How ironic, I thought briefly watching Bear fall through the air, banging against a metal bar with his face before falling on his head on the ground.
Less than 2 hours ago I had been telling my friend that I believed in Chiropractic services and I wish that I could afford them again. When my 2 boys were babies I took each of them their first year and feel that is made a huge difference in their overall health. I couldn’t seem to justify it to Ben… and it was a huge expense that our budget couldn’t handle so I quit going. I had been re-telling the story to a friend wistfully wishing I had a reason to go again and then, just a couple hours later, Bug, yes BUG, climbed up to the top of the play toy I felt was too high for him, lost his grip and fell, busting his lip and banging his head.
Blood dripping, I scoped him up, my body rigid, not dealing well with injuries and blood. After the nausea passed I checked for broken teeth and wondered if I needed to take him to the ER. Bear was in the middle of it, asking “what happened?” over and over and I pushed him away, blotting blood and trying to think.
Angry at being ignored for 5-10 minutes, Bear climbed up the same ladder, turned, looked at me and then mysteriously lost his balance, first slamming his face into a metal rung on the ladder, then falling backwards to the ground 5 feet down. It was very slow and fast at the same time. He didn’t move and I wondered if he would ever be able to walk again. Not rational, just thinking. Then he cried and his words slurred and my heart stopped beating.
I’m not good at injuries, blood and pain. I want to shield myself from it all, wrap my kids in bubble wrap and know they are safe. Because if I can’t keep them safe, what kind of mother am I?
4 hours later were released from the hospital, only a mild concussion. So many more things could have happened and I’m rattled at their existence. I hadn’t before thought about my child being paralyzed or broken bones but then all I could think was about friends whose kids had to be air flown down to Little Rock for emergency brain surgery.
My world had changed in an instant and I’m left weak at my inability to keep them safe. While we waited in the agonizingly slow ER I was able to stop and think. I prayed over his lethargic body and the whisper of they aren’t yours… was like a breeze in the emotionally stiffing room. I turned my head away.
they are mine and how much more so do I love them than you? Give them back.
I don’t want to. They are MINE. I feel like my children squabbling over a broken toy that suddenly has value because the other wants it. But slowly, I unclench my fists and pray again, not my will but yours be done. Peace is there again and I’m able to breathe deeply suddenly, as if a great load was taken off my chest and lungs.
This will be my every day journey, knowing truth and choosing to embrace it. Life is full of pain, even in the throb of your heart when it’s swelling with joy watching your perfect child sleep.
I’m never going to be whole again and I lean into it- through my broken pieces and pains I keep hidden, there is freedom, and without the bad, I wouldn’t see the beauty and good in every little detail.
I’m always laughing.
I’m always smiling.
It’s so funny really, perhaps it’s the smiles and laughter of someone saying under their breath “if I wasn’t laughing, I’d be crying” but for whatever reason I’m getting dozens of tiny little wrinkles around my perpetually crinkled eyes.
At a doctor’s appointment with the boys I was told by him, “I can always tell which families are happy ones, their kids smile and laugh a lot, they mimic their parents” and I’m so happy that in spite of my sometimes insanity and always doubting that I’ve managed to raise happy kids.
I love the beauty of it all; the sticky floor, the small feet, the blonde curls of the boys that I’ll keep long until they request a hair cut, the mess of little kid toys, the smear of food around their mouth after a meal, the busyness, the laughter and the screeching.
It’ll be gone soon.
I’ll be able to shop at Walmart without people staring at me and my screaming kids.
I won’ t have to scrape up smashed food with a razor to get it off my tiles.
I laugh and I smile because why shouldn’t I?