Thursday, February 18, 2010

Doing versus Being

Just before midnight Monday night, my daughter woke up crying. She was clammy and very hot. She had a temperature of 105 degrees and complaining of stomach pains. Naturally, my mind jumped to thoughts of appendicitis. Since we just moved here, we had yet to find an urgent care center near us. There are veterinary clinics aplenty, but nary a clinic to be found for the human patient. Mama-panic set in and I found myself feeling as sick as my sweet girl. What were we to do? I gave her some homeopathics and tried to make her as comfortable as possible.

Here we are 3 days later, and while it turned out not to be appendicitis, my daughter is still feeling miserable. All she wants to do is be held by me and cuddle. It got me to thinking about how I tend to operate when one of my children is sick. It seems I throw myself head-long into "doing" for my child: administer medicine, encourage fluids, wash germy bed linens, scour the internet and my alternative health books for advice, make meals and soups (for which my daughter has no appetite for anyway). Do. Do. Do.

Yet what seems to be the best medicine for my daughter has nothing to do with what I do. No matter what the illness, my children seem to benefit most from my just "be"-ing. Be there to cuddle and read on the couch. Be there to nod sympathetically when my daughter cries that she just doesn't know what she needs or wants. Be silent and stop barraging her with questions like, "How do you feel? Where does it hurt? What do you feel like eating?" Be still. Be patient. Be gentle. Be. Be. Be.

It's so hard to see the ones we love suffering. I think we feel compelled to take action. The sooner we attack the problem, the sooner we'll see results. While there is certainly some truth to this (obviously, I'm not saying we should forgo administering medicine or avoid consulting a doctor if needed), I think the benefits of undivided attention and unlimited doses of hugs and kisses are underrated. I wrote about this very thing last year. I guess in my anxiety and panic, I forgot to apply my own advice and insight. So, I've spent the majority of the last few days holding my four-year-old baby in my arms. I'm ignoring the impulse to get up and "do" more. For now, we're going to revel in just "be"ing together.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Whew! It feels like forever since I've been "connected" to the outside world. Since we don't have a tv or newspaper delivery and the radio stations we pick up are intermittent, I've felt so isolated and out-of-touch with the happenings in the world outside of these four walls. But, we finally have the internet and I'm slowly catching up on news (blog and otherwise).

In fact, my dear husband has taken the children on a little nature walk in the snow so I can curl up in bed with my cocoa and my laptop and check in with some of my favorite blogs. Call it a Valentine's Day present of sorts from him to me -- even though we actually don't celebrate Valentine's Day around here (as a "couple," I should say, although the children and I do Valentine crafts and such).

My, it's been a very interesting transition to our new life here in the mountains. Most of it has been wonderful. But naturally, with all things in life, it can't ALL be wonderful. We've hit some bumps in the road, but we continue to forge ahead and I'm so looking forward to filling you all in on the highs and lows (but, we shall be focusing most intensely on the highs as everyone has their own lows, so who wants to hear someone drone on about those, right?)

Well, the gang is back, so I will sign off here. I think plans are brewing for a fire and some marshmallow roasting. But I can't dash off before wishing you all a day filled with all things good, whatever "good" means to you: love of family and friends, a warm home, food on the table, a job, a hobby or interest that you feel passionate about, a good book paired with a yummy drink, a long nap, a hot soak in a tub, lunch and a movie with your sweetie, time alone to write in a journal, or prayers and good wishes sent your way from near and far. We all define a good day in a different way. So, whatever it is that you need, my wish is that you find it and feel it today.