About 4 and a 1/2 days ago Mabel started a fever. This will be the second time she has had a fever since we have moved here so I thought it was a little strange. The first fever was brought on by new teeth coming in. After assessing her and the situation, I came to the same conclusion this time. Upon inspection, it was obvious with some swollen gums and such that she had 4 new teeth coming in, to make that a complete 12…all by 14 months old.(On a side note here, I have NEVER had a child with 12 teeth at 14 months. If we took her age only by her teeth and compared to my other children at her age, she could respectively be 18 months…even almost 2 maybe.)
In the past, when it has been her teeth, within a couple of days the fever is gone. Well, this fever seemed to hang on for 3 days+ and wasn’t showing signs of going away. She started nursing all the time again and EVERYTHING I offered her to eat, she would act like she was interested in but then she would take a bite and cry and then throw it down.
By day 2, I started to think I might be wrong about it being only her teeth. I noticed a thick coat of white on her tongue and she seemed even fussier than she had been previously when the issue had been only her teeth. I knew I had seen a tongue like that before and I was racking my brain trying to figure out where. Then I remembered….when we lived in California, Dean had a tongue that looked just like that. By day 3 of Mabel’s fever, I knew I had my answer.
Mabel woke up with a small sore on the side of the corner of her mouth. Yep. There is was. Now I combined all the symptoms…fever for days, swollen gums, thick white layer on the tongue, cold sore on lip, won’t eat ANYTHING, constantly crying and wanting to be held every minute of every day. She has the initial outbreak of type 1 of the herpes simplex virus.(I thought about putting a link here to make it easy for you to see exactly what it is but then I thought, why, I think it’s good you google it yourself and see more than just one link. Have FUN!!)
As you can imagine, life for us is alot busier than it had been in the past. So, to have Mabel catch this right now makes life MUCH more interesting. The first 2 or 3 days of it, if I say so myself, I handled life pretty good emotionally. It didn’t bother me to have her fuss all day long and needing to be held at every moment. But…by day 4 and 5, I started feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.
Yesterday was day 5 and we had a pretty busy day. We decided to come into town and stay at my mother in laws. Chris was going back out to the lake house to spray more chemicals for the roach problem. Dean was going to my mom’s house to get her help on finishing a costume he’s making for a home school project. We all decided to go and hang out with him at my mom’s house. I’m still not exactly sure why I became so overwhelmed but with Mabel and her constant fussiness, dealing with my four other children, being at my mom’s house and trying to write my other blog, all the while thinking about how our lives are still in a bit of a quandary and I don’t have a place to live to call my own…I kind of started letting myself lose it. When all is said and done, I came back to my mother in laws yesterday afternoon feeling pretty shut down.
Then enters Chris. He came in, saw me laying on the bed with Mabel crawling all over me and instantly knew I was having a hard time. He came in wanting to comfort me but I was struggling to let him do it. Now mind you, I was not rude or inconsiderate in anyway, I was just distant. After a few minutes with me, he soon realized I was having a hard time letting his love in and he let himself get a little irritated. Like every dear man who dearly loves his wife, as mine does, he wanted to fix the problem for me. So, I started asking him why he was annoyed. I stated that it seemed to me he felt the need to be defensive. It was then the LEARNING BOMB, as I like to call it, dropped for me. I heard myself say….”why are you playing the defense when there’s no offense taking place?” I instantly had this image of football in my head, and believe me, I am NOT a football fan nor do I really know anything about it. But like in football, the reason it seems it is even interesting, is because there is a defense and an offense. If you take away the offense, there would not be a game to be played.
Let me put it how my brain received it. How many times in our lives do we play the “game” with others? We take the place of defense because we feel the “attack” from the offense. Or we become offended and begin to feel defensive and feel we have to attack back. What if….like my situation with Chris….the person you feel offense from, means no offense at all and we are playing defense, just because that’s habitual for us. It’s what we know and have learned….when in reality there is NO need for it.
I think, yet again, it’s really sinking in for me….how 100% of the time when I become offended, it is MY issue and that 99% of the time no offense was meant. Yesterday I was having a hard time. In NO way did I mean to hurt Chris’ feelings but because he had an EXPECTATION of how he thought I should be reacting, he became defensive that his expectation wasn’t being meant. He apparently felt threatened and hence put up the defense.
If I choose to remove the expectations, in all my life, in everything around me, I take away an opportunity to become defensive. By removing expectations, I remove a false perception…I then remove the need for an OFFENSE.
That sounds like a pretty good thing to me. We can take it one step further. If I choose to remove my expectations of any or everything that I’m confronted with. If I choose to RELAX and let go of what I think things should be or look like. If I choose to change my perception and try to see the good in all of it. I believe, that maybe, happiness, clarity and faith then step in to let me know things are just as they should be.
Mind you, that doesn’t mean I stop creating what I think is best for myself and my family. NO, not at all. But what that does mean is I give up what and how I think that should look. I consciously choose to combine my will with my Divine parents will and then relax and accept the outcome. In all and everything. In decisions like what I ultimately want for the grand scheme of my life and even smaller things….like what my relationship with my mother and sisters should look like.
THEN…here’s the more important part, I find gratitude in WHATEVER results I get and love it. I say…”Oh ok, this is what this is supposed to look like right now and WOW~I love it and am just grateful for what the experience can teach me and what I can learn. I know I’ve said this all before and I will, most likely, say it all again. Years ago I realized thatwe teach what we need to learn and apply in our own lives. This is a BIG one for me.
Just like my sister Kim said to my mother last week…”Mom, emotions are not either good or bad. It’s what we do with them, what actions we give them that make them such.” Our life…those problems we are confronted with aren’t either good or bad, it’s what perception we choose to give it and then what we do with them, that make them such. If we choose to change our perception and remove expectation….I think, we could all remove the whole “game”…remove the defense and offense and just BE and find joy, happiness and peace in that BEING!
I have found that just applying these ideas with Mabel during the night last night made a huge difference. I accept that she is sick and that she needs me more of me than usual. I removed the expectations of how much she should need me during the night. I found that even though she did wake up every hour and nurse…I still feel refreshed today and don’t feel any excess lethargy. The idea being taught here is even if I did feel lethargic, I would then accept, relax and apply faith that I could get the needed sleep today. Notice how when I apply those things, peace, joy and clarity just follow.
This post has officially become long enough. For those of you who don’t like my long posts, I’m sorry. I’m still learning how to make my words more concrete and concise and say a lot in a few sentences. Until that time, please bear with me. Love to all!