My almost 2.5-year old son was in the ER twice in 1 week. The first time was for an anaphylactic reaction to food, and the second time was for asthma. (He had never been in the ER prior to these 2 times.)
In response to his anaphylactic reaction, we (and by we, I mean my Mom who is a nurse because I was too scared) administered the EpiPen for the first time, called 911, gave him Benadryl as instructed by his allergist, put him in the ambulance, and went to the ER.
At the ER, they monitored him for several hours, because apparently the effects of an EpiPen can wear off and the symptoms of anaphylaxis can return. Thankfully this was not the case for him. So there we were, my Mom, my husband who rushed over from work, and I, sitting in a small ER room with my toddler son for 5 hours.
During those 5 hours, we tried various ways to keep his very busy little body distracted and occupied. At one point, he wanted to take photos with my phone, so I handed it to him and switched the camera around. Thus this photo was born:
When I looked at this photo later, I had this overwhelming feeling of appreciation for what Moms go through and the natural strength they possess. This photo speaks of so much, with my probably 3-day-old hair, bare face, some weeks-old zit on my nose, puffy eyes from crying about the recent news of our family dog’s passing, and general feelings of stress and fear from the day’s happenings as well as sadness in my heart because my Mom was going to leave for Cali just a few minutes later.
Yet what I have on my face is a smile for my son.
A smile that expresses my care for him. A smile that tells him I’m here for him. A smile that tells him he’s alright. A smile that tells him I’m right there in that moment with him. A smile that tells him I will always protect him. A smile that encourages his curiosity for how things work. And a smile that expresses my forever love for him.
I guess this is what a large chunk of motherhood is about. We do our best to put aside our fears, stress, anxiety, sadness, etc. for the sake of our children’s happiness and well-being. We want what’s best for them, and want to create the best life for them with the richest stimulating experiences. The other day, I was telling my husband that I don’t think I’m doing enough for our kids. Before I even finished my sentence, he chuckled and said,
“You are doing more than enough.”
Isn’t it interesting how we are built this way? Nobody teaches us to sacrifice for our children. Nobody teaches us to try to give our children the best food/toy/education. Nobody teaches us to seek out the best things and experiences in life that will contribute to their growth and development.
Yet we feed them even when we ourselves are starving. We are concerned about their happiness even when we ourselves are not happy. We do so many things with and for them even when we are exhausted and sleep-deprived. We create a stable nurturing environment for them even when we are internally terribly unstable. And through it all, we love them even if we ourselves do not feel loved.
To all you Mamas out there: I appreciate you. I am in awe of your strength, courage, and sacrifice. You are doing an amazing job. Keep. Doing. You.
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