Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thankful for the Small Things

My husband talked with a former co-worker today and learned that the co-worker's 3-year-old grandson is going through intensive chemo.  Having a 3-year-old son ourselves, it really struck home.  My mom also lost a young man in her life last weekend who had been star of his football team and had suffered a mysterious brain hemorrhage right after his high school graduation.  He had never recovered completely but had remained involved in the community and church and his loss was felt deeply. 

It is these kinds of reminders that will prompt many "luv u" texts throughout the day and lots of hugs and kisses for the little ones tonight.  As much as we may have complained about the recent minor struggles in our life - vehicle problems, unexpected schedule changes, work frustrations, difficult friendships/relatives - we know that we have been truly blessed.  While both of our children had difficult labor stories, both came out unscathed and have no long-term issues. They are both bright and funny and loving children.  We can't imagine better kids (but then I know we all feel that way).  
So as you struggle through potty-training, fighting siblings, getting back into the school routine, sleep routines, picky eaters, whining - and all those struggles that go with being a parent...  Be sure to take a deep breath, give them a hug & a kiss, tell them you love them, say a little prayer of thanks to God for each day you have them in your arms to hold, and say a little prayer for those who don't have theirs to hold or have to hold them through such terrifying illness.  And if you have an angel baby, remember the ways your child touched those here on earth and thank God for those precious moments they were with you.

When I woke this morning it was tired and a little irritated at the loss of sleep caused by my Little Man climbing in bed with us at 3 a.m. and spending the next 3 hours rubbing his feet on my legs and bonking my head with his as he tried to snuggle closer.  My perspective is much different now as I think of how much I love that little chubby hand on my cheek as he sleeps and the big hugs and kisses as I dropped him off to school.  
And as I remember how scared I was in this moment.  When he was not breathing deeply enough and I forced the doctor to take him back so the NICU nurses could give him oxygen as he searched for me at the sound of my voice.  And the NICU nurses rushed him away as I hemorrhaged...
And I think of this baby girl who is my mini-me.  Who burst into the world wide-eyed and ready to go about 5 weeks before she was supposed to on her own terms (which was apparently just a preview of what was to come...).  
She is smart as a whip, game for just about anything, ready to solve all problems in the world, nurturing, with an open heart and mind, and oh-so-patient with the baby brother she begged us to give her for years...
I'll sacrifice the sleep (and whatever else I have to) and take those kisses while I can...

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