I woke up in the early morning Sunday hours to the sound all parents dread - the sound of someone throwing up. I jumped out of bed and ran to the kids bathroom. Peter was there. He wasn’t throwing up as I thought, but was having difficulty breathing. We have been battling a cold in our house and Pete woke up short of breath. As much as I hate a stomach bug, I prefer it to watching my child struggle to breath 1000 times over. Thankfully, I have my own personal nurse in my mother. After calling Dez and going through the symptoms, we decided a trip to the hospital was not warranted. We needed to sit Peter up in bed and get a humidifier going.
Not wanting him out of my sight, I brought him into our bed. It is very rare for a non-nursed child to be there. However, breathing difficulties warranted it. I propped him up on several pillows and we said some prayers together. In the midst of the commotion, Therese, whose crib is in our room, woke up and thought it was a midnight party. She started kicking and cooing and having a grand time.
Peter’s breathing started to calm down and he began to drift off to sleep, laying sideways and taking up an incredible amount of space for his small size. At the same time, Therese decided the party was over and it was time to nurse. Having lost my side of the bed to Peter, I found barely enough space at the bottom of the bed to lay down with my knees bent to nurse Therese. It’s a darn good thing mom is very short!!
It was a long night, not much sleep to be had, and Johnny had his First Communion at 8 o’clock Mass. Still, I was thankful that Peter’s breathing eased and he was able to go to sleep. Rest is for heaven, so I better get there!
This is being a parent. Giving to your children, and then giving some more. This opportunity to give is a great gift. Too often we think of being thankful for what we are given, what we have. How often do we thank God for all the opportunities He gives us to give? It is ThanksGIVING after all, not ThanksGIVEN. I must be thankful for the ability to give of myself in so many ways to those around me.
The midnight calls are far from over for Tate and me. I am thankful to have the ability to care for my children through their sicknesses and soothe them in their distress. The gift of parenthood is just that, a great gift. Not a gift to be admired, but a gift to be lived. While I have to say truthfully that I don’t want to have a midnight call tonight, I can say that when the call does come I pray I have a thankful heart and am patient despite the challenge.
This Thanksgiving, possibly we can ponder the opportunities God gives us to pour ourselves out to others as He did. Instead of focusing on what we have been GIVEN, let us focus on more ways we can be GIVING.
May God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving. JMJ