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Posts Tagged ‘Lessons’

2+2=6

Apparently I was overdue for a meltdown.  It’s been about a month, so I suppose it’s time for all the little annoyances and difficulties and frustrations to start spilling over the bucket of what I can handle.  I know I’ll look back on today in a few days and everything will be ironic and funny and humorous, but today I was just too tired to process anything logically.  The ironic part of the day is that I spent time doing my Beth Moore study this morning and one of the questions she asked was “When was the last time you put two and two together and got six?”, meaning when was the last time that emotion clouded your reason and even when you’re looking at all the details of a situation you still come to the wrong assumption.  This morning I couldn’t think of an example.  Maybe if I had spent a little more time pondering it this morning I wouldn’t have had to go through the ten minutes of panic that I endured this afternoon.

School got out early today for Lydia (is it any wonder SC is number 51 in US education?!) so my sister picked her up.  I was planning on running some errands over lunch (like spending it in the line of the DMV for new license tags) and decided to let her know I was going to be late getting home.  As soon as she answered the phone, she said in a very quiet, panicky voice, “I was bitten by a beetle and fainted.  But don’t worry, the doctor is here with me now.”  I immediately changed my plans and drove as fast as I could back home thinking the whole time the most irrational of things.  This is how my mind works.  It can jump from logic to panic in less than five seconds.  In the three minutes it took me to drive home I had already processed in my mind how the whole situation happened:

Dawn picked Lydia up from school, they were playing outside (for who knows what reason; it was pouring rain!), and somehow Dawn stepped on a beetle.  Not just any beetle, but a poisonous one.  Horribly poisonous too.  She fainted, and poor little Half Pint had to find her phone and call 911.  She had to be stronger and braver than the average eight year old in order to save my sister.  Dawn, of course, was laying out in the rain while the poison from this exotic beetle filtered through her body.  I was just sure that she had beat cancer only to die to a tiny bug while watching my child.  How could I forgive myself?!  So then I started getting angry at how unjust and unfair life is and how ironic death is.  I was fully prepared for the ambulance to be wheeling her out as I pulled into the driveway.  But when I got home, all I saw was her car.  No drama.  Quiet.

That’s the moment my panic turned to anger and relief and tears.  Lots of tears.  How could I have been so stupid to let emotion overlook the obvious…I could hear Lydia laughing in the background, I could sense playfulness in my sister’s voice.  Hindsight I would’ve known that Dawn is too smart to play outside in the rain.  And who has ever heard of beetles in SC killing anyone?  If I had thought for just two seconds, I would’ve remembered we have a game that has lots of tiny little beetles in it.  Plastic beetles.  And I would’ve remembered that Lydia’s new favorite game is “Surgery.”  But no.  I forgot everything.

When I walked through the door and saw the two of them laughing and playing (how dare they?!), while I was stressed and worried and scared, I immediately burst into tears.  I am so tired.  I am so behind in everything…bills, cleaning, doctors appointments and therapy sessions.  And today was Home Study day too, so those are always off days anyway.  Lydia acts out and I’m super sensitive.  The combination of all of this…and one of my favorite earrings breaking this morning, and Bi-Lo not having Almond Milk, and my check engine light being on…was just a little too much.

So, there you go Beth.  Eat your heart out.  Two plus two has definitely equaled six today.  Hope you’re happy.

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I can’t believe there was ever a time when Lydia was not a part of my life.  In one month how did we go from her not being a part of my life to her being my whole life?  It’s strange how quickly I forgot life apart from her.  I don’t remember what it is like to sleep in past six or stay up after ten.  I can’t remember life without bedtime stories, games of Connect Four, and meals actually eaten at the kitchen table.  And was there actually a time when I was caught up on laundry and household chores?

I don’t remember a time in life when my heart wasn’t connect to this child.  This sweet child that I did not know a month ago I would now die for.  A child I could have passed on the street a hundred times and not thought twice about now consumes my thoughts.  A child that was a stranger to me is now my family.  One month.  One month and I have forgotten that life ever existed outside of Lydia.  And in a strange way (though obviously not complete), I understand a little bit about the way a mother forgets the pains of childbirth.  That first week that Lydia was here was painful.  It was messy.  Complicated, strange, frightening, and chaotic.  But if it wasn’t for these memories being written down by my own hands, I would almost deny they ever happened.  Was there ever really a time when I thought I may have made a huge mistake?  Did the thought really cross my mind that she was too much for me; that I couldn’t do this?  Did I actually think of giving her back?

One look at her beautiful smile and I wonder why I ever doubted that this thing would work.  Now that we are a month in, I can’t imagine life without her.  I heard a rumor floating around last week that since her mother terminated her parental rights, that the whole process may move a lot quicker than they hoped.  There is a family that wants to adopt her and they were talking about trying to get permission for a pre-adoptive placement so she could move in with them soon.  My heart about choked me in my throat!  I’ve only had a month, people!  Please don’t take her from me yet.  And the door swings both ways too.  She told me today on our way home from church, “I’m not ready to leave you yet.  I want to stay with you for at least two more years.”  Two years when you’re only eight is really a long time.  We’re not ready.  My life changed radically when Lydia stepped into it, and although I miss certain aspects of my old life, this new one is pretty special.  I don’t think I can go back to “normal” life again.

Not only is life not the same, but I’m not the same person anymore.  Last week I went back to visit my old haunts in NC where I grew up.  Looking at it now, you would’ve thought time had stood still.  Five years ago I walked away from my missionary life and friends and co-workers.  Last week I walked back in and not a thing had changed.  Everyone was in the exact spot I left them.  Nothing looked different.  Nothing seemed different at all.  Everyone had gone on living just like they always had.  We hugged and chatted and caught up, but it felt so surreal.  I had moved away and changed and when I came back the me I am now just didn’t seem to fit there anymore.  I almost think it is sad that nothing has changed.  Not because I don’t fit in anymore, but because my life is so rich and full and abundant that I want others to experience these changes.

I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with all these thoughts tonight.  All I know is that sweet little girl sleeping in her room has stolen my heart.  This new “normal” is exactly what I hoped it would be.  Life with her is better than life alone.  Now what I’m praying for is the strength to let her go when the time comes.  I know it will probably be another five months down the road, but tonight I’m just wishing for more.  She is an incredibly special kid.  People tell me I’m doing a great job and sacrificing and doing things they never could.  I think they have it wrong.  They are thanking the wrong person.  Sweet Lydia, thank you for this month and for giving me the chance to love you.  You are so worth it.

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