This is a post from contributing writer Tabitha.
Last Wednesday I was reminded of something very important.
We had a very eventful day. The whole day was full of great events, accomplishments, and happenings. I could remember my littlest daughter reaching for me with both arms and laughing out loud.
My 2nd oldest son went on a 10 mile bike ride with Boy Scouts that evening. My 2 year old daughter was naming people from scriptures by name. My oldest is working on college tests and being quite motivated. My oldest daughter was making homemade lip gloss with the other young women at church.
We were at Cub Scout Pack meeting for my 9 year old. He had earned his Bear and two arrow points and was so proud. My 7 year old had filled out his game for the Pack meeting all by himself. My 5 year old had won a little medal for playing Bingo with the Cub Scouts. My 4 year old had also reached Bingo and got a little butterscotch candy and was beyond thrilled.
I am holding on to that moment. Here is a picture. See? He is SO excited!
About 20 minutes later, I was setting the baby on the floor (trying to be calm), shouting across the crowded room for my husband and then frantically working to get that same butterscotch candy out of my little boy’s throat so he could breathe.
He usually remembers to sit down and suck on his candy so he won’t choke. He is very good about it. Somehow in the exciting aftermath of the Cub Scout meeting and winning a prize he had jumped down from his seat and swallowed his candy.
Endless moments later (it felt like a lifetime!) he was crying and talking to us again. The post adrenaline rush passed and I realized that I wouldn’t remember the other happy things about the day.
I would remember the traumatic ending to the day. I would remember another time where a little breath WAS the last breath my child took, though it has been 11 years since that night. I would remember the panic I felt at this fun Cub Scout meeting. I would remember the fighting for my child’s life over a silly little butterscotch candy.
This is not uncommon. I bet you can look into your own life and realize that when you look back, you aren’t seeing your daily successes. You remember the moments where you feel like a big failure as your child gets a lower test score than your expectations. Or when you wake up in the middle of the night and worry that your child will never get into college or that their life is ruined because they didn’t have a high school football team. (what, is this just me?)
During the day these things are dealt with a lot easier than in the middle of the night when you are alone with your thoughts.
That night, alone with MY thoughts, I remembered the moments where I was calm, but screaming in panic internally, as my husband and I worked to get my little boy breathing again and move that candy either up or down. Other church members kept track of our other children and someone had picked up the baby in those few moments we were busy.
What I had originally planned on writing about was the tough parts of homeschooling, the waking up in the middle of the night and the worries of homeschooling that we feel we can’t share. However, this applies to all parents! We all have worries, stresses, “what-ifs”, and memories that we can’t get rid of.
What we CAN do is remember the thrill on a little boy’s face as he wins a prize, not the negative memories from later on in the evening. The successes instead of the failures. The blessings instead of the losses. The happy moments rather than the sad ones. Parenthood is a journey. Let’s keep the good times in mind. They will helps us through the hard times, and when we get to a place where we can look back on our lives, we will have joy.