I couldn’t really hear what the sermon was about as I paced around the back of the church carrying my babbling son around. Like the few moms around me, I bounced my boy around in my arms with what I am certain was an exasperated expression, longing for my old life when I could just sit for five minutes. These other moms and I exchanged sympathies and tired smiles as we bobbed around.
Except for one woman, playing with her little newborn son on a little bench. Swinging him around, tickling him, giggling with him.
At first I was horrified: a little baby, probably exactly half the size of my eight month old son, being held out of his carrier? Bearing weight on his legs? What was the lady thinking?
Until I overheard a church greeter as how old the fragile boy was.
The boy turned his minuscule head towards Brady and I. His mother beamed. She spoke words of struggle, of pain, of triumph. She described her son as ‘a miracle’. Recounted his illness, a disease I know has no cure and and almost no odds of survival past the age of 13.
I wish I was a stronger person, but I cried, standing there in church.
Too often I sit and complain about the gift Brady is. He came into my life earlier than I wanted him to. He had a projectile vomiting problem. He stayed in the hospital for a week after he was born, receiving treatment for an unknown infection. He wakes up at 2am sometimes to eat. He pulls my hair. He is perfectly healthy. Poor me.
There are incredible, strong women out there whose babies will have to receive treatment for their whole lives. Women who must accept the fact that they will watch their children die.
It makes me feel so incompetent as a mother, as a person, that I wonder why I should ever have been blessed with a healthy child.
I wanted to meet this woman and her son, whose name is Wyatt. Brady and I walked over and spoke with her- Wyatt squealing with delight at Brady, me making small talk with this beautiful, brave mother. A mother who was not afraid to soak up every second she had with her son, even in a public place. A mother who was so overjoyed by another day with her child it shone from her every movement, even when he interrupted her own obligations.
There are times I absolutely loathe myself as a mother… but I know I can only learn from these moments, these small glimpses into the blessings that are ‘miracle mothers’ and their sensational children.
I can only hope that, like this mother, I can remember to thank God for every breath my son takes.