Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Longest Road

Most every mom knows or can remember many a trip to the pediatricians office while the children were young.  The pediatrician we used was in the next town and about a 30 minute drive.
I remember the days of being a young mom with my first baby.  We went to the doctor for every sniffle, fever, rash, stomach trouble etc.  This ride to the doctor usually produced much anxiety within me as by nature I am a worrier.  "What will they say?", "How serious is this?" on and on my mind would churn on that drive.  Many a time a glance to the back seat to see the feverish child encouraged me to speed up to get there quickly.  How I hated that time driving to the doctor!
When the second child came along, I learned a little more about how tough children really are.  For a few months, that baby quickly went to the doctor for every ailment, until the process became a bit more complicated - chasing a toddler, tending to a crying baby, waiting for hours only to finally be seen and told "it's just a virus", no treatment is needed.  I began to learn how to watch closely and listen to my motherly instincts when the children became ill.  I relaxed some and made a few less trips!
By the time the third child came along, we learned to treat colds and stomach viruses at home.  It seems that  rest, fluids and a calm mama seem to go a lot further for healing. 
Thankfully the third child is very healthy, but this week we found a bug bite wasn't getting any better and he woke up one morning with a nasty red streak coming out of it.  After doing some on line research, we headed to the doctor.  Apparently, we haven't been in a couple of years and were 'kicked out' of their system and had to be added as new patients.  My youngest now 11,  was way too old to enjoy the waiting room!  Noisy babies, children's television programs blaring and a long wait had him ready to leave before we were even seen! 
We finally saw the doctor, received the diagnosis of an infected spider bite which was caught early and were sent home with some antibiotics. 
On the ride home, I was reflecting on the changes in me through the years.  Through seasons of worry, business, rushing through life to an awareness of the beauty of each day and stage of life.  As my 11 year old sat next to me in the seat, asking a million questions, I thought of how quickly they will stay in that passenger seat and enjoy talking to mom.  Once they turn 15, they trade places with you and instead of asking the questions, they seem to all at once know all the answers!!  By age 16,if they have  a vehicle, they abandon yours for theirs!  Then the time and life changes come even faster!!
Instead of dreading that ride home, I wanted to take it slower, to savor a day with the only purpose being to tend to that child.  What if that mentality affected all that I did?  From the mundane tasks of cooking dinner, housework and time spent with the family.  What if everything was done knowing this moment is only here for a short time and this is the time to make the most of it? 
I think I need to practice that more, instead of allowing that long road to rob me of joy, I'm choosing to take over and to savor the ride!

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