“Hurt my butt.” “Oh, I tooted.” “Mommy f***, Daddy f***, owwww.” “There’s Jesus!”
All of these are phrases you would have heard Charlie throwing out there had you been in our Thanksgiving church service tonight. In his defense he was trying to say “fox”, but it’s just a word he can’t get out yet, and it’s a wolf book he was talking about. (Insert hand palm here.)
He ran the pew back and forth. He used a Kleenex to clean off every Bible and Hymnal. He cleaned the “table” (pew). He even cleaned the nice lady at the end of the pews purse and shoe. (Again hand palm.)
The nice lady continuously smiled through out the service and engaged him as he offered her pretend food that he pretended to grab from her purse. (You guys this kid!)
I sat laughing hysterically like an immature child. I’d frequently make eye contact with my cousin four pews ahead of us who could hear Charlie and not stop laughing. I felt the thoughts of those around me burning into me. “Great parenting there.” “Make him be quiet.” Are things I imagined them saying. And the eyes of my former principle staring at me. The judgements I imagined them having for us. (And maybe, truly they weren’t. But the mind gets to you quickly.)
In my head I was replying to them all, “I’m not even sorry. Not one little bit. I’m just so damn happy he’s in this pew making the loudest noises and dropping one liners like nobodies business. Two years ago he was in a hospital bed fighting for his life, as he was in heart failure and his lungs filled with blood. I almost lost him and he was intubated for his first Thanksgiving. And last year at this time we were in an ambulance on our way to the hospital again, because he was lethargic. And again, we spent Thanksgiving in the hospital. So forgive me as I allow my child to yell in the pew, run back and forth, and feed people imaginary food he stole from them. Because you know what, God clearly has a fantastic sense of humor. And I wouldn’t trade this highly embarrassing church service for 5 million dollars right now.”
I may not have gotten much directly from that church service. I was completely distracted by my highly amusing child. But part of the Thanksgiving prayer did resonate with me, “For the ability to be thankful for the hardship in our lives: We ask strength that only you can give, O Holy Spirit.”
Two years ago at 2 a.m., as many of you know, I was in a room crying as I waited to find out if my child was going to survive the night. Last year I was in an ambulance as I typed out my words and held my limp baby. Both of these days occurring from the 22 to 23 of November. That’s just our day. So today I waited in anxiety. I waited for that moment. When he got a cough on Sunday night I had instant panic. The thoughts of going to the hospital for a third year in a row consumed me. The tightness in my chest grew. So as I approach 2 a.m. on the 23rd and I’m no where near anything medically related, I am Thankful.
Thanksgiving happens to fall directly on our dates this year, ironic. And while we love our hospital family dearly. I am thankful that some traditions are made to be broken.
Happy Thanksgiving from #iwearredforcharlie.
And now, it’s 2 a.m.