Eden has been sick -- nothing major, nothing life-threatening, nothing even worth remarking on, yet the common cold has been something. It's been my sense of helplessness when my exhausted tiny daughter cannot suck her pacifier and yells (the way I think I'd like to) when a cough tears into her sleep, the exhaustion that hits when for the 18th time in a row at 2AM I have to remove her little leg from between the crib bars, or wipe her nose, or give saline drops, or try to soothe her back to sleep again. It's the helpless tension that grips me when there is nothing I can do as she screams in frustration but stand there, as every cell in my body bristles with instinctual red alert to soothe and protect this flesh of my flesh.
What strikes me is that everything I've described -- that feels nearly impossible to endure at the time -- is utterly common. Children get colds. Sleep is interrupted. Patience stretches until it's dangerously thin. How can something be so all-consuming and barely noteworthy at the same time? This is the duality of motherhood -- there is nothing more personal, life-altering, trying, and significant than this job, and there is also nothing more universal or shared.
Good words from other women have been life lines this week. Here are some:
thoughts about Peace