I’m going to be honest with you… the last few weeks have been pretty hard. My Lyme symptoms have been pretty consistent (especially that brain fog), with some new ones sprouting up here and there (mostly anxiety). It’s not been fun, and it’s been especially taxing on my family. I’ve never been one to ooze patience, but the extra load on me from the Lyme and all the extra baggage it’s brought me has made my patience even more scarce. And I hate it.
Having a disease that affects you in a way that makes it difficult for you to control what other people have no problem controlling is really tough. People don’t understand. They try to be helpful, saying things like “just take a deep breath”, “say a prayer when you feel anxious”, and “just try to relax and not stress out”. And while their heart is in the right place, it still makes me feel worse. I would love for any of those things to help in the moment, but the bottom line is that neurological Lyme causes many symptoms that you simply cannot control most of the time. I would love to be able to have more patience for the boys and their shenanigans, but it’s been so hard. And what makes it worse is the guilt that I feel for what I can’t control.
Life Lessons (From a Three Year Old)
This past week, I ended up with a staph infection at the top of the back of my thigh (yes, near my butt) from swimming in the lake. Like I needed more of a reason to not swim in lakes besides not being able to see the bottom and worrying about things brushing up against my legs! So I went to the doctor because I knew I didn’t want to try to treat staph with natural methods. It’s just one of those things that made me uncomfortable and I knew it wasn’t something to mess with.
I was able to get a topical antibiotic instead of an oral one, thankfully, because I’ve spent the past year trying to heal my gut and didn’t want to damage it again with antibiotics unless it was absolutely necessary. She agreed to the topical antibiotic on one condition: I had to have the infection lanced. Ew, right?
The rest of the day was fairly painful, with sitting, standing, going up stairs… every time I sat I’d say “ouch!” and sweet 3 year old Bubby would say “mama, your butt hurts?”. Yes, sweetie. It’s my butt again.
We went about our day, and I kept losing my patience with the boys for acting like the toddlers they are, and it kept mounting with the pain I was feeling and the guilt I always have, until I was a huge emotional mess at the end of the day. I yelled at Bubby one more time just before bed, and decided it was time for me to take a time-out. When James came downstairs after tucking Bubs in, he told me about what my sweet toddler had prayed about.
“God, we pray for a good day, we pray for healing of our bodies, and heal mommy’s butt.”
Bless his heart. I laughed. And then I cried. Because of how impatient I had been that day. How many times I could have just ‘let it go’, but got mad instead. How I yelled at him no more than 5 minutes prior to that prayer, and yet he prayed for me. He was forgiving, while I was holding on to ALL OF THE FEELINGS. He was loving and understanding beyond his years, while I was taking everything out on everyone else. I saw God’s love through that little boy, and it both broke my heart and made it swell with pride. What a life lesson to be taught. And what a way to receive it, straight from my precious firstborn!
So many days I feel like I’ve completely failed them as a parent. So many days I feel like I’ve completely failed God as one of His children. But that night, I saw that neither one of them has given up on me or stopped loving me. It encouraged me to be better. When someone hurts you, pray for them. It’s one of those things that is so easy to say, but difficult to do in the moment.
I’m making more of an effort to have even a little more patience and love for them. I’m making more of an effort to enjoy the little things. I’m making more of an effort to be more like my 3 year old 🙂
Have you ever been humbled by a major life lesson from a toddler?