little soldiers

March 30, 2012

This morning I sat on the floor with a nice woman I had never met before today. She was here to evaluate Elsie because at a recent doctor’s appointment, our pediatrician raised some concerns about EJ’s gross motor skills. So there we were, criss-cross applesauce, nice to meet you.

I knew right away that I was answering her questions with too many no’s. No, she doesn’t do that. No, she hasn’t done that. No. No. No.

I hadn’t even noticed it before, that when she does her army crawl, she only uses one side of her body.The right. It’s like she’s a little wounded soldier and how didn’t I notice that before?

She’s fine. I kept thinking. She’s fine. And you know what? She is most likely totally fine. But all these months. For months and months now and even years, things have not been fine when I start to think they’re going to be fine. I’m getting confused about trusting my heart-gut so I needed to just say it here: I think my daughter is just like her brother who was labeled “low muscle tone” when he was a baby. I think this could be very common for formerly colicky babies who didn’t get much practice working their core muscles because they weren’t put down very often. And now Asher is fine and Elsie’s going to be fine.

That doesn’t mean that something ugly isn’t creeping up at me. I’m trying to stop it and then I see flashes in my head, of Elsie with an oxygen tent over her face right after she was born, an IV coming out of her head. Then I stop thinking that and suddenly I see a different time, the day we found out Asher had to have brain surgery, the way I stared down at my lunch and couldn’t eat it and I couldn’t breathe. Or the day that I waited and waited for Ellie to call because her test results were coming in and then the phone rang and I went in the office and closed the door and she took a deep breath and choked out, “it’s cancer” and I sunk down to my knees and put my forehead on the chair and cried with her.

Ellie knows better than anyone I know that waiting is the hardest part most of the time. The not knowing. This game we play where it’s like you’re under water, holding your breath and you bob up to grasp for hope-air and something just keeps pushing you back under, rough, like it’s saying through gritted teeth, not yet. We need to breathe of course, but there we are, under Life’s surface just kicking and kicking and somehow not drowning even though we don’t get to gasp very often at all.

I don’t think God does that. I don’t think of Him as a bearded dictator in the sky, on a throne chair barking for angels to teach us a good lesson for the sake of the lesson.

Life is maybe just sometimes like this and it helped me so much to read this post about feeling so lost and what that can mean. Because maybe if I stop kicking and panicking, I’ll float. I’ll just be waiting and when the thoughts come that threaten to push me under, I can get rid of them here or with Ryan or a friend. Get it out. Get it out. Get it out. It’s just the truth, my true thoughts and fears and when they’re held out in the open, they don’t suffocate me so much.

Ryan is walking around the house singing, Don’t worry, ’bout a thing. Every little thing, is gonna be alright.

That’s something we’ve come to know for sure. We are all little wounded soldiers all the time, with working parts and broken parts and gifts and needs.  And even when things are not okay, even when the waiting is over and the answer isn’t a relief, it’s still going to be alright again, after it’s not.



Lyz March 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

Even when it’s not alright, it will be alright…so lovely and so true. Thinking of you and E.

nicole March 30, 2012 at 11:44 am

Well, I hope it is nothing major. And that hope lifts you more than the fear weighs you down.
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dearabbyleigh March 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

this bit, at the end, about all of us wounded soldiers, it’s beautiful. and i wonder if you heard this song –

i listened to it a million times and send it on to you, and tie my sails to your ship!
dearabbyleigh recently posted..whispers of a wooden world

Bri March 30, 2012 at 11:56 am

Oh, that waiting. And not knowing and not being able to breathe. I get it!

Your Ryan is so right….every little thing is gonna be alright.

Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources March 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Aww ((hugs)). I know when my little ones are faced with challenges, I always immediately start examining everything I’ve done to ‘see where I messed up.’ Counter-productive, I know, but we all seem to do it! But wearing babies is an excellent way to work their core because when they’re upright they instinctively use those tummy and back muscles to stabilize themselves. Far more likely causes are the early need for oxygen, being born a bit early (big issue for mine), or simply genetics. Praying your little one just needs a bit of time and support to get everything on track, mama.

Allison Zapata March 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

The waiting is so hard.

We waited when Leo was a newborn, they thought he had congenital adrenal dysplasia, 8 weeks in until we found out it we got TWO false positives and he was fine.

Now waiting for some results for Luca, our 3.5 month old. Has been so tired lately, and not eating, so of course I google then throw myself on the floor in a ball and cry. When my doctor says, “Oh, could be anemic, or have mono or something…STOP GOOGLING!”

Leo is 8 months, had SUCH awful reflux for 5 months of that – so, he hates tummy time because every time I tried it he puked. Now, at almost 9 months he has NO INTEREST in crawling. Convenient for me….but, you know, it’s not always about me (dammit).

Sending prayers, love, and lots of hugs.

Allison Zapata recently posted..Wordless(ish) Wednesday: Not Jesus Toast

tara pohlkotte March 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm

oh, friend. I join my hand in yours. cletch on hard, squeeze deep when that pain hits, or when for fear of the numbness you need a reminder of the flesh on flesh connection we share. we will wait… always together. never alone. we are all soldiers here.
tara pohlkotte recently posted..My Mother Lilacs and I

tracy@sellabitmum March 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm

The waiting. And the being the mom. And the worries. My heart. Thinking about you my dear friend. Always. xoxo
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Sabrina March 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

You are also a trooper! Elsie is so sweet and I know she is going to be wonderful… in every way possible! I mean this is Everett’s future girlfriend we are talking about! :)
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Ann March 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Brandee Shafer March 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I love your perspective, here. Things are hard when they’re hard. Yeah, I meant that the way I wrote it. We look back, inevitably, and think: oh, that wasn’t so terrible…or (even better), look at how much stronger I grew during that time…or (best of all) look at how much I learned about the character of God while that was happening. As for me, I fight to stay out of the pit so as not to become a big , sobbing blob of uselessness, but it’s ok, I think, to not be ok all the time. It’s ok to feel things and to acknowledge: it stinks when you wake up and find yourself in a big, fat pile of donkey doo. I think your idea of dumping the truck is a good one b/c holding all the garbage inside and/or pretending like it isn’t happening just makes a person lonely and sick and, in my case, needed a piece of choclate cake as big as my head. With extra icing. I’ll be praying for your little one, and for you, too.
Brandee Shafer recently posted..Anne and the Gift of Mentoring

deb March 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

what Ann said.
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Brandee Shafer March 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

*chocolate :)
Brandee Shafer recently posted..Anne and the Gift of Mentoring

Herb of Grace March 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I know exactly what you mean. My verydear friend lost her baby two years ago to CHD complications. She’s pregnant again and yesterday’s “initial”, “preliminary” u/s showed an “apparently normal” little boy growing happily. It’s a quick gulp of hope and we’ll all go on doggy-paddling right at the surface for a few more weeks till the first MRI appt.

Mother Ruckus March 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Worry never helps anything, so better to hope and believe – everything’s going to be alright.

Galit Breen March 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm

You words are beautiful.

Waiting can be…ugly, can’t it?

My heart is with yours.
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Kristenkj March 30, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I know what you are feeling. I went through this with Henry. I remember feeling like I was saying no to the questions too many times…

It turned out that what I feared was true. But it turned out that I needn’t have feared. God gives strength when needed…

She will be okay.
Kristenkj recently posted..It Was a Beautiful Day

Katybeth March 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Sometimes it really sucks but not forever. Not forever. One moment at a time and being very, very gentle with yourself may help while you wait.

Love and Light.

Bea, OT March 31, 2012 at 1:34 am

I hate waiting too. I hope everything is alright. She’s so young, she may outgrow whatever it is. I wish you peace and brevity.
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Amanda March 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm

You’re so beautiful, mommy. You and your little ones, too. Keep us updated, please.
Amanda recently posted..These things aren’t even my secrets…

Liz April 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Honestly I love your post. Especially when you said : We are all little wounded soldiers all the time, with working parts and broken parts and gifts and needs. And even when things are not okay, even when the waiting is over and the answer isn’t a relief, it’s still going to be alright again, after it’s not. This was the greatest blog I’ve ever read.
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Jess April 2, 2012 at 3:32 am

Hugs and prayers. Your thoughts are lovely, as always.
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Christa April 2, 2012 at 6:22 am

Yes. It will be alright. Likely much better than alright. No matter what happens between here and there…

Love to you…
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Jodi April 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I know how you feel. That waiting. Tests, more tests…poor babies being poked and prodded, sometimes surgery. And sometimes still no answers. Appreciating the time I have with my kiddos and trying not to worry about everything that isn’t typical…even if I know it can’t be fixed. They can still be loved, by me, and God. Sometimes they aren’t going to be all right–even if we have done everything in the whole world possible. I have to trust in the Lord, because that is who I am and the ONLY way I can see myself getting through some days. Hug those kiddos!

Jessica April 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I need to go back and read this post again. And again. And again. We are also in the middle of the waiting game with my daughter. She has had faint but continuing medical issues since birth and they continue to get worse. We are now to the point of testing and testing and testing and there are days that I can look at her and the possibility of the worst forces me to stifle back the tears. I need to float, somehow, until I know what I can do to make things better, I need to float.
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