Tuesday, September 13, 2011


My husband and I often joke that we are always on the verge of a catastrophe.  With two young kids and an old house, we're never quite sure what problem may pop up.  Our children are not the most graceful, either, so usually we're sucking in our breath as one teeters on the edge of falling, or makes an unwise leap off of the furniture.  We feel so blessed, however, to have missed many of the "almost" emergencies, especially when we hear the struggles of others.

Last night was other close call.  I was at work listening to a somber academic panel on 9/11: Ten Years Later and kept hearing a buzzing sound.  I couldn't believe someone could be getting so many phone calls.  Then I realized the floor under my feet was buzzing, and it was, in fact, my phone.  As a parent, you know instantly that constant phone calls do not bring good news, so I jumped up, pushed past the university president and my boss, who had the misfortune of sitting near me, and ran out to the car while checking the frantic texts, missed calls, and voicemails from my worried husband.  He was on his way to the ER with Brady, who had tumbled head-first down our flight of steep, uncarpeted steps. 

When I arrived at the hospital at what seemed like hours later (although driving 80 mph likely got me there within minutes), I found our sweet boy in one piece. 

After multiple x-rays, he returned to his talkative, inquisitive self, and made sure they showed him the pictures before sending us back to his room.  He was quick to tell everyone he was in his 16th day of kindergarten at Glen Cove Elementary, and was excited about the stickers he received, anxious to show them to his classmates the next day.  John and I were sure by this point that he was okay, although we were still nervous wrecks.  It didn't take us long to start worrying over the $250 co-pay and the bill we will receive for the x-rays...and yet, still so grateful for his clean bill of health. 

So the first night of the kids sleeping in their new "big kid" beds did not go as smoothly or as long as we had hoped.  Fortunately, our gracious neighbors entertained Maryn at their house, and she was excited to eat cheeseburgers and have stories read to her.  Brady enjoyed his adventure, and we were all grateful to God for escaping a potential tragedy.

Life is full of so much grace, and yet there lurks so much fear.  I have friends struggling with so many serious burdens, and yet they seem more at peace than I do with my little inconveniences and scares.  I worry that my faith is not strong enough, that I could not survive such tests, and I fear that I will be tested.  I spend so little of my time thanking God for the multitude of mercy and grace that we experience and instead waste away the time quaking in fear of the unknown and the "maybes".  And then my fearless children dive headfirst (not always literally, thank God) into the world day after day. 

Brady, the morning after his ordeal, came downstairs and then began cheering for himself.  "Mommy!" he said, excited, "I didn't fall down the stairs this time!"

Thank God for the lessons learned in falling, and for picking us back up, every single time.

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