Thursday, January 26, 2012

Libby's Story

This afternoon, my six year old daughter came over to me and told me she wanted to tell me a story she had made up. I was not prepared for her to begin with the words, "Once upon a time there was a very sick mommy who was pregnant..." I sat, stunned. It was almost a physical blow.

Is this how she sees me? Sick? I listened to the rest of her story in silence, not sure what I should think or feel, and trying very hard not to get emotional. {I haven't been sleeping well lately, which makes me a bit weepier than normal.}

The good news is, the mommy in her story actually rocked. She was obviously a very good mommy, took excellent care of her children, and in the end saved the day. I was just a bit in shock that this was how she opened her narrative.

No one wants to be labeled as the frail, sickly type, if you know what I mean.

Still, at the end of the day, I am going to focus on the fact that my illness has not kept me from mothering. Not entirely anyway. Yes, I have limitations. I do spelling lessons and phonics lessons from my bed some days. I need my children to help me chop vegetables when my hands are too painful or buckle babies into car seats when my wrists are swollen. I have asked them to serve coffee to guests because I could not lift the coffee pot and help open jars when they are too tight for me to open without hurting myself.

But I still make the suppers and coffee and have guests over and drive my kids to the library and church and all kinds of other places. Our life has not stopped, it has simply changed.

Some days, I feel frustrated by my limitations, because I am used to strapping a baby into a sling and going out with the whole lot in tow and doing whatever needs to be done. I can. do. it. all. my. SELF. was my motto.

Well, I can't anymore. I need help. I have had to explain this to my children. My oldest ones understand the best, and help the most. And it makes my heart smile a bit to see them becoming considerate hosts to our guests, learning to serve others, finding that they are an important part of our family, and that their contributions bless our home.

It became apparent to me today that even my middles have a fair amount of understanding. {I have split my children into three categories, in case you are wondering about the term "middles". The big boys: Andrew, Riley and Dylan. The middles: Josiah, Libby and Justice. The babies: Aiden, Owen and baby # 9, due in May.}

When Liberty told me that story, she made very clear she is aware of the fact that her mama is sick. But you know what? She also demonstrated the mama in her story is a heroine- she took care of her family, drove her children all over to all kinds of neat places, and, in the end of the story, rescued them from getting hurt. The children were safe with their mama. They were loved and nurtured and happy.

So although I am not thrilled with being sick, with feeling a label on myself that I'd rather not have, I am choosing to focus on the end of the story, and not the beginning.

And I think that's the way God views things as well.

~amy danielle


  1. I was the same way before I came down with my dizziness which has taken away much of my independence. It is humbling to have to ask for help and depend on others. What a beautiful story :)


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