Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Pity Party

I admit to feeling sorry for myself as I was again sitting in the room usually reserved for nursing mothers watching Bo play with blocks. When we returned to this church, I knew there wasn't a place here for him and I determined not to complain. We came back wanting only to be a blessing, not to demand one or create a burden for anyone. 

And we are blessed. 

This quiet room is available to us. It has a comfortable couch, small toys, room for my boy to run around a bit, and the sermon piped in, even a window to look over the service. 

But today I was feeling isolated and alone, far from where the action was, wondering why I had even bothered to be there. 

The day did not have a stellar beginning. My husband woke up with his third day of migraine and knew from experience that the fluorescent lights of the sanctuary would be his undoing and decided to stay behind. 

Then, three-year-old Keturah decided it was the perfect time to give herself a haircut, or more specifically, an asymmetrical mullet. It was unclear for quite awhile if the resulting tears were from regret or getting caught in the act. I'm now quite certain that the tears of regret will come later today when the rest of her hair is cut to match. She stayed home with Daddy.  

I lost my key to the Durango when I was buckling Bo's car seat into it. I was completely baffled and beyond frustrated that I couldn't locate it and had to take Shawn's set. It wasn't until we returned home that his older sister found the key in Bo's seat when she unbuckled him. 

Needless to say, I wasn't exactly in the correct frame of mind to worship. During the songs, Bo kept taking my hand trying to pull me upstairs to play with him, further distracting me. When that didn't work, he did the one thing that guaranteed success and pooped in his pull-up. He's a problem solver, that one. 

By the time he'd been changed and I had settled in to listen to the sermon in our quiet room, I'd already worked myself into a bit of pity party. 

I didn't even notice when Bo took all the couch cushions off and stacked them up. That must have clued him in that something was wrong with me. He tried to engage me in a game of cars like we often play and I halfheartedly zoomed one over his legs like I know he loves. 

But I was feeling restless and distracted and discontent. 

Sensing my mood, this child of my heart climbed up next to me, wrapped his arms around my neck, and hugged me. Surprised, I barely had time to respond before he flashed a quick grin and scampered down to play with blocks. 

I was stunned. I love this boy, but he does not give affection freely, especially not to me. He obliges only half the time when I ask for a hug or kiss and then only begrudgingly. As I was processing what had just happened and wondering if I had, in fact, imagined it, he climbed up again and laid his head on my chest. This time, I recovered quickly and managed to rub his back as he relaxed against me for a short time. 

My pity party forgotten, I played more earnestly with him after that. With an ear on the sermon, I played cars and built block towers for the rest of the service, relishing in these uninterrupted moments to be fully present with this child. I was rewarded with another spontaneous and genuine hug. 

What a gift this time together is, free from the distraction of siblings and cell phones, and, in my selfishness, I almost missed it. 

That would have been the real pity. 

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