August 06, 2007

Kids should be exempt

I was going to write something about how unmotivated I've been feeling; writer's block, sedentary life, kids watching extra TV. It was going to be something like, "Yadda, yadda, yadda... and I'm just feeling so stagnant in my life right now."

Then I heard about Charlie. Charlie is the daughter of a friend of mine, one of a pair of twin girls and little sister to their oldest son. Charlie is sweet and cute and beautiful and growing and not even a year old. She's sitting and learning to crawl and talk and explore this great big world.

She also has seizures, sometimes horrible seizures, where they have to perform rescue breathing on her small baby body to bring her back from a breathless and blue reality. No one seems to know why.

For a while it seemed like she was doing better, but now she's had three this week alone. And it's only Monday.

Her parents are the most genuinely positive, modest, solid and graceful people I have ever met. They continue to live their lives, actively and lovingly parent all of their children, find time for friends, humor and community. They rarely ask for help, preferring to lean on each other when it starts to get too scary. They are dealing with a future of a million horrific what-ifs and they seem to take it all in a stride.

I sat down tonight prepared to whine that I can't think of anything to write, my pants are too tight, and I'm sick of watching the Disney Channel with my girls.

Instead I'm filled with a vast thankfulness for all that is good in my life. I wish I could do more to help my friend, I wish I could help Charlie. I wish there was something I could DO; actually, physically do that would help their family and alleviate all the fearful unknown that surrounds their baby.

But that's not how the world works. I can't always step in and save someone just because I want to. Bad things should never, ever happen to children, but they do.

Aside from appreciating my own good fortune in life at this exact moment, (which feels selfish, somehow...), what can I, in reality, do?

All I can come up with is to take my cue from Charlie's parents, and just keep on engaging this world of infinite possibilities, good and bad. I can try and be the best parent to my girls, I can take care of my family, laugh with my friends, support my community when the call goes out. I can use and maintain the body I have which, despite my best efforts to the contrary, is still whole and functional and strong. I can pray for healing for Charlie. I can foster a positive attitude even when I'm feeling doubt.

And next time I see that little girl, she's getting the biggest kiss I can muster, right before I tackle her parents with a big hug. Because that's all I can do.

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