For the first time in a long time, the temperature in Chicago was well over 40 degrees today... AND the sun was shining. Both were a God-send as today had the potential to be very dreary and cold. More on that later.
The sunshine, which is so scarce in Chicago this time of year, was a welcome departure from the gray and brown hues that characterize February. I know it's not like this everywhere. My in-laws are in Florida for the winter - and often poolside this time of year - and my sister loves to call me from Denver and remind me I should seriously consider moving every day it's over 60 in January and February - which is pretty frequently. Although today she was getting kinda cold in the backyard, and needing to go in and put on a jacket since it was 52. It was 45 here and I was driving with my window down. It's all relative. So in the geography that is the midwest, any color, light or warmth are welcome this time of year.
Which is why I have to say a collective "thank you" to everyone who has encouraged me in this endeavor to write publicly. Some of my techie friends have even let me know they are subscribing to my rss feed. I have no idea what that means, but I'm grateful for the support. Your encouragement for me to continue writing is my daily dose of sunshine when the cloud cover reigns.
I took off work today to be with the kids who were off of school. Normally in the middle of winter I like to take them somewhere fun to break up the monotony but medical needs took precendence and we spent another day in and out of doctor's offices.
Ryan got two teeth pulled (long story) and was very courageous when we decided at the last minute to go the novacaine route instead of being sedated. Actually I would have preferred if we could have both been sedated, but God is all about building character and that's what happened in the oral surgeon's office today. It's hard to make decisions that you know are going to inflict pain on people you love, especially your children, even when you know it's a better option long term. It's even harder to stare into the face of the pain and not waiver. So I'm holding his hand and letting him squeeze as hard as he can and assuring him it's going to be okay which is exactly what God is doing for me at the same time because truth is I just want the kid to get some relief and I'm really not all that interested in building his character right now.
We get through it. They even give him his two baby teeth for the tooth fairy in a little container. We come home and relax for several hours before he finally feels good enough to force me to make good on my promise to buy him any set he wants in the LEGO store for being brave enough to forego the gas (which saved us a LOT of money).
799 lego pieces later we have a very happy boy.
So off to the other appointment to get Maggie's staples out. She was so busy consoling her twin up until that point, that it's only right before going into the room that she gets very nervous. We were thrilled that it was our favorite doctor in the practice who goes to our church and knows us so well (especially since we missed her the last two times). Maggie is by far my most fearless kid with this kind of stuff but even she is a little woozy when all is said and done. On the way home we stop at Target to get plenty of cold, soft food for Ry to eat and a new DVD for Maggie, who is so grateful for the gesture even knowing the price tag difference between her "compensation" and Ryan's. She decides to keep one of the staples which is in the shape of an "M" for Maggie, or "E" for Eder or "W" for Woozy or "3" depending on how you hold it. She considers bringing it to school on Monday to show all the kids.
So on a day of "extractions" I was reminded that these imperfect bodies we live in need all sorts of maintenance and I began to appreciate all the ways, God gets surgical on us and determines to remove all the debris that piles up in our mouths and heads. Sometimes its quick and gentle, other times it's painful and unexpected and takes a while to recover. But I know He's holding my hand and assuring me it's going to be alright. I think He might even be smiling and hinting at a reward for my troubles later on.