Even after ten years you would think I had the process down, all the answers, but this week would prove me wrong. I don’t always get it right but in the end, me and my girl are in this together.

She had been sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and running a fever for a few days. Not unusual since the pollen is horrible in the south during the spring. (See the pollen floating on the lake?)

In the waiting room she asked me not to let her know what the doctor diagnosed. I heard her but I wasn’t ‘listening. She would be fine because I would right there with her. We ran through the vitals and symptoms with a nurse then met with a pediatrician we had never met. My girl was sitting practically on top of me and stiff as a board.

The doctor tried to ask her questions. She’s ‘old’ enough to answer for herself, but there was no eye contact. She actually turned her back. Truly I’m on my child’s side but admit I was slightly embarrassed (after all this is an md and we want to make a good impression). I made excuses for her and tried to explain her insecurities to a person we had never met before.

An exam revealed several diagnosis which were discussed in front of her. I could have interrupted and asked to step into the hallway to talk but I didn’t. I listened and pretended everything was going to be fine.

How wise was her request to not know? She actually used words and not just behavior. Why didn’t I realize she was protecting herself from an afternoon of paralyzing fear? From the moment we walked in the office, she had been telling everyone we met she didn’t want a shot. Everyone confirmed she wouldn’t need one.

As the doctor talked through what she thought was going on, we were told an x-ray would be needed to rule out pneumonia. If it was positive, she would have to come back to the office for a shot. I wish I could describe what happened at that moment, but there are no words. A cry came deep within as if her heart had been broken into a million little pieces. Mine did too, and she would cry for the next two hours.

I just read an amazing post on No Hands But Ours: Not The Same. Whitney describes exactly the things that were going through my mind as every adult stared while I held my sobbing 11 year old child through two hours of unknown. I felt guilty the whole time. I think it could have been prevented but then I know my child. She would have fallen apart just because we had to go to another building for more tests. Still…

I agree with Whitney. My 11 year old child is different than your 11 year old, and my child is not supposed to handle such stress with grace. With a past of trauma like her’s, she’s allowed to handle it the only way she can… from the depths of her soul.

I sometimes wonder about the immunization scar on her shoulder. Can you imagine the day all the babies her age got popped in the arm with a needle, and there was no mama to hold them after the shock of something so terrible? And the other wounds and scars she came to us bearing. No explanation but such a huge part of her story. I know all this plays into her great fear of doctors and shots.

I held her the whole time. She’s almost as tall as I am, but I didn’t care what everyone thought.

I whispered to her constantly while we were waiting for the x-ray and results. We looked at IG and watched Snapchat videos of BC but nothing brought her out of the funk. I prayed with her and told her we were believing she was fine. She just kept saying, “but what if…”. Yes, but what if. I prayed with all my heart that we wouldn’t have to go back to the ped for a shot and tried to figure out how it would all play out. Wasted worrying. I know better!

The tech came in to say the x-ray was normal. You would think that brought relief, but she jumped up, pulled my arm, and dragged me out the front door as if she couldn’t breathe until she made it out. Her daddy was waiting right outside with all our others, and she collapsed into his arms. I needed to collapse too, but I’m the rock and needed to keep it together for her sake.

Looking back to what will be known as X-Ray day, there are things I would have done differently (and will in the future).

Even after 10 years home,

I am still learning:

  • Sometimes we have no choice, and sometimes we do. We have to do the best we can through it, and work from the heart, not the mind.
  • Listen to the request and just do it. I should have followed my heart even though it was babyish… WHO cares!
  • Fear is brought on in the moment but comes from a place NONE of us understand, unless we have been abandoned and orphaned.
  • Give time to decompress after such an experience. It took hours for her to relax and let down her guard, but it did give us a deeper bond.

In the end, I am her mother, her advocate, and her voice.

I take this responsibility more than serious. It is my life work, gift, and honor.

I will be in her corner always holding her, speaking for her, and protecting her for as long as she needs it.

This is a privilege with eternal significance.

God doesn’t make mistakes. HE chose her to be my daughter and me to be her mom.

We are in this together, and we will triumph in the end.

I hope my transparency opens the door to many people hearing why our children from trauma need understanding, grace, and time.

I also hope it shows I am human.

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I make mistakes.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live enough to make them all yourself.”

I recognize them and try to make it right.


Anyone know the feeling? 


{And to heap a little more heat on the fire… I was supposed to make bread for a sick church member and got home to remember I forgot. See… I don’t always have it together, and I don’t always do what I say I’m going to do, but I did have grace poured on me because of it. I am surely paying it forward!!!)