Thursday, February 24, 2011


9…The number of days Kayla has missed school {in a row}.
288…The number of hours Kayla has been sick.
1…The number of times she had an accident in her pants {and all over the floor}.
32…The number of seconds my meltdown over her accident lasted.

I am not perfect…strive to be…but admit I am far from it.  The hours I have spent giving Kayla medicine, wiping away goopy and crusty boogies, giving her breathing treatments, calming her while she is gasping for air, and checking on her throughout the nighttime are many…but I wouldn’t trade that time with her.  So while I reached my Mommy capacity of 17,280 minutes {but who’s counting} spent at home with her for nearly two weeks, I will admit that my ends were beginning to fray and I was slowly losing my mind.

As the remaining patience left in my body slowly oozed out, Kayla looked at me and said “potty” with eyes that bore through me as if they were saying yup…I already went potty…right here…in my pants…and on the carpet.  Normally she says “I have to go potty” in a nonchalant way…usually matter of fact and makes her way to the potty.  This time was different.  This was an all out freeze, only speaking one word in concentration because anything more would open complete flood-gates…and I saw a stream of wetness trickle down her pajama bottoms.  As I jumped to my feet, I scooped her up in one arm and tossed her onto the potty, pajama bottoms still on {but at least she was over the potty}.  And I lost it.  My face felt flush, my heart was pounding.  Standing outside of my own body I heard myself yelling things like “you know better than this” and “Mommy is very sad”…and while I am not proud of my meltdown…it happened and I immediately felt sad that I made her sad.  She sat on the potty, eyes down, tears rolling down her cheeks.  With that first tear, my heart broke.  How could I yell?  How could I get upset with her?  She isn’t feeling well, is on antibiotics, is lacking sleep, clearly isn’t herself…and I was immediately filled with guilt.  Mommy guilt.  I wrapped my arms around her, hugging her, telling her that I was sorry, using big words like frustrated and overwhelmed and exhausted…knowing that she probably doesn’t understand what those words mean because well, she’s only four...but she knew I was sorry for getting upset because accidents happen.

Feeling guilty I immediately wanted to buy her a new toy or ice cream or candy…thank goodness she’s sick or we woulda been in the car in a New York minute…and I would have been broke!  Instead we went back to cutting our strips and making our links.

A little OT hidden within a fun creative activity.  And so there we were, just my girl and I crafting.  She was feverishly cutting strips of multi-colored paper, textured paper, patterned paper…we had big plans.  
We were going to decorate our banister…all Springy…with lots and lots and lots of links.  As we cut and laughed and talked about where we were going to hang our creation, I heard from my friend, Kristi.  Her nephew, a young, handsome, intelligent, vibrant high school star swimmer went into cardiac arrest over the weekend and is in the ICU.  All of a sudden…just like that…a life hangs by a thread.  And I imagined parents clutching to hope…declaring their “why me, why us, why our son?” with tears and grief and broken hearts…holding their breath…reliving memories and praying…and with this…with this thought…with this moment brought…perspective.  Clear perspective.  Life is short.  Does peeing in your pants and on the carpet really matter at the end of the day?  Does yelling do any good?  Does anything other than life and living and loving really matter at the end of the day?  At the end of your life?  I needed that reality check.  To live more today.  To live more right now.  To love more right now.  Today. 

And so we did.  We decorated.  

We played Candyland.  She cheated a bit.  We went with it. 

{I love that she wanted her baby to watch...not play...just watch her play's the little things}

And tonight…as she was hugging me goodnight out of nowhere she whispered “tighter, Mommy”.  Tighter…she wanted me to hug her tighter.  And I did.  Perspective, my friends…perspective. 

{Praying for the Wagner & Burris families tonight.  I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child.  God gained an angel tonight.  Rest in peace, Ryan.}


  1. My heart hurts for this family...I will be praying for peace, for God to wrap His loving arms around these families. Amy, I will also say a prayer for you, I was where you are...just a few short weeks ago I was in the same situation with Nick's pneumonia. I know how heard "every four hour breathing treatments" can be! They are so, so hard and tiring for the kiddos and for us! I will ask that you get rest, a renewed strength and energy and most importantly for Kayla to! Many blessings and prayers headed your way and to the Wagner & Burris families and to those touched by this wonderful young man, Ryan.

  2. Amy,
    Thank you so much for that beautiful posting. It does put things into perspective. My nephew was and is a beautiful young man. We all miss him dearly and I just can't believe he is gone. He's touched our lives more than words can ever explain. My little angel