Sunday, September 12, 2010

Plan G

One of my biggest fears about balancing Brooklyn and my other two children has always been my ability/inability to be a good mother to each of them. Giving each girl what she needs and not making anyone feel neglected or unloved. This fear surfaced very early on in our journey, and I admit that even after much prayer, it hasn't quite gone away. I'm not sure it ever will.

The 18 days in the hospital after Brooklyn was born were hard. Really, really hard. I felt torn and guilty, but it wasn't really a "parenting failure" on my part. I had little control over the situation, and I tried my hardest to be where I was needed.

This week, however, I experienced what I would call my first "failure."

Tuesdays are Brooklyn's clinic days and because she has started weekly casting and is still being monitored for a shunt, we are there every week, usually all day. However, several weeks ago I realized my oldest daughter Emma's first day of Kindergarten was on a Tuesday. So we worked the appointments around her day so I could be there to drop her off and pick her up (there is no bus available). I had people who could help me with Emma, but it was a big day -- for her and for me! -- and I wanted her to know it was important and that it was a priority. In fact, to make it work, we had to go to clinic twice this week. And even though our clinic is an hour away, I felt it was worth it. Emma was worth it.

But as you have probably already guessed, it didn't end up working out the way we planned. I was able to drop off Emma in the morning, but the orthopedic surgeon ended up running late, and I couldn't get there in time to pick her up. I had to call my Mom for help. I was devastated.

I wasn't going to be the first face she saw after her first day of Kindergarten. I wasn't going to be the one to greet her with my biggest "I missed you" hug. I wasn't going to be the first one to hear about all the fun stuff she did. Plus, I TOLD her I was going to pick her up. She was expecting ME... her Mom.

I felt like such a failure. How could I do this to Emma? I cut it way too close. I should have known better. How could I let her down like this? I knew our "new reality" was going to present these types of challenges, but I didn't anticipate it happening so soon and on such an important day.

But you know what? It didn't even phase Emma. In fact, she told me what a "neat surprise" it was that Grandma picked her up. "I was so surprised, Mom! I was so happy to see her," she told me.

I still got a very excited welcome when she saw my face. I still got to give her my biggest "I missed you" hug, and I still got to hear every detail about her day. Even if I wasn't the first one to greet her, we still had our moment -- a moment filled with much joy and no disappointment.

I think sometimes we put so much focus on the "first" and the "ceremonial" aspects of events -- and what we think they should be -- we forget to focus on what's really important. No, Emma's first day of Kindergarten didn't quite go like I had planned, but in the end, both Emma and Brooklyn were taken care of, and, really, that's what is important. God provided me with a family member that was available to help out in a pinch and give Emma the joyful reunion she needed, and I was still able to stay so that Brooklyn could receive the care she needed.

In fact, this experience parallels what I feel God has showed me since we found out about Brooklyn's SB: That even when life doesn't go according to your plan, God has a way of always providing you with what you need to get through it.

And, more importantly, I am learning that if you choose to accept His plan and trust that His ways are better, you can get through it with much joy and no disappointment.

Lisa (@ Heaven Sent)


HennHouse said...


Jennifer said...


Mom of The Fields Five said...

I appreciate your honesty...I have been there so many times and am still learning this valuable lesson.

JourneyWithTheCrosiers said...

Brought tears to my eyes as I too fear this moment. We have Beckett (2 months with SB) and Paisley (will be 3 in December). Many thoughts have crossed my mind about times when Paisley will need me but something with Beckett will interfere. However, SB or not, that is just a fact of life with having more than one child.
Great post about the every-day-stuff we deal with!

Scasmflops said...

This was a beautiful post. You are so right about the Lord is teaching us His plan and His timing are best. Hard to trust at times, but so rewarding when we do see His hand at work. Thank you for this post.

Joanna (and David) said...

Wow - amazing post. Such simple day-to-day life but so applicable and REAL. We don't have multiple children to juggle around yet -but it has still come up in conversation "how will we balance more than just Jet? Would another child feel less special? Will Jet be sad if he can't do everything a younger sibling might do?" So reading your post was very much an encouragement to me - knowing that it's not all up to us - God is in control and if He blesses us with more children He will bless us with the wisdom to make it through each day.

Melissa said...

Lisa, I really wasnt prepared for the wave of tears I am shedding right now. Such a beautiful post. I too get too caught up in what I think are parenting failures. It literally breaks my heart when I think I have let one of my kids down. Even when they dont even realize it. My situation in no way compares to yours, but please know I am still praying for you guys!!

Katie at A List Maker's Life said...

Thank you for your thoughtful post. I must admit that I cried through much of it as I am quite emotional right now about the fact that we will be in the hospital on my 4 yos first day of preschool. I too have visions of the special ceremony of getting her ready, taking her picture, making her favorite breakfast, and being the first to hear about all of her firsts - but it looks like her Gram will be filling in. But, it is good to be reminded of the perspective that she is lucky to have more than one of us who is ready and willing to lovingly send her off on this situation. I hope that Emma is enjoying Kindergarten. Thinking of you all!

Meilani said...

I love your voice. You are so good at explaining and capturing feelings, thoughts and ideas. Thank you for taking the time to write on this blog. I feel touched by your faith and your humility. Thank you.

Holli (and Mark) said...

GREAT post!!!!!!