Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Lord, teach me to be more thankful

Hubby and I were at the end of our rope last night. Reagan is not well. She has been running a fever and seemingly suffering with the same teeth/ear/sinus/respiratory junk that affects her once every month or so. When it hits, she doesn't really sleep, she doesn't eat, she doesn't play, she cries or whines almost all the time and she insists on being held. It is draining. So draining. So when she woke up at 11:30 p.m. crying we knew we were in for a long night. When she hadn't really settled down and gone back to sleep by about 2:00 I seriously considered sleeping in the car. And when she cried...really cried...for the next hour I wanted to scream. Part of me wanted to pick her up and yell at her to BE QUIET. Yeah, that's the ugly side of parenting. Sometimes, when your kid is miserable and you just can't take another minute you want to yell at them. Of course, I didn't do that. Part of me wanted to take over for Hubby because I knew he was running out of energy to fight her. Part of me wanted to just cuddle her and rub her back and sing her to sleep. But we had agreed last night that I would go to work today and Hubby would stay home with her. So I knew I needed to sleep. At 3:00she seemed to simmer down and her exhausted little body hung limply on her Daddy as they slept in the chair. I crawled into bed and got just enough sleep to enable me to function today.

We go through this on occassion - where Reagan gets sick and just won't sleep and in the darkness of that night we ask ourselves so many questions we wouldn't admit to - why did we want children...if we had known it would be like this...what are we doing wrong...why is this happening to us again...etc.

I managed to pull myself together in time to get to work today. Hubby and Reagan are at home and hopefully they are doing okay. I sat down at my desk and checked a couple blogs I read faithfully. Like this one.

I like a pretty eclectic mix of music. One of my favorites being Selah. My Dad and I are effectively hooked on this group. They write and perform some of the most moving pieces I have ever heard. But my appreciation is growing to understanding now as I read the blog of one of their lead singers. Todd and his wife are expecting a baby girl. In fact, she will be born on April 14. But unless our awesome God performs a complete miracle, this little one will not live very long. Her little body is just not able to live outside her mother. Too many problems. And they are making plans no parent should ever have to make, even as she kicks and squirms inside her mother. They, and probably everyone that knows them, is covering tiny little Audrey Caroline in prayer. Asking for a miracle.

And I know, I know that they would give ANYTHING in the world to go through the rough night I just had with their daughter.

I know what it is to hunger for a child - whether one who is expected or one who is not yet known. I understand the pain of empty arms. I have ached to hold a little one who went straight to Jesus. But how easily I forget. How quickly that heartache is blocked out.

I forget sometimes what a precious gift that little girl is to me. I forget sometimes what a tremendous blessing it is to have a child who is not fighting a terminal illness. I forget sometimes how lucky I am to simply fight through ear infections here and there.

Perhaps that's why its easy to feel like a failure as a parent. You complain and struggle through simple, almost silly, tasks all day - like getting her to eat her green beans or changing his diaper without him crawling away from you. And maybe you don't say the words out loud, but inside you think, "WHY!? Why can't you just work with me here?!" And then you hear of someone who can't have that baby, or whose baby is sick, or whose baby won't live long enough to even have her first bath and you just want to sit down on the floor and cry and ask God to forgive you for never appreciating His gifts enough.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Wow Jean. Your writing really resonates with me today! Bennett has the worst time with diapers and eating, just as you mentioned! It's easy to get annoyed by these things - but reading your testimony and also the Smith blog - I'm nearly in tears. Thanks so much for your raw honesty. It's beautiful.
Hope you get more sleep tonight, too :)