The other day I was watching Cole play with an old sour cream container I’d washed, slit the lid, and provided different items he could push through the slits.
All went well until he slid the last object through the slit and realized he couldn’t get them back out. At this realization, he grabbed that container and shook it for all it was worth, banging the contents around loudly. After at least twenty shakes, he would stop, peek through the hole for a few seconds and then, Whoosh! He’d start those twenty shakes again. This went on for a good five or ten minutes until he finally got frustrated enough that he chucked that container as hard as he could across the room. The lid popped off at that point, and the contents flew everywhere.
With the craziness of the Christmas season surrounding us, the image of those objects flying in all directions came to mind. As moms, especially, you know how it feels to be pulled in a million directions. You’re shaken up until you don’t think you can see straight, and then suddenly it stops. You get a moment of peace to catch your breath, not realizing the little eyes that are peeking at you through the slit in the cup, contemplating their next move. And then, whoosh! Here you go again!
The other night I had reached my shaking limit. My husband was on a trip, Cole, my 19 month old, had the croup and had been to the ER once and the doctor 3 times (shake, shake, shake…). Then, of course, he decided to be a kind brother and share his sickness with his 7 year old brother (shake, shake, shake…).
So, we had just left our 3rd doctor’s visit in a week and were heading to the pharmacy to pick up ear drops for Cole’s newest issue–an ear infection. But there was a mix up at the pharmacy and we had to go to another one across town. While in the drive thru, there was another mixup with the insurance.
Everyone knows how frustrating it is when you have multiple sick children and then have to deal with doctor and insurance issues. But what happens when you add just one more issue? Hmm, how about the guy in the car behind you laying on his horn for a good 5 seconds? Does that qualify as an issue? Well, I’d had enough. I snapped. It was not my best Mommy moment. I hung half way out of the window yelling, “Are you kidding me? My babies are sick. What do you want me to do about it, huh? Huh?” Then of course as all sleep deprived moms do, I started crying during my apologies to the ladies at the drive thru, while they were vowing to me through the speaker that they would make the guy behind me pay for all he had done.
This was only 3 pm. The night was still young.
Anyway, we got home and thankfully, had a much better evening. We were getting ready for bed, and I gave Carson his dose of Prednisone (AKA Juice of the Devil). He had only been on it one other time and I swore that I’d only give it to him again if he was dying. Well, (the day before) we were about there.
Last time he was on this medicine he became an evil child. He was 4 years old, and we were in the bakery at DollyWood and had to wait in line. He yelled out in the middle of a huge crowd, “Next time we are just going to steal this bread! I hate waiting in line!” I told him to be quiet and he yelled “No!” like I was murdering him or something. It was insane!
You can see why I was hesitant to put him on this again. Well, this time time he was just dramatic to the nth degree–almost like he was coming down from the effects of local anesthesia. He was weepy and whining, with this operatic cry.
So, as I was getting Cole ready for bed, Carson yelled for help from the restroom. I stuck Cole in his bed with books and toys and went in the restroom to find Carson sick. The sick that comes from both ends. It had hit suddenly and he hadn’t reacted fast enough. So…you get the picture.
Carson begins his operatic, high-pitched whining as I was trying to get him in the shower and get things cleaned up. He was waving his hands and flopping around, whining, “But what will we ever do?”
After finally after getting him cleaned up and settled in bed, I cleaned the restroom and went back to Cole’s room to finish putting his pjs on.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a crib and blankets and sheets and toys and and books coated in a layer of (you guessed it…) throw up.
I think that was the moment that the lid came off the sour cream container, and all the objects went flying. I just stood there, not even knowing where to begin.
And for some reason, all that came was laughter. The day was just too ludicrous for anything else.
Sometimes you just have to laugh.
I think it took my lid flying off and all of my getting used up and poured out and emptied, in order to make room for joy to flood in. I was forced to step back and evaluate everything, and even though it was just a couple of seconds, it was enough for me to realize a few things:
- Yes, I had issues with the doctor and insurance company, but within two hours I was able to get Cole to a doctor, have him treated, given medicine and take him back home. Mothers in remote areas of the world would probably give their lives to provide this timely care for their children.
- Yes, my kids were very sick, but they will get better. So many other children all over the world won’t.
- And yes, my little world was swirling all around me, but Psalm 46:10 was still true. “Be still and know that I am God.” He was, He is, and He always will be.
So, hopefully, in all of this madness swirling around you this Christmas holiday season, you can find a moment to just be still, laugh, and know that He’s still God.