This is my 3-yr-old.
With his warrior heart, silly storytelling, and impossibly large brown eyes, he is a source of daily joy to me. Daily joy and daily frustration.
Today he earned his first trip to the Emergency Room, which turned out to be my first close-up experience with stitches.
Three of them.
One for each year of his life.
He was a trooper, though, as they say. We're still not sure exactly how it happened. One minute he was sauntering into Gramma's shed, the next he was stepping into the sunlight and screaming, blood running down his face and soaking into his favorite Texas truck shirt.
He says he tripped over the pedal tractor and bumped his head. The ER nurse said it best when she asked him if it was a John Deere pedal tractor and upon hearing the whispered confirmation, stated, "well, it was worth it then!"
They asked me to hold his feet down during the stitching and it was the second time I assisted in holding down a boy in the ER and again I noticed primarily the smell.
If I do say so myself, my son and I were BOTH troopers today.
His dad promised him ice cream for being so brave. I got some too.
This is the same three-year-old that sneaks out of his bed every single night with an impish grin and says he needs to go potty. This is the same three-year-old that I respond to every night with, "Hurry up! I'm so tired of this every night! You're going to get yourself a spanking!" and the fact that I've never followed through on the threat probably renders the genuine anger fairly useless.
Tonight he tiptoed into the bathroom where I was brushing my teeth and had the same impish grin on his face.
My tone tonight was kind. Loving. Patient.
I sent him back to bed with two hugs and several kisses. The impish smile remained.
And so did the lingering thought in my mind: why was I so willing to be patient and kind tonight? Obviously because he had a rough afternoon.
But what if he had, God forbid it!, a chronic illness? Cancer even.
I'm guessing my tone would always be softer. More sympathetic. My mind would be more attuned to the eternal.
But he does have a chronic illness. We ALL do. Each of us is born with the chronic illness of sin on our body and soul. Why do I forget this each night? The best cure for sin is the love of Jesus Christ. So why do I forget to administer this medicine each moment of my days with my children?
Instead of yelling and being frustrated and tired from long days of mothering, I promise to now take a deep breath and remember how tenderly us parents care for our wounded babies. Then remember that not all wounds are physical or visible. We must treat each moment as the precious gift that it is.