Is it appropriate to send flowers to the Walgreens immunization-trained health care professional that saw my youngest two children? I really do hope her hearing returns by 2017. We experienced a “minor” (MAJOR) freak out there a few days ago.
The day started off lovely. My little two slept in a bit because they had doctor appointments that morning and taking them to school for only an hour before having to pick them up seemed, well….like so much effort, especially for this non-morning person Mama. We high-fived the extra hour of sleep instead. We went to meet a new pediatrician. Over a year has passed since moving to a new Texas town, so it was time to officially fill out all the paperwork in all the land and switch over all the doctors. This also meant that my hand felt the beginning stages of carpal tunnel.
Anyways, I was a good mom. I prepared the children. I set appropriate expectations. Being that they are 7 and 9 I figured they could handle this. I told them they would be getting a flu shot. That went over fine because, you know…..they had always chosen to snort the live virus and forego the eensy teeny tiny needle. So then I over prepared the children by telling them that the flu mist wasn’t available and that the only option was the shot. They knew of this information approximately a week before the visit.
Maybe finding Reese in the fetal position in her bed crying the night before the appointment should have been my first clue that my “good momming” was not going to have the outcome I had hoped. I comforted her. I assured her that even though so-and-so told her that the shot absolutely is the worst pain EVER and lasted for WEEKS that this was not true and the ear piercings she experienced months before were WAY worse than this shot. Of course, she replied, “MOM! IT WAS SO PAINFUL TO PIERCE MY EARS! THIS DOES NOT HELP!” Look, I tried. I am not always the human form of a big bowl of mac-and-cheese comfort food.
But no worries, because Landry the 7-year-old, had been announcing to the entire family as many times as possible, “YOU GUYS….HOW IS IT THAT I AM THE BABY OF THE FAMILY AND I AM THE ONLY ONE NOT FREAKED OUT ABOUT THIS?” I don’t know, but YOU GO little caboose.
We arrived. We received the call to go back, they weighed, they measured height, they swiped forehead temperatures, the children were winning this appointment by answering the nurses questions about their ages and where they attended school and then she left the room. And then, like a storm that comes from out of nowhere, I looked and Reese went down! Tears flowed freely and her voice exponentially upped some levels. And then….mmm hmmm…..my youngest folded like a wet napkin and she joined the newly formed Choir of Agony led by Reese. As you can imagine, I knew at that moment that I was not going to be awarded Mom of the Day by this physician’s practice.
However, hope returned! The nurse returned to deliver the news that they were totally out of flu shots! There was NO WAY they would even be getting a shot…..until the shipment arrived and I brought them back after school. I said, “Girlies! Great news! NO SHOTS!!! YAYYY!!!! You can stop crying because you aren’t getting them now!” Sweet relief. Except they started crying harder and let me know that they were going to think about the shot allllll dayyyyyyy because they just knew I’d bring them back for the arm amputation that afternoon. They finally did simmer down and finish out the appointment like only semi traumatized kids.
So when we left, I dug into my mental mom bag. I altered my technique.
Me: Hey girls, before I drop you off at school, I need to go to Walgreens. LET’S GO!
Girls: YAY!!! NO SCHOOL YET!!!
Landry: Why are you in the line for the medicine person Mommy?
Me: I have to ask them a question. Hey, you two, have a seat over there in that little kind of office section.
Landry: Why are we still sitting here? And I heard you tell them my birthday, why were you doing that?
Reese: Can I play Pokemon Go? ←- much easier child to deal with when oblivious to impending situation.
Me: Hey look in this magazine, did you see these funky shoes? AREN’T THOSE CRAZY????
Shot Lady: Landry….Reese…..come on back!
*******TENSION EXUDING FROM CHILDREN*******
Girls: WHY ARE WE IN HERE? MOM…..ARE YOU MAKING US GET THE SHOT NOWWWW???????
I cannot appropriately express with typed words the level of screams, the attempted hiding in corners while assuming the fetal position, the amount of tears and the flashing of future therapy sessions in my mind that occurred over the next 3 minutes. It was ugly. There was no reasoning. There were no words to ease this blaring meltdown. The technician quickly felt the interior of her brain suddenly go from “happy morning” to “ferocious migraine”….sorry bout that. And three minutes later…
Reese: MOMMMM!!!!! IT’S GOING TO BE THE WORRRSTTTT PAINNNNNN EE…
*****shot goes in***
Reese: ver. (starts laughing) Hey! That didn’t even hurt. OH MY GOSH THAT DIDN’T EVEN HURT! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cool Bandaid!
Landry: NOOOO! IT WILLLLL HURRRRTTTT M….
****shot goes in****
Landry: ..e. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! THAT WAS SO EASY AND I BARELY FELT ANYTHING!!! SO FUNNY, RIGHT REESE?!
We exited to an entire line of adults standing at the pharmacy line staring at us. They were expecting at least 1,000 kids smushed in the room to leave with the noise level we exhibited and were waiting to see painful, gaping, open wounds which would justify the screams. When they saw the girls, almost all of them started sympathetically chuckling and telling the girls that they did a good job.
We left. I took them to an early lunch. They were so light on their feet as we went for food. Weights had been lifted off their shoulders and they told me they were SO GLAD they didn’t wait until after school to go back to the doctor because they had been so overcome with worry. They started giggling so hard they snorted reliving their past hour and half. Deep belly laughs were heard all throughout that sandwich shop as they felt the sweet relief of their fears not coming to fruition.
It got me to thinking, how many times do we, as adults, mentally freak out over thoughts we build up in our mind? Fear can be such a jerk. It can overtake our emotions like a flood and hijack our rational thoughts.
So often, we assume and prepare for the worst possible impending wound, when in actuality we might have a minor poke coming our way. Or just maybe that “wound” could even be FOR US….to protect us or end up being a blessing.
So today I encourage you to think of parts of your life where fear might be holding you back. Maybe your brain is whispering things like “what if.” I use to suffer from the “what ifs” quite often. I’ve gotten better about it through talking with Trey. He always has the same response to this anxiety and fear filled question. It goes like this…
Me: Trey, but WHAT IF this ends up happening?
Trey: What if?
Me: Trey, but WHAT IF people think ____?
Trey: What if?
Me: Trey, but WHAT IF I ruin ____?
Trey: What if?
And he’s right. His response is so simple, yet always so true. WHAT IF? What if we fail? What if people think blahhhh about us or our choices?
The Bible has something to say about us and our choices when we make them with intentions and desire to honor and glorify God. Things like:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Does He promise things will go smoothly? Nope. Does He promise everything will work out just how we want? Nope. But you will never be alone. You are infinitely loved. There is no mental freak out that He cannot handle or behavior that surprises Him. He is our steady in the chaos.
Sometimes we have to fight our fears. We have to lean towards the uncomfortable rather than letting fear paralyze us and hold us back. We have to alter our technique.
My girls did. Albeit, they did it while sitting on my lap and me so “gently” holding them down and whispering in their ear that it was going to be okay. They were stuck with me helping them….sorry about that girls. But we all have God….the ultimate comforter.
And do you know who else should get to experience God being the ultimate comforter to these little ladies next year? Trey. As his wife, I am deeply invested in his spiritual life and will not let him miss out on a religious experience. So, next year, it will be flu church for the entire family.
Have a great day everyone. We can do hard things.