Lots of things are changing around here. Our first several months of cancer as a family were about everyone's most basic needs. It was like being in the ER. The goal was to get everyone stable. So, we got Chris treatment, made sure the children's most basic physical and emotional needs were met and brazenly cast aside the nonessential (grammar lessons, team sports, organized meals,... ). Now, we're nine months into treatment, and we have at least nine more to go. We have to figure out how to live with this. So, we're changing some things...
First, about five minutes after Chris was diagnosed, I realized that I didn't have the bandwidth for homeschool and cancer. We winged it for the spring semester last year and decided on a university-model school for this fall. The boys go to school Monday and Wednesday and do the rest of their work at home. They started this week and had a wonderful first day. They had a wonderful half a day schooling at home on Tuesday. We rocked it out until about 11:00 AM and then limped to the finish line from there. Here's our first day of school picture.
Second, Household H has grown. I am no longer the lone female, civilizing force in the house. We found a wonderful and brave young woman from Denmark to come and live with us for the next year. Her name is Cecilie, and she arrived about two weeks ago. Here she is learning to drive in Houston.*
I read Cecilie's application on an au pair website and emailed her. She replied with good, thoughtful questions. In my response, I tried to err on the side of brutal honesty concerning four boys, some school at home and living with cancer. I suggested she think it over carefully and discuss it with her parents before we proceeded. Then, I read through her application more carefully and read her references and realized I had sent a really frightening email to someone who is definitely awesome. And then it was like junior high all over again. I scurried over to my friend's house to talk it out...
There's this girl. I'm afraid I scared her away. I gave her my number and told her to call me, but should I go ahead and call her? Is that weird and desperate? Should I wait for her to call me? What if someone else calls her first?
Well, I didn't scare her away with my CANCER IS HARD and BOYS ARE GROSS AND LOUD diatribe, and Cecilie arrived two weeks ago. She's wonderful. We love her. And really, guys, to be willing to take on Household H at this moment in our story is no small thing. You could select, at random, an American family with young children and 99.5% of the time you'll pick someone whose house is less work than mine right now.
For everyone keeping up with Chris, he made it out of the hospital after a few days. It was hard for him to recover from this round. He just started regaining some strength a few days ago, but... he's starting another round today. It'll start to get bad again the end of next week. We'd appreciate your prayers.
* I did not appreciate the rude texts from my husband, father, brothers and uncles about my ability to teach anyone to drive.