Some days I think I my kids will drive me crazy. Some days I wonder what I was thinking to have two of them. Maybe we should have stuck with four legs and fur. And then there are days where they make you laugh like I haven’t laughed in years. They ask questions that I just don’t have the answer to, or haven’t event given the slightest thought to. And who said sales people aren’t born, children under the age of 10 should win top sales person of the year awards.
But how do you truly fall back I love with your children, when it seems we can’t find enough time to spend with the kids, on ourselves or with our spouses’. When I’m driving from lessons to games, to the grocery store and running errands, oh and don’t forget to include work, it all becomes a bit of a haze.
Last week while driving to yet another meeting, I tuned into my favorite station while they were hosting the annual Stollery Children’s Hospital telethon in Edmonton, AB. When my son was one I truly started to tune into the stories that were being told on the telethons, the people behind the scenes the heartache that comes with any children’s hospital.
There was one family, who’s son was in the hospital that pulled at my heartstrings. She starts by telling us it was a normal day at the breakfast table, when her son pushed his chair away from the table and call out he was “done.” The Chair flipped backwards, fell to the floor and that moment changed their life as they knew it. After arriving at the Stollery, doctors had told them their son wouldn’t come out of it with anything more than a vegetative state. They went on to talk about the many surgeries, the moments of grief followed by the amazing miracles that their son has given the doctors and how he has since come a long way, but their journey was far from over.
This was one of those stories as a mom I connected to, as my son would do a very similar dining routine when he was so proud that he had finished his dinner. We were lucky parents, our son hadn’t really even had a cold and we had never needed to take him to a hospital. That day I picked up the phone and made my first donation to the Stollery and it felt good, like prepaying a amount on your credit card with the hopes of never needing to use it.
A year later our daughter was born and the doctors knew immediately that she didn’t sound quite right, but they believed it was just her throat that hadn’t finished be developed, they assured us it would cure itself, even though she had turned blue when she was only hours old. This was the start of a very emotional journey that lasted for the next 8 months. We visited many doctors, waited only to be told it was in my head and I truly had “compairitis” and that I shouldn’t compare my children to each other. I shouldn’t worry so much. What I had a hard time believing was that when a child turns blue on two more occasions, how is that in my head? No one had an answer and one nurse once said, “your child can not speak and you are the only one who can and should continue to find out what is truly wrong, and don’t stop until you are happy with the answer.” And that is what drove me to find more answers.
When we finally met with a Dr from the Stollery, he believed that babies shouldn’t turn blue and took the time to just check a few things out. After that appointment our daughter was scheduled for surgery within days. Doctors had prepared us for a long recovery and how to deal with everything from feeding tubes to dealing with stress. It turns out she was yet another miracle baby who set a recovery record and follow up appointments were more a routine then a requirement and we were blessed with a child that was going to be “normal” from here on.
Back to daily, hectic life and my question of how to fall in love with your children.
My answer for you mom’s out there:
You listen, and I mean whole heartily listen to those telethons’ and the stories that parents or grandparents tell about their children in the hospital. Some of these families have spent weeks in ICU or years in and out of the hospital. They relocate their lives just to be closer to their children and the doctors that give them hope. Most parents talk about how they would give their own life to spare what their child is going through. Sometimes the hospital is the only “home” the children have come to know or feel comfortable in. If a family or child emotionally connects with a nurse or doctor that truly cares and shares in your pain, sorrow and those tiny moments of success you are grateful. Yes, as I was listening I had to pull over and wipe my eyes, because for me The Stollery is a hospital that I will never know how to Thank or Repay them for what they have given me back to my family. Being a constant donor just doesn’t seem to justify what they did for my daughter, for that credit on my “what if” card.
After my meeting I drove home, ran up to my kids and gave them the biggest, tightest hug and kiss ever. At that moment I truly fell in love with them again and I told them how much I loved them. I decided to finger paint instead of point a finger, we danced and painted a blue viking shirts on the snowman they had just made with their dad and we stayed up late and read 5 books instead of our usual one. Do everything you can today with your children, just in case tomorrow your life changes in an instant.
That’s how you fall in love with your children, you view them as if they are truly a gift from god, a gift that we give to the future.
write by Odile