Sometimes it does a mama soul good to shake off the spit-up, and get. out. of. the. house.
When it's freezing outside and there's snow on the ground, you could take your tiny babe outside in the elements but then you think about the 2,783 items you'd have to wrangle in order to make that happen. And you'd need to do something with that hair of yours - itsamess. And you'd need to bundle the baby up - and that takes about 30 minutes. And ohguesswhat, then by the time you get out of the door it's time to feed said baby.
Basically, we haven't done much this winter. ;)
But being cooped up does something to a person. At first it's all nice and cozy and you feel like you're living a Hallmark Channel dream. You actually feel sorry for those poor folks who have to drive in the snow to work every day when you get the luxury of staying indoors and watching the beautiful snow fall with your bubbly joy baby. It's good for a few days until your joy baby turns into a screaming mess for three solid days and it becomes your job to discern what those screams mean. (What? You didn't take screamanese in college, Mom?!)
When you're cooped up like that with a sick screaming baby, it does something to your perspective. You start thinking things like, "This baby might not ever stop crying...we may actually have to listen to this nonstop until he's 18 years old" or "There is nothing worse than a screaming baby. My life is awful. This is THE worst situation, ever. I have the hardest baby on the planet."....yada yada yada. (In case you haven't noticed, my mind kinda drifts to the worst case scenario when I'm in a problem situation. I'm working on that.)
And then you and your husband go to church on Sunday as a family.
And while the congregation sings 10,000 Reasons, you glance around and you take notice. You notice the family with the mentally handicapped son and they are really praising. They sing the lyrics..."For all your goodness I will keep on singing." And the mom really means it. She cries through the song, but she is smiling. And you ask yourself, How? How can she sing about God's blessings when her load is obviously so heavy?
And then you notice the elderly couple in front of you. The wife is battling cancer, and she can't even stand up to sing. But she sits and praises still the same. And her husband strokes her back with reassurance.
And you look around, and you start thinking about what other pain must be tucked into all the other pews. All the heavy loads. And you realize that your "problem"? Your sick baby who knows no other way to tell you he needs you than to scream for three days? It's not that bad. He'll get over his sickness and go back to his normal bubbly joy baby self. But these problems? The ones tucked into the pews? Some of them might not ever go away.
And then you go home feeling better about your situation.
But a few days later, because God wants to keep reminding you of how good you really do have it, you're invited to visit a friend at a mentally handicapped school. She gives you a tour, and you sit in on a preschool class filled with children who absolutely break your heart.
And you finally get it.
This parenting thing? It's a walk in the park compared to the heavy loads of others. Yes, you have to go back home to a sick baby again and comfort again and soothe again and rock again...but that sick baby is not permanently ill. He's not strapped to a feeding tube, or limited by a wheelchair. He's well (or at least he will be soon), healthy, and happy.
So self: remember these moments on those cooped up crazy winter days when you feel like your world is SO HARD. Your world is a gift, and you are blessed.