I always thought I loved Christmas, and every year I get super excited when it finally gets here... but my own excitement, I have learned, is NOTHING in comparison to the near-hysteria that Jonah is experiencing as the holidays get closer and closer. I have never seen the child like this about anything. The day we put up a simple strand of outdoor lights on our porch, he broke into cheers and applause and literally jumped up and down for several minutes. And each day is more and more of a frenzy! I can't imagine what it will be like when he actually wakes up and sees presents under the tree. Regardless of where you live, if you hear a faint yet distinct fit of joyful screams on Christmas morning, it might be coming from my living room.
It would wear me out if I wasn't enjoying Jonah's anticipation so much. My favorite thing he does right now is provide a running Christmas commentary to Caleb throughout the day. "Look, Cay-wub, look at the lights on that house!" "Cay-wub, you're probably going to get a tractor for Christmas and I'm probably going to get a combine." "My stocking is going to be BIG but your stocking is going to be wittle, because you're wittle, Cay-wub." And so on. Caleb seems to sense something exciting is going on because he watches his brother with an interest I've never seen before. Between the two of them, there is no lack of enthusiasm around here.
But even amidst all the fun and excitement, Caleb continues to keep us on our toes. We never can truly just relax and enjoy life because we're too often reminded of Caleb's special little heart and the impact that little heart has on our daily life. This week I have already been to the doctor three times and it's only Wednesday. Caleb has had a very bad cold virus that just won't leave, and he has to be monitored when's sick because the doctors have to look out for breathing struggles, oxygen changes, all that jazz. We went to the doctor Monday and the doc thought he might have the flu and he might have to stay over night at St. Vincent's. Yuck. We went back the next day and she said he looked better and could stay home but we had to keep our eyes open for unusual breathing or anything else out of the ordinary. A few hours later we had our first genuine scare at home. When Caleb woke up from his nap his lips were purple and his hands, legs, and feet were ice cold. And I couldn't warm him up. I called Daniel, he came home, we called our pediatrician and she said to bring him back... I thought for sure we were heading to the ER at St Vincent's. But after a couple hours, he started to get pink again and started to finally warm back up. Our cardiologist and pediatrician agreed he could go home again and it was probably just a reaction to the fever he's had with this virus. When kids have a fever, their extremities can be a little cold, which for him can mean REALLY cold. It wasn't until I walked back in our door at home, after spending so much time at the doctor and in near-crisis mode, that I realized how scared I'd been. Daniel was too. Even a few hours later when we crashed in bed, we just had to cry off the emotions from the day. This morning he seems better, still chilly but I can warm him up with lots and lots of layers and a cranked-up furnace. I think this virus might finally be (please, Lord) going away.
So we are plugging along, trying to make ourselves relax. Daniel and I had a long talk last night and realized just how distracting it is to have a child with medical issues. It's really hard to focus on other things, which is especially hard for Daniel with his job. It's hard for me to focus on the ministry and discipleship that I want to pour energy into, and yet so often I don't even have any energy to put anywhere else because my family gets all of it. It's hard, but we're trying to learn how to have a life AND a heart baby.
All of this is not putting a damper on our Christmas. We are all having a blast with this season and continue to just enjoy simple things together. Thanks for your ongoing prayers and encouragement, and especially for your understanding. We hope the people we love can understand how our minds are pretty consumed with family stuff... and pray for us to continue to find our strength and security in Jesus!