It was two weeks ago, June 7, when I wrote about learning to let go of that controlling death grip on our children we mothers can get, especially where our sons are concerned.
The late afternoon sun was still a scorching 95 degrees when I was filled with a strong conviction that as hard as it was to not be everything, do everything, and know everything for my children, I was not called be the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Yes, a mother's job was to train up her child in the Lord, to protect them from everything possible, and to teach them to love and live like Jesus. Yet, as a mother, I had to realize there is only way to protect them from everything wrong in this world, and that is is to place them in a bubble where they cannot be given the chance to be lights and witnesses to the world around them.
Unbeknownst to me, as I pressed "publish," the truth of my words were already being tested.
As I typed, on the other end of the farm, my oldest son, Wyatt, had fallen to the ground while running at play with his sister. Two hours later when he returned home, he complained that his finger hurt from the fall. I looked at it, shrugged, and sent him on to bed.
Saturday morning found the finger swollen, bruised, and painful enough to bring tears. One trip to the After Hours clinic and several worried hours later after waiting on a specialist, we received word it was only a sprain, not a fracture as the first technician had thought.
Wyatt would spend the next week wearing a splint and crying for three nights because his finger hurt even with the Ibuprofen.
There was nothing I could do.
Each night he cried, I ached at my limitations. I hurt with my son.
The following Friday, Wyatt removed the splint, a happy boy once more. But less than twenty-four hours later, husband was headed for his second trip to the After Hours clinic, this time with son #2.
As I was cleaning up after supper in the kitchen, Emerson had run full-speed down the stairs, tripped, and fallen into the wall on the landing in front of him. His screams and the blood gushing through his pudgy fingers were typical of a head wound. Still, it was terrifying enough for Wyatt to look at him and start yelling in hysteria, "He's going to D-I-E!!!"
No stitches. Just glue...and an admonishment to not let him sweat for 5-10 days or the oils in the skin would loosen the glue, reopening up the wound. In South Louisiana where it's 86 degrees before 9am, Emerson had just been punished to a solid week indoors. I would often catch him gingerly rubbing his eye near the wound. It hurt.
Again, there was nothing I could do. I hurt with my second son.
That entire week was spent obeying doctor's orders. The children and I lived indoors and went only places with air conditioning. Yet, as Wednesday turned to Thursday, my oldest son began to grow inexplicably ill with what I thought at the time were unrelated symptoms.
Wyatt was unusually clingy, longing to spend hours reading quietly or sitting curled up in my lap for love. Then, he stopped eating anything in the evenings and only his favorites at lunchtime. He began complaining of severe stomach pains at random times. And by Thursday, he began to cry again at night, this time claiming he was cold and needing socks.
Last night (Friday) was the worst, his little body clammy with chills after an unusual two hour nap, his lips suddenly developing a dehydrated appearance, and him crying in a tight ball as husband rocked him. Time for trip #3 to After Hours.
This time? Food poisoning. The doctor said to keep hydrating him, be watchful, and go home.
Really!? There's nothing I can do.....again!?
This time, I was worried more than the others. Maybe it's that I was concerned due to my last bout with food poisoning. Or maybe it's just that this was trauma number three in fourteen days' time so it seemed more dangerous.
I prayed. I texted my pastor for prayer. I called my in laws and parents for prayer.
By 4:00 this afternoon, Wyatt was back to his old self again--annoying his little sister, talking nonstop, and having an actual appetite. I gave thanks to God for his rapid healing.
It's been a long time since I felt like I was under attack like this.
I felt God asking me in each of these events, "Did you really mean what you wrote? Are you really willing to give your children to me to protect them in all things? Do you really understand how little you can do for them and how much I can do?"
My answer is now a more humbled, more understanding, weaker, "yes."
My children belong to Him. Even my best isn't good enough. Daily, I
need my God to watch over them, protect them, and lead me to be a good,
Godly mother who loves and leads them to the One who loves them more than I ever could.
Image: Our Tuesday outing to the well-air conditioned youth ballet of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the mall.