Yesterday and last night we had a rough go over here. Elijah is teething and perhaps hitting a developmental milestone and has preferred to be glued to me for the last 12 hours. I spent the entire day yesterday in my pajamas, and three of those hours were spent in the glider in his bedroom as he fretfully (unsuccessfully) tried to get comfortable in my arms. I was certain he'd go right to sleep last night and catch up on the quality nap time he'd missed but I couldn't have been more wrong!! I went to a preschool meeting last night, then out with some friends, and then, since I was already out and because one of the perks of living in a big city is that your grocery store is open until 2 am, I just went to the store and got the shopping done. I fumbled into the house at 11, my arms loaded down with groceries, accidentally knocking over the trash can I'd left on the porch so the dogs wouldn't get into it and so my son wouldn't get into it (we are going through a Trash Phase at our house right now and it's NOT FUN), and I heard the boy fussing in his room. I put the groceries away, pulled off my boots, scooped him out of his bed and rocked him.
And there I rocked for the next two hours.
I tried it all, I stood up, I sat down. I rubbed his back. I hummed. I laid him down in the crib and got in with him. He just flopped and fussed and rolled around and couldn't get settled down. Finally he head butted me directly in the face and I got out of the crib, grabbed the baby, put on whatever shoes were by the door and took my car keys off the hook. I was so desperate to get him settled down that, yes, we drove around my neighborhood for 30 minutes. At one o'clock in the morning.
I wish my story now had a happy ending here but OH HA HA that's just not how it works, now is it? We went back to his room for another twenty minutes and I bored holes through the clock as it ticked closer and closer to 2 am (Two in the morning was important because it was when I decided I was going to give up and wake my still jet-lagged husband to take over for me because I was SO VERY DONE.
I made it to 1:45. I jolted John out of bed with the bathroom light, pulling on my pajamas and spitting out, "You. Have. To. Get. Him. Three. Hours. I. Can't. Do. It. Any. More." And then I stumbled into the bathroom and knocked my hair dryer off the counter into the dog's (full) metal water bowl. And then I cussed.
It was beautiful. My finest moment.
And then it took John all of five minutes to get the kid into his crib fast asleep.
Needless to say I am ditching today's preschool field trip and nursing many, many cups of coffee. Have I mentioned that lately I go to bed no later than ten and that I am now very, very spoiled in terms of sleep? Bah.
I need to go running today. I don't know how to do that in the state I'm in, and the idea of running while pushing both kids in the stroller seems much less appealing than taking them to the mall and putting them on the Christmas train.
Yesterday's clean water total was $196.20. Just a few dollars short of FOUR people having clean water for life. And you know something? My coffee? That I'm guzzling? Was made with clean water. I am also spooning oatmeal into my son's precious mouth with water that I drew straight from the tap in my kitchen without even thinking about it. What if I had to walk three miles to get water that wasn't even clean? Worse? What if I had to send my three-year-old daughter to fetch that water? Some families have no other choice but to send their children to a water source that is miles from their homes. Often the routes those children walk are dangerous. Kidnappers sometimes lie in wait to snatch children from the roads to the water sources so that they can sell them into slavery (sex trafficking is alive and well, my friends. I am sad to report it). But sometimes there is no other choice but to send your children – on walks that last for hours each direction – for the water. Water that is heavy to carry. Water that is often not even clean. Water that causes disease and infection, even death.
A clean water project in a community can change all that. Instead of walking miles along dangerous roads to fetch water, children are in school. Time that women and children spend getting water can be spent on education, on pursuing small business, on escaping the vicious cycle of poverty. People stop just "surviving." They can thrive. They can wash their hands and faces without fear. They can plant and tend to crops. They can wash their clothes, and most importantly, drink water that will not make them sick.
This is one such story:
This is what happens for $50 a person. It is so much more than a glass of water. It is hope. It is new life.
So far, through the efforts of the readers of this blog, 28 people have received the gift of clean water. We have raised $1429.80. My goal is that we would be able to provide this gift to at least 40 people.
I know we can do it. It is already being done. It takes so little to change a person's life. To save their life. This holiday season I hope you'll consider giving someone the gift of a clean drink of water. That you'll join with us to change a community, quite literally, from the ground up.
Thank you for doing this with me. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some (very tired) running shoes to lace up.