Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our First Trip to the ER and Other Highlights

I don't want to be yet another mom that waxes poetic about the hardships of raising a child. And so I won't be.

Instead, I shall be a mom that talks about how immature I am as an adult and how my nearly-two toddler makes that very apparent to me on a daily basis.

 I have always wanted to be a mom. Well, let me rephrase that in light of what I know now. I have always wanted to be a mom in the way that you hope to run a marathon someday but really have no idea how much training and commitment it fully requires.

Decorating the nursery and picking out baby names was about as involved that I had ever been in child rearing before Mr.J busted onto the scene. I, myself, was the baby of my little family and was not one to ever apply for a babysitting license- I didn't particular warm to children even as a tween. However, my mother always said, "Its different when its yours."

She was right.

The difference she speaks of doesn't make it easier when your little tornado is shoving a spoon full of peanut butter into your laptop's USB connection- but it does make it manageable and miraculous all at once. I find myself saying in moments like that, "Oh look how creative he is. We have a real Picaso-meets-impressionist here, don't we? Genius."

The truth is that we all make up excuses for our children- good ones and bad ones. While we discipline the best we know how and give them a moral code and hopefully a great example of Christian living, they are ours. Which means they aren't perfect. Drat.

Every child have our genetics and our sins in addition to their own gifts and their own ghosts. However, they have an entirely different centigrade of genes and ingenuous that we can't begin to understand and ever hope to take credit for. And because of this, we see all of the little splintered hopes of our childhood turned into adulthood, and we want to give them everything we had or didn't have.

My son had his first trip to the ER at 20 months of age (just two days ago). While this is something that high-energy-kids are prone towards- and you know its coming if you are a parent of a Tasmanian devil incarnate- you are still never fully prepared. This was proven true when I found myself screaming at my mother while holding my son's bloodied hand in a dirty dish rag. Oh, how awful I am in moments of panic. He slammed his little finger in a drawer. That was all.

No knife juggling to be seen, no dare-devil leaps from the top of the slide, no trying to balance himself on the back of the couch. Instead of these moments which could have prepared me for such a horrific injury- I was blindsided. He nearly took the tip of his left index finger off, and while it could have been soooo much worse, his moment came from the unexpected. Just like everything else thus far in parenthood. 

After taking my son to the ER I limped back into our vacation condo with frazzled nerves like the end of a severed electrical wire. I climbed into bed with a glass of wine in hand and a shirt covered in blood.

With the acid still unsettled in my stomach, it is in moments like those that we discover how deep a parent's love goes. While silent and not-so-silent prayers were uttered from my lips as my son went from hysterical to hyperventilation- from the waiting room to the discharge counter- I hoped to take the pain on myself. I couldn't. I wanted to make it go away. I had no way of doing that. Take the tippy-tip of my finger instead, Lord.

And yet, there it was still intact. Still functional. So why did everything inside of me hurt so bad?

Going through this for the first time led me to God. And of course, this led me to Jesus. Mary had to watch her son be mutilated beyond recognition. And I couldn't even stand to watch my son get 3 stitches. I don't know why God made the world so full of thorn-covered roses. Why can't there just be beauty without the ugliness? I don't know. That's what makes me the child of God instead of the parent I guess.

True love in this world is only fully bloomed when pain is present. Labor and birth is the perfect example.

Regardless of spiritual awakenings found only in hospitals amid fear and loathing, I am hoping we won't have to go through something like this anytime again soon.

So what am I learning today?

I am learning to be patient in the process of pain. I am learning that the combination of relaxation/vacation/children is not possible. Oh well, I can relax in 18 years, right? Oh wait, how old do kids have to be to get a motorcycle license? Cripes. 

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