Not MY Kid

I've had two children in the hospital last week.

That is not my norm. My children are all very healthy. One had some troubling allergic reactions when she was 3 and the baby choked while coughing up some gunk that was in his lungs as he was fighting a virus a few months ago, those are the only times I've had to take any of my 5 children to the hospital in the past 11+ years of parenting.

Until this past week. And it was actually a really good reminder for me.

First, my son had his hernia surgery on Sunday. We had to go to a children's hospital for it, because it was in a delicate place and we wanted someone who does these kind of repairs on a regular basis.  Because of coronavirus, only one of his parents could be in the hospital with him. The obvious choice was my husband, since the baby doesn't drink from a bottle or cup yet. It made sense logically, but as my son and husband walked towards the hospital that morning, I felt like my heart was walking away, too.

So there I was, stuck in a big city with nothing to do (very little was open because of COVID restrictions) except wait and pray.

And then I get the message from my husband that the COVID-19 test results (we had made the 6 hour drive two days earlier so he could be tested before surgery) had not come through yet. Long story short, the delayed test results made what should have been a 4 hour hospital stay into an 8+ hour one. I played with the baby until we had to check out of the hotel room, then went for as long of a walk as my pain would allow, then drove around until the baby fell asleep, and then sat in the parking lot and waited.

It was hard to go through, not being there for my son, but it was a good reminder that he is not truly my child. Yes, I carried him in my body for 9 months and gave birth to him and care for him every day. But overall, he is God's child. God is the one who has made all the plans for him, who has a design for his life. He knew that this surgery was going to happen (and arranged it all beautifully so my hubby would be available to be with our son during it).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I don't have a duty to fulfill in raising my children.

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I'm just saying, my ability and power only goes so far. I am to do the right thing by them, but ultimately, God is their true Father.

And that is kind of freeing. It means I don't have to carry it all. We all have our own individual walks, and ours are beautifully entangled with our children, but ultimately, it is their walk to walk. Its their life. They are God's children.

The second hospital visit came about because of some broken glass. My oldest daughter knocked a jar over and it shattered and she stepped on a piece of it. I was in the kitchen with her at the time. I grabbed a clean cloth and wiped the wound. I could see by how much it was bleeding and how big the gash was that it needed stitches. I was home alone with the kids but my husband was thankfully running errands in town, so I shouted at everyone to load up in the car (my 9 year old got the baby buckled up) as I wrapped her foot with a towel and the tie from my bathrobe and piggy backed her out to the car. Thankfully, I had the sense of mind to run back in and grab my phone and take the bread out of the oven. I messaged my husband to meet me at the hospital and let them know we were coming.

Again, it was very strange to just drive up to the hospital, drop off my child, and drive away. But what else was I going to do? Even before COVID-19 restrictions came into place, it would be silly to drag all the other children into the waiting room and sit for three hours. And sitting in the hot car in the parking lot when no one had eaten lunch yet would have been even worse. So I came home and fed the kids and then went over to their Grammie's house to help her with a project. It ended up being a good thing that I decided to take my daughter to the ER, she needed four stitches to close the gash.

Dear mothers, I just want to remind you that, though our influence over our children's life is huge, our power to control what challenges come their way is limited. We protect them the best we can, but we can't choose whether they were born with a hernia or knock a glass over and cut their foot (it happened so fast, and I was right there and didn't even realize that she was bleeding for several seconds). We just do what we can and trust that God will do the rest.

After all, He loves them even more than we do.

Lots of love, mamas!


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