I Need A New Habit

Michael caught a cold.  This is a problem.  Not because of the actual cold since Michael gets sick more graciously than anyone I ever saw.  He sits on the sofa quietly, watching movies and burning a low fever.  He goes to sleep and is fine in a day or two.  It rarely happens, and I never really have to worry about it or do anything when it does because his body’s pretty amazing at fighting off bacteria.

No, it’s the aftermath we have to live through that concerns me.  It blows my mind that an immune system as strong as his also has a very delicate constitution and affects his brain so deeply.  We’re in some sort of transition phase right now where Michael’s no longer actually sick, but his immune system is still grumbling about the strain.  It makes the poor kid crazy.  You’re mentally and physically exhausted after only spending five minutes with him.  He has no physical control over his body right now, and the slightest stimulation of any kind propagates a disproportionately huge reaction.

What does this mean?  It means that right now my happy, obedient child is trapped inside a body that is careening out of control.  If he hears an unexpected sound, he just turns around and nails the person next to him.  Not because he’s being malicious, but because it’s literally the only energy vent his body can find.  We were doing so well about teaching him not to whine, to speak nicely and clearly, and to voice problems that required help with solving, and now something as simple as me asking him to find his cup or his shoes dissolves him into a screaming heap on the floor.  His world doesn’t make sense to him right now, and his sensory processing is off the reservation.  He doesn’t understand what’s happening or how to cope with it.

This is where my scientific brain goes into hyperdrive.  I’m analyzing EVERYTHING to death.  What happened?  What caused it?  Where did he get sick?  What’s the best way to purge his body and get his system reset?  What did this action mean?  Did he actually mean to hit his brother right now or is this something his body can’t help?  Do I discipline or treat the sensory needs?  And let’s not forget the physical danger the two little ones are in right now.  I’m in damage control mode, and it’s rough.

The sad thing is my brain shoots down all these highways at light speed as I try to diagnose and treat.  And I should be doing that, that’s part of my job as mommy in this institution.  But you’d think by now I’d stop and pray first.  How do I not reach into the source of all wisdom and healing to meet all of our needs?  I’m ashamed to admit prayer only comes when I’ve exhausted all my human resources.

It’s time for a new habit!  My prayer is that my focus shifts from what I see in front of me to my God and all that He is capable of.  I want His wisdom, His perspective, and His peace before I wade into my messy chaos to deal with what I find in there.  Sometimes the simplest solution evades me, but this is a new habit I need.  I look forward to seeing how this change affects how I handle these challenges.

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