Good morning, one and all! Well, it would be nice if it were a good morning for all. A random sample of the 123 most important people on twitter and 200 most important on Facebook indicates it's not exactly a good morning for many of us. Why? Because we're awake at unreasonable hours for the schedule we keep. So far, we've got some insomniacs, a few weary and delayed travelers, and we're up at our house with a case of the croup, apparently.
What's the croup? It's an inflammation of the airways that makes a kid sound like a barking seal. It's one of those issues that makes a parent panic, want to take your child to the ER, and then discover that, guess what? Unless it's a seriously severe case of the croup, there's no medicating it. No, really. You can treat the symptoms, but there's actually not a real root cause, and the symptoms are best treated environmentally and not pharmaceutically.
So, we've gotten the humidifier out, Ann's got Steven snuggled up in bed so that he (and she) can sleep sitting up, and we're trying to get him to calm down. This is the 3rd instance we've had of croup with him, all in the 2 years since we moved to Monticello. Of course, it's also all since he turned 2. All since we've had a cat. All since we stopped regularly breathing the Memphis pollutants. All since he became totally stay-at-home instead of 2 days a week at a Mother's Day Out. Since we took him out of the toddler bed. Since he potty trained. It's all been since his father became a regular coffee drinker.
Goodness, it's been since we……
Amazing the various things that pile up there, isn't it? There are so many various things that impact our lives that, if you want a place to lay blame, how do you find it? Do we place the blame on something in the air in Monticello? Really? Compared to Memphis? Yet it's possible there are things in the air here from manufacturing that he can't handle….or maybe he was born into polluted air and clean air messes him up? Is he allergic to the cats? Not likely…else it would be an everyday problem. (the cats, of course, are an everyday problem. His breathing isn't.) Is it being at home? Being potty trained? Is it the coffee? What could we change?
Ann and I are trying to consider what behavioral factors might be influencing here, whether we're doing something that brings this up. We might be. It's hard to say, although tonight I'm going to make some notes of what has gone on the last 24 hours so we can refer back to it. Right now, we just don't know. I do know that he's now sleeping comfortably and sounding less like Darth Vader.
Sometimes we have problems like this in life. It's not so much that we can identify the real causes, just that we have trouble. It might be emotional, spiritual, or mental, but it happens nonetheless. How do you handle it when it does?
How do you handle the symptoms of life when there are problems but no causes, and no real solutions?
Same way we deal with the croup around here: comfort the symptoms, calm down, and try to be mindful of what to do if it gets worse. We also take a lot of comfort knowing it will get better.
That's what, I think, that C.S. Lewis was speaking of when he said in Mere Christianity that those Christians who have done the most good in this world are those whose minds are most firmly set in that world, meaning eternity. (That's pretty close to the quote, but my copy is at the office, and I'm at home, where I should be sleeping). Whatever issues befall us, we need to take comfort knowing it will get better. Knowing that, we press on.
In the meantime, take a little comfort in a close hug, a warm embrace, a cookie while everyone else is sleeping. It will help get us through.