Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Days 5-8

Boy, time sure does fly when you haven't blogged. Three days already. Wow...

June must be a feverish month this year because now my little boy has a fever. It may be mild by medical standards but he is horrified. It started last night. He woke up screaming, tense and flushed. I thought perhaps he had some gas and had rosied his color by crying so. He did not want to nurse. He was only soothed if I sat up and rocked him, side to side, back and forth. He calmed down then but he was still warmer then usual. After multiple attempts at laying down with him he finally fell asleep, a worn out bundle shuddering in my arms. I gingerly laid down and cuddled him against me. His tiny frame would tighten occasionally and then relax back into sleep. Every now and then a phlegmy cough would disturb him, his form pressing heavier against my chest as slumber returned. I was relieved to finally drift off myself, thankful for his momentary contentment.

Forty-five minutes later he awoke with a shudder. He screamed and could not be comforted unless I sat up and rocked him against me, my arms nestling him tightly as we rocked side to side, back and forth. I would start to drift off and long to lie down but any attempt at the horizontal, not matter how slight would make him stiffen his legs and shriek. It finally subsided and we were able to resume our huddled sleep. This sequence was repeated at least two more times, though I think it may have been three (I was not fully awake and my memory is poor anyway). The last episode occurred sometime in the 5am range, though how long it lasted I am not sure. The light was just appearing as a blue richness ever brightening behind my creamy colored curtains when I closed my eyes to sleep.

Sometime thereafter my three year old darling came into my room. At first she was content to lay there while she slowly adjusted to wakefulness. Around 6:30 however she was awake and bored with waiting. She decided to hold my son's hand. Normally a perfectly harmless and adorable thing to do. In this case however he woke up, jerking me oh so reluctantly back to consciousness with his petrified howling. I tried to nurse him but he didn't even notice. The only comfort was the rocking, side to side, back and forth, while I struggled to stay upright.

Surprisingly however, the day has been pleasant. I decided to cut both of us a break "and let the rest of the world go by". So my main activity today was holding my son in an upright seated position and rocking him side to side, back and forth. It was a lovely way to spend the day. The challenge was to keep from rocking myself to sleep.

As for days 5-7, much was accomplished towards my goal. I considered every object in my bedroom with a critical eye and reorganised my jewelry, keepsakes and photo albums. I have a motley collection of thrift store photo albums. I labeled them all by date and organised them chronologically. I arranged my miscellaneous personal articles on the shelf below that. I don't know exactly what all was cluttering up my shelves but now I know what is left on them and can find what I want easily.

Evaluating my own belongings has proven much lighter work then trying to weed though my children's things. Almost every article of clothing, each toy, drawing and trinket have some memory associated with it. I fear that if I jettison the object the memory will float away as well. A I mentioned earlier, my memory is less the perfect and all these physical ties to the past root me down and keep the soil of my thoughts from eroding out from under me. Yet I need to let go. I cannot be tied to the material world so closely that I end up becoming a slave to these things. I need to trust that my memories will be there when I need them. Maybe I am just so busy right now making new memories that my recall is a little slow. And I can write. That can be my seawall to protect myself against the powerful ocean of time.

That does not mean that I am not saving things. Oh, no. I am sure that I am still keeping more then is good for us. It is too much clutter to carry around with us. I am trying to evaluate each item as if I were moving. Would I really want to pack and unpack this? Would I want to move another box just to bring this along? It gives me a different perspective on my stuff. Sometimes, often actually, I am not sure what to do with a particular item. So I put it aside to be reconsidered later. When I come across that laundry basket of the girl's dresses, the one that I hid underneath their bunk beds Sunday night, will I have missed them? Will any of my daughter's have missed them? If the answer is no, then off to the thrift store they go.

Turning a critical eye to all of our worldly goods has been stressful but rewarding. Still, it is yet to be established whether or not this physical streamlining will actually help me to simplify my life. Am I making less or more work for myself? We will see.

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