Tonight I sat in my messy kitchen trying to gain the strength and motivation to clean it before heading upstairs to join my sleeping family. I stood there looking at my overflowing sink and for the first time felt blessed by it. That sink meant I wasn’t home all day and when I was I was taking care of my baby.
Today could have gone two ways. I can clearly see the road the two paths that were laid out before me and how each day would have gone if I had chosen one over the other. I avoided so much hurt and struggle just by sending out one pleading text message to my real life Hero.
We woke up at 4 am to my sick little girl’s pleads for help as she scrambled for her “Bedside bucket”. Once again she filled it with the contents of her already empty body. Once again i held her hair back as I tried to count the hours since that last time we did this. 4 hours. It had only been 4 hours. What did she even have left to give?
I cleaned her up and she quickly let her exhausted body fall back asleep, only to be woken up again 20 minutes later with the same urge.
I crawled back in my warm bed and snuggled beside my husband and whispered “are you awake?”
We continued to talk about what we should do. It was only the flu but she is not keeping anything in. I told him how my hands could feel every rib while I rubbed her back and her chubby little toddler belly was nowhere to be seen. We agreed it was time to take her to the emergency room and the sooner the better.
Living in Canada, we receive amazing health care. But as a result the wait time can often be very long. So the earlier the better to avoid the “rush”. We showed up with perfect timing and were seen right away.
My husband and son went to collect some breakfast for the three healthy in the family while I stayed and held onto my sweet girl as we started hydrating her little body.
I will spare you the details of our hospital stay and get to the good part.
My son got dropped off at the half day church camp he has been attending all week by my husband while us ladies stayed in the hospital. My husband proceeded to go to work until he needed to be picked up. We were not sure how long our stay would be so we discussed what to do with our son when the time came to pick him up. My husband is in a very busy season on work and we are taking some vacation days coming up so missing a whole day of work was something we wanted to avoid. Having a healthy energetic 4 year old in a hospital all day with his tired mother and sick sister wasn’t ideal either.
Earlier that morning I sent out a prayer text to my sweet friend asking her to cover us in prayer as we searched for answers. She, like all good friends, offered her help and told me to ask if I needed it.
As we were discussing what to do with our son once kids camp was over I sat there in the hospital room with a choice to make. I am a strong Person. I am a person who likes to help others and loves to find ways to bless others day. I thrive in Chaos and know that I can survive any kind of craziness thrown my way. I can handle having tons of children in my care and I can last days with little sleep. I know I can do this. I know I can take care of my own family with out any help. I can handle two kids. I know I can. But, should I? Should I take this challenge on? I know I will survive. The question is, why would I not ask for help?
So I did.
I sent my prayer warrior friend, the friend who has been by my side since I was 13 years old, a text message and asked if she was able to take my son for a few hours. I just wanted her to take him until we got discharged and then I would come pick him up.
Her answer was an immediate “Yes”. She drove 40 minutes to come get him and then 40 minutes back to her house where she played with him and watched his favorite show with him and even took him swimming (which is not easy because he is crazy) She fed him his favorite dinner and drove him home after. He was exhausted. He fell asleep on the 40 minute drive home, which means she even put him to bed for me.
Did I mention that she is 9 months pregnant and has an almost 2 year old?
She just didn’t make my day easier, she saved my sons day. She saved my relationship with my son just a little bit today by helping me avoid so much drama.
I didn’t yell at my son to stop running around the house so his sister could sleep. I didn’t have to ask him to be quiet in the hospital room. I didn’t have to make him wait for me to find him a snack from the cafeteria. I didn’t have to tell him to go play by himself because I needed to nap. I didn’t have to plead with him to leave me alone because I am so exhausted and just need a moment to myself. I didn’t stretch myself thin and therefore have no energy to be nice. I didn’t have to try and be a superhero only to fail and ultimately act more like a villain.
I called upon my best friend and she stepped it up. The best part of today is that she was not even my only option. I had a few other amazing friends offer the exact same thing. I had people stepping it up in my life to help me. Not just me. They were offering to help my family.
I realized once again just how blessed I am to have this village around me. I have people from all areas in my life offering to help and following through. I know this is a common practice in so many areas of the world. Where I live it is all about being self sufficient and being able to take care of your own family. This is a mentality I find hard to break free from. I do not mind helping others. I have a hard time accepting help.
Like most things in life it takes practice. Practice letting people help. It sounds so silly but really it is actually what I need to learn to do. Today was hard letting someone take care of one of my own. But after she told me how much fun they were having I felt so stupid. It would have been selfish to keep him with me all day. It would not have taught my children anything about living in community. Today I practiced what I preached. Today was horrible in some ways but so amazing in others.
Thank you Auntie Michelle. We love you from the Bottom of my heart and Today you are our Hero! Thank you also to my community who stepped up and offered your help not once or twice but three separate times. You know who you are. I love you.