A Haines Home Companion: On Limbo
I needed to pick up some things quickly from the store, so I told Jude to run and jump in the car. As soon as we reversed out of the driveway, I turned the music up on my phone and said, “you have to dance, if you want to be with me.” This is just Jude’s thing. He’s the feeler of my kids, like me. Self expression is a big deal, and so his shoulders bobbed, and his arms jerked up and down. Our heads kept beat.
When we pulled into the parking space, I turned the music off, and he said, “I thought we had to dance.” So I said, “oh!” and turned it back on. It was half dark. We danced all the way to the door, Jude moving forward, and I in front of him, dancing backward so as not to see who could see me.
These are the ways Jude and I bond.
Then Friday night Jude wanted to go to the elementary school dance. Isaac was doing math on the computer and wanted to stay home, which, of course he did, but my shy Ian wanted to go, too. I was shocked. There were moments on the dance floor that my girlfriend and I were the only Mamas out there swinging their boys around, but we know we won’t be dancing with them long. Also, there was a DJ, so let’s be honest: I’m going to dance.
I’m not always like this, but I’m in a phase where I hardly stop thinking about what a crush I have on my boys. Ian found some Forever stamps and made me a card. He said, “I found these pretty stickers and would have written I love you, but I didn’t know how to spell love. When he smiles, light pours out. I asked if there were any more of those pretty stickers, and he said yes and offered all of them to me. Ian is the happiest and funniest string bean I’ve ever known.
Last night we were treated to a DaySpring dinner after Holley Gerth and Tsh Oxenreider had their book signing at Barnes and Noble here in NWA. We had all our families together, which after years of online relationships really feels like finally coming to know someone. Once you know Mark Gerth, you fall in love even more with Holley. It’s the same for Tsh and her Kyle and kids. Back to Ian: he had ordered a cheese burger. After one bite, he exclaimed to all, “I’m so jealous of myself! Cut-in-half cheeseburgers are my favorite!”
Before a procedure at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, they wait until the day before to let you know what time to be there. They called and said, “See you tomorrow morning at 6:30 am.” Well shoot. Little Rock is a 3.5 hour drive from here, so I called my sister-in-law who lives there and always offers us a place. She made me tea at night and coffee in the morning. She put a Captain America mask on Titus, and he wouldn’t take it off. This is how he slept.
The last time he had an upper GI scope and biopsy, we were at Mayo Clinic, and his esophagus was terrible looking. We assumed from there that his EoE (which is short for eosinophilic esophagitis) was to blame for his not gaining weight. He has continued to weigh the same since last July, so I figured that the upper GI from this week would prove that his EoE is still bad. We would give him steroids. That would heal him, and he would gain weight.
This time, though, his EoE seems to have healed, which means steroids aren’t an option and EoE isn’t to blame. We will begin adding foods back, but if he doesn’t gain soon, the doctor will place a button in his side for tube feeds. This was a bit of a shock to me. After my drive back to Fayetteville from the hospital, I could hardly move. We still know nothing.
Seth and I are obsessed with them all. They are such joy to us. The thing that gets me the most is how they love each other. They hug each other and read to each other. They yell, of course, but they mostly laugh. They are quick to see their brothers’ talents. They call each other out for the bad, yes, but mostly the good.
Isaac stands up next to me, and I can’t believe how big. He’s a good boy. He wants to be so good. At church on Sunday during the singing, I whispered to him that I don’t always understand what we’re saying when we ask for fire to fall down on us. He said, “It’s because God is a consuming fire, Mama.” Yes, son, He is.
Remember how I was taking a blog break because we were moving? Well, it didn’t happen. Two days before closing, everything got caddywompus. There’s still a chance, but the possible move is now three weeks out, and who knows if it will actually happen. We’re getting the beautiful chance to relive this past summer with boxes everywhere. It’s like house purgatory, the sort of limbo that keeps you floating between packing and putting things where they go. My space is important for creativity, so it would embarrass me for you to know how much time I spend in coffee shops.
I’m learning firsthand what I read about the waiters in the Bible. I have a brash way about me, but the wait is a privilege to be made meek. There’s always a promise in waiting for God. There are eyes un-peeling and un-peeling for the invisible, the unseen. We’re waiting. I’m waiting for more time with Seth. I’m waiting for a house and a healing. Titus is not broken any more than the rest of us are. I’m waiting for my own healing. Hope says it’s coming.
He’s coming. Kingdom come.
March’s prompt is “When You’re Most Alive.”
Write to your spouse telling him or her when you see them most come alive. I realize this could quickly go the way of milk and cookies, but try to be creative. Let’s encourage each other. Let’s stake a claim in our marriages. Share this prompt with your friends and see if others would like to join us.
I’m going to go ahead and say thank you now, too. I know that so many of you pray for our family. It’s not that I’m not sad about Titus, but multiple times throughout the day, I see fear and frustration as an option, but then I do one of those weird cry-hiccups, overwhelmed with gratitude. I am overwhelmed with how good God is and how good His people are. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather know. Thank you for praying for us.