December 10, 2010

Through the Muck and Mire

There was a 48-hour window this past week that had me thinking "Why, oh why, do we put ourselves through this?"  ("this" referring to parenting).

CJ, my 2-and-1/2-year-old, was happily eating his pizza during dinner Saturday evening when all of a sudden he started making a gagging noise.  Next thing I knew, a small chunk of his food had come back up.  Then he started to gag again, and I knew I only had a matter of seconds.  I quickly swooped him in my arms and made a mad dash to the kitchen (I wasn't going to make it to the bathroom).  Just a few inches before reaching the kitchen sink, my son threw up his dinner, lunch, breakfast (and maybe even dinner from the night before) all over himself and all over me.  The poor thing was so frightened - he didn't know what was happening.  All the while, I was completely grossed out!  I imagined a scene out of those comedy movies where one person pukes and then starts a chain reaction.  That would have completely freaked CJ out even more, so I had to hold it together.  Well a few hours later, CJ seemed better.  So he had a glass of milk before bedtime, and then it was Daddy's turn to get puked all over.  The next day, CJ was perfectly fine.

Thirty-six hours later, Nathan, our 14-month-old, seemed his happy, usual self.  That was until I noticed him grunting and grimacing.  The poor baby was trying to take care of business and couldn't!  A few minutes later, he tried again.  Standing in the living room, holding onto the edge of the coffee table, he stood, turning bright red in the face as he squeezed with all his might.  But all he could muster was the tiniest and quietest of gas.  He grew irritable and miserable (could you blame the little guy?).

A couple hours later, he tried again to no avail and this time, he cried out in anguish.  So I had to do what any loving mother would do - I had to lie my son down, strip him, open his legs, and help him pass his bowels.  I took a rectal thermometer, lubricated it with some Aquaphor, and started digging.  As Nathan squirmed and cried in agony, I helped loosen the rock-hard stool blocking the passageway and was finally able to unplug the dam.  He was so relieved.

So why share these less-than-pleasant details in great detail?  Where am I going with this?

Well, it made me think about all the muck and mire we go through daily as parents, or just life in general for that matter.  And most days, we find ourselves asking, "What's the point of all this?"

{ brothers celebrating their first
christmas together in 2009}
Well, I'm not really sure.  But seeing these boys at their sweetest just melts my heart and makes it all worth it.  Sure, a lot of details about my daily life are not glamorous, and there are days I'd rather just not deal with the trivial things.  But I've been given the responsibility to nurture, care for, and love these boys no matter what c-r-a-p is thrown at us (sometimes quite literally) or how difficult things get.

I would go through the muck and mire for them every day if I had to.

What greater depths would our heavenly Father go to for us?  Well, He let his Son endure the muck, mire, and wrath of hell so we wouldn't have to.  Now that's real love.


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