March 29, 2011

Reality Check.

Yesterday was such an overwhelming day (the first day of me completely by myself with the kids) that at one point, around 3:30 in the afternoon, I found myself driving around in circles with all three kids in the car listening to a CHRISTMAS ALBUM because it was the closest thing to worship music that I had in my car.


And then, today.

Oh, today.

Myer woke up at 4:30AM as usual, climbed into my bed and started hitting me with his jingle block until I finally told him to "go find daddy." Chris gets up around 4:30 or 5:00 in the mornings so he can have some quiet time before he goes to work, but I was unaware that this morning he actually left the house at 4:50 to go read and study up at the church for a bit.

When I told Myer to "go find daddy", I had no idea daddy wasn't in the house.

Normally, Myer would just come right back to my bed and proceed to pull me out from under the covers until I got up. But he never came back into the room, and I fell back into a deep sleep. Truman had been fussing all night and I had only gotten a couple hours of sleep.

At 7:00, Ezra came into my room and told me that Myer was on the couch and he was all wet.

I figured his diaper had leaked, and came out into the living room after I got Truman all situated in his bassinet.

Myer was on the couch, and he was covered in vomit. Chris was gone. And I smelled... peanut butter.

My head started spinning. Chris had made Ezra's lunch before he left, with a peanut butter sandwich inside. Myer had come out into the living room BY HIMSELF at 5:00 in the morning and found the lunch on the counter, opened it up, and eaten some of it while I was fast asleep in my room.

Myer is allergic to peanuts.

He had a rash on one side of his face and his eye was all red. He was crying because he had just thrown up. I ran and got him some Benadryl and tried to calm him back down as I cleaned him up and the mess up.

I kept a close eye on Myer for any wheezing/breathing issues, and within an hour, he was acting like he felt better and the rash disappeared.

He is fine now. But it could have been so so so much worse. What if he'd had serious breathing issues and no one was around to react? I'm trying not to play the 'what-if' tape too obsessively in my head and just be thankful that God was watching over my baby when no one else was, but I can't shake this feeling that we just narrowly escaped some out-of-control freight train. I feel... lingering dread. A mixture of fear and relief.

Now we know that we, as a family, need to keep better tabs on each other in the wee hours of the morning. And I am re-impressed with the heavy reality of this job of mine. I am responsible for watching over the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being of these children. All three of them! At once! ALL THE TIME! Even when I am sleeping, apparently! And I'm reminded that this weighty task would be completely impossible for me if I didn't have a God who is bigger than me to lean on. A God who never sleeps nor slumbers.

I am also reminded that no matter how much I plan and strategize and convince myself that I am in control of things, I really am absolutely... NOT.

But mostly, I am reminded of the wise words of St. Therese of Lisieux that my friend Susanna ends all of her letters and emails with:

"EVERYTHING is grace."

I can only take my next breath because of grace. I can only change yet another poopy diaper because of grace. And I can only survive the madness of this season of life because of grace.

When I remember that powerful truth, suddenly every breath, every diaper, and every DAY (no matter how hard!) becomes a gift for which I am eternally grateful, and an opportunity to express my gratitude in humility and with gut-wrenching thanks upon my lips.

Reality check, indeed.

Thank you, God, even for todays like today.


Carbo1021 said...

Thank you for this post. I am currently home with a new baby (he is my first) and I am having trouble adjusting to being a constant caregiver and not being weighed down by it. The reminder about grace was really what I needed today!

Megan said...

Oh my gosh, Emery - this is so scary. I am so thankful everyone is okay. Holding you all tight in my thoughts today! xo

MEGAN said...

So glad Myer is O-K!

eBirdie said...

Amen. Glad everything worked out with the peanut butter...but how scary!

Mae Burke said...

Ugh, thank you for shedding some light on the reality of your situation.
I'm [impatiently] waiting for my second to be born [was due last week] and every day I get a little more nervous about the "what ifs" My daughter is also allergic to peanuts, she ate a tablespoon about 6 months ago and almost died so we don't even keep it in the house. We've had so many people ask to watch her, but I know not many of them understand the whole "just don't let your kid share snacks with her" thing.
I'm so grateful that God made your son throw up and that the reaction wasn't as severe as it could have been. It's amazing how he just throws us in there, huh? ;]

Lift Up Your Hearts said...

Surely every mother needs grace extremo, and most especially mothers of newborns!! Hugs!

(PS School Safe Soybutter tastes EXACTLY like peanut butter but won't kill your son. - signed, Mama of peanut-allergic girl)

Emery Jo said...

lift up your hearts- Yes! We use yummy soybutter in Myer's lunches, and he loves it! So good.

We've been very careful to keep the real PB out of Myer's reach... until this AM obviously. UGH. Lesson learned!!

Chicago Mom (Heather) said...

Scary story but I'm so relieved everything turned out OK. You're so right God never slumbers or sleeps. We all need to be reminded of that.

Stefanie-Elizabeth said...


I'm so glad little Myer is okay! How scary! You're so strong and god has his hands over your entire family. I don't have kids but my stomach hurt just reading your post. You're such a great mother and don't think about the "what-ifs" God is taking care of you :)


Beautiful Chaos said...

Ahh...sweet grace! God is good like that...especially to us Mommas! Thank God for His hand on us, and our children! "EVERYTHING is grace"...I love that! God bless!

Charlotte said...

My stomach dropped when I started reading this post. I am so, so glad that Myer is okay, that it was a reality check for you but not a huge, scary, hospital-y one. Praise the Lord! Thank you, God, for watching over Emery's little one. Thank you for being a physical presence in their home that morning.

Christina said...

Poor Guy, stuff like this happens, and YES, Thank you GOD for grace!
I'm so glad everyone is ok!
Hang in there mama!

Rita said...

Oh honey. I *gasped* when I read this. I am so sorry this happened.

You are amazing. Hang in there, kiddo.

Nikki said...

Hey Em. So sorry this scary thing happened. So glad MyMy is ok. It's so tough those first weeks alone. Know that I am right next door and would love to help in whatever way.

Lisa said...

Oh gosh, totally reminds me of the day I had the stomach flu and our son ate shoe polish... Oy!

Rachael said...

Oh man, that's real scary. But every single parent has these moments. Lots of 'em. I ended up lost on a river once, for two hours. I was just kayaking... alone... at age 9. My dad almost died of a heart attack. And that's just ONE story.
I'm really glad everyone is okay and please don't beat yourself up. It sounds like you've got a good, inspired attitude about the whole thing, though.

The Guddats said...

I am a first time mom of twin boys that are 2.5 weeks old. I read this as I am pumping milk for my boy's next feeding. Thanks for the encouragement that I am not doing this on my own. I have God's grace and it is more than sufficient.

Chelsea said...

Yikes! Thank god for his grace indeed.

I had a similar morning yesterday with conrad. I was at my wits end with him and we both were crying-so my mother in law, god bless her, came over to take him FAR FAR away! Hahah! Oh, being a mom is a tough task. Like you said, we're responsible for these little people ALL the time! So glad His protection is over them morning day and night!

Hang in there mamma! You're doing a great job! 3 kiddos is no easy task! ;) I look up to you a ton!

Anonymous said...

Probably a good idea not to have any peanut butter in the house.

Read my books; lose ten pounds! said...

oh man. OH MAN! YES. Its a trip! But, it gets better.

quatromomo said...

Dude, you gotsta put a gate on Myer's door from now on. Sleepy mommy and curious toddler = disaster... contain him to his safe room, just in case. That is just how this mother of 4 keeps her babes in check, even while catching my 5 hours of rest = ) God bless you!

bandofbrothers said...

wowzers. what a terrifying ordeal! so glad everything turned out ok. precious little myer.

loved what you wrote about grace. SO true. we do not have any control over anything. only by God's grace we continue on!