Cold and flu season is one of my least favorite times of the year. In AJ’s first year of life, cold and flu season was an introduction to the terrifying part of parenthood – the realization that you control very little of what happens to your kids. I remember picking him up from daycare and the teacher said he wasn’t himself; “he’s just not AJ” she said. I took him home and watched him closely as he slept in my arms and seemed like he was struggling to breath. I don’t think my brain could comprehend the danger or the struggle of what was happening to him. I held him with great concern, but I wasn’t to the point of worry. It must be a mom’s gift because as soon as Kaitlin got home she took one look at him and said we were going to the emergency room. Thank the lord for moms! We spent 16 out of the next 30 days in and out of the Intensive Care Unit. Most of the time he was stable, but he did need oxygen 24/7 and there were moments where the possibility of death seemed very real. Thankfully, AJ received great care and he was soon his happy, go-lucky self. It has left some emotional scars and we, Kaitlin and I, are always reminded of that time in these first months of the new year.
A challenge of becoming an adult and parent is dealing with uncertainty and anxiety. The questions and worries are always lingering; Is AJ or MJ sick? Why is he crying? Did something happen at school today? Should I be doing something? Those questions and thoughts usually grow louder when you have time to think – which in our case if we have time think it really means we should be sleeping. Nature has a way of quieting those fears. Something about the wind blowing, snow falling and sunshine on your face can calm that inner hamster wheel.
We all have colds right now. Nothing life threatening, but enough to slow us down and impact the quality of our life. We decided a big trek into the mountains was not necessary, but we did find a nice lake and trail close to our house. The weather was a little windy and cold, so we bundled up in coats, hats and mittens. We brought AJ’s bike and MJ took a ride on mama. It was a chilly mile and half around the lake and provided little in the name of scenery as the clouds covered the sky. AJ had high spirits to start the trek, but was soon asking to go home and said he was cold. The trail was nice and wide and we saw many runners and walkers braving the elements to get their exercise and outdoor fix. By the time we had completed the hike, we were ready to get to our cozy house and enjoy some warm drinks and yummy dinner.