I suppose it was more dramatic when Tony Stark announced that he was Iron Man, but this is no less true. I am not Wonder Woman.
There's an awesome meme that says, "Always be yourself… unless you can be Batman. Then, always be Batman."
Yeah, that would be nice. Or would it?
Okay, Batman is not realistic for moms these days. A wealthy, orphaned, sad philanthropist has other things on his mind than we do. All he has to worry about is saving the city from evil. He doesn't have to feed a family or keep a house clean when he has Alfred. Maybe Alfred is the superhero. Where would Batman be without him?
Some women think they can do it. There's a Wonder Woman image they strive for. She can fly her invisible jet and rope any villain with her magic lasso without breaking a nail. Oh yes, and of course she looks flawless doing it all in high heeled boots and a bustier without breaking a sweat. Women want to be her, and the men just want her.
Yes, I'm guilty of that too. I try hard to do it all. As a matter of fact, I feel a bit like a liar writing this post. But just because I don't do it doesn't mean I don't know what's right.
As moms, is it realistic to want to be clean, organized, AND well-rested? Can we be the best mom AND a top employee at our job? Can we have kids that are happy… well, can we just have happy kids? And hey, I would like to be healthy and look pretty myself, too.
It's like a buffet. Everything you want is there, but the plates just aren't big enough. You could go back for round after round, but your stomach isn't big enough either. You just can't have everything. If you try, you won't be happy. (Ask your stomach.)
So you have to pick and choose. Here's how I handle a buffet. I go in reminding myself that I don't have to take everything I like. There's just no way to have it all. So, I take what I am in the mood for, and remember it is not my last ever buffet. The next time I come, I'll get something else. If I feel like it.
In life, you won't be happy trying to cram it all in either. The difference, though, is that you might not get to pick what goes on your plate. You just have to remember not to fill it up. Sometimes you might have to sacrifice something good for something better. Maybe what goes on your plate this time is the health of your children, and you have to sacrifice a full night's sleep, or the best you've got at your job, or maybe even the happiness of your children.
At the buffet, you might not always be HAPPY with what's on your plate. Your body might NEED the iron in the liver you take because you are anemic, and even though milk is good for you, calcium hinders the absorption of the iron. So you must take the healthy liver and forego the healthy milk. No one said it was going to be easy. Or fun.
Wonder Woman's plate was full of great things, like being strong, beautiful, and smart. But she is a fictional character. And may I add that Diana Prince did not have children? Can you imagine if she had to wait for the babysitter to come before running out to save the world? She was given an easy buffet, full of all good choices. (And of course, she's the type who could eat it all!)
I can't be Wonder Woman. Saving the world is not on my plate. Right now, saving my children is the best I can do.
I have always hated giving Audrey her shots. Even now that she is on the pump, and injections are only every 2-3 days, I still dread it. Knowing that it is keeping her alive doesn't make it less painful for either of us.
When she was in the hospital, she was severely dehydrated (which was baffling to me, as much as she had been drinking at the time). What do you get with a tiny, 40 lb., dehydrated child with wobbly veins? Apparently, a near-impossible stick, as the nurses kept telling me. We were in a very highly-rated children's hospital, and no one on the team of pediatric IV-specialists could get an IV started on my child. These are people who do nothing but start IVs on dehydrated children day in and day out. No one could do it. (*side note- Alan, to whom I refer as "super nurse" from our local hospital's ER, was the ONLY one able to get a line of any kind on her for the whole week. That, after more than an hour of trying.)
Watching all those professionals dig into my daughter's skin with needles for so long, was almost sickening to me. I'm not terribly squeamish around blood, and I have no problems with needles myself, but this was too much. The only blessing was that she was delirious and mostly oblivious to the pain. I can only imagine if she weren't.
Did you ever watch a child react to the sight of a needle? A needle that was going to invade their body? I believe most children universally scream like you've chopped off an major appendage. Why? Because they hate pain. Any and all pain, no matter how brief or necessary or non-life-threatening.
So what do we, the parents, do? We hold them down and make them endure it. We explain to them (or to ourselves) how this simple action keeps away a world of more dangerous pain and sickness. They don't understand. But we do. We must. Or else small pox would wipe out the rest of us.
A diabetic 7-year-old who needs 4 shots daily is just plain mean, isn't it? Especially when the child also has sensory issues with her skin. What torture! She dreads every moment of that pain. When she really can't take it, she runs away. And she cries. Because she knows what's coming and that I won't give up.
Who has it worse? The child who must endure the pain, not understanding its importance? Or the parent who cannot successfully communicate that the pain prevents death?
The parent has probably been acquainted with death. She has had family members delivered to the ground in beautiful boxes meant to seal them away forever. They never returned. Possibly, that family member suffered with an agonizing disease. Maybe they died in a horrific accident. Or it could have been a quick, easy passing. No matter. Her loved one never came back.
And that is not going to happen to my child. Not on my watch. That child can fight, kick, scream, and even try to run away. But she's not going to die. Not while I hold life-giving insulin in my very own hand.
You hear that, child? I hold your life in my hand. What I can give you will make it so you won't die. Why. Why? Why are you running away from it? From me? Why don't you believe me?
Oh yes. Because you don't know what death is yet. (Really, I don't either. But I know that I don't know the full extent. You deny it all.) To you, a child is invincible.
They are not. Children can die. Children do die. I hate to say it. I hate to admit that I am glad it is not my child. But it will not be my child. Not when I hold her life in my hand.
It's times like this when I "get" God, the Father. (To a limited degree, I admit.) He holds life in His hand. He holds it out for every one of His children. But not every one takes it.
Which one of us understands what happens after we die? None of us. No one has been there; no one can tell us. So we live our lives in pure oblivion. Like the invincible child who cannot die, we are the eternal souls sure that every one of us is bound for Heaven.
Only the Father knows differently. He desperately tries to tell us, just as the parents tell their children of the horrid diseases they will not be getting after they have endured their vaccination. The Father was so desperate to tell us, that He sent Evidence from Heaven. He sent His Son to tell us, to show us, EXACTLY what will happen when we die.
How frustrated is He when we don't "get our shot?" When we don't believe the precious Evidence He sent us? I know a piece of that frustration! Why on earth would my child NOT want the medicine that keeps her from dying? Why?
So why do God's children not take the medicine He offers us? Why? The medicine we need to take is simply believing that He loves us and already paid the price it took for us to be with Him in heaven when we die. It's so easy. Why are people not taking it?
All we need to do is believe. If the child believes the parent and gets their shot, they will not get the disease. If God's child believes, he too, will be rescued from the disease of sin. If my daughter takes her insulin, she will not die from her diabetes. If we accept God's medicine, we will not die a second death.
The vaccination ends the possibility of getting the disease. Audrey's insulin, unfortunately, does not end the disease. Only a cure will do that. Her pancreas is dead. It needs new life.
Jesus brought new life to us. There's nothing else that needs to be done. We can have new life by simply taking it.
But it's painful, right?
It could have been. It was. When God sent His Son, Jesus demonstrated the suffering that was supposed to have been for sinful man. But once He accomplished that, He concluded, "It is finished." Therefore, it does not need to be done again. One cure saves forever.
The only pain is submission. Dying to yourself and admitting that you cannot save yourself. It hurts to not be your own God.
But the reward should be amazing.
Passion Under Grace,