Being Brave.

For you, Jenn, for showing me how to be brave. 

– – – – –

There’s a tiny little tube running through her nose, down into her distended belly.

An IV sits in her arm, a tiny little gauge for her tiny little veins.

She’s not wearing a shirt, because she can’t get all the tubes through her sleeves. It doesn’t matter, really. She doesn’t need one here.

There’s a headband on that head though, of course. Those curls can hardly be contained without one and hey, a girl needs her pretties no matter where she is. 

Tigger sits next to her, as he always does. He’s walked (hopped?) every step of this journey with her. If she goes somewhere, so does he, and no one’s going to tell her different. 

The hospital bed dwarfs her little frame. And though there are elephants on the wall, Snoopy on the scrubs, and crayons in the bedside table, a pediatric unit is still no place for a child.

No hospital ever is.  photo 1 (1) photo 5 She is brave, that little girl. My niece, Reese, she’s so brave. 

“And though she be but little, she is FIERCE.”

And it’s both a blessing and a sadness in that she doesn’t know that it can be another way. That there is both sick and well, there is both up and down. That she will not always sit on the other side, that the King battles daily on her behalf.

Yes, no one would deny that she is brave. But I would suggest this.

Being a mother is the bravest thing of all. 

photo 4

That’s the other story all woven up in this battle of faith and hope and fight.

There’s a momma in that story who smiles at that little girl, holding her hand, while the nurses hold her down.

There’s a momma in that story who tells the nurses to leave, when at last, her little girl sleeps.

There’s a momma in that story who tap-tap-taps her foot in the waiting room, waiting for the “she’s okay” from her baby girl’s surgeon.

And there’s a momma in the hall, exhausted, weary, weeping, when the nurse stops, looks her in the eye, and tells her “You are so brave.”

She IS brave, that momma. My sister, Jenn, she’s so brave.  photo 3 photo 2 Because here’s what I am learning about being a mom while I sit and I watch my sister be brave.

That there is nothing stronger than a mother’s desire to see her child be well.

She allows her to hurt to save her.

That sometimes they tell their kids that they’re okay, that it’s going to be okay, even when it isn’t.

The challenges, they’re making her stronger.

That having a child means putting your heart into a tiny little body, sending it off into the world to find it’s own way.

And sometimes it hurts so good and sometimes it hurts so bad and all of those sometimes we still wouldn’t have it any other way. 

And it seems like a lot and it seems like too much and I can’t figure out why anyone would do it all.

photo 1

But then there is this. 

They know how to be brave and they know how to be strong and they know how to hurt because the King showed them how first.

Jenn knows how to be brave and she knows how to be strong and she knows how to hurt because the King showed her first.

And in that example, that royal example, there is a whole lot of peace, a whole lot of hope, and a whole lot of faith.

Necessities for life, necessities for motherhood.

I’m not so sure you can be a momma without all three. photo Most mommas, at some point, make the choice to have a child.

And in making that choice, they choose to be brave.

So someday, when I too choose to make the role of momma mine, my only prayer will be this.

“Make me like Jenn. Make me like the King. Make me be brave.”

– – – – –

To EVERY momma, well done. Today we celebrate you. Thank you for being so brave. 

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