There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my children. This giving of myself started when I was pregnant. I gave up my energy, my sleeping habits, and my waistline to the child inside me. I also gave up quite a bit of my stomach contents.
Once my kids were born, I surrendered even more sleep and I turned over my cracked and bleeding breasts to an electric pump. My preemies had this cute thing they did called not latching on, which left me tethered to an electrical outlet for the better part of their infancies.
Parents stay up all night with sick children. They miss important meetings at work so they can make it to recitals. They don’t see their favorite band in concert because they’ll be chaperoning an out of town field trip. And the best of the best give up entire summers to coach Little League teams. Isn’t that right, honey?
All parents give of themselves, but because of my son’s health problems there have been times I needed to give a little more than I felt comfortable.
There was the time I slapped on a lead apron so I could hold him still during a CT scan. The doctor had wanted to sedate him, but I knew I could keep him calm…by singing I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. I kind of forgot there would be a technician running the scanner. Poor lady.
There were the times my boy went into sensory overload at the dentist and I had to lie strategically in the chair with him on top of me, just so he would open his mouth.
And, I’ll never forget doing a song and dance routine in the middle of the hospital’s lab, so the phlebotomist could get get a blood draw. I bet the phlebotomist will never forget it either.
But there are also times as parents, when we just can’t give enough.
Yesterday, in the midst of his nagging, mysterious illness, my son looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Mommy, you have to make me better.”
At which point, I just went ahead and gave him the only thing I could. I sacrificed my heart and let it break into a million pieces.