Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Until we are tired

Some mornings I wake up earlier than my children. Although this happens only rarely, if I'm honest. Most days, I wonder why is my alarm going off? before I switch it to off and close my eyes. I typically settle back into sleep just as my children come and stand creepily beside my bed or yell at me from the other room. Which, I realize, means I should just have just gotten up with my alarm, seeing as I don't gain any extra sleep anyways. My college roommate used to tell me: monkeys learn the third time. So I wonder what that means for me in this particular situation, repeated far more than three times? Don't answer that.
We have finally somehow managed to fall into some sort of rhythm and routine after the craziness of summertime. Things like laundry and editing and starting a library seem more manageable in the light of long-days-of-kindergarten for Jayci, and three-day-a-week preschool for Caden. Of course, our particular rhythm still moves quite quickly and involves many children and such. But we are grateful for date nights and family walks on the Beltline, and our newest household member remembering to take the trash to the street every single week (a feat which proves nearly impossible for us typically). 
I've still been spending lots of time reading headlines and articles. And realizing that possibly, we have reached our capacity for listening to Ferguson. It's beyond our ability to watch Michael Brown laid to rest on the very day he should be starting college. We, after all, are human. But for the boys who huddle around our dining room table to watch videos, Ferguson cannot be deemed done. Because they still worry about their skin color, and one remarks mid-conversation: I hope I am not killed one day for being black. For them, the reality marches unrelenting. As a result, neither can I turn away. While I write about mentoring, Adam sits in a courthouse with one of our boys. They agree to release him on an ankle monitor, for the low-low price of more dollars per month than they can afford. We recognize how systems fuel the anger, while focusing our hearts on loving the individuals affected by them.
Truthfully, I prefer writing about things that make people send me emails and comments that say some version of the following: Dear Becca. You guys are amazing and God bless you for what you do, you are making a real difference. I could never do what you do. The end. Because approaching things like race makes people wary, and sometimes defensive. And I've realized I do not handle criticism well (I am still a people-pleaser/conflict-avoider to the deepest parts of me). That said, I feel led to keep pointing you guys to ways you can educate yourself, to voices you can listen to who have things to say about race and about Jesus that are moving and stretching my heart. 
Michael Brown's Unremarkable Humanity - The Atlantic
White Christians: It's Time to Stand in Solidarity With Your Black Brothers and Sisters - Christena Cleveland for Christianity Today
For Weary Friends - Austin Channing Brown
It's Time to Listen - Leonce Crump for Christianity Today
My friend Amy works with boys in inner-city Chicago and shared these links last week on her facebook page. Also, she calls herself "A Hope Dealer to the dope dealers" which I only wish we had thought of first. 
In Chicago's war zones, the tragedy extends beyond the kids who die - Chicago Reader
Girl gang members overlooked by traditional prevention efforts  - Chicago Bureau
Last week, Caden has his routine six month cardiology check-up. He does this every six months, regardless of how much energy he has (which is all-of-the-energy, all-of-the-time). The doctor was a little surprised by how much the pressure gradient (between his pulmonary valve and right ventricle) had gone up in just six months. His right ventricle has also gone from mildly dilated, to moderate dilation (meaning it's enlarged as a result of the pressure). All of that to say, his doctor said he is currently doing great and his heart function looks good; however, he may need surgery sooner than we had hoped, possibly within the next year. 

Adam feels optimistic, of course, and I do too I suppose. I mean, this next surgery will not be as major as his first surgery, and CHOA (where he will have surgery) has an excellent-amazing team of cardiothoracic surgeons. But it's still open-heart surgery on a little boy who we have fallen even more in love with these past three years. I've been a little bit of a mess since the appointment, but mostly just deep down in the depths of my momma-heart. We will keep you all posted on what they say at his next appointment, but I would love to have you all keep Caden's heart in your prayers. We are hoping to wait as long as possible for surgery, so they can put in a larger valve, which will then last him longer before he will need additional surgery. 
Could you not just die at how adorable this is? Sigh. Translation: Caden is the best brother ever and he is sweet and generous to me because he is the best brother to me

Also, one more link since I like laughing: Going Back To School: The 70s vs. Today 

2 comments:

  1. I love every word you say. I need your voice in all of this and the articles you link to are always must-reads for me. So thankful for you. And praying for Caden. ("Saweet") :) I write it that way sometimes, too! I didn't know it was a thing! Xo

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  2. I so appreciate all of your links and perspective on Ferguson. I admire how you are living your life. I was horrified by the killings of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin...the list goes on. Tell me what a white, 57 year old woman who live in a small town in rural Indiana do about it? I wish there was something I could do.

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