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  • Writer's pictureStephanie

Chicken Little

Home.  We are home.  Keep your pancake away from your brother’s surgical head incisions.  Maple syrup is not an appropriate dressing!  I said it.  Oh yes I did.

Welcome back to life.

Here, when breakfast falls on the floor (or gets thrown), there are no housekeepers waiting in the halls to heroically swoop in with a mop at the press of a call button.  But at least the breakfast doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Here, we don’t get tested for fatigue or hair loss because it’s clearly the result of indefatigable offspring who cause the hair to be pulled.  But at least we know the cause.

Here, there is no waiting for doctors or tests or procedures.  Here is breathless.  Busy.  But at least we don’t have to wait.

Here is my kitchen.  There is no cafeteria or room service.  In the hospital, I snacked on pre-sliced mangos and peanut butter energy balls.  Here, if I don’t make it, seven people don’t eat.  But at least we eat (or not) together.

Here, if there is fever or crying or pain in the night, there is no nurse to ease it.  But at least I get to hold my own babies when they need me.

Here I administer hugs and hard medicine, discipline and consequence.  But at least I do it while loving them with all my heart.

Here, I buy the diapers.  Here, I answer the questions.  Here, life falls heavy on my shoulders.  Here, I largely feel as if I am running crazy in circles under a falling down sky.  And I want to panic and maybe just a little bit run back to the sterile stern walls of the hospital where life is black and white and not fifty shades of gray and chartreuse and orange crayons and purple bruised knees and pink eye and chocolate milk spots on the walls…

But at least I am home.  All the crazy that is my normal can resume in its colorful glory.  It is good to be here.

Welcome back to life.

ready to leave the hospital

leaving the hospital

On Thursday, Ben’s IV in his neck looked bad when the visiting nurse came to change the dressing over it.  He has a Picc line, a sort of longer-term IV tube that they allowed us to come home with.  This way, he can still get a good dose of antibiotics for a full 21 days without having to sit in a hospital bed for it.  But this port for the anti-infection medicine looked a bit infected.  Ironically.

So, yesterday, we were supposed to get a new one.  This is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.  It’s not brain surgery; it’s just a headache.  But it still collides with little things like homeschooling and breakfast (he can’t eat before the procedure, try explaining that to a three year old) and laundry and paying bills and nursing the baby and maintaining some semblance of a schedule and roasting a chicken for supper and scrubbing chocolate milk off the baseboards.  And Friday I spent hours playing phone tag with doctor’s secretaries to figure out who should look at it – just look at it – because I have never seen a Picc line up close before this.  And why do they all ask me if it looks right because I have never seen one before since thankfully this is my first rodeo and I am a novice in this ring but I am on this wild ride and I’m not planning to let go so help me find the stirrup, cowboy… er, doctor.  And they did.  And they didn’t like its look either.  So they took it out.

But we didn’t get a new Picc line yesterday because we have to make sure an infection didn’t creep into his bloodstream while it was open to the wild world.  Instead they drew a lot of blood and injected him with antibiotics.  So we wait to see.  And we get to wait at home rather than in that sterile world of beeping monitors and the stress that gives you pimples.

It is good to be here.


We came home from the doctor’s yesterday evening, Ben and I.  He winced slightly as I picked him up out of the car seat, but didn’t complain.  He was preoccupied, peering intently past my shoulder at the sky.  “Where is it?” He craned his neck gingerly.  “Where’s the plane?”

I hadn’t noticed the sound yet, but any self-respecting three year old boy wouldn’t let it pass without mentioning.  Of course, we searched the heavens together.

The sky wasn’t falling.  When I looked up into the cold clear January air, it was still there.  The first star twinkled in the East even as the Sun settled in glorious color behind us.  “The sky’s too big; I can’t see the plane!”  My three year old fussed.

“Yes,” I murmured in agreement.  “The sky is very big.”

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man, that You are mindful of Him, and the son of man, that You visit him?  Psalm 8:3-4

I stood in awe.  I stood in my frustration and the maybe just a little bit freaking out overwhelmingness of my normal.  I stood under the big sky and felt my insignificance.  I stood there, aware that God has great plans and big hands to hold all that is significant.  And I felt small.

And I felt His heart beating with mine.

After all, the God of the heavens watched His Son bleed too.  He, so big and powerful He could make the sun and hold it in the sky, He also held His Son as his life blood poured out. His Son looked up at His Father with trusting, hurting eyes, and asked if there was any other way.  And His Father looked down at Him with all the love that there is, literally, and said no.  There was no other way.

He loved us, little and insignificant of all His glorious creation.  He loved us, dirty and thankless and more like pond scum than like heavenly stars.  He loved us far beyond our own capacity to love Him back.

He is big.  He is glorious.  He is awesome.  But He knows what it’s like to watch your son be hurt.  He knows that in order to bring life, His son had to suffer.  He knows what it’s like to walk through the messy chaos of humanity, step by humble, muddy step.  He knows what it’s like to be dead and buried.  And then be brought back.

Welcome back to life.

Under that big, solid sky, I breathed in slowly, humbled by the immense place of unity I’ve been given.  He walked under these same heavens Himself.  He’s not sending me on an untrodden path.  He’s been here before me.  Big though they are, I’m walking in His shoes.

It is good to be here.


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