Reaching Out

When I was eight years old I had my tonsils out. I remember not feeling very bad the first day I got home, but by day two I was miserable.

My parents had pulled out the hide-a-bed in the t.v. room so I could watch movies and so they would be closer to me while I recuperated. My mom spent the first two or three nights sleeping on the pull out bed with me so she would be close if I woke up and needed her.

The second night I did wake up in the middle of the night in a lot of pain. I still remember lying silently in the dark as tears streamed down my face and into my ears and I felt like I had a pile of broken glass in my throat. It was more pain than I had ever been in up until that point and I felt helpless.

I could feel the warmth coming from my mom who was asleep right next to me. I knew I could just reach out and tap her on the shoulder and she would happily get up to get me medicine, a popsicle, or just hold me as I cried, but for some reason I didn’t. I didn’t want to wake her. I felt like I had to endure the pain on my own. I laid there crying for what seemed like hours until I finally drifted back to sleep.

I thought about that time yesterday as I sat in a Women’s Conference yesterday and the speaker talked about his mother being there for him during a time he most needed it. My mother had also done all she could to be available to me when I needed her, but I had not done my part to let her know when that time had come and we both missed out.

It made me think about how many times in my life I had missed out on other’s willingness to help when I needed it. I could certainly think of times when I had made offers of help to friends, but because I didn’t know exactly how to help and they didn’t tell me, nothing came of it.

I am sure I will still be on both sides of this scenario many times in my life, but I am hoping that by being aware of it my heart will soften and I will humble myself and ask for help when it is offered and that I will be more in tune to the needs of those around me.

In Seven Years

Seven years ago today this little girl taught me that my capacity for physical pain was far greater than I ever thought when she raced into this world with no regard to my hollering, “Epidural!”

She showed me that she has things to do and places to go. Right now. She was born half an hour after I slipped on my hospital gown.

In the following weeks she taught me endurance, determination, and faith as we put our house up for sale, suffered through mastitis (yes, we ALL suffered through that), colic, ear infections, and the flu, packed up our three bedroom home, said goodbye to dear friends, and moved three states away all by the time she was six and a half weeks old.

If I thought I was a pro with the first two kids I was wrong. In this child’s first month of life I found myself simultaneously making my one and three year old lunch, talking the phone, and loading the dishwasher. While nursing.

I gained a new level of strength as I carried her in her car seat on one arm, carried my not yet walking one year old on my opposite hip, and dragged my three year as she clung to my belt loops. I was convinced I could handle Target without help and I did.

She showed me that it is okay for a baby to prefer grandma over mom. It makes grandma feel really good and at the end of the day it is mom that gets the final smile as she drifts off to sleep.

In the seven years since since she raced into this world-into the hands of the astonished on-call doctor-she has lifted my spirits when nothing else could, shown me a compassion I didn’t know young children could possess, softened my heart when it wanted to be cold, shared the wisdom of her fresh from God eternal spirit, and raised my joy beyond my greatest expectations.

I hope you will still be dancing on the beach when you are my age.

I love you forever A. Lynn.