Everyone keeps asking about the baby. If you've followed our blog for a while, you may remember that we almost lost our youngest son to RSV when he was seven weeks old. Thanks to an incredible team of doctors, he recovered. We were sent home from Children's Hospital to . . . well . . . carry on with our lives, I guess.
If only it was that simple.
Through a four-part series with Abbott, we’re sharing stories about how we live fully. People have their own unique ideas about what living a full life looks and feels like, but we want to live the best life we can. Abbott is on a mission to find out what that means to people across the globe. Here’s our story of how our family managed to rediscover our lust for life during our son Minion's challenging first months.
The period following Minion's illness was a tough time for us. We're active people, usually spending every other week on the road, but the experience made us fearful. We were told that even a small cold could put our son in danger, so we cancelled all the trips we had planned. We burrowed into our home and our family.
At first, we agonized over his every waking moment. I watched and monitored his sleep with bated breath. Any movement of his body seemed like a triumph.
I'll admit, it hardened us. Our boldness faded a bit. We were smart for taking precautions, but after a large amount of time passed, we realized we had stumbled and failed to enter back into the world. Nate and I were losing ourselves – and our older kids were going a little stir-crazy.
So we took baby steps. An overnight work trip for Nate and I, with the kids left behind at Oma and Opa's house. A local hotel visit, near enough that we could race home if anything went wrong. A camping excursion to a safe, dry climate.
I perfected the art of babywearing, keeping my little guy close and firmly warding off anyone who tried to breathe on him.
In a way, our experience helped us look outside of our usual way of doing things. With each of our children, we've discovered new aspects of family travel. After Minion, we learned to be more compassionate towards unconventional adventurers. In our everyday lives, we're more considerate of others.
Now, we understand that it's not always obvious what a person is dealing with on the inside.
I've heard people say that after a scary event or loss, you adjust to a “new normal.” Personally, I think of it as an “amended normal.” Who we are at our core – a family with a lust for life – hasn't changed. We just put some more layers on top of that. Planning a trip to Wyoming in a few weeks, we've carefully considered our children's safety and limited exposure to the elements. There's a plan A, B and C. Anytime we go out, we hope for an incredible experience but make still make sure we're prepared for whatever's ahead.
That's a valuable lesson, really, and one that can apply to everyone. Roads have speed bumps along the way. That doesn't mean you stop driving. We all need to live our best possible lives, no matter what the world throws at us.
We're proud to partner with Abbott to share our story about living fully, and we want to know how you do, as well. Take the quiz on their LIFE. TO THE FULLEST website to reflect on how you choose to live your best life, and let us know! Share your own stories, videos and photos using the #Fullosophy hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
How have you managed to thrive and live fully during a challenging time or situation?