Wednesday, January 20, 2010

another lesson in humility

My kids leave soggy, wet towels on the floor in their room after a shower.

My kids ignore me for hours, and choose the exact minute I pick up the phone to desperately need all of my attention.

My kids leave a trail of crumbs behind them everywhere they go.

My kids eat way too many pancakes, covered in way too much syrup.

My kids (especially that middle one) track mud obliviously through my just-mopped kitchen.

My kids climb trees and scrape their knees. And then proceed to use no less than 19 bandaids to make it all better.

My kids fight and tease each other.

My kids get their feelings hurt by other kids at school.

My kids somehow always find and consume my stash of the good (and expensive) protein bars.

My kids jump on the trampoline until they are breathless. Then they get up and do it again.

My kids ride bikes in the wintertime with red cheeks and knitted caps.

My kids sometimes make their beds.

My kids love to read.

My kids cannot fall asleep unless they hug and kiss me goodnight.

My kids run hard, play hard, and laugh hard.

My kids do a lot. Some of it gets on my nerves.

My kids have full bellies and rich lives.

Today I was reminded of this as I sat once again in the waiting room at Children's Hospital where McKay goes twice a year for his asthma check up. I sat next to a mama who held a toddler on her lap. The beautiful boy was bald, though not like a newborn - from chemo. She had bags under her eyes and wore her tremendous worry on her sleeve like a thousand-pound anvil. She smiled and thanked me when I handed her something she dropped. My heart ached for this scared little mama and her sick baby. I felt guilty, as I looked over at my robust, healthy boy - totally absorbed in his book and oblivious to the sorrows surrounding us.

Today, once again, my heart is full of gratitude for all the many things my kids can do.

And it aches terribly for the mamas whose kids cannot.

30 comments:

Lauren in GA said...

I know. I go to doctor appointments all of the time and see so many beautiful children with heartbreaking afflictions. My little John will most likely walk away from all of his current problems...but those sweet babies never will.

You are such a fantastic writer. Thank you for saying it perfectly.

Robyn said...

Christie - thank you for this wonderful reminder to enjoy and be grateful for the things our children do and can do. Your writing is such a blessing to my day.

Lisa-Marie said...

Way to go. I am sobbing. Literally sobbing. What's my problem?

I too have spent plenty of time in a Children's Hospital thanking the Lord for the blessings that my Father has given us, and with a breaking heart at the same time that all the kiddos won't be so lucky.

Thank you for the reminder. Gentle reminders are good. Oh,so good.

SM said...

Thanks for the morning cry. I totally agree!

Have a wonderful day.

Jessica said...

When I hold me darling girls (6, 3, and 2 months), I am so thankful for their health. Oh, the horrors that other mothers go through.

brooke said...

amen. I'm so glad my kids wear me out in all the good ways. I found myself in a very awkward and embarrasing situation as I was complaining about my active 2 year old who screams all the time to my friend whose only daughter is 9 and is confined to a wheelchair and will never speak. We all need these reminders all the time.

kayla & tyler said...

oh that is really sad!! i think it's easy to feel bad for ourselves, but when we really look around and see all the people and all the many trials and sorrows and struggles they have, we realize how blessed we are!!! I do that all the time. I wish I could remember to always be so grateful. so thanks for this post, it helps me remember all the wonderful blessings I have!!

Tristan said...

Oh that just breaks my heart! Children should be exempt from getting that sick :( It is just not right.

But I have to say that my kids pick the exact moment I'm on the phone to bug me too! Then I have screaming children in the background and it sounds like I lead a chaotic life. Crazy kids!

Thanks for this post! It was so tender!

Christy said...

Another great post beautifully written.

Thelma said...

This made me cry. Thanks for the perspective on a day when Mark is threatening to bring down the entire house with his light saber.

Amanda D said...

Ooh, I so needed this today. Thankyou.

Jen said...

Thank you for this post. Now I'm getting off this computer to enjoy time with my kid. I am so grateful for my kids' health.

Annemarie said...

I will hug them all a little tighter today. Thanks :)

Bonnie said...

I haven't checked in on your blog for a while but it's always been one of my favorites. Now I am reminded why. We have so much to be thankful for. Thanks for the reminder!

Jessica said...

NOTHING like a Children's Hospital to make you start counting your blessings.

I'm glad for HEALTHY, naughty kids!

JoLyn said...

Thanks for helping me count my blessings. You said it so beautifully.

My son and I were just going over our list--to-do's, must-do's, worries, stresses, homework, and on and on. Then we glanced at a Haiti update. And grew silent. A quick perspective check was just what we needed.

Cara said...

Thanks for the reminder - I'm going to go hug my kids right now and maybe even make them some cookies!♥

jessica said...

I have a friend with a sick baby, he is only a month older than Camden. It is so heartbreaking to watch them deal with all his surgeries. It doesn't take much to forget what a blessing it his to have healthy kiddos. Thanks for the reminder.

Mrs T said...

My heart hurt just reading that. We all forget to be grateful.

phd in yogurtry said...

Only one thing worse than soggy towels on the bathroom floor: soggy towels on the closet floor, carpeted closet floor. Argh.

danandcindy said...

Please do not deviate from the normal blog theme highlighting the superficial elements of your life. It is much more difficult to mock when you write about this stuff.

diane said...

My missionary asthma boy sees his allergist weekly. He said that being a special needs missionary has an upside because he gets a car. It's all about perspective.

I have a 9 year old nephew who is going on year 3 of treatment for leukemia. He just wants to go on a mission. These boys are my heros.

crystal said...

Can you please do these types of posts when i am not premenstrual? I'll email you my cycle calendar if you wish.

Aubrey said...

I'm always so glad my kids are healthy and normal. I don't know if I could survive one of them having cancer or worse. Good reminder. I'll definitely take pulling my hair out every day over my busy rascals.

Ilene said...

I swear my world is going to end because Thomas refuses to poop on the potty.

Clearly, it will not.

Woman Interrupted said...

Very timely for me. I just heard about a local mom who lost her 5 month old to SIDS. So instead of moaning when my 4 month old needs to be nursed at 3am, I have been thanking God for that lusty cry. Thank God!

calibosmom said...

Thanks Stie.

Cindy said...

I have had many of those same feelings. Once, it was when visiting our local Childrens Hospital for one of the three-times-a-week physical therapy appointments we were going to. I saw a friend from my not so distant past and asked her what brought her to the hospital-- she replied that her daughter was having major heart surgery... Each time we go (now for other reasons) I see babies that are so sick. I have never again felt bad about the minor reasons we have to go to the hospital. Only grateful for the (what seem to be so hard at the time)challenges we face. Thank you for writing this so well.

Linsey said...

I am convinced having healthy kids is the best blessing there is. So many other things can be dealt with, but when your baby is sick and you can't fix it, there is no more helpless feeling in the world.

shilo said...

I started to tear up reading this post. You have quite a gift with words. Even when I am stressed about balancing my new life, it helps to remember to be grateful for what I have. Grateful my son has healthy enough lungs to cry. Grateful he eats so well, even if it is around the clock. Grateful he likes to be held, even when I have other things that need to be done. I know these moments are precious and will be gone before I know it.