Being a mother is one tough gig! It is easy to find yourself discouraged and worn out. But at the end of the day, all we have is now – embrace it!
Imagine my little guy doing a fist bump with me as we say “boom” “boom”; then open our hands in a shaky motion while raising them above our heads as we say “WINGMAN!”
Wow! The tears come instantly as I even write about it. When I look back over my 28 years of mothering, I am painfully aware of how irreplaceable (and gone all too soon) these precious moments are! There are still nights I lay in bed, cry, and implore heaven to PLEASE keep any more memories from fading away or worse, losing the ability make them altogether.
Is it just me or is it a universal plea of every mother to wish for time to slow down or even better, stand still, so we can be fully present, savor the experience and commit every detail to memory? Does your heart twist and ache as you look at the baby pictures of your sixteen year old and recall the cute little things she used to do, as you also lament the days you wish you could have a mom do-over? Mine does!
Sound a little extreme? Perhaps knowing a little more about my incredible “wingman” will help illustrate why such emotion comes up.
I had a picture perfect (okay there is no such thing, how about wonderful ) home birth where I was blessed to welcome our 8 lb. bundle of pure love and joy.
Every day after the birth was a marvel. I cannot put into words how much I loved rocking in the big rocking chair, nursing baby while reading nursery rhymes to big sister. At night he was tucked in close (yes, I co-sleep) and we slept heart to heart. Heaven!
But around two and a half weeks later, he slowed nursing and I sensed something wasn’t right. Twenty – four hours later he is no longer eating and has a cry that will be forever seared into my soul.
Seizure in the ER.
Lifeflight to the best hospital 2 hours away.
I watch helplessly as he cries that unforgettable cry and I can’t comfort him.
Lumbar Puncture- white blood cell count off the charts high
Late On Set- Group B Strep
Prognosis? Most babies this severe have at a minimum hearing loss many are left with severe brain damage.
Dear God, please help us!
After 7 grueling days of uncertainty, we finally took him home, with a pic-line, and a host of other health-related issues to deal with. Among which, he lost the ability to nurse normally. That meant for the next 17 months I faithfully pumped and used a supplemental nursing system.
Did he recover? Yes – no hearing loss- no brain damage- our very own miracle.
I am grateful these challenges happen (when they are over) to remind us that our greatest blessings are our families. I’ve had enough of these kinds of challenges along the way that now it’s all I can do not to shout treasure EVERY fist bump when I see families taking each other for granted!
I know you know this. I do not pretend to be raining down any new revelations or wisdom belonging only to the sages.
What I am offering is a fresh reminder, to be recalled on those days the play dough doesn’t come out of the new carpet, you are faced with the decision to go get stitches or handle it at home, you have yet another freaking science fair project, your little cherub picked up your favorite swear word which he decides to announce to grandma at dinner, or you just wonder “can really I do this?”
YES! You can- as cliché as it sounds- You are stronger than you know.
We all want to look back and be able to say “I got it right”. How horrible it will be if we get to the end and see our doorstep littered with good intentions and missed opportunities to give our families our best!
How do we avoid that horrible experience? Self-examination is vital! We must be willing to ask ourselves a few key questions-
Is my family getting the best version of myself I can be?
Am I healthy emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially?
Do I see my rolls in the life of my family as sacred callings or obligations I because I have to?
Notice any need for improvement? Umm… YA! We all do.
But NO looking back! You are where you are and it’s a perfect starting point. The good news is that all of the areas of health grow in proportion with each other. In other words, when we clean up any area of our lives, the others come along too.
How exciting is that? (Fist bump please, you have read this far and are now initiated into the Wingman Club) I am thrilled to grow together as we lay the foundation the next generations will build upon.
Speaking of the next generations- it’s time for me to pick up them up and…. Start…. Dinner!
I know! I know, this is the question that just never ends. OY! There it is again, that dang “f” word – FOOD.
Don’t lose heart~ we will tackle this head on – in the next blog…
For now, I am off to love up all my amazing wingmen.
Wishing you the best and hoping you drink deeply from the well of priceless memories with your wingmen and please, please soak up every moment.