Sleepy Hollow

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not for the Squeamish

Sick Day at the Carlsons
It was a Mount Vesuvius eruption.  The vomit streaming from Isaiah's mouth served as a chastisement.  Just before that moment, Isaiah in tears and defiance had told me that he wasn't "going anywhere," the repetitious three year old petition eventually irritating me sufficiently for a stopped car and a swift spanking.

Oh, the horror!!!

On the one hand my heart is humbled at my deficiencies as a mother, particularly my lack of listening. All my bad mom moments flood to my mind and I have to live in my need for forgiveness. This event is filed along with a food battle with then 15 month old Isaiah. My pride at stake, my usually ravenous and non-picky eater has expressed he will not eat his green beans...Or so I thought. Determined to win, I ignore his epic fit to wait to acknowledge him until he is not throwing his head into high chair and screaming. This takes about twenty minutes of heart wrenching cries and my inward speeches of how this is for the greater good. Then he folds into exhaustion and I respond only to find a trapped pinched finger. Floods of condemnation come and I find once again that I am too busy responding, not listening. Shouldn't it be the reverse?
It was bad for me too!

Still sick, but feeling better

On the other hand, I am amazed at myself in this moment.  I hold his little body, rubbing his back, and in between the heaves place my cheek on his cheek.  The whit carpet turned orange, my hair and clothes soiled, and as my stomach turns I pray.  Clarity comes and I am able to love.  To just sit with him and love him unworried about the mess.  Me, who used to gag at the smell of dogs and nursing homes.  Me, who wouldn't want to visit certain homes because they smelled different from my home.  Me, who used to view cleaning the toilet as a task that I wasn't sure I could survive.  And I realize that this isn't me.  That it is God in me.  I couldn't love enough to sit and cuddle still dirty.  I am incapable.  But I am encouraged because if he can make me overcome my aversion to the gross, he can help remove the wax buildup around my ears and help me listen.

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