Love in the Time of the Flu

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I am a mother.  My life is dedicated to living in love for my little ones.  Sometimes that love is less of a feeling and more of an action.  And sometimes it is not what I do but what I accept and allow to happen to me, sacrificially accepting burdens in love without complaint.

Or maybe with some of the loudest and most vocal protestations ever registered on the Richter scale of motherhood woes.  See, I’m still working on that last part.

Love is having the flu but not actually being able to acknowledge you have the flu.  Because moms don’t get sick.  Or can’t.

Love is burning your arm on the side of the roasting pan in a Nyquil-induced haze and not even realizing you did it until two days later when you finally discover the source of the mysterious pain you’ve been experiencing.  Because your 6 month old has the flu and that has dominated all of your consciousness.

Love is realizing that everyone capable of eating solid food in the house devoured the treats your co-worker gave you for Christmas—EXCEPT YOU—and not even really caring because, hey, it’s not like you need the extra calories.  And really, you’d exchange chocolate for sleep at this point, right?

Love is reading that book even though your throat burns and you think you are about to hack up a lung and wait you have to also sing while reading and do the voices, too!  Because you’ve given her less attention than usual and you know her little heart feels it.

Love is letting go of the slip up or poorly worded remark made by the man who works 60 hour weeks to provide for your family.  Because you know that, like you, he’s so exhausted he probably didn’t even think it through.

Love is a snuggle with your girl, praying you are no longer contagious, and hearing her say, “I love you so much, Mommy.  You are so special to me.”

Love is holding that sobbing baby even when you would give anything to set him down for a shower.  Because when he looks up at you and smiles, you see your face reflected in the light of his eyes, and you know that just for now, for these precious few months of these short first years, you are his whole world.  And you would give anything for his whole world to be full of love.  Only love.

 

 

 

My Sunday Best Fourth Edition

Today I wore my new skirt from E-Shakti.  They described its color as “hydrangea.”  Isn’t that dreamy?  [Sidenote: We still have hydrangea blooming on the side of the house.  This is the latest they have ever gone.]  My shirt was from Amazon.com, brand Polo Association.  This was the first time I wore this outfit.  I spent the whole time imagining I was in a period piece, possibly Grantchester or Call the Midwife.  If I had unlimited funds, my entire wardrobe would look like something out the 1950s or early 1960s.  I’m particularly fond of the first season of The Dick Van Dyke Show; how lucky was Mary Tyler Moore?!

E was gleefully pointing at the moon, which was still faintly present in the sky.  The moon is one of her top 20 favorite things.  She’s mildly obsessed.

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Today everything clicked.  E behaved just as she always does.  In fact, I forgot to bring her sippy cup to church, so my husband headed home to get it as E compulsively mumbled “Wawa Wawa Wawa.”  Good thing we only live 5 minutes away and are always early.  Something like that used to feel like a setback, but now I roll with it.  It’s amazing how a change of attitude alters your perception and sets up your whole day for success (for the most part).  Despite juggling and wrestling with and chasing E and spending a good portion of the time in the narthex, I felt at peace.  I keep coming back to the word ENOUGH.  I felt full of God, satiated.  He was enough, I was enough, the simple pleasures, challenges, and work of this day that He gave to me were enough.

Today’s gospel was a beautiful one, and the deacon gave a remarkable homily.  I actually got to listen to it because it was my husband’s turn in our rotation/dance with the toddler, and he was in the narthex at the time.

The deacon said that to delay God’s call was the same as denying it.  We are all called to say YES to God, just as Mary did.  FIAT.  She gave him all of herself.  There is nothing on earth that matters more than God.  We are called to follow Him first and foremost, even if it means turning our back on the conventions of this world.  He comes before job, finances, personal preference, comfort, even family.  If we embrace this kind of existence, it will completely transform our lives, and force us to reprioritize all aspects of ourselves.  We have free will.  God gives us a choice.  In choosing Him, we always gain freedom, though it might not be the world’s idea of freedom.

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I listened and felt even more peace.  Why put off what God is calling us to do?  Why delay what we know is best and deny our love?  My husband and I have longed for another child, and we have decided that despite what the world might deem practical, in direct opposition to a culture that values granite countertops and luxury SUVs more than sticky little fingers and carseats, we will be open to life.  Had we waited for the “right” time—when our careers were perfect, when our bank account was perfect, when our home was perfect—we would not have had our sweet baby girl E.  She is the joy of our lives, and produced a perfect love that cast out all fear.  There is no perfect time.  But God’s love for us is perfect.  So we unite our will with His and wait to see all the joy that He will bring us.

Linking up with Rosie at A Blog for My Mom!  Go check out everyone’s Sunday best.