I recently read a post about a friend of a friend of a friend's son. His cancer has returned. He's 10 years old, lives halfway around the world and the doctors have given him a few months to live.
Like most people who would hear such news, I was heartbroken to hear of this child I didn't know whose parents were suffering so much. I sat in my chair and wept for them. And then I thought of my own children. All three of them sleeping in their beds. All healthy with no complaints except the daily complaints of being a preschooler.
Then I thought of the trials and tribulations of what we've been going through over the last few months since the little ones turned three and had embraced all of their three-ness with great vigor and vim. Frankly it had been an exhausting summer of epic tantrums, colossal meltdowns, and rollercoaster mood swings (and that was just me). My emotions were taut, my patience was in the negatives, and my willpower was waning. While I know logically this is a phase, it often feels like an endless phase. I even told my husband, during a particularly low moment, that I couldn't see any light at the end of our parenting tunnel. I felt like it was going to be emotionally draining forever. Sadly his only response was, "It's got to get better." Gee thanks, Aristotle.
And then I hear about Hunter and having only two months left to live. I suddenly feel so grateful for my screaming, scratching, bawling, clawing children. I want to go in and just squeeze them all and cover them with kisses. But the thought of waking them up is just too much so I send in a bounty of air hugs and kisses. But I also send a little prayer of thanks to God for these amazing beings he's saddled me with and I apologize for all my griping.
This parenting gig is hard. Whether you have one or multiples, whether they're healthy or sick, there are varying degrees of difficulties that we all deal with. This doesn't mean my difficulties are not difficult in the moment, but I've been given perspective to realize that I should be grateful for my difficulties. Once in a while we need an angel like Hunter to slip by and knock the soot-colored glasses of our face so we can truly see how blessed we are.
Hunter, we will keep you and your family in our prayers. And we thank you for the lessons you continue to teach others. Bless you.