I haven't been sure how this particular chapter of our lives was going to fit into the space of this here blog. Because, I hope you'll understand, this Mama is very tired, and a wee bit vulnerable, and most definitely not up for controversy or playing the role of mediator beyond that of my five littles at the moment. (Which is my gentle but sincere way of asking that we skip the volatile topic of vaccines in the comments here today. Thank you so much!).
We've been sick, the seven of us, with whooping cough. Apparently, there's a bit of it going around, especially in Maine, and it's affecting lots of folks (not vaccinated and vaccinated alike - there's some talk that it's a strain potentially not covered by the vaccine).
I won't lie to you - this isn't fun. The cough is a nasty one, and particularly for the very young and the asthmatics amongst us, it's been very hard. With some wonderful medical attention though, we are walking the lovely blend of western medicine and traditional, grateful for access to all of it. From all I read and hear, it's possible that these symptoms could go on for quite a while, and so I'm settling in for the long haul, learning ways we can heal and comfort ourselves as the weeks (and months, oh my) go by. (Rachel's wonderful healing tips from her own family's experience last year has been enormously helpful.)
We have been under a bit of a self-imposed quarantine these days, with just a few more to go before I feel extra certain that we're safe and ready for public consumption. Which means that we've been nowhere but home, home, home. It's made for a different kind of August, to be certain. Camping trips cancelled, summer camps not attended, parties going on without us, visits postponed, beach visits few and far between, garden harvests left un-preserved, ice cream even (!) on the sparse side (the dairy doesn't help). I must confess, there were a few moments in the beginning of it all, watching little ones feel so sick in the summertime, when I wanted to stamp my foot and whine that it just wasn't fair. But we all know how much good that does.
And so I - we - have been doing our best to find the joy in this strange sort of summertime gift we've been given. And it's there - to be found, of course - just as soon as we look for it. There's plenty of adventure right here in our own backyard - stories to read aloud to each other (taking turns with whoever has the clearest voice of the day); audiobooks to discover when no one feels like reading aloud anymore (Anne Hathaway narrating the Wizard of Oz is a new family favorite); "boats" to set sail in the farm pond; hornworms to hunt; music to play for each other (Harper is sitting on our much-loved Curvy Board in that photo); furniture to rearrange when we feel tired of the space we're in; the rare treat of watching shows together (oh Mister Rogers, what a sweet and gentle spirit); pine needles and bee balm to collect for tea; gardens to visit for nourishing food for our bodies; and oh so many naps to take - here, there, and everywhere (and as often as possible).
Home is good, and it's a very good thing we like each other so much. This is the place, and these are the people I'm so glad to be sharing this adventure with.
edited to add: I'd love to leave the comments open on this thread, as there are some lovely words and helpful tips being shared that could be of benefit to all. However, I'm unable to 'moderate' the language and tone of comments any further (those sweet babes need their Mama), so I'm going to reiterate a few things here as a gentle reminder to folks. Please do read before you comment: