Do not for a second imagine that just because I am not posting that all is quiet and peaceful here at casa Carrien. Quite the contrary. It has been an eventful week of the kind that taking care of people will draw you into if you truly mean it when you say, "I'm here for you if you need me, just let me know."
It has involved middle of the night knocks on the door, waiting for the police to show up, watching many children while their mom gets important things done, holding someone while she cries for a very long time over a situation that will not change; you know, all the normal stuff that happens in a week.
I will not be telling those stories. They aren't mine to tell. But I can assure you that it is mentally and emotionally draining to be walking through them with the people we have been given to love. I can also assure you that it is very worth it. Aaron and I are of a mind that it is a privilege to be called upon in this way, to be allowed to give help where we already love.
Also there was the start of school, and a return to early busy mornings and time set aside just for the learning conversation we continue to engage in.
I can tell you that after a week of this kind of thing it took all I had to keep it together on Sunday taking care of babies in the nursery at church. (A job I rarely do.) Because keeping 5 babies who want their mommies, all on the verge of tears, distracted and somewhat calm for an hour and a half just so their moms could enjoy sitting quietly for a change was just frustrating, frustrating work. Especially when I've already used up most of my emotional and mental reserves. I particularly don't like nursery because I never left my kids there until they were old enough to enjoy it without crying and it bothers me that other parents do.
But, those moms may have had a worse week than mine and needed the break. I don't know. So I smiled, and colored, and sang silly songs with actions and doled out goldfish crackers to children plaintively calling, "Mama?" while their lower lips quivered ominously.
On the way to church Little vomited all over herself in the car. It was church so a friend with a change of clothes the right size was easy to locate and borrow from. She stayed with Aaron while I was in nursery to keep her from infecting anyone else. It was to late to just stay home.
Yesterday she seemed better; no fever, and she played all day, with the two girls I was watching, who also had low grade fevers. After school there were 7 kids in and out of my house. Then, the Boy's friend puked all over the sidewalk out front.
Today Little woke me up a bit early by vomiting green bile all over me and my pillow. It's not looking good. I'm holding my breath for another round of illness to sweep through our family, yet again.
It's eventful, and the events I can describe. What eludes words is the deep joy that runs under, through, and around a week like this and remains even when I'm bone tired and wonder how much longer before I get a break, and the contentment that attends the sleepy realization at the end of long days that I am doing my best, and it is enough.