Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Our New Normal

We, humans, are amazing creatures! One of our most extraordinary features is our incredible ability to adapt. No matter what our surroundings are or the circumstances we find ourselves in, we, humans, learn to survive and sometimes even thrive. 

Today, Zoe and I met with a new doctor, who was discussing some options that may help Zoe to manage her colitis in the future. At one point, she remarked upon Zoe's incredible ability to function on a hemoglobin level that is thirty points below what is considered to be normal.

Zoe, this has become your baseline and your body has adjusted to it. I think you have forgotten what it feels like to be "healthy". In a sense, this is your new normal.

This was one of those light-bulb moments for us, and we both quickly nodded in agreement. Over the past four years, it has become normal for Zoe to be pale, to grow tired quickly, to eat lots of tiny meals throughout the day, and to look lethargic out on the soccer field, but yet, she gets up each day, she works, she goes to school and she continues to play soccer even though her body is operating at a reduced capacity. In short, Zoe has adapted.

And I hope Shenanigans Inc. can do the same. 

On Monday, Mr. Level-Headed and I celebrated the 24th anniversary of when we met one another with a couple of donairs from Greco. We are so romantic . . . tee hee! Then on Tuesday morning, we kissed each other goodbye and he boarded a plane for Nunavut. Yes, I said Nunavut and yes, I mean THAT Nunavut, the land of ice and snow and that's pretty much it except for a couple of polar bears, and well, now, my husband.

To all those people who look at me in horror when I say that my husband has accepted a job in Nunavut and ask:

Why did you let him go?

The short answer is that we had no choice. When you have five babies and one of those babies is heading off to university in a year and someone offers the daddy of those five babies a job that allows him to actually afford his five babies then that daddy says:

When do you need me?

and the mommy of those five babies says:

Honey, it is time to buy you a parka.

So, yeah, Shenanigans Inc. has been turned upside down, and it is being forced to temporarily operate on less-than ideal circumstances, but that is okay. I know that like Zoe, we will adapt. When Leif suddenly wakes up and vomits all over himself, me and the bed, I will be able to comfort him, bathe him and change the bedding all by myself. When after a long day spent at the hospital with Zoe and Harriet and my tire suddenly decides to deflate while I am trying to put air into it at the Irving, I will call a family member to come to my rescue. I will learn to do things without him by my side. I will survive, but do you know what? I refuse to thrive. You see I am not scared of the extra work. I am not scared of being the lone ringmaster of this gong show, but I am scared. I am scared of the day when I no longer think to call out his name for help, which I did last night when Leif was sick even though he was not there, or the day when I am in trouble and his phone number is not the first I dial, like I did today when my tire deflated even though his phone is disconnected. I need Mr. Level-Headed in my life. He puts the Inc. in our shenanigans. So, no matter how far apart we may be physically, Mr. Level-Headed and I will never truly be apart because yes, we humans do have an incredible ability to adapt, but even more remarkable is our ability to love.

I love you, Mr. Level-Headed , . . .  right up to Nunavut and back.


  1. I have no words - the only one I can think of is Awesome! And it is not to describe the situation - for that is a difficult one - it is to describe your view of the situation and the way you can express your self in the written word. I feel your pain and have been there in the early years of our marriage - however I have no words to give you to make you feel any better. This is life, choice, and circumstances! It is what it is - what it becomes is what you make of it!! (Insert heart emocon here) :)

    1. Thanks. I too believe that we just have to make the best of whatever situation we are in. ❤️

  2. I totally understand your situation, not from the view of a mother but from the view of a child who's father had to travel and be away a large majority of the time while I was growing up. Yes you adapt, each family member will in their own way, I knew times were difficult for my Mom, however we managed, even when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy ( I was 16 at the time), yes we made it through (Mom beat cancer), and Dad still had to travel for work, he still does to this day, he will be 74 this year. All three of us children are grown with children of our own and I now truly understand the sacrifice each parent made through the years and admire them for it. I am grateful for my upbringing because it made me who I am today. My only advice, if I could, would be to take each day as it comes,good or difficult, and know tomorrow is a new day, know one knows what it brings but that is the joy of living this crazy wonderful life we a given. Relish in the times your all together, make wonderful memories because they will carry you through and give you strength until your together again.

    1. You are so right! I keep thinking how special our reunions will be as a family. ❤️