As we enter the classroom, my youngest clings to my leg and won’t let go. I gently remove his fingers that are clinched to my left thigh and transfer them to one of his teachers. He cries out for me: “Mommy!” and huge tears fall down his round, rosy cheeks as I make my way to the door.
Every week I hope he won’t feel separation anxiety. Every week I question myself as a mother when he does.
His brother has been hospitalized three times this fall. No wonder he’s feeling like this. Should we keep him home? He’s so happy once he’s here, though, and full of smiles at pick up. Am I doing the right thing? What’s best for him? I don’t know. I just don’t know.
My thoughts swirl round and round in my brain like water circling a drain.
As one of his teachers lovingly draws him into her arms, she gives me a smile and says, “it’s ok. He’ll be ok.” I hurry out the preschool room door and rush into the lobby.
I hear him crying for me and I want to fall to the floor myself and cry. It’s not just about his separation anxiety. It’s everything. It’s my oldest son’s hospitalizations, the follow up appointments, the therapies and medical treatments, most of which aren’t working so we have to go back to the drawing board, again. It’s worrying about my daughter – is she getting lost in the shuffle? It’s the constantly mounting medical bills and stress of new diagnoses that I haven’t had time to process yet because there is no time when you have three children and your oldest’s physical and mental health continues to decline.
I just want to catch my breath, Lord. Please let me catch my breath.
And, then, someone stops me. Someone with blue hair.
A few weeks prior, my oldest saw her at drop off. He walked right up to her and said, “I just love your blue hair.” My oldest son is like that. He sees souls. And if he sees something about you he admires, he tells you. I love that about him.
She grabs hold of my arms and pulls me into a hug. Not the kind of hug with a little pat on the back, but a genuine, strong hug that lasts. When she releases me, she looks right into my eyes and says, “You’re doing an amazing job.” I whisper “thank you,” and as quickly as she came, she is on her way with her youngest son.
It strikes me that though I’ve seen her at preschool, I don’t even know her name. She’s gone before I can ask. I promise to ask next time I see her. I promise to tell her she’s amazing, too.
Motherhood is not an easy journey. Most of the time we don’t know if we’re doing it right or wrong. But we do our best and that is enough. Our best is always enough. When you feel like it isn’t, cry out. The Lord will always send someone to hug you – be open to it. Look for your lady in blue. She will be there when you need her, I promise.