When we first moved here, those first couple weeks/months were rough. It was when my cousin told me about this park on the hill that I discovered my little happy place in the midst of my loneliness. I find that it is still the first place I go back to when I’m having a difficult week.
Last month, after another long round of finals…my husband finally had a long-awaited week off. We were so giddy as we planned day dates and exciting family adventures. We even considered pulling the kids out of school for a day and running away to the beach. We counted down the days.
To make the two weeks of finals more complicated, my brother and his bride got married the weekend between those two hectic weeks. And since we love them ooooooh so dearly, we sacrificed some study time to fly halfway across the country to be there.
My daughter, full of curiosity, spent most of the flight touching everything in sight and, despite our efforts, wound up with a cold. Of course. She then proceeded to pass it around the family (because she can’t keep her hands to herself…but then again, what 6-year-old can?). We tried to keep the baby in a bubble, but just as the rest of us were on the mend, he came down with it.
As you may know, when a baby is born 6 weeks premature, often times their lungs have some catching up to do. So when our little Marshmallow got his first cold, it turned out to be a doozy. Actually, it turned out to be Croup. And even though our family has a history of Croup and we did every home remedy in the book, we know our limits.
On night 3 (or so), I was laying in bed with Marshmallow fast asleep in my arms, the only place he would sleep. And since he was congested and had this horrible cough, I laid there in the dark wide awake to monitor his breathing. Somewhere around 1:00 AM, I felt him flailing in my arms and flipped on the lamp to see him showing every sign of crying but not able to make a peep. My little baby had lost his voice! In a panic, I woke up my husband and after a quick assessment, he decided it was time to head to the ER. (It was the weekend and we had already called the nurses hotline the night before so we knew it was time.)
To make a long story short, we wound up in the Pediatric unit for a couple nights until he could recover. It was a long, scary, and exhausting weekend. And needless to say, all our plans for our “week off” quickly disappeared as all our focus went to our littlest love and his recovery, as well as our older two, who spent the entire weekend at friends’ houses and struggled a bit at school that week due to worry and exhaustion.
By the time the week was over and we prepared for my husband to head back to his school, I was in tears. Not only did we not get a break whatsoever, but, in fact, I was way more exhausted than I already was. It was like we couldn’t catch our breaths.
I beeeeegged for just one special moment before the weekend came to a close and when my husband asked what I had in mind, I knew that my happy place was the solution.
So despite the grumpy attitudes and the quickly winding down baby, we pushed forward, packing some sweatshirts and throwing everyone in the car for a quick trip to the park. We promised to let the kids play if they would come enjoy the sunset on the hill with mama.
And just like that – the attitudes disappeared. The grumpiness sloughed off. The frustrations of the week began to melt away as the sun settled, casting the most perfect golden shimmer on sun-scorched hills.