I love the glimpses I get of my kids' imaginations sometimes. Riley's friends have been great about including Amani when they play. Last week, the boys told me that they were "robot-coyote-superheroes" and that Amani was their King. Amani had no clue, of course, but he happily sat on the step at the playground as the boys ran back and forth.
Another day, I kept a friend of mine's little boy for the morning. I managed four little ones for half a day! We had a great time (I really do think I want four kids!) but one of my favorite parts was when the three oldest ones decided to dress up. Riley was in his ironman costume, Allyn put on a princess/dancing dress, and Pearson (our friend) chose a cowboy hat. And here's the conversation that followed:
Riley: Hey Mommy. Pearson and I are Superheroes. I'm Ironman and he's a Cowboy. We live in Cowboy world.
Pearson: Yeah! Yeee-Haw!
Allyn: Well, I'm in princess world!
Riley: Yes you are. And we all have a LOT of work to do!
I love how quickly they can launch themselves into another "world."
Lately I've noticed I've launched myself into another "world." It's unfamiliar to me, though. I'm in the world of second-guessing and, to be honest, I'd rather be in princess world with Allyn (and you know I am NOT into princesses).
For some reason I am second-guessing everything we do with Amani lately. He'll have a great day and I'll think we're really doing well and then the next day will be just really rough and I will wonder if we're doing everything wrong. Anytime he cries for an extended period of time I worry about what that's going to do to him in the long run. I worry all the time if things I'm doing or not doing now are going to come back to haunt us in ten years.
I am simultaneously aware of how resilient kids are and how crucial these first few months are with him.
And we made a mistake already. Not a huge one, but one that's set us back a bit. Ugh.
We went out of town to my in-laws both to visit them and to participate on the senior retreat with the youth group. We were only there two full days (three nights) but it turns out it was too soon for traveling. Amani seemed fine the first day, but then the second day he started having some trouble falling asleep. By the time we'd made the drive home, he was crying all the time again. He cried for about 5 hours straight on Sunday evening. I could barely get frozen waffles toasted for dinner that night!
And now that we've been home three days, I'm still seeing some behaviors we'd already gotten through. It is so frustrating and heartbreaking to see. Tonight as he fell asleep, he did some of the same things he did when we were in Ethiopia to try to keep himself awake. And he's been going to sleep for me without so much as a whimper and the past two nights we've had full-on crying & kicking. Argh.
But the good part is that we know how to handle it better now. And Amani knows now that it is possible to go away from home and come back. And I've been keeping him close (in the sling), where he's happy, so he's been great during the day.
For those of you wondering about his surgery update... I found out this week that he will need one more surgery. I can't tell you how bummed out I am about it. I really had convinced myself that he wouldn't need any more. And I was so sad that I forgot to ask big questions like, "will he be under general or local anesthesia?" But the good news is that, unlike the last one, this is a surgery we can put off for 6-8 months. We'll have more time to stabilize our relationship before he has to be in recovery again. I am SO thankful for that.
And while I'm so sad that my baby has to have surgery again, I am praising God that we live in a place where his surgeries are no big deal. We can improve the quality of his life without any hassle and he's getting surgeries he would never have had access to in Ethiopia.
God is good! :)