Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adapting to change

I took Big Guy to the pediatrician yesterday; his body is covered in a fiercely itchy rash. Benadryl and hydrocortisone hardly make a dent, and Big Guy has scratched off sections of skin though his fingernails are always bitten to the quick. We now have a prescription for a steroid that hopefully will help. Big Guy's had weird reactions to steroids in the past. Like, really weird. So we've alerted his school, and are on the que vive.

All of that is just stuff to deal with, not a crisis. Oddly, what feels like a crisis is that this was probably the last time we'll see our pediatrician. One of the casualties of Andrew's job loss has been our health insurance, and though we've gotten State-funded coverage, Dr G doesn't take the new plan. We've been with him for 15 years, and I ache with the loss. Dr. G made me a better mother.

When I told Dr. G that we probably wouldn't see him again he looked stricken. And he told me that if we needed him, he would see us any time, with or without insurance.

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A decade ago I fell on the sidewalk and left a coating of knee there, and I have never again pooh-poohed a skinned knee. I am uniformly sympathetic to bitten tongues, and am generally accommodating of hormonal moodiness, too. These are uncomfy things about childhood and adolescence which I remember vividly. And though I daresay my children often feel just as misunderstood as anyone else's, it helps, I hope, that there are some areas in which I can be counted on for empathy.

As I go through the steps needed to reinvent our life and keep us afloat (find decent schools for the kids, look for work, consider the logistics of full-time employment, deal with the grief of giving up the family closeness of homeschooling), I remind myself to hold in mind how difficult change can be. Right now the changes are abstract; eventually they will affect my kids directly in one way or another. I try to make transitions as seamless as possible, but one item on my long-term to-do list is "help kids adapt". I don't know how to do that. Yet.

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A neighbor is nearly two weeks overdue with her second child, and anxious. I saw her in the hallway today and told her all the wrong things, then emailed her to say some of the right ones. I have vivid memories of being at that point in my life. I was afraid that somehow I'd ruined my life. How would I ever manage with a second child?

And the things is: you do manage. You sputter and stumble a bit, and then get better at the logistics, and it doesn't take long before you start to grow in ways you never knew it was possible to grow. Your comfort zone grows along with your competence. And you stop worrying about the how can I ever? aspect of life, because you learn to trust that somehow you'll figure out how do what you have to do.


  1. You are an amazing woman and in my prayers. I am saddened by your husband's job loss, having admired his work for Guideposts. I pray for your family as well. It's so easy to say God is in control, but He really is and has a better plan for all of you.

  2. I am so sorry to hear of Andrew's job loss, I have enjoyed following you two for so many years in Guideposts. Will keep you in prayer and big guy too!

  3. Oh Julia, I KNOW, I KNOW.....sometimes it is like those domino set-ups
    in which one domino knocks down the one behind it and then the one
    behind that.....

    When I asked one of our friends if life could get worse, she assured
    me that it COULD..

    YET, I think that the Lord is going to surprise all of us and is probably
    putting together His plans at this moment. I can't wait for the miracles
    of Christmas!

    Love and prayers, Shirley