I'm not sure if it's just that I'm getting used to craziness of our life as normal or if God was especially kind to us today (probably a combination of both), but today went so much better than good. At times throughout the day, I almost felt like I was floating, like God was just lifting me above the circumstances and allowing me to float through the day. It's really indescribable, but His presence and providence was so evident to me all day long.
It started by the fact that we got three kids out the door BEFORE I even had planned to be out the door this morning. Three separate diaper bags packed, three kids and two adults fed breakfast, two asthma treatments administered and diapers changed all before 9:30 a.m. I even walked out with makeup on and my hair done!!! In our house, this is nothing short of truly amazing!
We could tell Tucker was picking up on the fact that he was going to be left behind today, and that was seriously tugging at my heart. From the get go, we threw ourselves on God's mercy, petitioning Him for wisdom to help shepherd our son's heart through circumstances that are not common to most 2 1/2 yr. old little boys. We prayed as a family right before we dropped Tucker off and felt confident that God would remain true to His promise to 'go before and come behind us' today, making all kinds of provision where needed.
Tucker ended up doing very well with the sitter, friends of ours, the Kilbanes (thank you, guys!!), who have two little buddies around his age. He obeyed very well, took his nap and seemed rather well adjusted when we picked him up at the end of the day. Thank you, Lord!!
My traffic savvy husband averted a major backup on I-95 and managed to get us in the city with time to spare....so much time that we were even able to stop at a city park (a very nice city park) to give Judah some time to play!
We made Bella's appointment on time and did not have to wait very long before we were seen. All the while, Judah was such a pleasant companion, sitting still in the waiting room, eating his goldfish and reading his book. Our visit with the laryngologist was reassuring in the respect that he saw nothing in his exam of Bella or looking over the notes on her that alarmed him. He feels that as long as we are able to keep the reflux under control and continue to see her grow, we should be fine just waiting on time to make her airway stronger.
The endoscopy was not fun. She screamed like a crazy woman, but it was over very quickly and I did not have to hold her down as a nurse was called in for that. She calmed down soon after I was able to hold her and was an absolute peach the rest of the day. She was such a good girl, sleeping most of the rest of the afternoon, that I forgot to change her diaper ALL day!! This proved to be the only snag in the day as when I pulled her out of her carseat once we were home, I saw that she had a major poop thru, all the way up to her armpit...poor girl. Bad mommy. :(
Bella's appointment went so well and so quick that we were able to take a somewhat leisurely lunch with Judah in the outpatient cafeteria. Judah even got french fries which I'm sure made his day. Prior to lunch, we had to apply the numbing cream which went so much better than it has gone many times in the past. For a while, I had given up outlining the area to be worked on with a highlighter because Judah would just flip out on me. But, today we were able to talk to him, make it fun, and he allowed me to outline the area on his face that was to be lasered. Lawrence and I worked together to get the cream on, and Judah did rather well with that, too.
He probably looked like a burn victim to anyone who saw us, but we just don't seem to notice the stares much anymore. We ate our lunch, found a fun little patio to play on for a little while and even had enough time to walk from the outpatient building to the new children's outpatient clinic a few blocks away where Judah's appointment was. God not only provided a beautiful day so that we could walk, but also the time we needed AND a construction site where a bunch of dump trucks, bulldozers and cranes were working for Judah to enjoy on the way. It was at this point that I was so struck with God's kindness to us in the details of our day that I began to tear up.
I had been dreading these appointments all week, had a restless night's sleep last night and drove down to Hopkins still battling anxiety even after we had prayed as a family. Several times today, in the midst of just doing what is "normal" life to me, I was struck by how not normal our life is. Whether that was the enemy devising to discourage me or my own sinful flesh looking to feel sorry for myself, who knows? But, God met me and encouraged my heart so greatly by showing His kindness to us in the details.
When we arrived at the outpatient clinic for Judah's appointment, he realized that it was his turn to see the doctor. At one point, he looked at Lawrence and me and said, "It's my turn to be brave." Well, as you can imagine, I wanted to lose it. My little man is so consistently a picture to me of God's amazing grace, as I see God providing so much strength and contentment to Judah to walk out the lot God has assigned to him.
And, brave he was. Each time we go for laser treatments, Judah makes it a little further into the appointment before he starts to cry. He used to cry when he saw the doctor. Today, he was giving him high fives. Then, we could make it to the laser room before he'd start to cry; today he was exploring the 'new' room. Today, he made it all the way to laying down on the table before he started to scream. By the time I saw him in the waiting room, he was all smiles with lollipop in hand, being commended by the nurse.
Before I knew it, we were on our way home, another dreaded day behind us. And, all I could say was, "Thank you, Lord".