"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
It's a strange place to have one foot in regular life and normal routines and the other foot in a foreign land with unfamiliar paths and unknown landmarks. That's what's it's felt like recently. There have been days of normalcy. Emma has had a great few weeks since her last round of chemotherapy. She attended school almost every day except when she had clinic appointments. A friend asked her over for a playdate, out to dinner and then to a musical. She went to Joseph's soccer games, participated in the Relay for Life and walked this year as a survivor, and went to church.
I could "almost" relax as I dropped her off at her friend's house and I "almost" felt like she would be fine. Twinges of worry were there. Those never go away. I had the thoughts, "What if she gets a fever? What if she gets overtired and doesn't realize it and has an emotional crash? What if some other unknown complication hits her body and I'm not there to witness it or help?" Irrational maybe, but those thoughts run through my mind each time she is away from me. It's like she's a toddler again and I'm a hovering mother. It feels out of control. It's uncomfortable and exhausting. I don't like it.
We've raised our kids to be self sufficient. We believe responsibility given at a young age will foster independent and capable kids. (it's our theory anyway) They put away their own laundry....even if it gets stuffed into the drawers sometimes. They empty the dishwasher....even if the teaspoons and tablespoons sometimes end up in the wrong section of the silverware organizer. They feed the animals, they ride motorcycles, they shoot airsoft and paintball guns....all with proper instruction beforehand and warnings to be responsible. Sometimes they are good at following the rules, sometimes they push the limits and break the boundries. (some of our kids are guilty of this more than others.....ahem.....Joseph!) We may let our kids do more than some parents are comfortable with, but it's risks we have been willing to take (within reason and with proper safety gear). They are kids and they are growing, maturing and learning. We don't really hover. We experience joy as we see them learning to be responsible and maturing young people.
Today we are hovering with a fever. Emma has had a low grade temperature for the last 24 hours. We kept her home from school today to keep tabs on it and to call the Dr. if it reached over the important 100.5 degree mark. 100.3, 99.8, 100.7. 100.0, 98.9, 100.9 were temps throughout her day. We finally called the Dr.'s office when one thermometer read 100.3 and one read 100.7. Tylenol dose and appointment tomorrow is the plan for now.....unless she spikes higher tonight. I'm hovering in my mind. I don't know which way it will go. I'm not planning ahead and I'm not going to be disappointed if it turns out that we have to be admitted.....well, not too disappointed. It's never fun. It's always worrisome and it's just what we have to do.
Someday, we might have our feet on the ground a bit more....more secure....able to feel the earth more predictably under our feet. But, for now, we hover, being held silently and securely with the hands of God. We are learning to relax and let go. The less we fight against the invisible forces pushing us around in the air, the more we can feel the gentle, caring, protective hands of our Father carrying us and guiding us where we need to go.
Learning to let go......
"Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."