Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas expectations

As the days tick past, we are seeing gradual improvement with Steven's pain levels. He is taking less and less medicine and is moving a little faster. But when I say a little, I mean a little. He is fine as long as his leg is in a certain position, which is straight out in front of him, or a little elevated. So moving him consists of holding onto a pillow which holds his leg (almost like a sling) and then he moves himself slowly with his arms and other legs into his wheelchair or out of it, depending on where he is going. On Saturday we were able to take him to the movies and then he went to sacrament meeting on Sunday and to his grandma's house. Moving him in and out of the car is the hardest of all, but it can be done. I may have mentioned before that it takes about two weeks for the bones to start to knit together to where it doesn't hurt as badly to move.

He is sleeping through the night (usually) and in a happy mood. Yesterday we had a bit of a set back--he was doing homework on the computer and the keyboard fell on his toes. He is in more pain today and blames that little accident for the slide backwards. Who knows?

Still, there is no denying he is in a holiday mood. Last night we put together a gingerbread house and all the kids were loving it. I got fed up with being bossed around by my kids who all had ideas of their own, so I quit my job as the frosting person and moved to clean up. Steven said, "Okay, that means I'm first in command now!" He also said, "Okay, so tomorrow, let's make a gingerbread village from scratch." He has some big ideas--too bad he's lacking the mobility to really make them happen!

I have been thinking about the timing of his fall with Christmas coming up. I had big plans for this month. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to go places. For Christmas, I gave my kids an advent calendar with a fun thing to do every day and told them that was their Christmas present from me. Some things are stay at home things like making cookies, but others were fun adventures. It has been hard to let go of some of the plans as our situation changed last week.

I've thought a lot about President Uchdorf's talk at the First Presidency Christmas devotional. He talked about expectations and how we can get disappointed if Christmas doesn't meet our hopes of perfection. He also reminisced about a Christmas as a little boy where he burned down the living room curtains with a candle from the tree. Both points were very meaningful to me--that Christmas doesn't have to be perfect to be filled with love, and our children deserve our love, even when they make mistakes.

I thought a lot about Andrew and how his little shove has had such big consequences. I realize that this isn't his fault--it isn't his fault that Steven has such brittle bones. I have had a good long talk with Andrew about how it was just an accident and he is not to blame, but I think he still feels really bad. We have got to figure out how to make sure he never doubts our love. I guess that is the goal of all parents, really.

In the end, I haven't come to any real conclusions or had any amazing epiphanies--but I know there are some profound lessons to be learned here if I ever get a minute to think very hard about it. In the meantime, I am working on changing my expectations. Hasn't this year taught me how to do that yet? I guess I need to hurry and learn!


  1. Haha, Rob has the icing in the picture.

  2. Great post Sonja! There's something for all of us in your words.

    The gingerbread house is beautiful and I love that Rob is in a tie for gingerbread house building. You guys are fancy around there!