigue a constant companion.

Coffee–once maligned–now measured: not in cups, but pints.

I’m waiting, Lord, for the faith to become sight.

I’m tired.

Wrecked For The Better

randomlychad  —  February 22, 2012 — 4 Comments

20120222-105557.jpg

Ask my wife–she’ll tell you: I used to sleep like the dead. One of her favorite tales is to recount how, after bringing our son home from the hospital, she couldn’t rouse me that first night when he started crying. I don’t know how long she tried, but she finally gave up, grabbed her healing belly (to hold her innards in), and gingerly rolled herself out of bed.

I have no recollection of this, and only recount what I’ve been told. (To be fair, we’d gone into the hospital in the middle of the night as Wednesday rolled into Thursday, and were there until discharge on Sunday. So, yes: I. Was. Tired).
Continue Reading…