February 21, 1974

This is part of a series of journal entries. For more about this project, see this introduction.

Jonathan is sleeping for a minute now. Good day for sleeping. A dark day. I need the lights on even with all the blinds and curtains open. There has been an east wind, unusual, all winter it has come from the north or west. A while ago it began to rain but a few snowflakes are mixed with it. The diapers on the porch are getting wet, or at least the plastic bags and the check taped to the side.

Sodden skies. That sounds just right for these gray dripping clouds. Really a good day for sleeping. This reminds me of junior high when I missed so much school. I guess I was sick in spirit, and I claimed to be sick in body and “missed” the bus so often. I complained of stomach aches and headaches and occasionally conjured up a fever. I don’t know what it was about school – the long bus trip – the crowded halls – the fear that I would miss something at home – but the school was a black and evil place to me – unfriendly, unforgiving, and terrible and so I avoided it if I could.

The days I stayed home were often so lovely. Like today, when the outside world is grey and cold and empty, but in the house is warm yellow light and the peaceful hum of the refrigerator. A day for curling up and reading under the afghan that we all used when we were sick.

Mom was always there and always doing something. I had never realized the countless things she does to keep the house the warm and comfortable place it still is. She ironed or dusted or cooked or sewed, or else she wrote her news, a big part of her time during the week. Maybe that’s why school was so awful. I felt no love there. I was too quiet and never let anyone see what was here inside me.

Home on the other hand was where everyone was a friend and knew me well. Most of all home was my mother and security. The one thing in the world that never changed and never failed in love for me. I didn’t have Jesus then; He might have helped me to get through those days at school.

The wind seems to be getting stronger. I feel a draft through the house and the trees are swaying their cold thing arms dripping with the rain.

This was supposed to be for you Jonathan. I think it is more for me.

But I guess it is still for you in a way. You and your father are the two big parts of my life now – you are with me almost constantly.

Last night you went to bed at 8 and slept until 6:30 this morning. You’re so good. Van Houtens little boy sleeps only 4 hours a night even with cereal. Were you ever like that? I guess you were. I couldn’t go back to it now – not with you. Will your brothers and sisters be as good? You eat a lot of cereal now (a whole teaspoon plus a few teaspoons of water) and you play like crazy. You’re too good to be true I think.

This hits home right now. Our 5th grader has been suffering the same sort of symptoms. We haven’t worked out the exact cause, but it’s fairly obviously not physical. It’s good to be reminded that it’s not the end of the world, though it does feel that way sometimes.

One thing we recommended this week is to go to prayer when he starts feeling sick. I do think it helps to know that you always have a friend in Jesus.

I’ve always thought for me it was fear of someone dying while I was gone since I hadn’t come to terms with my
Dad’s death. Not a cause in this case. Still, Joshua just left, the construction is probably disorienting and maybe home feels safe when you can be there for changes? And of course school worries can’t be ruled out. Hard on parents to go through this.