An Imperfect, Perfect Day

"I have seen extraordinary women with faith who have changed their kids' lives.  I have seen mothers living with intolerable pain...learn to thrive and even smile because somewhere in their innermost being they made a simple leap-to believe that God would help."  

Meg Meeker Ten Habits of Happy Mothers, pg. 57


As a mother with a painful chronic medical condition I worry that my child will know I am different from other moms.  That mama can't go down the slide with her because she feels sick to her stomach from pain and needs to sit down.  That when she does get up and play, some days she is gritting her teeth, each step is more agonizing than the last.  She hopes that her baby girl will not see her grimacing and mistake it as a smile.  

Today at the park I was that mother.  The air was crisp and clean.  The sky was a dazzling cornflower blue with fluffy cotton candy like clouds in the sky.  During the walk to the park I was determined to focus on my precious, smiling girl, Alexandria, with eyes that matched the sky and a smile as bright as the noonday sun.  She was getting so old, insisting on carrying a purse (sometimes two) where ever she went.  I did not know where the time had gone.  

In the wee hours of the morning I woke up knowing something wasn't right.  It was confirmed when I remembered the dream I had about being on a youth trip and needing to go to the bathroom while we were on the bus.  When I opened the door there was a big empty room, that wouldn't rationally fit in a bus, with no toilet and an old man who didn't want to let me through to find the bathroom.  It was one of the worst nightmares I have ever had.  

Later, when I eventually got up for the day, the intense bladder pain, cramping and nausea was still there.  Alexandria has recently been soaking up the mama time and today was no exception.  She insisted (after I got her juice) that we watch 'The News' AKA the Today Show as she sits in my lap.  Needless to say, I complied.  After about a half an hour I forced myself off of the couch and made smoothies and French toast out of week old, dry bread.  We ate at the kitchen table and spoke in three word sentences.  After breakfast, she wanted to go to "Mama room", so we did.  Instead of taking the shower I needed, I lie on the bed trying to block out the pain I was feeling.  We giggled and Alexandria commenced her morning ritual of terrorizing our 17 year old cat, Toto.  While I was checking Facebook she played a new game, of piling all of the pillows from the bed on top of me.  No doubt, she was seeking attention.  Every time I tried to get up and take a shower she would fling her arms around me and say, "I got you!" code for, "Hold me please!"  I gave her the decision on whether we would go to story time at the library or go to the park.  I was grateful that she wanted to go to the park because with the pain and nausea the last ting I wanted to do was socialize and "put on a happy face."

Mommy and Pillow Sandwich
Which brings us full circle.  I really like the new park we found not too far from our home because there were no traditional swings.  When you don't feel good the last thing you want to do is stand, pushing a swing.  The only swing had a full chair on it, so when the baby was swinging, Mama could swing too.  Someone occupied the swing upon our arrival, so I camped out on a free bench and read while Alexandria played.  I noticed some of the looks on some of the other mom's faces because I wasn't hovering over my child like they were.  Or perhaps I was just having a case of mom guilt, which is unnecessary  guilt mom's place on themselves when they feel they aren't doing enough as a mother (in other words, complete bull crap).  I was feeling guilty because I couldn't follow her around and play.  After a time I did painfully go down the slide a few times with her, but then had to retreat to the bench.  

Alexandria's Other Favorite Toy at the Park
"Mommy, Mommy!"  Alexandria exclaimed, wanting me to go down the slide again.  I motioned her close to me, for fear that the other moms would hear, and softly said, "Mama doesn't feel good, mama needs to sit down."  The pain I felt in my heart was worse than the pain I was feeling in my body.  I looked up and noticed the large swing was free.  I smiled, "But we can go swing over there."  Alexandria perked up and ran as fast as she could to the swing.  At that moment she was the happiest kid in the world.  Any worries or concerns about Alexandria growing up and being bitter with me for not being like other mom's vanished.  

I read the above quote by Meg Meeker later in the afternoon. 

"I have seen extraordinary women with faith who have changed their kids' lives.  I have seen mothers living with intolerable pain...learn to thrive and even smile because somewhere in their innermost being they made a simple leap-to believe that God would help."  

I realized that I do not have to do this parenting thing on my own strength.  Even in my weakest moments I can lean on God and trust that his grace is sufficient.  His power is made perfect in my weakness (1 Corinthians 12:9-10).  That He, the maker of the universe can help turn a pretty imperfect day, into a perfect one.  

My Diva
The Perfect Ending to a Perfect Day

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