It's well after midnight as I write this, and the house is finally still, now that I have broken down and turned the AC on. I've been unable to sleep, and neither have the kids, with both Cadence and Hazel tossing and turning and rolling over each other and into walls so much in the past hour that I've hardly laid still myself, and then I actually woke James up to let him know he wasn't doing his part to prevent and deal with the chaos. Not one of my finer moments.
Anyway, I thought maybe I should check the thermostat and tweak it enough to get a few minutes of cool wind in here, and I'm glad I did. 12:30am and it was 80 degrees in here, its no wonder we were having trouble sleeping. Both girls settled down within minutes of the air kicking in, but I thought I'd take a few minutes to reflect here, since I haven't in so long, and there is so much going on, and I need a moment to breathe.
Yesterday was the kind of day that makes me so grateful for everything. We kind of did it all...The girls got up and painted nails with Nana, we all shared a healthy breakfast out on the porch with our friend Sandy, enjoying the sun and a cool breeze...I helped the kids plant some herbs in little pots my mom gave them, the three of us worked on redecorating the pinata for Cadence's upcoming birthday party (it's currently a cupcake, but she's determined to transform it into a rose. OK, DIY craftiness, GO!), I got to play with the kids and even had a pretty serious conversation with Hazel about growing up that broke my heart in a good way. James got a run in before studying, and then played with the kids while I cooked and mom and Sandy did a deep cleanse of mom's bedroom. I got to share some exciting accomplishments with my dad and talk to my sister who is off in NZ. Sandy led us through the first phase of making homemade tutus, and I got to see both kids handling the fabrics and scissors and choices so deftly and thoughtfully...by the time we finally crawled off my mom's bed where we'd all been watching Daily Show and turned in, I was exhausted, but it was well worth it.
Today, things are a little different. Not bad, certainly, but certainly less idyllic.
Mom had another dose of chemo today, so she and Sandy were gone for most of the day, which set the kids off on a rather sideways sort of mood. We tried to cheer them up with a trip to the playground, but that backfired because it was too hot to play. (Right, we're in the south again. Must remember that.) We did get to swing for a decent bit, at least. But I was so exhausted when we got home I crashed on the couch, unable to keep my eyes open. That just let to general grumpiness and frustration for everyone, since every few minutes someone would shake me away from drifting off shouting "MOM!" and I'd have to get up to do something, and then would crash back down...so I never actually got the rest, the kids didn't get the attention they wanted from me, and James was having trouble studying since the kids weren't occupied and were demanding just as much of him as they were from me. Anyway, when Sandy brought mom back she was feeling ill and looking pale. She was still in good spirits, though, Sandy was able to make her laugh once and she watched So You Think You Can Dance with us, but it is somewhat sad to see her go from being as vibrant and energetic as she was yesterday, at the end of her 'week off' from chemo, to this evening where the cancer seems so much more tangible. But, I know it is a good thing, ultimately, and as much as I hate to see her suffer I am so glad she's fighting this thing and enduring this torture so she can kick this cancer's butt. She's doing everything she can to lick this thing, and so far the scans indicate that it's working. So I am glad. And I am so grateful to be here now, able to do a bit more than offer moral support, and hopefully play a part in making this more livable for her while she trudges on through. And I remind myself that even with the day's frustrations, there was so much good stuff too. We had fun together, going to the grocery store all together, Hazel used the potty, Cadence was able to identify ingredients in our cooking dinner by the smell - even getting the kids washed off was a mostly pleasant event tonight.
All in all, all of this - be it addressing behavioral wrinkles that need ironing out, searching for our next home and source of income, dealing with insurances or enduring chemo side effects and the broken sternum the tumor gifted mom with - these are our daily battles, and from where I am right now, exhausted, worried, but grateful and glad, I think we're winning.