Three things that made me sad this week:
1) A colleague of Craig's who works for another team lost his four-year-old son last week, suddenly. We don't know what happened beyond that it happened when they were traveling back from a trip, but by all accounts he seemed healthy prior. It's absolutely heartbreaking, and as parents of a four-year-old ourselves, not knowing what happened is sort of driving us nuts. It's almost like we need to know what unknown threat to four-year-olds might be floating around out there. I just can't imagine a lively four-year-old being silenced out of the blue like that. So sad.
2) I saw a story this week about a little boy with an affliction that doesn't allow him to smile. It's a neurological condition that impacts the muscles in the face, and as a result, he cannot form a smile. He's a year old now, and while there's a surgery that helps correct it, he can't have it until he's five. His parents can tell if he's happy by the sounds he makes and by the look in his eyes, but it must be so heartbreaking to never have seen your child look truly happy. On the surface it sounds so sad, but when you really think about it, it's so horrible. I think how happy it made me to have Carter start smiling, and how happy it makes me each time he smiles. I can't imagine living without that. To never have a picture of your child looking happy, to never get that validation of their joy, to know that you have five years of that before a surgery could fix it...ugh. The parents seem to have a great attitude about it, but what a sad problem to be born with.
3) Carter is sick. He's got a cold of some sort, and the cough is absolutely horrible. He started last weekend with congestion and a slight runny nose. He seemed better on his Christening day, but by the time I got home Tuesday night (more on that in a bit), his cough had taken a turn for the worse and sounded so horrible. It's continued since, and pains me every time it happens. I called the doctor who said that if his fever stayed low (it never went above 100), there was no need to bring him in. There probably isn't much they can do for him if it's just a cold anyway. I worry that maybe it'll cause him some respiratory problems, so if the cough keeps up or we notice any serious wheezing, we'll have to get him in. If it was RSV or something, it could probably stick around for a while, which will be sad. We did that with Jacob when he was two months old and got bronchiolitis. He had a cough for nine months, made worse by acid reflux. I'm hoping we don't have to deal with that with Carter. Once was tough enough.
On the flip side, here are three things that made me happy:
1) I taught Jacob how to play "War" this week. I got a deck of cards from work (swag from a publisher) and brought it home. I showed Jacob a card trick that my grandpa taught me years ago--possibly 20 years ago!--then had the brainstorm to teach him "War". He knows his numbers and it was an easy game to play with Carter on my lap, so off we went. He loved it! We played again the next night, and then he played with Craig last night and his cousin Anna today. It was so cute how much he enjoyed it. I love being able to engage him like that, which doesn't happen often with me. Such a simple thing!
2) I ran the Corporate Challenge this past Tuesday, and did it pretty well. It was my goal to run it after Carter was born, but I only had a month and a half to get ready for it once I was cleared to work out. I didn't quite get to train for it like I did last year when my goal was to run it in 30 minutes, but I got a few runs in and they went pretty well considering how much time I had taken off. This time around my goal was initially just to run it, then to run it in a respectable time (say, less than 35 minutes, which would be a 10 minute mile). I was averaging a little better than that, so I was hopeful. I ran with the girl who runs the gym and who teaches my Tuesday class. We were nervous about it because it was a very hot day and there was a threat of rain. The heat was a major concern, but fortunately as we were lining up a cool breeze began. It was still hot, but it was better. We managed to finish (my time was 32:25, somewhere just above a nine minute mile pace) and enjoy some snacks before we looked in the distance and noticed very dark clouds rolling in. People consulted their phones and there was a big blob on the radar so we packed up quickly. We hopped in the truck to go back to our cars just as it really started to rain. It absolutely poured but we avoided the worst of it. It felt great to finish the race, particularly since running in heat is not my forte and I just had a baby three months ago. It was a nice accomplishment and a fun night out for mama. Of course, I came back to two awake kids, including one sick baby. Craig wasn't feeling good either, so everything was in a little bit of chaos. I guess that's why I don't go out a lot! But it was a fun night regardless.
3) We had a good day today. We got to do two family parties--one in Rochester with my family for Memorial Day, and another with Craig's family in Buffalo for our nephew's birthday. It was fun to see everyone and give everyone their dose of Carter. He's still tiny enough that everyone loves holding him, and his smiles are a big hit. We ate a lot of great food and enjoyed so much good company. It was a very full day and I really should be in bed right now, but it's nice to have a few minutes to look back on the week. We have a busy rest of our long weekend ahead, including a trip to Toronto (minus Carter, who's hanging with my parents) to see the Braves play the Blue Jays. While I have a million things I'd love to be doing at home, I also love weekends like this that are full of family time and a little adventure. It should be a lot of fun.
Bonus random side note: On the list of things to be thankful for is that I wasn't in Seattle two weeks later than I was. Did you see the news story on Thursday night/Friday morning about the bridge that collapsed along I-5 outside Seattle? I crossed that bridge twice when I was there two weeks ago. I remember it vividly because it was a relatively low clearance bridge with a unique squared-off steel structure. I'd never seen anything like it, so it definitely stood out in my mind. Apparently an oversized load truck hit it somehow and it collapsed into a river. No one was killed but a couple cars did go into the river and a few people were injured. It happened one day shy of two weeks after I crossed it, almost to the hour. How scary! Perhaps it's something like that that worried me about taking a trip like that...something random and unexpected. Thankfully I came out unscathed and the trip went nearly as well as it possibly could have. I certainly appreciate the adventure I had and have been enjoying my memories (and pictures) ever since. As a mom I'm glad I did it...because those opportunities are few and far between, and if you don't take them when you have the chance, you end up resenting your situation later on. A little adventure can go a long way toward a happy mama!