Thursday evening, my recently-turned-six-year-old was vomiting bright green bile. The bright green was a progression from the yellow of earlier in the day. At about six o’clock, as he lay in his bed with his clothes still on, I noticed his breathing was awful. He lay on his back with his mouth open, and as he inhaled, his chest collapsed – the opposite of one’s chest should be doing. He’s ridiculously skinny, so it’s hard to tell sometimes with his ribs already being exposed. But his whole body was moving as he breathed. Something just didn’t seem right.
Long story short, I took him to the ER and after waiting 2.5 hours, they said he had pneumonia. As they prodded him with x-rays and IVs, sticking wires all over him and swabs up his nose, and as he screamed and cried, “Mommy, I’m scared,” I realized that there is no job more important to me than being that child’s (and his sister’s, and this baby-to-be’s) mother. As I tried to keep my tears in and just repeat to him over and over that it was all so that he could get better and that I was not going anywhere, I realized how empty my life would be without this child. For the second time in his short life (the first was when he was 13 months old and had internal bleeding), I felt like his life and his health was out of my hands and that out of control feeling over this being who depends on me to be in control was…unreal.
He’s much better now, although still on antibiotics and a steroid and an inhaler. I kept him home from school today, even though he was better, because a part of me could not bear to let him go, to let him be out of my sight. I cannot get his scared little face, with his big eyes and huge tears, out of my mind. I’ve been bawling about it every night since it happened, even though I know pneumonia is not a death sentence and he really is okay. But it was an emergency that I could not fix except to bring him to people who could.
Obviously God knew what he was doing when he designed to have my children grow inside my body before their introduction to the world. The bond between me and them created through this process of growing and loving is one that I needed to experience, a bond that transcends what could be considered rational or common sense. I know the biological/evolutionary story is that we care about our genes living on through the generations, I don’t know if I buy that for me. Instead, there is something supernatural about hearing them call my name – “Mommy.”
This love is both strengthening – I would do anything for them – but also weakening. They say “let go and let God,” but…wow – how do you do that? What do you do when you feel like your whole world, in this little tiny package, might be falling away from you? I want to be ready, but I’m not. I’m not ready to give my children over to God.
7 thoughts on “Let Go?”
1. I’m really glad he’s okay. That sounds scary.
2. Nothing makes you feel more like a punk than your baby crying. I melt into mush and would do WHATEVER to help him.
3. If you figure out the “let go” thing, let me know?
4. We had to go to the ER for Marshall last year at this time. Worst. Ever. Co-sign this whole post. You nailed it.
I’m so glad he’s doing better! I think feeling like you are helpless to help your children is the most terrifying feeling in the world.
Bless your son and I hope that he is doing better. I was sick the other day and was vomiting bright yellow bile, and was concerned myself. It wasn’t anything bad, but It shocked me.
I hope your son, is feeling better.
Perhaps not to let go of your children, who will forever be your children through all the worlds of God, but to attempt to let go of your feelings of extreme panic and stress (this is speaking for myself in such a situation) and attempt to put some of the worry into God’s Hands?
Prayers are with you.
i have always admired your honesty and bravery in telling your stories. this is no exception. i am so glad he is doing better. continue to take care of yourself and be kind to you. you can’t do anything for him if you don’t take care of you. continued prayers for your pregnancy.
I’m glad your son is doing much better. I can truely understand how you feel.
My son is 2 and I am always a nervous wreck when he is ill (thank God it’s rarely)!
Your comments really hit home for me. Although he is 2, I do think about the day he will leave for college and wonder how I will “let go” because in my mind he will live with us forever.:) I make myself so sad thinking about the day he will move out and than I realize I need to get a grip.
I try to focus on educationing myself in the best ways/techniques to raise him to be a sucessful young man (which involves a long list). Thinking so much about the day he will move forward, I rob myself of the time I have with him now.
Nothin like a Mama’s love!
Thank you all for your responses and prayers. Everything is really good now and he’s doing really well. A professor of mine who just had their first child said to me today that the experience of becoming a parent made them realize that they really never cared about anything before. That the strength of this bond shows that anything they thought they cared about before just cannot compare. Becoming a parent changes everything. Everything.