2009 was a difficult year, but I learned lots of lessons. I think one of the biggest ones was to take care of myself. So from now on I'm doing that more. I can't give or serve if I run myself out.
Little Steve turns 1 today. I have a toddler. I can't believe it. I still take comfort in those moments when he wants me to hold him (and his bottle!), as I do miss my little peanut.
I can't believe that it's been a year. The past year has truly gone by in a flash, can it have really happed so quickly? I'm thinking back on this day last year, the weather wasn't as cold, but it was a sunny day like today. At this time last year I was hollering (haha, I can laugh about it now) at the top of my lungs. I was NOT prepared for labor. But when I finally released him into this world, and I got to hold him, it was like the poles shifted. At least they did in my world.
My son is like my fuel, he's the reason I get up in the morning (even when I don't want to!!!!), he's the reason I don't (and can't) give up. He brings me immense joy (and at times, like when he's taking things out of the trash can or reaching into the toilet, immense frustration). He's so spirited and funny. I believe that he will talk soon. It's so cute, seeing him try to express what he wants or needs. He'll come to you grunting, and I swear I've seen him stamp his foot a time or two. The temper tantrums are amusing to a point. He's learning to like "people food". His current favorite is potato chips. However, he hasn't learned to completely chew them, so eventually Mommy ends up cleaning up the carpet. Ah, but I'm used to it now.
Little Steve was very sick the week before Christmas. It was a frightening time. He woke up on Sunday the 12th, feeling very irritable. Early Monday morning I took him to the ER because he was running a high fever, and I personally wasn't feeling that well, either. They didn't find anything wrong with him at that time, and they didn't find anything wrong with me. They figured it was just a cold. That irritated Mama, because a cold doesn't give a baby a fever of 103.7. Well, we took him home and kept giving him Tylenol.
When the Tylenol wore off, his fever came back. For a week straight. Two more ER visits, and we learned he had an ear infection. We got some antibiotics on the second visit, but two days later Little Man was very dehydrated. It's a scary thing when you see that your child is not himself. All day Sunday Little Man either slept or just lay in bed. This is a child who wakes up happy and doesn't stop running until he's about to drop. Then it's time to crawl onto Mommy and go to sleep. His fever kept coming back and I asked Steve to look up signs of dehydration. We took the baby back to the ER, and this time they tried to give him an IV. Didn't go over well. Besides the fact that he was dehydrated, you can't expect an 11-month-old to understand why his hand is suddenly on fire. 4 people could not pin him down, two of those people were his parents. After they gave up on the IV for a while, he started drinking and going to he bathroom again, so we were released, and we took him home. A few days later, he was back to his old self. Just in time to enjoy Christmas.
School starts for me today. I had to quit my job in light of Little Man getting sick, as there was no one to care for him. Steve has no leave, and when your child has a fever, daycare cannot keep them. I had trouble getting my boss to understand this. But I forgive her, she is young, rich, and as yet without children. Her bottom dollar is her bottom line. My son is my raison d'etre. Bottom line for me is that I'm a mother before I am ANYTHING else. I could not expect her to understand that, and as the week went on and he didn't get better, I realized that I had made the best choice for my family, even if it meant that we might suffer temporarily on the financial front. At the end of the day, God meets our needs. I have seen that time and time again. We may not drive a fancy car or live in a big house, but when it comes to love, my son is a Prince among princes. He is secure in the knowledge that his parents are united around him, and that is worth more to me than any worldly accolades.
I'm continuing my Christian studies degree. As I've sat over the past few weeks and thought about my work life, I've come to realize that my unhappiness in my place of work has stemmed from the fact that often I have operated from a different place of ethics than many I have worked with. I believe that the workplace is hard for any Believer. You are supposed to approach situations differently with the knowledge that you have of Christ. But I have come to learn that I'm too much of a caretaker to just make money for people. I have plans for what I'm to do with my degree, but that is several years down the line. I'm choosing to just pray on it and tuck those plans within myself or a while.
As I sit and think about it, I realize that I'm never going to be a "success" by worldly standards. At least it is not my goal to be. I'll probably never be rich, I'll never be a CEO. But I know now that God has given me all the tools I need to be happy in life, and also all the tools I need to give back and serve. I'm growing a bit weary of the materialism in this world; it's all fine and dandy to have nice things, but these days people place their sense of self on these things that they cannot take with them when they leave here. I want to build something that lasts...even after I'm gone from this world. In the mind of my son, as well as in the life to come. Perhaps elsewhere as well. If I'm to "make a name for myself", let it be doing something other than getting rich. I'm not knocking money, it's just that I've seen the emptiness that comes from just relying on that. Our media is flooded with people, youth especially who are placing too much stock in what they can accrue. It's not healthy.
Well, my son is too quiet. Time to go see what he's torn up now. :-)