Someone asked me last week if I was still writing. The answer is yes, but I have not been able to press “publish” on anything that has come out of my heart in the last few weeks. I think you need to know why, but this story is full and unfinished and hard. I have debated not telling it. I have wanted to keep it to myself until it was wrapped up in a pretty package and the happily ever after was known.
But here is what I know. That’s not me. I don’t do cleaned up and polished and fancy. I do messy and authentic and real. While this is my story, it also belongs to my family, so it has taken time to put into words the group journey. We are a team. I want the next few blog posts to reflect a corporate journey. You will hear from other voices. You will hear honesty. And you will also hear truth. Sometimes, truth hurts and burns and aches. It is my prayer that this truth can open and inspire and create more healing in our family and in yours. Here is our journey:
I can remember sitting in the waiting room. I knew that something was not right, but I was hoping that the pediatrician that we have seen since her birth would have the answers. She was scared. I was pretending to be strong. I said all of the right mom things. Calmly, I assured her that we would get to the bottom of this. As the nurse walked us to the scale and took her vitals, I felt an overwhelming since of inadequacy.
As a parent, you are charged with mastery. Say what you want about just doing your best, but there are some things for which we are not given that option. Our kids require nutrition. Our kids deserve healthcare. Our kids need to know they are safe. There are many things that we can debate, like cellphone use and internet access, but good parents see food, wellness and safety as high priorities.
We can work hard. We can give them a lovely house in a safe neighborhood in the suburbs. We can encourage friendships. We can control their community. We can even mastermind their teachers and churches and sports and music lessons. We can do all the things right. And yet, things can still go so wrong. If you have ever had a child that was sick, you know that you cannot guarantee health. You can promise them the best medical care your money and doctors can offer, but sometimes the answers are not quick, the cure is not available and the only sure bet is that they are loved, no matter what.
There was a reality that settled in as we sat in the doctor’s office that day. I could not save her. This was completely out of my control. I was about to enter into a territory that I never wanted to learn about. If you have never had this moment as a parent, I pray you never do. Things only got worse as we were escorted to the tiny room where we would meet with the doctor. The waiting was bad, but as the doctor entered, I could FEEL the tension in the room rise. Her tension. My tension. What if…?
The doctor spoke so calmly. The words were not complicated or confusing. On the surface it seemed so simple, but it was far from it.
We need to run some tests.
You need to see a specialist.
These are appropriate, good next steps. But they were terrifying. All I could hear in my mom brain was I KNEW IT. At my core – in my quietest moment – my knower knew that somethings was not ok. And the doctor knew it, too.
As we walked from the office that day, we entered a new world. One that I was not ready for. One that I could have handled had it been me. But it wasn’t. It was my 7 pound 1 ounce baby girl. The one that I could hold and help. The one that I could feed and soothe. The one that could melt the heart of anyone in her midst – both as a 2 year old and a 15 year old. And there was not one damn thing that I could do to change where this road was headed. So much for the super power of a mom.