It's Tuesday. The alarm went off at 4:30 AM. I stumbled out of bed and tried to quietly get down the stairs without seeing any eyes. I open the door to the basement and my eyes are immediately opened to the stark cold air. I make my way to my bike and loose myself for a moment. I worship to the music, I play on Facebook or I read a devotion.
I come back upstairs and the smell of throw up hits me, I see the piles of laundry that need to be folded and I see a tiny little girl snuggled in the fold of her daddy's arm. She is struggling to breath and you can hear the mucus suffocating her with every breath. I lean over to kiss her and the sweet smell of her has been replaced with a horrid vomit smell that radiates from her pores.
Reality hits me when she reaches up and says "momma". She is not going to school today, she will most likely not do much other than rock on mommas lap today. She is sick, there is something wrong. We will wait the lab results from yesterday and we will do our best to keep our head above water.
As I drop the older girls at school, I fight back tears. I grab Lydia and hold my breath because the vomit smell is almost intoxicating. I sit in the car and choke back a flood of tears. I say a little prayer and I drive away. The tears, however, cannot be stopped. My eyes are flooded with water and my jeans are soaked with tears. I convince myself that coffee would make it all better.
As we drive home, Lydia's head starts to bob. She is having a hard time staying awake. I know that she wants to give me a hug, because that is just what she does. But, she can't fight the Sandman and soon sub comes to sleep. I continue to drive and sob as I try to drink my coffee. By the way, the coffee tasted OK, but it did not calm the battle that was raging within me.
It is Tuesday, that means that I am suppose to be as school volunteering and Lydia is suppose to be at school learning and interacting. I am suppose to be busy making plans for the Valentine's banquet that I am planning for this coming Friday. It was suppose to be a very productive day. This is my day.
Doesn't sickness know that Lydia is WAY down weight and needs to eat? Doesn't sickness know that she cannot afford to not eat, she needs to gain weight like yesterday? Doesn't this sickness realize that I have better things to do than tend to a sick child all day? Doesn't this sickness understand that I am so over you? Doesn't this sickness understand that it is no longer welcomed here?
I cry because I am battling selfishness. I don't want to give up the little bit of independence that I have recently found with Lydia attending school. I don't want to have to stay up late planning the last minute details for the Valentine's day banquet. I don't want to have to put myself on the backburner. I don't enjoy listening to a child moan and smelling like vomit. I don't like doing the same load of wash over and over and over. I don't like seeing my daughter in pain. I don't like having the stress of having to feed my child. I hate this struggle of feeding. All. Of. The. Time. I don't want to share my strawberries and bananas with my middle child, can't I just have something for myself? For once?
I get it, I get what my mom was talking about when I was younger. There is no privacy as a mom, there is no real mom time, and there is no room for selfishness. And there is no time for me throwing myself on the floor and throwing a tantrum like I often want to do when one of my children are doing that. Can mom just join in once?
I struggle with selfishness. But as I had my good cry, drank my coffee, played some games on the Kindle and rocked this sweet child, I realized that I am so blessed. I have a daughter that I am able to rock and nurture and care for. I am able to see life through a different perspective and I am blessed. I have been shaped and molded into an entirely different mom than I ever imagined myself to be, and it is amazing.
Often times walking this path of a special needs parent who has a child with significant medical needs, I am exhausted and struggle with things. However, I realize how blessed I really am to have Lydia in my life and to learn about her perspective on life. Being a mom, special needs or not, it is hard, it is exhausting, and often times very overwhelming. We do things we don't want to do, things we never thought we were able to, and we learn unexpected lessons that seem to take the most room in our hearts.
I am sure that I will continue to battle selfishness every. single. day. However, I pray that I understand how significant these moments are. I am sure one day I will miss the smell of vomit and rocking a sick whimpering child. Maybe not!?
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9