my husband and I have a running list of things that we think would be extremely fun to do as a family. Adventurous day trips. Things like: zip lining at the YMCA, boating around Lake Travis, kayaking at Brushy Creek, and in the case of this holiday weekend, floating down the Comal River in a tube. I don’t know if Nathan will be able to do many of these things with us. Right now it’s because he’s too little. Eventually he’ll grow and it may be because he doesn’t have the physical stamina for an excursion or can’t handle the sensory input from different situations. And also, right now he has G-button issues.
Over the last month Nathan has been having granulation tissue grow around the stoma of his G-button. Granulation tissue is an overgrowth of cells trying to heal, but they don’t ever stop growing. It’s really gross looking to my non-medical eyes, though it doesn’t seem to hurt him. It looks like raw hamburger meat to me. And it moves locations. Every time I go to change his dressing I notice it in a different spot.
Since I’m not a nurse and just his mother, I’ve been leaning on other people–nurses and my PA husband to help heal his perpetually open wound. Turns out he has a flap of tissue that needs to be burned off and I need to be patient with the multi-step process. The G-button stoma is not a sterile area because it goes directly into the stomach, but still Nafe can’t go floating in a river or lake filled with who knows what kind of organisms. That would expose him to new issues.
We don’t need new issues.
For a long time, I wallowed in thinking we wouldn’t be able to do fun family things. I irrationally thought we would be tethered to Nafe and therefore none of us would ever do anything fun again. Ever. But God in His great grace has provided wonderful caregivers and I’ve [mostly] gotten past feeling sorry for myself that we are limited, because at this point in time we actually have more freedom and flexibility than I ever expected. Over this past Labor Day weekend we had a unique opportunity and someone we love offered to watch Nafe for eight hours. That’s a nice long time to actually go on a river water adventure.
The downside is that our family had to split up.
On Saturday morning, my husband, Mac, and I headed out to tube down the Comal river in New Braunfels. Tubing down cool river waters in the summer heat seems like one of those things that you should do at least once if you live in Central Texas.
I don’t have any pictures to show you since we couldn’t take our phones onto the water, but imagine us screaming down the water chutes, bobbing along in the quiet waters, and trying to keep Mac warm even though the water is a constant 72 degrees.
Through our little tubing adventure I learned that you must surrender to the current. The river’s current is stronger than your will and can carry you wherever it wants. Initially this was stressful to me because my tube was separated from the guys and I had little control of where I was going. I got caught in a current that separated me from them. I just couldn’t paddle over the waves. A kind gentleman saw me stuck and towed me in. Meanwhile my husband was getting Mac over to the side where we all met up. We went down again. The next time we tied our tubes together.
Once we got past that initial chute I began to surrender to the river’s current. It became more and more relaxing to me. I didn’t have my phone, which can be a distraction to real life and can alert me to things that are stressful. I didn’t have anywhere else to go. All I could do is rest and allow the current to take me where it went as I enjoyed the scenery.
What a beautiful illustration of the force of God in our lives. A picture of how we can enjoy things much more when we surrender to the direction of His Spirit. Yes, He separates us at times, it can be thrilling or scary at points, but also peaceful and quiet if we rest in His presence for a bit.
It was hard to be away from our little boy, but when we got these pictures of the fun he was having back home I knew it was where the current had taken us for the day. This is the unconventional way of life for our family. Sometimes we are tethered tightly to one another. Sometimes we are split up and this is just how God designed it for this season. Maybe it always will be. I am simply learning that I can’t fight the current.
For the record we did go to the Dino Park in Cedar Creek today. All four of us. We had to carry Nathan on the majority of the path, he overheated on us, and in a manner, refused his lunchtime tube feeding. Even so, it was nice that we were all a hot and sweaty mess together.
May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” – 2 Thess 3:16
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