Hold your babies close to your heart

Today has been one of those days where my heart aches. It started out with horrible news stories about babies dying in freak accidents that I can't seem to avoid because everyone on Facebook has to repost them with the comment of "So sad. I just can't imagine." Yes, I wouldn't be able to imagine either except you stuck it in my timeline so now I can't get this horrible image out of my head and all I did was read half the headline.

I literally had to watch videos of Ian playing with trains to try to scrub my brain of all that.

And then there was the update of Heather's little girl having two seizures and being in the hospital overnight. My heart aches for her and her little Dizzle. Others were commenting about how hard it is to share a room in a children's hospital because your roommate is usually miserable and both the child and parents are not on their best behavior because of stress.

I remember being 8 years old at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters and having to sleep in this room by myself (barely having had my own room at home at that point) with this two year old in one of those cribs that looks like a monkey cage. That little girl screamed bloody murder and rattled the bars all night. That was probably the worst thing about becoming diabetic was that first night alone in the hospital. At least Heather is in the bed with Dizzle and all her tubes and wires. I would have given anything for my Mommy that night.

Shortly after that news, I left work to get my nails done. My nail tech Lee Ann asked me about Ian's potty training and how it was going. She then mentioned that she just found out she's a grandma on Sunday. But her grandson is not an embryo, but a three-year-old little boy that her stepson is "not doing right by" as Lee Ann said. I then find out the mother is 19 (!) and that she also has a one year old (!) and that the one year old has cancer (!). So she's having a hard time finding someone reliable to help watch the 3 year old when she's at the hospital with the one year old. Did I mention that she also works as a waitress?

Enter Lee Ann. So after only having met this girl for an hour, she offered to take in the little boy and watch him whenever she can. And then suddenly this little boy is going on vacation with Lee Ann and her husband because the mother has to take the baby for treatment this upcoming week. So Lee Ann was scrambling to gather up supplies for a three year old little boy. I started telling her about some things I have she can use and next thing I know, my nail tech is following me to my house to get a potty chair and undies and other necessities.

On the drive home, I thought about how hard things must be for this girl and how she's doing all she can for her kids. She never knew who her father was until her mother gave her a list of possible men and she had to go door to door asking them if they would submit to a paternity test. Thankfully, on the fourth door the man who opened the door looked just like her and said he didn't need a test to tell him she was his. But when you're 19 with two kids and you're more responsible than your own parents ... man, that's rough.

Lee Ann (and I) just want this little boy to have a good life. She said that if she could help the mother out then that would help her be a better mother herself and then help this little boy. She said, "I just want to love on him and hold him tight!" I love Lee Ann. (She also does amazing nails.)

On a little side street almost to my house, I passed a woman who was probably Lee Ann's age pushing a stroller but holding the tiny baby in her arms versus in the seat. Even in the short block I passed her, I could tell the baby had been fussy but was settling down as they walked home. This lady was probably a young Grandma like Lee Ann is. And she's probably just loving on this baby so that his parents can get a break. I slowed down as I passed them and gave her a big grin and she smiled back at me, nodding.

When it was time to walk home tonight from Mamaw and Pop's, it was already dark. Ian was walking barefoot next to his tricycle as I pushed it down the middle of our street. When we got closer to the house, he heard cicadas and got scared. He ran back to me and said, "Mommy, the buggies spook me! Pick me up; I want to snuggle!" And so I held him close while I pushed his tricycle home.

We're all just doing the best we can, trying to love on these little babies and hoping all the rest that we can't control will turn out okay.