all of our kids have thrown up now. amelia for the first time when she was newly 5. wilbur for the first time just last week. at mcdonald’s. yes, at mcdonald’s. and orville for the first time just last night.
it was around 10:45pm. josh and i were sitting in the living room talking about his job and various issues there. we heard orville call out, “something is wrong with my tummy.” josh went flying up the stairs to get him. well, he didn’t actually fly, but he did run very, very fast. he grabbed orville out of bed and took him into the bathroom. his shirt was covered with the stuff. the throw up that is.
i went in to check his bed. it was everywhere. josh cleaned up orville and put him in clean jammies. i stripped the bed and got everything rinsed out and into the washing machine. josh held orville on the couch for awhile. it reminded us of when the kids first came home and orville had a hard time sleeping. josh would take him to the couch and rest with him for awhile and then put him back in his bed. josh tried to talk to orville about it, but orville didn’t understand. josh said, “when you first came home, you were a little guy. well, not really little. you were like a big baby. and daddy would hold you when you couldn’t sleep.” orville said, “no, i not a big baby.”
after josh held him awhile last night, orville wanted to come to me. while i held him, i sang. before i became a mom, that was always one of my dreams, to sing to my baby. orville sang with me here and there, to twinkle twinkle little star, my God is so big, Jesus loves me, go tell it on the mountain, you are my sunshine. josh put clean bedding on orville’s bed, i put him back in it.
josh and i settled into the same places we were before orville called out to us. i was so happy we were here to help him. but i was also sad that when amelia was orville’s age, we didn’t get to help her. and then i started to question if we have handled her the right way when she’s been sick. when she was sick the first time, she was crying loudly and we kept having to tell her to quiet down so she wouldn’t wake her brothers. she had a hard time following instructions as we’d try to change her into clean clothes, clean up her bed, clean up her floor, etc. she seemed to always end up in the spot we were trying to clean. i would get mad, easily, and feel so guilty.
josh reminded me that we can’t change any of that. we did the best we could. we are doing the best we can. because we missed out on amelia’s early years, we can do better now. he told me he makes it a point every night when he tucks her in to tell her how much he loves her, how special she is, and how proud he is of her.
and i struggle, almost daily, wondering if we are doing things right. do i hug them enough? do i kiss them enough? do i smile at them enough? do i talk to them enough? do i engage them enough? am i teaching them the right things? do i point them to God enough? do i let them watch too much TV? do i read to them enough? the list can, and sometimes does, go on and on.
here is the word the Lord sent me this morning in my devotional:
“for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” jeremiah 29:11
“do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough for your children? the recording in your head begins playing, “you’re a bad mother.” i hear that same recording. sometimes it plays nonstop. i worry that i am not providing my children with the opportunities that will bring success. what if they don’t make the middle school soccer team because i didn’t sign them up for summer soccer camp? what if they miss out on academic scholarships because i didn’t spend enough time reading with them when they were little? what if? what if? what if? you know, God doesn’t want us dwelling in the land of “what if?”. He wants us to trust Him with our children. He wants us to quit “what-if-ing!” God has a plan for their lives-better than you could ever imagine. so, relax. you’re not a bad mother because you missed soccer camp sign-ups. if you’ve given your children to God, you’ve given them the best chance to succeed that you could ever give them!”
“Lord, i give my children to You. thank You, God, for Your plans. Amen.”