Train Up a Child

I am a Christian, but I don’t pray every day.  Most of the time I don’t feel like I’m a very good one.  For me, God is an ever-present, guiding beacon in my life and I feel like I talk to Him or try to feel out what His way would be all throughout the day, but I don’t automatically pray when I close my eyes at night.  I don’t know why.  I don’t even know if that’s important.  What I do know, is I want my faith to be as strong as that of my ten year old son’s.

Jace has been sick off and on all week.  It’s been a weird kind of sickness though and some TMI is about to follow.  Sunday afternoon he said his belly was killing him and he crawled in my bed and fell asleep.  He is never a napper.  Never.  This kid is nocturnal.  He could and would stay up all night and sleep half the day, but he never naps during the day.  When he does, he’s sick.  He slept for about an hour and then woke up vomiting.  It was a one time deal, he got back in bed, went back to sleep and had no more episodes.  Monday I kept him home from school to make sure he was over whatever caused the vomiting.  A huge pet peeve of mine is sending kids to school before they are well so then they make all their classmates sick… but I digress.  Monday, no vomit.  He did have a belly ache and nausea, but no vomit.  I fully expected him to go back to school on Tuesday.  Tuesday morning he woke up still with the belly ache and nausea but I told him he was going to school anyway.  He promptly puked.  And not like, ‘oh, I better puke to get out of school’ vomit.  So I kept him home again.  And again, other than a belly ache and nausea, no more vomiting all day.  Wednesday, I sent him to school.  Wednesday night, diarrhea is added to the mix and vomiting again.  What. the. heck??  So I kept him home Thursday and scheduled an appointment for him with the pediatrician.

Considering both the duration and the way the symptoms were coming and going, the pediatrician said that while there was a good chance that it was viral, there was also a chance that it was this weird diagnosis called ‘abdominal migraines’.  This actually wasn’t that weird to me because when Parker was small, we went through around two to three years of testing- EGDs (twice), barium swallows, x-rays, labs, and arguments with numerous specialists that no, my child wasn’t just constipated, before she was finally diagnosed with abdominal migraines.  I had forgotten about that actually because now that she’s older, she has graduated to good old fashioned migraine headaches like her momma.  Turns out that this is how migraines can present in children and the symptoms are abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.  The more you know.

Anyway.  This blog isn’t about vomit, it’s about faith.  The faith of a child.

Jace is a believer and in the sweetest, most pure way possible.  When I’m having a fibro flare, he will come kiss me on the fivehead and say, “Momma, I’m going to pray that God will help your pain.”

We recently started attending a new church and last night there was a knock at the door.  It was the pastor, just stopping on his way by with a loaf of homemade bread.  When I came back in, Jace asked who was at the door and I told him and explained about the bread.  Now our family loves some carbs.  Especially the Lord’s carbs.  I don’t know if Bro. Brett was out of the driveway before I started cutting that bread with Jace by my side, basically salivating.  As I was cutting it he said, “Momma, I think that God told him to bring that bread, because He knows that I haven’t been feeling well.”  He ate three pieces of that bread before he went to bed last night…

Can you imagine being ten years old and KNOWING that you have a Heavenly Father who loves little ol’ you so very much that He will send one of His messengers with a loaf of bread when you haven’t been feeling well?  I was emotional last night and typing that sentence just made me emotional again.  I hope that Jace always has a faith that is that strong.  That he always feels that close to his Savior.  That he always feels like He is just one servant away.  I hope that all of my children feel that way.

I say that I don’t pray daily but I do pray with Jace nightly.  We say the typical child’s prayer together.  One night I found out that he continues to pray silently afterward.

This child.  His heart is too good for me.  I don’t know what I did to deserve him.

I hope he never loses his closeness with God.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. — Proverbs 22:6

Just a No-Bake Cookie Failure

I just inhaled three no-bake cookies that I had to scrape off the waxed paper with a spoon but I know you aren’t judging me.  You get it.

I typed those two sentences nineteen times because my 10 year old is staring at me talking about megalodons and hunks of meat.  Honestly, this isn’t even weird.

gray and blue dinosaure ffigurines
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The list of things that I can’t cook is very small. Sitting here now, I’m realizing that really the only things that I can’t cook are things that require patience.  The patience to watch things boil, to time it just right so that everything sets and melds and does whatever it’s supposed to do to turn out perfectly.  I didn’t get that gene.  I got the ‘you can always add enough butter, salt and bacon’ gene.  One gives you perfection and the other gives you something that’s a little bit different every time you eat it, but it’s always good.

Speaking of patience, lately I feel like the little bit that I did have is going fast.  I’m tired and more than being tired, I just don’t feel appreciated like basically every mother who ever mothered.  I’m exhausted.

Dad was in the hospital for over a week and he came home the day before the 4th of July.  On the 4th, I had a military retirement party for my ex.  Yes, I’ll go ahead and repeat that.  On the 4th, I had a military retirement party for my ex.  Moving on, that day I don’t think I sat down all day long.  I was tired- physically and mentally.  I was flaring and in pain- because fibromyalgia is like your least favorite relative who consistently visits at the worst possible time.  I was stressed- because… life.  But throughout the day, I was also the only one who could consistently be found, in the kitchen, just plodding away, getting it done.  It seemed like every time I looked for someone to ask them to do something, they were lying in bed.  I found myself wondering what I always wonder when I feel overworked and underpaid.  What would happen if I just laid down?

We know the answer to that, right?  I mean for starters, none of our guests would have been eating when they got here…

Moms, well women, keep the world turning.  We are the taxis, the nurses, the makers of makeshift critter enclosures.  We are the nurturers, the caregivers, the chicken soup makers.  We are the hunters and gatherers of backpacks, shin guards, lost permission slips…

We are supposed to do all of this without losing our shit.  When we repeat the same request 47 times and become unglued on the 48th repetition, they look at us like we are crazy and knocking on menopause’s door.  We are supposed to manage the home, a career, the children, the aging parents, the extracurriculars, the bills and keep track of everyone’s everything so we can recall at a moment’s notice where you left your keys and we are supposed to do this with a pleasant disposition and a smile and no need to nap.

You really are the reason we drink.  Those Mother’s Day liquor store jokes aren’t really jokes.

Even though we do all of this and manage to keep everyone alive, clothed and mostly intact, for some reason, we are also masters of guilt.  Somedays we love every single moment of wiping noses, digging under the front seat for that super important Pokémon card that has turned up missing and cooking dinner that doesn’t get eaten because today you are a yogurtatarian.  Other days, we don’t.  We want to go on a week long vacation, BY OURSELVES, to a place where no one asks us for one mother-bleeping thing, where we can either sit by a pool guzzling fruity drinks until we forget we even have children, or lie in bed binge watching Netflix until check out time, as long as no one makes that decision but us.  And we feel guilty for wanting that.

I literally think women are broken.

On the 4th, I listened to my ex and my teenager do their typical, “Mom is so dramatic” schtick.  “I was just lying down for a minute, and Mom came in there about to have a breakdown.”  I take care of everyone.  Everyone.  Even my ex.  Who takes care of me?

That’s the lesson here, Ladies.  I take care of me.  I do.

STOP.  FEELING.  GUILTY.

Take the nap.  Take the trip.  Eat the no-bake cookies with a spoon because they taste just as good that way.  If stuff doesn’t get done, it doesn’t get done.  No one will die but maybe they will see how much Mom does to give them this life.  Maybe more than seeing how much Mom does they might actually see how much of us we give away.  We do it because we love them but we don’t have to be martyrs.  I need this lesson, too.

Let little Billy find his own Pokémon cards, but keep on kissing the boo-boos.