As I write this blog, it is 4:46 a.m. on a Sunday morning; a time of day I, unfortunately, often awaken with a backache. It has oddly become “my time,” so I decline from taking a muscle relaxant and settle for some strong Ibuprofen and a glass of milk. I’ve been “chomping at the bit” to write this first blog.
Both of my children were born overseas in foreign hospitals and both were c-sections. However, the two occasions could not have been more different. My firstborn, my son, was captured on film, a healthy boy loudly crying in protest to the cold reality of the world outside the womb. Twenty one months later, it was a blessing that we forgot to bring the camera. An inaccurate dose of epidural led to a rapid, panicky heartbeat and general anesthesia.
I later told my mom that I was worried that I wouldn’t bond with this child in the way that I had so readily bonded with my son. I didn’t have the same joyful birth memory that I’d had with her brother. It really concerned me.
A year later, when we moved back to the states and my children were getting to know their many relatives, my mom smilingly reminded me of that statement. Flory didn’t “know” these people and her daddy had gone back overseas for the summer to complete his contract. I couldn’t go anywhere without her. She stubbornly clung to me and refused to go to anyone else. Forget those silly notions of that rocky beginning! We were definitely…connected.
When Flory was around eight and a half or nine, she was crying upstairs. I’d scolded her for something or told her she needed to do something. She came downstairs and felt the need to explain her tears. “It’s too much,” she sobbed sitting on my lap. “Every day I have to do my homework, put away my stuff, …” and she went on to list normal, everyday things at school and home that she was expected to do, just as anyone else her age. For her, it was all too overwhelming.
Suddenly, I understood. You see, by this time in my life, I’d been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Everyday things that most homemakers did routinely had proven to be too much for me. It overwhelmed me and it was “too much” so often and felt so unfair. Nobody else seemed to comprehend how I felt.
I hugged my little girl and told her soothingly, “I know, honey. I know.” As I rocked her in my lap, to comfort her, I realized just how much her circumstances resonated with mine. We…connected.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.” -2 Corinthians 1: 3,4
Halfway into this blog, my daughter awoke and called for me. She couldn’t sleep and was scared. I climbed into bed next to her and we snuggled together until she was able to sleep again. I am glad we truly did “bond” because I still get to comfort her like this. I will enjoy the moments I can comfort her with snuggling while I still can.