We have various neighbors in love with fireworks and so last night they started with the booms, keeping them going until past 11:00 PM. This happens every year, for a couple days before the 4th and a couple days after, with last night being the most prolific night on record.
At least one of my four children has been afraid of firework booms in the ten years we've lived here, so we rarely sleep much around the Fourth. Of course, as soon as a child gets sleep deprived, hyper alertness kicks in and it's boot camp for Mom.
Our anniversary is July 3rd and we always forget it. Both of us, because the household is crazy on July 3rd, and besides, there's no going on dates anyway.
My boys, now 11 and 13, sleep in as teens are apt to do, which has been a huge relief as far as the occasional late nights go.
But my girls, particularly Mary, do poorly on little sleep and will typically get up earlier the next morning, not later. Unless I can figure out how to break the cycle, these become grueling weeks.
Mary's panicked over fireworks for three years running now, because just like with thunder and lightning, she thinks one of them will hit our roof and our house will burn down. No amount of counseling helps her through this. Once the wave of anxiety hits, it lasts until morning.
Additionally last night, Peter threw up after initially going to sleep fine. So around midnight, with Mary still awake, we're trying to figure out how to deal with his bedding and the floor, while also wondering if he caught a virus and would throw up again within the hour, or if he ate too much (was it the 2 smores on top of eating his own homemade oatmeal cookies?).
Then there's Paul, whose OCD is mild, until someone throws up. He has the lucky-number, bad-luck number OCD (yes, it does exist), as well as contamination OCD (doesn't touch doorknobs or the toilet knob if he can help it, or his own pants zipper, among other weirdness).
Incidentally, OCD people do incredibly weird things and even when they get together for group support, they're still incredulous at some of the weird things other patients do. "You do that...really?"
It so happens that last July 4th, Paul threw up, which of course means July 4th is bad luck. Once last year Peter threw up after a park visit and Paul refused to go to any park for about 6 weeks after that. Because of course, going to the park is bad luck.
Welcome to my insanity.
The fact that Peter threw up last night confirmed the doom. Paul laid awake for hours, worrying it was coming any second.
Um, misery doesn't cover it.
We were all wondering (except Beth) in the late night why it's one crisis after another in our lives. The entire month of June was rain and clouds, being the 3rd rainiest June on record. Mary was miserable, even though most of the downpours didn't involve thunder and lightning. Still, the weather service always warns that there could be lightning and that's all it takes to start her anxiety.
Peter didn't have a virus, it turns out. We remembered a problem he had last summer, which resurfaced this week, after the sun finally decided to come out. People on SSRI drugs for OCD or depression have reduced sweating and their bodies get too hot easily, even without excessive exertion. It only takes the sun or a too-warm room. It starts with a mild headache and can build over a few days if caution isn't exercised.
Even though his body temperature wasn't necessarily elevated last night, he was still overheated from three days outside doing minor gardening and looking for toads, frogs, cicadas, and trying his hand at an ant farm.
Water consumption helps once a headache hits, but it doesn't slow the process down enough. He has to go outside, we've discovered, with a wet hat on his head and a wet shirt, since he won't sweat enough to cool himself. He's always worn hats but they've been dark blue and not wet, so they heated him, rather than cooled him.
Anyway, we woke up this morning to a new day. A new hope. Peter is well and the children are all smiles and hugs and joy again.
The fatigue hasn't hit them yet.
Now, Beth, my post-surgery patient? (Thank you for your prayers!) She slept well. Her eyes look horrible (huge blood blisters all over the whites of the eyes) and at times she has double, confused vision as her eye muscles adjust (this could last six weeks). This child isn't fearful about anything unless blood is mentioned, so well it thunders away and fireworks boom and people throw up around her, no problem. She isn't fazed. She's my only child without anxiety, but of course arthritis is no picnic, nor surgeries either.
At one o'clock this afternoon, Paul, reflecting on the nice day he and the others were having, said, "Wow, Mommy! That Bible verse it true. Joy does come in the morning!"
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.
I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
It's so easy to get lost in the stress and turmoil, but God's got this. He uses it all for His glory. Children who suffer illness and disorder have a special purpose in God's Kingdom, although to the families involved it can feel so isolating. I see God's hand in it time and again and He is my strength.
Happy Fourth of July! Bless you all and thank you for your friendship.