We lost Jax yesterday. About 5 whole minutes unaccounted for, which to us felt like 5 hours.
He snuck out of the house and high-tailed it down the street to his friend's place, where Shawn found him sitting and waiting. I don't think it was until I realized he really wasn't hiding in his room, in the backyard, or in his favorite spot -- amongst my purses in my closet -- that I really started worrying. I take for granted the fact that just because I can't see or hear him doesn't mean he's not there, that just because he's not within my arm's grasp doesn't mean I can't reach him.
And then I thought of the comments I made earlier in the week about how maybe God had made a mistake -- had handed him over to the wrong Mommy, because surely I don't have the patience or energy for an explosion of his magnitude. And as those comments played across my mind, I immediately began the bargaining process we all go through when we're desperate -- "please, God, I'll never doubt you again if you'll help me find him safe...please, God, I'll raise myself up to meet his needs, rather than try to bring him down to match my carefully carved comfort zone....please, God, I'll stop watching the Girls Next Door AND Real Housewives of OC AND The Hills if you'll just make this STOP!!!" Or something like that.
And, as with all Heavenly Haggles, it was pointless, because the Creator is not a peddler of plea bargains. But still, something moved within me, and even if only until the next time he smears his fecal matter all over the walls, breaks a valuable memento, or just won't. stop.hitting, I will try to remember, as Shawn says, that family is not an obligation -- it's an opportunity.
And I will hold both my babies a little closer, a little longer; I will look at my job as a mother as the heaven-sent calling it is; I will use my struggles, however slight or significant, to help me cross the unseen ravines that are waiting for me somewhere ahead, and I will always keep with me one of the best quotes I've heard in a long time, from "Friday Night Lights" of all places:
When discussing the issue of finding childcare for their infant daughter, Coach Taylor tells his wife, "Let me tell you something -- that's not our burden; it's our gift."
Now let's go kick some cute high school football butt!! Oh, wait -- wrong kind of pep talk, but you get the idea....