12 November 2013

Thankful to Change a Wet Bed

I heard his little feet scampering over to my bed and sat up before he could climb in beside me. It was 5am.

"Mommy?"

I could smell the problem. Taking him by the shoulders, I turned him around and marched him to the bathroom. We were facing another bed-wetting episode, and I was tired of it. I told him--repeatedly--as I washed him down, stripped his bed, and recreated a clean sleeping environment for my 3 year old.

Then, after leaving him to fall asleep again, I laid down and couldn't rest. A conversation from the night before replayed in my mind. I had chatted with my second cousin (from the Philippines) about our kids. She told me hers was just over a year old now.

"What a fun age! Enjoy it all!" I typed excitedly. Her icon was a picture of her young son, and I could feel her love for him through the computer screen.

A pause. A long pause. Then--



"How can I enjoy him? I work in Hong Kong, and he's been with my mom since he was 6 months old."

My heart dropped, and my fingers started to shake. All I could type was "I'm so sorry." Then words failed me for the rest of our conversation. I hadn't known. I read her story as she sent it to me. I heard her pleas for cuddle times and snuggles. I felt her grieving those lost memories. I felt guilty for having so nonchalantly talked about my kids before asking about hers.

Now, in bed, I started to cry. "You are really blessed, Malia," Mark had told me when I relayed the conversation to him. Yes, I am.

I resolutely stood up and went to my son, knelt beside his bed, and squeezed him tight. What a blessing to be here with him, to teach him how to grow and learn and live. I'm so thankful that he comes to me at night when he has a problem, that I can help him, and that I can tuck him back in and kiss him goodnight. I'm so grateful, and that has the power to change irritability into joy.

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