Sometimes Pain Precedes Relief

Tomorrow we (Go-To-Girl and I) head back to Children’s Hospital and her terrific, yet somewhat conversationally challenged, orthopedic surgeon to have her pins removed. Okay, so I’ve done my darnedest to get that man talking. He was close the last time we saw him. He even paused – made a movement toward mindless chatter – then stopped himself as if on uncharted territory and turned back to medical terminology.

Though he might be a tough cookie to crack, I’m determined to get him chatting. Even when faced with the affable cuteness of Future Hoarder of America showing him a few golf balls, the guy resorted to instructions on swelling and threw out a few terms far beyond my mom vocabulary. But we’re determined to lure him to the dark side of completely irrelevant social conversation…. just because it’s fun. …I’ll report back.

Needless to say, GTG and I aren’t looking forward to our pending venture into the uncharted. I’ve heard removing pins is similar to taking out an earring. But I’m thinking it can’t be that easy or painless. They’ve been pretty upfront and honest so far. Let’s hope they’re right and that reality won’t match our minds’ apprehension. Nevertheless, I know without a shadow of a doubt that on the other side of pin removal, the kid will have healthy arm. A good and certain thing.

When she broke her arm and we raced to the hospital, I had the same anticipation based on the administration of pain medication. Her dread of the i.v. (and I’m talking paralyzing fear) was balanced by my expectancy. I knew that on the other end of a small bit of pain lie relief. So, it was easy for me to talk her through the fear with complete certainty of the comfort on the other side.

I sure wish parenting mirrored the i.v. or pin removal. If only often painful, dreaded, necessary parenting decisions offered the same certainty of pain relief or healing. The i.v. provided instant relief… the pins, a longer healing process, but a healthy arm. As we parent, we sink our teeth into actions that need to be taken, but we do it with great hope and inevitable uncertainty… because we just don’t know. There are too many variables and players involved. Plus, we can never be too sure of the timing.

Still we assess our situations and plan accordingly. Often venturing down roads filled with painful (though good) decisions that we hope will produce growth.

As our family has processed our latest “issues”, we’ve come to a few conclusions and ideas on how to train, teach and test (as so well said by our MOAT friend Chuck Bentley when I called him last week to ask for advice). These 3 T’s will be buttressed by the assimilation of new, unexpected information and we will set out on the road to what might be called “recovery”… probably more accurately “growth”. And, as we all know, growth is painful. But, as we also know, growth produces strength, height, fruit, and so much more.

We’ve learned some new lessons these last few weeks and reinforced many oldies but goodies. One of them goes hand in hand with the MOAT effort …

  • Never walk the road alone.  Wise council comes from the outside – where emotions are at bay and exhaustion a minor player.  So, by all means, open up to those close to you and be authentic.

but we’ve also learned…

  • Get out of the dark. Negative circumstance love dark, musty places. Get them out in the open and don’t worry. Worry has never helped anything.
  • Keep my head out of the sand … possibly a new category for the MOAT. I think we could have lots of posts that can give all of us tips on the unexpected
  • We really are never given more than we can bear
  • A little fear is okay, even expected,  but should never rule the roost
  • Time is your friend. A tough one for moms who desperately want to run in and fix, rescue, and save. Patience likes to play with it’s good friend wisdom… an impossibility if I’m always racing for solutions.
  • As a sweet older friend who has been struggling with a difficult to diagnose illness chipperly (okay, so I know that’s not a word – but it should be) told me this morning … “always look for the sun. It’s shining somewhere.” Even though she was referring to that great source of light and heat, I think we could easily change the “u” to “o” and get to the real source of hope.
  • The Lord really does keep in “perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in (Him).”

There’s so much more, but I’ll save that for a later date.

Oh yeah, one more thing. In the midst of it all – don’t forget to laugh. On top of all the other chaos (almost every child has been sick in the last 2 weeks – a couple more than once) FHA woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday with a super high fever and sore throat, circumstances warranting a trip to the doctor.

Of course he couldn’t go without a little something in hand.

I mean what’s a sick kid to do without a giant yellow crayon?!

We went into the office, waited for our turn … all the while clutching that big yellow treasure. As we walked to the examination room, I took the toy so he could get on the scale. Who knew it sported even more chum action on the inside. Nothing surprises me anymore with this kid.

Of course an oversized crayon is the perfect place to put a stash of Lincoln Logs!

What can you do but laugh … and thank the Lord that funny things never cease to appear, even on a bumpy road. May my eyes be open to levity and humor rather than be overwhelmed by situational stress.

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