Yesterday was quite the day. Eli has been sick what seems like all winter long. This week he's battled an upper respiratory infection. I'm not talking about a runny nose and pesky cough. I mean the child has been invaded with this infection. The drainage from his eyes was so bad that we had to wipe them constantly causing the skin under the eyes to bleed. He ran 104 temps for 3 days and slept 20 out of 22 hours on Monday. To say he's been a bit irritable is an understatement. So, you can imagine how my life has been put on hold yet again. I don't mind...I couldn't imagine doing anything else at these moments. So, Mother's Day Out rolls around on Thursday. He's already missed 6 days since he started in February so I really wanted him to go back. I figure that he's feeling better, not contagious and could use some interaction and mommy could use some time to get a few things done. I figured wrong!
Driving to the church, I felt oddly calm. I was somewhat surprised myself because I've been to the point of tears many times lately from this same situation. And, those who know me best will tell you that I NEVER cry. It's not the first time he's acted up at MDO, but this was definitely his worst time. The two notes he brought home just last week read, "Time-out for: shoving, taking away binkies, pulling out hairbows, pushing, tackling, etc. (I had to laugh when I read "etc") and the second note read, "Did a little better with his time-outs today." No, he didn't have less time-outs, he just acted a little more compliant while in time-out. Those notes have the ability to unravel my whole day. I can be upbeat, enjoying the beautiful day and rolling right along to feeling utterly defeated, frustrated and just plain sad. I wonder why in the world he's being such a problem?? What am I doing wrong?? I have slowly been giving it over to God in prayer. Lately, when I drive up to get him I say, "Lord, good, bad or indifferent, I am not going to let this get me down and I'm going to serve you today."
So, back to the call. I figured this would be my breaking point. But, I calmly walked in and talked with the teacher, who gave me a complete run-down of his bad behaviors. We said our good-byes and walked hand in hand outside. My emotions were bubbling to the surface and I was about to pick him up to put him in his carseat. Then, we both stopped. He started pointing to the ground laughing. I crouched down and saw what was captivating his attention. Worms. The rainy morning had brought dozens of worms out of hiding. As we stared at the worms (I was staring more at his innocent fascination), peace overcame me. "This is what it is all about," I thought. It's not about me, how I feel, what I am or aren't doing right. Take the focus off of myself and see it through his eyes. Where I would've stepped on the worms, jerked his seatbelt on him, got into the driver's seat thinking, "Woe is me!", in that moment, this tiny child put everything into crystal clear perspective for me. I shifted my focus from what he was doing wrong to what I can do to show him love. It was as plain and simple as watching a worm creep along the ground.
I won't go into the rest of my day. It got much more chaotic from that point on. We found out that night he has a significant bacterial infection in his eyes. He was quite the spectacle at the doctor's office. You never want your child to be the one that the other doctor's not attending to him want to come and look at. Obviously, this infection causes tremendous discomfort and irritability. Instead of focusing on how the bad day was, instead, I found myself hour-by-hour seeing God's provision to get me through it. He sent helpers to me that normally wouldn't have been there and I was overwhelmed just how much He cares. I pray that you will see God in the details today and that you'll stop and look at worms or anything else that makes you remember the more important things that make us step away from ourselves.
Big brother fell asleep holding a VERY sick baby brother: