Thursday, December 25, 2008

Best Mom Tip #15: Rejoice

Being a mother involves a lot of worry. The world is a scary place and our little ones (even when they are fully grown) are out in it without body armor. We worry when they are sick. We worry when they begin a new phase of life--will they like the new school, is that guy REALLY her best choice for a prom date? I once read somewhere that being a mom was like having your heart walk around outside of your body for the rest of your life and that seems pretty accurate to me.

I remember my mom staying up all night watching my brother sleep and praying that he didn't get worse in the middle of the night after a particularly scary injury. When I went into labor with my son in August I called and told Mom that we were going to the hospital, but to take her time because the baby would still be a few hours--she said, "we're leaving right now."

Sometimes all the worry and all the "doing" of being a mom overshadows the simple joy. Last night, Christmas Eve, my daughter threw up all over my car on the way to visit my aunt for dinner. This was no "motion sickness'' where we pulled over and she felt a little ill. This barf would have made a drunk frat guy proud. I found myself covered in vomit at a BP on the side of I-75 thanking some guy who was moving from Florida to Missouri for the industrial trash bags he had in his van. He could also have several hostages in there, but I'm going to believe he is a great guy.

Once we got my little girl cleaned up and in her pjs, she wet her pants. Fortunately, by that time her barfed-upon clothes, stuffed animal, car seat cover, and floorboard mat were coming out of the dryer and I changed her clothes again. I'm sure my cousins are all having a perfectly lovely Christmas, but I wouldn't know because I didn't get to talk to them.

We have all had moments of extreme worry when the doctor said a test didn't look normal or when we're making a decision that could have lasting repurcussions. But for most of us, the sicknesses will be like the one my daughter the human faucet currently has--gross, time consuming, and completely harmless. Most of the time raising children will involve a lot of worry over pretty minor things and a lot of time taking care of those things for our little ones. So for this moment--this one, perfect moment when gatorade popcicles make everything better--I'm going to rejoice. My kids are relatively safe and healthy--I have a lot to be thankful for. Merry Christmas.

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