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Day 21: Perseverance (A Day Late)

I’ve never been one to give up easily, but there are times in our lives when it becomes more about persevering than about not giving up.  I’m in the midst of one of those phases, and surprisingly, it has nothing more to do with autism than the fact that I know I can get through it.

We have five children ranging in age from 4 to 15.  My husband is a jh/hs principal, a fireman, a church board member, and an amazing husband to me and daddy to these precious kiddos.  I’m a photographer, writer, church secretary, substitute teacher, wife, and mom.  Our kids are involved in church, scouts, and extracurricular activities at school.  We are in a busy phase of our lives.  We get tired.  We get run-down, but we keep pushing forward, knowing that there will come a day that our nest is empty and we will miss the hustle and bustle we now live.

Both of our daughters were scheduled for tonsillectomies in December.  We got word on Thursday that the oldest was accepted into the Peoria Area Children’s Choir hosted by Bradley University.  Their only performance weekend is directly after the original Wednesday surgery date, making participation impossible.  I called the doctor’s office on Friday to see if they had had any cancellations earlier in the month which would allow her time to heal and still participate in the choir.  The office was closed, so I called on Monday, but they only knew of one possible opening in mid-December, but that would not give her time to heal, so I thanked them for their time and went about my day, pushing through my busy week which included a photo shoot, daily writing sessions, two sub days, one work at church day, one cooking/cleaning/prepping for my mom to visit day, two basketball practice nights, an AWANA kids’ club at church night, an evening band performance, and two and a half days of travel with my husband to attend the annual school board conference in Chicago, a much-needed get-away for us…busy phase of life, right?  This is normal for us.

I got a call that Monday night from the doctor’s office.  It was one of the office nurses.  It went a little like this:  Ummm, I know it’s late, and not much notice, so don’t answer me now because I want you to think about it.  I just talked to the doctor and told him about your call.  He offered to open a spot for your daughter on Wednesday, the morning after tomorrow, if you can make it work…(enter awkward silence as the to-do list for the week scrolls before my very eyes)…Mrs. Janssen?  Are you still there?

Yes.  Yes, I am.  Rendering me speechless is not an easy task, but you have succeeded.

Great!  Call me back in the morning.  Have a great night! (Click)

Oh My Goodness!!  What doctor does that just so a child can follow a dream and sing?  How GREAT is that!?!?!  Oh my word, how can I cram three days into one?


LOTS of shuffling and special thanks to the understanding staff at Spoon River Valley High School and we were both able to be with our daughter as she embarked on this surgical adventure.  She went into it with a great attitude, knowing Mom & Dad would be gone three days into it and she’d be hanging with grandma instead of mom.  Despite adverse reactions to the tape used to cover her eyes, the tissues used to clean her face, the post-op pain meds, and the script for pain they sent us home with, she’s still a trooper, and we are pushing through, still on very little sleep for this momma.  And because of all this, this post, the one I thought through last night amongst my duties as night nurse, didn’t make it online until today.  But I know we’ll get through it.

Autism has taught me that I don’t need near as much sleep as I sometimes want, but it has also taught me that it’s okay to let the dishes and laundry sit for a day or a night so that I can rest.  The world will not come to a crashing end because every sock and plate are not in their place.  And honestly, if it does, would it really matter that the socks and plates weren’t in their spots?  No, I think not.  I’m persevering, and sometimes that means letting the little things go, even when they make big piles, so I can make room for the important ones, like my daughter and getting enough rest so I can care for her and the rest of this amazing brood with whom God has blessed me!


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