Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a new perspective

Well, it's been a basic few days. Yesterday, as I was driving to work after dropping Heather off at Eric's parents' home, the song, "More than Words" came on the radio. Remember that song? It was popular in the 90s, sung by those two brothers with long blond hair. They would sing the song while they alternated between playing chords and slapping the sides of their guitars. Isn't it funny how a song can bring back a flood of memories? That song transported me instantly back to my college days at SUU, and the College Ave. Apartments in Cedar City Utah. Oh, the memories. What would SUU Charlotte have thought if she could look into the future and seen wife-and-mother Charlotte? Who knows? But really, does it matter? Nah.

Also yesterday, as I was driving back to work after having spent my lunch hour at Eric's parents' home, I drove past an interesting sight. There was a wrought iron fence, and stuck in it was a medium size fawn. At first I thought it was a dog, but no, it was a little deer. Eric's parents live somewhat close to the mouth of a canyon, and he's told me that they used to see deer in their backyard all the time growing up. Anyway, there were these two men trying to help the deer get untangled from the fence. One would hold the (struggling) deer, while the other would try to move its legs so that it could get untangled from the bars of the fence. Meanwhile a third man was on his cell phone, I assume calling for help. None of the men looked all that official, and while it was tough on me to see that struggling deer, it warmed my heart to see those three (probably random, ordinary) men, taking the time to help this deer.

Speaking of things that were tough for me to see, today Heather had her two-month check-up. You know what that means, right? Yup, the dreaded immunizations. I had thought this might be a hard day for us, and I spent much of yesterday psyching myself up, reminding myself that I would much rather see Heather in pain for a few minutes because of a shot than see her in pain for several days or weeks because of one of the dreaded illnesses that the immunizations prevent. I reminded myself that Heather had spent the first two days of her life getting poked every three hours for blood tests (due to a low blood sugar issue), and that she was no worse for the wear now. I remembered how it hadn't really bothered me to do her PKU, and I told myself that if I could hold a screaming girl while a nurse saturated five different spots on a piece of paper with her blood, then surely we could all survive this immunization business without too much trauma.

Yeah, right.

What I hadn't realized in all my reminding and preparation was that Heather is more of a little person now, and less of a precious tiny eating and pooping machine. I hadn't realized that at the moment that she would get the shot, she'd be very happily and unsuspectingly gazing off into the distance, cooing and contentedly looking around at all that she could see. I hadn't realized that I would hear a cry unlike anything I had ever heard from my Heather the instant that the shot needle went into her little chubby thigh. I hadn't realized that her face would go from such contentment and happiness to such fear, surprise, and pain in a split second.

More than anything though, I hadn't realized that witnessing all of this would be so painful for me. What was I thinking? It was agony! Finally, I understand why people say that a mother is only as happy as her least happy child, and that once you have children, it's like a part of your heart is out there, walking around in someone else's body.

I'm beginning to understand why my parents have been willing to sacrifice again and again and again to support me and to help me throughout my entire life.

And maybe, just maybe, I understand a bit more of how a loving Father in Heaven feels about His young and imperfect Charlotte. I imagine Him allowing me to experience things that hurt, but are for my best good, in spite of the fact that watching me be in pain must be nearly unendurable for Him.

As soon as the nurse was finished, I scooped my Heather up in my arms. I held her close and stroked her little head. I gently bounced her up and down, and I told her, again and again, in my most reassuring voice,

"I've got you now. You're okay, it's okay. It's over, and I won't let anything else happen to you. It's okay Heather honey."

It makes me wonder--how many times has God scooped me up in His arms and told me that it was over, that He wouldn't let anything else happen to me?

A hundred? A thousand? A million?

Every time I've needed it, and more and more and more. That's my guess.


Kami Anderson said...

O, that is so sad. When I have a baby I'm sending him or her with their Dad to get their shots (as if I could).

Anonymous said...

Shots are hard. This is such a great perspective on the experience though. Thank you!! I will remember this in two weeks when Kristian is due for another round.

Bamamoma said...

a good perspective. thanks, Char.

Jeri said...

I hate shots. For Aaron's first set, Tim stayed in the room with Aaron during the shots and I was out in the hall crying! It was HORRIBLE!

3 more kids and a whole bunch of shots later - I don't have to go in the hall and cry anymore, (but I still hate the look of hurt and betrayal that my child gives me as I team up with the "mean nurses" to hold them them down while someone inflicts pain... Always makes me feel like a crummy mother - (don't try to reason with me here, I FEEL what I FEEL)
Feelings not withstanding, all of my kids are current on their immunizations.

Nellie and Jason said...

Jason didn't believe me when I told him how horrible the immunization experience was, so I made him come for her next round...he definitely understands now...haha.
And "More Than Words!" by Extreme--MY ALL TIME FAVORITE SONG!! It takes me back to New Jersey at about age 12, playing at the public swimming pool. I love when a song can take you back in time just like that.

Amanda said...

Aawwww... well written perspective. It is definitely so hard watching our little ones go through pain!

Jake said...

The difficulty with physical pain must be more of a woman thing. Melissa has told me time and time again how hard it is for her with shots, but I've never had that much difficulty. When I held Spencer in my arms while the ER doc shoved his teeth back into his gums I felt a little of that, but even then it wasn't anything near what you describe (or maybe it's because I'm the one that inflicts the pain on a lot of kids).

On the other hand it is starting to tear me apart lately when Spencer gets punished. He's starting to understand when we are disappointed with his actions and when the guilt and remorse hits him, it just about kills me.

Jessi on the other hand is like a mule (I feel like my relationship with God is a lot like the one Jessi and I have and sometimes he just has to shake his head).

You have a good perspective and I hope the good times continue to overshadow the bad (as they don't always seem to outnumber them).

Charlotte said...

Actually, the good times DO outnumber as well as overshadow the bad.

I guess it's just more interesting to write about the bad, huh? I'd better work on that.

Jake said...

I was referring to my experiences with infants. The good times don't start outnumbering the bad until about 9 months for me.

Grant & Jen Willis Family said...

For what it's worth, the two guys in Extreme aren't/weren't brothers (except in the Christian sense). But they did both have long hair. (Nuno Bettencourt was actually one of the great guitarists of the 90's hard rock genre -- funny that his most significant mark on the music world was an acoustic power ballad frequently played at Mormon stake dances).


Grant & Jen Willis Family said...

There was a band called "Nelson" during the same era that comprised two brothers (Gunnar and Matthew -- both with long blond hair.

(Do a google image search for "Gunnar Nelson" for some fantastic pix)


Charlotte said...

Oh-that's right. It was Nelson that I was thinking of, and they didn't do this song, did they?

So the song brings back some pretty pristine memories for me--they just don't happen to be memories about the people who brought me the song. Ironic.

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