Sometimes dealing with daily family life can be a series of reactions, done not so much out of love as out of efficiency and necessity and an attempt to maintain appearances.
Things had been going pretty well with our newest addition in Texas. I had ventured out with the three boys several times, taken a trip to our alma mater, managed to cobble together relatively healthy meals, attended a slew of doctors appointments for the kids with Mr. Incredible only taking 5 days off. I laid all three boys down of the floor of the nursery at the same time, changed three diapers and three sets of clothes in one fell swoop. I even commented to someone that, “it must just get easier every time.” Boys were fed, clothed and had active play. I was getting the job done.
But that isn’t what motherhood (or this blog) is about, right? Building Cathedrals is more than just throwing stone upon stone and hoping it will look good from a distance. Sometimes we need to pay attention to details that no one sees, we need to put in more than the minimum effort to get the job done. We need do accomplish our daily tasks in a recollected manner and with love.
Which brings me to 2am last Thursday. I limped to our computer and did a search for “Appendicitis, symptoms.”
It wasn’t looking good.
At noon, my husband took me and the baby to the ER where they gave me a bracelet and told me optimistically it could be kidney stones. No such luck. 4 hours later I was in surgery to have my appendix removed, loaded up with drugs, while my mother-in-law was at our house with the big boys getting frozen breastmilk out to defrost.
Sometimes you need to go under the knife 4 weeks postpartum to remind you that your reliance on God is total, that, ultimately, we are not the ones in control, and that nothing is more important than the effort put into building up our little cathedrals…that this motherhood thing is about more than simply making it through the day and checking things off a list.
One week later and one organ less, I hope to remember this lesson. So last night with Mr. Incredible out of town, as I made a dinner of banana pancakes, plain pasta and tuna from a can while Incredibaby slept in the baby carrier that was rubbing the incision sites from surgery for which I can’t take pain medication because he stubbornly insists on eating every few hours, I remembered to smile at my big boys, to speak cheerfully and to serve our eclectic dinner with love. We all laughed as Jack-Jack dipped tuna into syrup. Was it a 5 star meal? No. Did I do it with love? Yes.
And then, even more out of character, I asked for help. Grandma came over after dinner to hold the baby while I gave the big boys baths and put them down to bed. May God bless us all as we strive to do our many daily tasks not just to get them done, but with love.