Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Because love is heroic

After several days of resisting formula Lily worked herself into quite the predicament. And it was painful for her. Twisting and turning, she cried helplessly as her body struggled to rid itself of toxins. We ran out of prune juice last week and running to the store takes time. I stripped her down, placed a diaper and a towel underneath her and gently cycled her legs while tears ran down her face. Then I held her feet up by her head with one hand and massaged her little bottom with the other. Finally I took a baby wipe and cleaned her bottom area hoping that perhaps the stimulation would motivate some movement. It did. After the mess was cleaned I bathed her and put her in some comfies. She laughed and smiled and went back to playing with her toys.

Later Claire and I went to the park while Lily napped at home under Claudia's supervision. It was the first sunny, warm day of the year and both of us were anxious to be out of the house. We arrived at the playground and the ground was a bit damp from the previous night's thundershowers. The slide was dry but for one large puddle that had pooled on the plastic at the bottom. It had been so long since we'd been able to play outside and my toddler was so excited to "side and sween sween". I hadn't brought anything with me besides one of my favorite jackets so we made due. We'll wash it later. We laughed and played for well over an hour.

Our days are filled with the mundane. Sometimes the repetition stifles and feels as though it will never end. The sacrifices we make for those we care for are uncomfortable, frustrating, and constant. With deep breaths and closed eyes we endure moments (days. weeks.) of mind-numbing tedium and irritation. We wipe spaghetti from the walls, sleep when we can, try to rationalize with the unreasonable, stimulate "business", and sometimes cry in the laundry room.

My husband eats lunch with senators and ambassadors on a daily basis. He helps to influence legislation that affects millions of people around the globe. He's an educated man who uses his intelligence to solve problems on a grand scale.

I clean peanut butter out of the VCR and kiss fingers that have been shut in cupboard doors. It's what I do that matters. I make the difference. I am needed and I am loved. It's the love we give that's heroic.


Kristin.... said...

Absolutely. Everyone in blog nation right now is feeling a bit of the blahs. I am incredibly jealous (yet again) of your ability to go to the park. We still have much too much snow. Our swings out back are still stuck in the snow.
At least it's sunny today!

Swistle said...

Paul was out of work for awhile and I had a job. I worked with a guy who said he never got up at night with their four kids, because it was so important that he not make a mistake at work. And it's true it was important: he was a pharmacist. But I don't see how that's more important than that his wife not fall asleep at the wheel while she's driving, or that she not be too tired to keep the kids out of the electrical outlets. The pharmacist has people to double-check his work, and systems in place to prevent mistakes. The moms might as well be all alone on a space station.

Also: glycerin suppositories sometimes help, too. The "infant" ones say "not for under age 2" but I checked with the pharmacist (not the one I used to work with!) and she said that's legal labeling and that the infant ones are indeed for babies. The pediatrician said not to use them for EVERY poop because the child can come to rely on them, but that it's good for occasional use.

Jess said...

I love the fantastic perspective that you have on this. Large or small scale, it matters. It's important. It's good.

moo said...

you are so right ... and I still don't understand why mothers are not somehow compensated by our government.

The things we do everyday ... how can it be more important than having dinner with some fancypants ambassador?

Erin said...

Beautiful. So true.

Glad your little one got the poopy out! My little one has the constips too. ARG! It's frustrating to not be able to help him more effectively.

jennifer said...

I love this post, I love when mothers really see our value. Beautiful!

Alicia said...

So beautiful. And so true. And so hard to remember when you're right in the middle of it all, that what you're doing is actually very,very important. Thank you.

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