It takes a village, and ours is wonderful.

This past week was trying.  Not necessarily *bad*, just very different from the usual routine, which can be exhausting.  I had to take two days off work…one to take the kids to the doctor for physicals, the other for my younger boy’s oral surgery.  Taking the day off for their physicals wasn’t a big deal, really, except for the fact that I’m utterly swamped at work.  The stuff I’m doing at work isn’t bad…it’s fun, actually, and I’m pretty good at it…it’s just SO MUCH that needs to be done, and there’s not time to finish it all.  As long as I can keep chipping away at it, I’ll be fine, but I really could have used that day to get work done.

Thursday was oral surgery day.  That day was quite different than physical day because we had the stress of our four year old going under general anesthesia.  Oh, and the whole not eating from 10pm the night before until the surgery started at noon…which turned out to be 1:00…that broke my heart, and that’s probably the part that made me the most nervous.  But to my surprise, he was super good about it!  He mentioned on the car ride up there that we forgot to eat “breftist,” and one other time he mentioned that he was hungry, but that was it!  If he was in any discomfort from being hungry, he never, ever showed it.  He wasn’t even cranky.

We got to the hospital at 10 that morning for the surgery that was supposed to start at noon.  We checked in and went to the 9th floor where we walked into the shabbiest looking waiting room that contained about 10 kids and their parents.  We sat on the floor while our son played.  At least there were enough toys to distract him.  I’m not a fancy or snobby person, but this hospital was looking rough, which left me really unsettled.  We waited, and waited, and waited, until they finally called us in to take us for the final stage of preparation before the actual operating room.  By the time they took him to the OR, we were an hour and 15 minutes later than the time they gave us.  We had been waiting at the hospital for 3 hours and 15 minutes and he had gone without food and water for 15.5 hours.  The surgical team (dentist, nurse, and anesthesia) were all really nice.  After they took him to the OR, we were shown a waiting room that was so cramped that when we sat in chairs against one wall, there was barely a walkway between our knees and the knees of the people sitting across from us.  Surgery took about an hour, it went very well, and after the initial grogginess wore off, our son perked back up and was back to almost normal in no time.  He did fall asleep in the car, fairly unusual for him, but that was it…our same old Ollie was back.  We were advised to give him Motrin or Tylenol for pain but he never needed it.  We were so relieved to have gotten through it.  We struggled with the decision to go that route and were unsettled about it the whole time, but we’re beyond grateful that it went as well as it did.

I didn’t really plan on telling the story of Ollie’s oral surgery…The real reason I wanted to write was because I felt so good today, and I want to remember this feeling.  When things get bad, I forget how awesome it is to feel good, and maybe, somehow, by coming back to this story, it will help me get things back into perspective when I’m feeling down, because unfortunately, for the better part of each week…I’m pretty down.

Last night (Friday) was a special Pound class.  It had a glow in the dark theme, and it was a fundraiser for a scholarship that our gym is starting.  The cool thing about this class was that we were allowed to take kids ages six and up, so Gabe finally got to do Pound.  We had a great time and even won a raffle basket.  We stayed after the party and I talked to the owner of the gym while Gabe ran around with his friends.  As we walked in the door, Gabe signed contentedly and with a smile in his voice, said “mother-son bonding”.  We got home and Chris was in bed, but he was still awake, so we got to spend some time together before going to sleep.  Seems like we don’t have much time to talk without interruption, so we took advantage of that!  Saturday morning we got up and again I had some time with Chris before he headed to the gym.  Normally I’d go to Pound, but they didn’t have it this morning since they had it last night, so we had an hour to spend together.  He left for the 9:00 class and the boys and I puttered around the house.  A little bit after Chris got home, Gabe and I left for the Farmers’ Market to pick up the gift I ordered for my brother’s wedding next week.  Now, no trip to the Farmers’ Market is ever a quick trip, and true to that fact, Gabe and I were there for almost two hours.  As soon as we got there we started talking to friends.  Gabe went to the maple syrup vendor’s table and saw that the pancakes on the griddle were done, so he picked up the spatula and put the pancakes on the plate, then he sat at the table as if he were working there.  While he did that, I wrote out the check to the artisan who made the gift, and he offered to carry it to my car.  The maple syrup vendor invited Gabe to stay with him while I went to my car, which was a reminder to me that the vendors at the Farmers’ Market are more like family.   As I walked to my car with my artisan friend, we talked about the importance of supporting local businesses, how fortunate we are to live where we live and have what we have, and things like that.  He was super grateful for my business and seemed to appreciate my positive viewpoint about our community and taking care of the people who live in it.  After he put the gift in my car, we were walking back and we saw a vendor who was packing up his van, and his arm was in a sling, so we jumped in and helped him load his van.  I bought some eggs from a vendor who I don’t know super well, but who recognized me and asked where the boys were.  We went to another table where our wise medicine woman friend was starting to take down her table.  We chatted the whole time she was packing up her merchandise, and we helped carry it to her car, where we talked some more.  Gabe really wanted an origami book from the library, which was right across the street, so after weighing out the pros and cons, I decided to have him go into the library alone.  We know at least two people who work there, so I knew there was a good chance that he’d find one of them, and even if he didn’t, he knows his way around there pretty well.  I figured I’d only be another minute talking to our friend, but several minutes later I was still trying to get away.  Not that I wasn’t enjoying our conversation, mind you, I was just feeling a little guilty for sending Gabe into the library for that long alone.  Truthfully, it was no more than 10 minutes…probably quite a bit less, actually, but I wasn’t sure that it would be proper to leave an eight year old in the library for that long alone, and I was feeling a little nervous/guilty.  But after we finished talking, hugged, and parted ways, I went in the library to find Gabe perfectly fine, seeking out one more book that he wanted.  He had already found two, and I later found out that he asked the lady at the front desk, who is our neighbor, for help, and she suggested some books she thought he’d like.  I found the other one he wanted, then our neighbor/friend let him check out the books himself!

After we got home I realized how happy I felt.  I was so full of love from our community, both from last night and from this morning/early afternoon.  We’re so fortunate to live where we do, in a community so full of caring, trustworthy people.  It was a beautiful reminder that it takes a village to raise a child, and as far as villages go, we hit the jackpot.

I am posting this without proofreading.  It may or may not make sense, and if it doesn’t, I will correct it later.

It takes a village, and ours is wonderful.

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