Sometimes I wish I would have listened a little more carefully and pondered a bit more about the suffering and worry that children would bring. But other times I'm so grateful for that bliss full period in my life. Newly married, a wonderful first pregnancy, loving my husband, grocery shopping together for fun, fixing up our first home together....bliss full I tell you.
And then our first was born. And life takes on a whole new meaning at that very second. The realization slams you in the face that YOU are the reason this tiny thing even exists (along with God who created them of course) and that they will depend on you for everything. Everything.
I remember the very first time I truly worried about Thomas. He was six months old. He woke up in the middle of the night one evening and through the dark I could tell that something was wrong with him. I tore off his feet jammies and saw red blotches covering his body. We called my mom, asked her what we should do, she told us to take him to the ER, and off we went. Holding my baby in the front seat while TJ navigated our car through the snow drifts to the emergency room. I was scared.
Each child comes into the world with their own thing. Their own issues, if you will. Allergic to peanuts. Asthma. Dairy intolerant. Eczema. Now multiply that by four, in my case, which leads to multiple causes for worrying about them. And I'm pregnant, which in itself is a whole category for worry. Wondering if the baby is growing and living and thriving inside of me. Thomas is allergic to cats, dogs, trees, grass, and the biggest one...peanuts. Not to mention that he has asthma which provides him the luxury of hauling around his medicine chest full of inhalers, benedryl, epi pen, ect. wherever he goes. George is dairy intolerant, we think. No ice cream, milk, yogurt. Annie has had a terrible case of hives a few years ago and the only thing the doctors could determine was she reacted to the watermelon she ate that day. No watermelon, or other melons for Annie since. And Evelyn, oh Evelyn. She has had a rough June to say the least. After a camping trip, we discovered that she had gotten Lyme Disease.
Let the worrying begin. I'm terribly worried all the time about their health. From the stomach flu to cancer. We've spent the last month pumping her full of medicines to kill the Lyme, while at the same time she had a reaction to a bug bite, and then hives all over her body around the Fourth of July. Every single day I look at her and wonder what is wrong with you? Are you alright? It's a constant state of worry for me. We've just realized that the medicine she first was on was not the right one and for not nearly long enough to actually kill the Lyme. Worry. Worry. Worry. Luckily I have a wonderful doctor who was very compassionate and understanding and had no problem putting her on the other medication.
I try and bury the worry deep down somewhere inside of me. When people ask, how are you and your family? I respond with a were doing good.... to cover up my worry and push it back down.
The other morning I realized that I have neglected to pray for Evelyn. I've talked with my mom and aunt, who first hand is dealing with caring for her daughter-in -law who has Lyme Disease. I've talked with doctors and friends, trying to figure out what she could be reacting to, but have I begged God for His help? Have I spent time with Him, the one who can truly help?
I started praying, asking, begging to have faith and trust. To remember that He has entrusted these children to us with no guarantee for how long. To do our best, and let God do the rest. I began to ask Mary for her motherly protection for our children. That She care for them even better than I. That She help me to trust that our children will be alright.
I am very aware of the fact that even though our children all have their issues, they are basically healthy, happy, holy little people. They can walk, talk, eat, play, read, sleep, and live. They are beautiful individuals. I refuse to let worrying rob me of enjoying them and watching them grow. I refuse to let it scare me from having more children. I refuse to dwell on the what if's and instead practice trusting in God to care for them and protect their souls. A good friend of mine pointed out something to me the other day. She said, Kristi, you are not upstairs in you bed, sucking your thumb, because you are afraid. You are sitting outside with them, enjoying them. You are using the Grace that God has given you to get through this.