We visit our local children’s hospital for appointments every now and then…and every time I am struck by how lucky we are.
Each time we go, we stop and look at the fish in the giant tank in the foyer.
We indulge in an awesome hot chocolate, with extra marshmallows, no matter what the weather.
We watch the meerkats playing (yep, the hospital has a HUGE meerkat enclosure in one of the clinic waiting areas) or binge on free wifi while we wait for our appointment.
We chat happily with the specialists and nurses and technicians that check my children’s hearts or try to find a way through their allergies.
We support one child or another through a procedure they are anxious about, and sometimes resort to coercion and bribery in the form of ice cream and ipad time.
We smile at the receptionist as she explains that there is a long waiting list for the next specialist appointment, especially when it is non-urgent.
We try to remember what level we parked our car on… was it ants of worms?
And then we go home…
We go home with all the children we arrived with.
I have only once gone home and left my children in hospital and it crushed me.
I didn’t even know what being a mother was back then. Only five days into the gig, and my heart was so heavily guarded from hurt even before they were born that I barely let myself feel anything, and still it crushed me to walk out the door of the hospital and leave my baby twins in NICU. It broke me into little pieces, and made me bitter and angry at the world.
I don’t know how I would handle that if I had to face it again now. Now that I have let down my guard, and let my heart be chopped up and carried around by small people.
And so I sing extra loudly as we drive down the freeway, out of the city, towards our little bit of country.
I sing extra loud, and promise dessert after dinner, and make awesome plans for the holidays… and I think of all the parents who left that very same hospital without their child this afternoon.
I vow to remember how incredibly lucky I am, and to notice all the little wonderful things in my life, and to not to let little issues get blown into big ones, and to be grateful.
Of course I will forget those vows after a long day, when the boys are punching each other, and one girl has lost her homework, and I just can’t deal with any more freaking whining….
But for now… for now I am grateful.
What makes you feel lucky and reminds you to be grateful?