I know I’ve talked a lot in this blog about how hard this year has been, and there have been many times that I felt helpless and that things were out of my control.
But watching your child be sick has got to be one of the hardest things ever!
Last night at a family gathering for my nephew Mark’s birthday, James was not wanting to participate. I pushed him and pushed him to be a part of the party, to sit at the table and sing Happy Birthday with his cousins Grady and Emily, and show my family how cute he can be!! He responded by crying and gagging to the point of throwing up. Couldn’t have been more opposite of cute. This alone is enough to make me feel horrible. But to realize the next day, that he truly was starting to be sick, makes me feel even worse. But I had no way of knowing that this “bug” had entered his system. I thought he was just being a crabby ten-year-old
boy and I wanted him to be “present” for the celebration. I demanded he be present.
I wanted him to perform.
It’s such a fine line between challenging him out of his comfort zone or not. But as I just typed that sentence I realize that when the motivation is about “me” I’ve gone too far. When will I finally get that almost everything is not about me?
Sometime around 2:30am, James woke and seemed happy. He sang songs and cuddled. But around 7am, things took a drastic turn. The fever arrived and by the way he is swallowing, I’m guessing a horrible sore throat. I don’t know. But he and Elmo were out for the count
He fell back to sleep this morning and I laid next to him and apologized. I apologized for pushing him yesterday. And I said that
I know that he came into this world in this form and body to teach me and others about how to let go of all that doesn’t matter in life.
I told him that I know that his presence on this planet is bigger than participating in a birthday dinner. And that it just took me a day to remember that if singing Happy Birthday to Uncle Mark makes him feel uncomfortable, then maybe that’s okay. Because the truth is that James is thankful for Uncle Mark every single minute of every single day and doesn’t need a cake to remind him to be.
I seem to need a cake or donut to remind me of everything!
We also had a long talk about medicine and how much it would help him, if he would only take it. Sigh So here’s a Christmas puzzle for you…. James eats five foods when he’s with me; yogurt, cheese sticks, pancakes, noodles and Auntie Kiki’s toast. Occasionally a fruit cup or applesauce. And of course, lots of milk.
If someone can tell me how to hide medicine in any of these that James will not discover, it will truly be a Christmas miracle.
(I’m confident also that is someone would manufacture odorless tasteless med’s they would make a fortune. At least off us!)
Once again, it comes down to acceptance of what is, of WHO James is. And today he is sick. So, we will cuddle and sleep and pray and read Cat In The Hat books and try to stay away from the dozen’s and dozen’s of cookies on Auntie Kiki’s table. (Okay, I may have already failed at that goal and it’s only 10:15am.)
I was listening to a great book last week called “The Obstacle IS the way” and heard this;
“We wrongly assume that moving forward is the only way to progress, the only way we can win. Sometimes, staying put, going sideways, or moving backward is actually the best way.”
So today I embrace my failures. I’ll embrace going sideways and I’ll be thankful for James’ illness, only because it may be the one thing and the only way that helps me approach this Christmas season reminded of what is truly important.
Happy Birthday Uncle Mark. We love you every day.