At this very moment, Mister Man (our 9 month old) is sleeping on the cold tile in the corner of our living room floor. The little lady is in bed screaming something to the effect of her not wanting to be there…I’m assuming. I can’t be totally sure as I’ve turned the TV to a volume I don’t think it’s ever been at to drown her out.
Life goes on.
No, this moment isn’t my most proud. I will give myself a few minutes to calm down and then I will go in and sweetly soothe my daughter. I will pick the baby up off the hard floor. I will change him into his jammies. I will give more kisses. Say more prayers. Sing more songs.
But I need this moment. Don’t you? Doesn’t life warrant some less-than-proud moments?
When my youngest was born, he was my biggest baby at a whopping seven pounds and eleven ounces. He looked huge to me. He didn’t seem as fragile.
But life goes on. And it went on.
And he stopped growing.
Things weren’t happening like they were supposed to. It was his kidneys. Then it wasn’t. It was his liver. Then in wasn’t. It was his brain. Then it wasn’t. They tested for everything. Leukemia, autoimmune disorders, and every other thing that a parent fears.
During this terribly exhausting time, we got phone call after phone call. Friends and family checking in. Asking if we needed anything. Told us to call with updates – and never were angry when we forgot. Never held it against us when we didn’t call, when we didn’t text, when we didn’t write. Never held against us that we were late to everything for a solid 3 months. Never acted irritated when they found out through someone else what we had promised we would tell them personally.
But there were also those who questioned us. Strangers even, who would comment on my sons size and look at me like I was doing something wrong.
And then he started to grow. Very slowly.
And the calls kept coming. Friends and family alike called and got excited with us over every ounce. Prayed with us for more ounces.
Mister Man is still small. He is barely on the charts. But he IS on them.
And the phone calls have slowed.
But the relationships haven’t.
You know, it’s during those times in your life when you tend to realize what really matters.
I, for instance, realized that I want to be the one who calls. I want each one of my friends and family members to know that I will always call. That I will always care. That I will never hold against them their shortcomings in times of trial.
We had some friends and family who didn’t call. And that’s okay too.
And others who didn’t call – and it’s not okay.
We were hurt by people – and loved by people. We were tired – and taken care of. We were overwhelmed – and brought comfort.
But life goes on.
We are now facing the scary news that he isn’t quite where he should be developmentally – something that only a few friends and family have known until this moment. We are heading into another battle.
And I am tired.
I know I can expect some of those snide comments about what I have done wrong. Why I deserve this trial.
But I also know I can rely on those who will call to listen to me cry for a moment.
I have been the heroic mother – with all three kids quietly behaving at the grocery store. I have also been the mom who takes her time getting into the car when two out of three are screaming – standing outside the car enjoying the quiet for one last moment.
I have been the domestic mother – baking homemade whole grain bread for my kids. I have also been the mother giving my kids fruit snacks for dinner because I was too tired.
I have been the lucky mother – with all my kids healthy and happy. I have also been the burdened mother facing scary times in my kids’ health.
I have mourned loss. And I have thanked God for the joy in my life. I have fallen short and lost my temper. But I have also been kind and soft.
I choose to be okay with how average I am.
My point is this…
At no point in time are you able to tell what another person is going through. Be careful with your words. Be careful with your glances and your thoughts. Guard yourself from being judgmental.
That mom who just yelled at her child to be quiet? Perhaps it is coming after days of managing her temper. The dad who just bribed his kid with candy to obey? Maybe it’s been a hard day – full of hard decisions – and, even if only for a moment, he is seeking peace by whatever means. That couple who can’t quiet their child at the table next to you? Give them grace and spare the dirty looks. Maybe they just need someone to be kind. Maybe they just need a smile.
Maybe we all just need a little something kind sometimes to hold us over through the junk.
Tonight – my little something will be gallons of wine and bad TV.