Adenoid update: gone. J's adenoid's were successfully removed and the whole process took less than 40 minutes. Seriously, we were at the surgery center for a mere two and a half hours. I asked if we could stay longer since it was so nice and quiet, but the nurses politely (and forcefully) kicked us out. J is doing very well. Too well. They told me it would take at least twenty-four hours for the anesthesia to wear off and he would be pretty groggy. What they should have said was that he would basically be a drunk toddler: as much energy as usual but none of the coordination and prone to lots of mood swings. He is blissfully asleep right now and my husband even witnessed some nose breathing. There might be hope. (In answer to the question of the day, "What the heck do adenoids do, anyway?", here's a link.)
I wasn't so sure of that a few hours ago. Like I do in most stressful situations, I had a break down just after the crisis was done. I threw a toy, cussed a little, cried a lot, argued with my husband, and vowed to make an appointment with my therapist.
However, like scripture tells us revelation is not in the earthquake or the wind or the fire but, rather, in the stillness that we feel after those things. Once my fire burned itself out I heard at least one of the things God has probably been trying to teach me all my twenty-seven years: be quiet.
For my birthday my parents gave me Madeleine L'Engle's Walking on Water and, while the book was not everything I wanted it to be (which of course it couldn't be because L'Engle is like a surrogate mother for me and, at some point, all mothers must fail their children so they can grow), I got something very important out of the book: a new prayer, "Lord, slow me down."
I think part of my reaction to my depression is to push myself. I'm so afraid of falling apart I overcompensate by trying to do everything at once. It's a good distraction to the gnawing emptiness. I also think it's just part of who I am. For as long as I can remember I've always wanted to feel everything and know everything and be everything--I'm always seeking the next step or sensation--preferably all at once. Knowledge and experience are heady drugs and fill up all the places inside me that are empty. I think that's one reason why I like to be pregnant; somebody else's being fills up my emptiness and I can slow down for a little bit.
Of course, part of managing my mood disorder is learning to appreciate the present and experience it fully instead of shunting things away to be dealt with later. It's about not distracting myself. It's about listening to what message the chaos is hiding. It's about slowing down. So, like Madeleine L'Engle, I've been praying that the Lord would slow me down. That He would make me quiet.
Be careful what you wish for.
Apparently, the only way the Lord could slow me down was by giving me enough rope to hang myself. Or, more aptly, by giving me enough projects to exhaust myself. Tonight I finally quit trying to fight the exhaustion and I'm slowing down; I'm going quiet.
For the first time in my life I'm cutting back and saying no. I've already backed out of a couple obligations and my blog is the next step. I'm a little bummed--I'm always sad when a friend gives up blogging because I love hearing their stories (even though I'm terrible at commenting!)--but it feels right. I need to quit focusing on my noise and busy-ness and start finding the slow and quiet things and listening to them. In my haste to become some sort of awesome writer I forgot the number one rule of good writing: listening. Good writers listen to everything around them, whether spoken or unspoken. And to listen like that you have to slow down and you have to be quiet. I've scratched the surface of that idea in relation to my kids and it's been amazing. It's time to open up the rest of my life to the quiet.
I'm not going to quit blogging entirely. This thing is an important brain dump! I am, however, going to be sporadic. In my mind once or twice a month should do. The cutbacks include Mirthful Mondays. Sorry. Maybe one of you should take that over that segment on your blog! Let me know if you do and I'll link to you. Anyway, if you haven't before, now is the time to sign up for my feed.
So, with all the extra time you will have because I'm not blogging as much, you should read this memoir: The Year My Son and I Were Born by Kathryn Lynard Soper. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. If I had the money I would buy every single one of you a copy. This is a must-own for every mother. In the story of her baby with Down Syndrome and her struggle to love him and herself, Soper has embedded the story of every mother and the divinity that motherhood can cultivate within us. Soper is writing from a beautifully transcendent (and perhaps fleeting) place. And because of that the book is never preachy but still guides and uplifts. It is honest and gritty but never depressing.
Seriously--tell your husband or father or whoever to buy you this book for Mother's Day. You'll want to read it again the minute you finish it.
And as a final touch, here's some quiet for you to meditate upon. These are the mountains I live by. I think that they embody some of the quiet I need to find. I need to go lay on one and fell the earth supporting me and radiating God's power and beauty.