I mentioned yesterday that Bub got sick at a baseball game last week. It really rattled me. I was useless the rest of the day. I’ve rolled it around in my head since.
What happened? Well, he was catching in a baseball game and the inning was particularly long. His stepmother was sitting next to me and commented that he looked hot just as I was thinking the same thing. He had that frustrated-disgusted look on his face as that third out continued to elude a hot and tired team. Finally the inning ended and I shifted my attention to Mem and Sis for a bit. Then it happened.
“Hey, Mom. Carter needs you.” OK – so this baseball…in the midwest…the summer after fifth grade. Boys don’t ever need Mom. I could just see that stupid look on my face that I get when I am scared or stressed and way out of my element and trying to pretend that I am somewhat together. When I went over to check on him he was red and blanched all at the same time. He was shaking violently. He was hunched over like he could puke any second (if he hadn’t already). Then it got worse.
The. coach. motioned. me. into. the. dugout. Cuss words! He got way too hot. After some cool towels, removal of unnecessary clothing, water, ice chips, and TLC he pulled it together. His words started to make sense. He stopped shaking. He returned to a normal color. He was able to get up and walk to the shade.
He was better and I was out of sorts. I couldn’t figure it out. I was sort of depressed for the next few days. I was lazy and tired and unmotivated. I think I know what it is. When your kids are small you worry about all kinds of crazy things that can happen to them. You watch them closely. You keep them out of the street. You get rid of poisonous plants. You put away Legos and Polly Pockets clothes and Monopoly pieces and money. You take good care.
It’s not that my kids haven’t been sick or hurt before. We’ve survived stiches and fevers and broken bones and even brain surgery. I’ve pulled them up out of the pool and rescued them from inside the clothing racks. I know how precious they are. I treasure them and protect them and love them. I try hard to take good care.
What hit me with Bub’s overheating was that I must have thought that it would go away. What hit me (and depressed me) was it will never go away. This is forever. This desparate need to keep them safe is motherhood. It’s my job for the rest of my life. I will keep getting taken off guard. I will never be prepared for all of it. I’ll never know all that I need to know to raise them. I’ll never be able to keep them safe on my own. No matter how old or how capable or how independent they become, I’ll still be unable to keep them safe.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from Heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin of water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up. – Genesis 21:17-20
Thank God that I don’t have to keep them safe by myself. God was with the boy as he grew up. He’s with my boy (and my boy and my girl and my boy) too.