Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I have in common with barfing babies

For many of us, the first day of the work-week can be the most difficult day of the week.

The weekend is over, we have to get up early again, and, for some reason, everyone else at work is in the same semi-grumpy mood you're in.

It's Monday. So back off.

Truthfully, it's not that bad.

Monday has a bad rap, but in all honesty, I really don't mind Mondays.

In fact, because I don't drink much coffee during the weekend, I kinda look forward to Monday mornings so I can get to work, pour myself a cup o' joe and start the day.

(I like coffee. But I can quit any time.)

This Monday was no different. I had quite a few things lined up at work that I needed to start with, so my morning was looking pretty good.

After all, there's nothing quite like a busy morning to help the day go by super fast, right?

About an hour and a half in, however, my morning was interrupted with news that my 1-year-old was at home puking it up.

Normally this wouldn't be one of those "Can you please come home" moments for my wife.

However, we also have a 5-month-old whose guts we'd like to keep in their proper place, and the best way to ensure that happened is if we kept the two as separate as possible.

Even moms with 8 arms would have a hard time doing that alone.

So I took the rest of the day off and rushed home, my imagination running wild with what would be awaiting me.

And there she was. My daughter, Samarah, sitting quite happily in the bath-tub, enjoying the warm water and playing with her toys.

I was expecting all of us to rush to the doctor's office, but Suzanne said she seemed better. The plan was to keep an eye on her for just a while longer, and if everything seemed good, I would probably go back to work.

Crisis averted, right?

Not quite.

It soon became apparent that my little girl wasn't feeling so hot.

In fact, just a few minutes after getting Samarah dressed, it became quite obvious that Mr. Puke was not going anywhere.

Now, I don't know about you, but I have to agree with a certain Dane Cook who said there's a little tiny part of him that enjoys throwing up.

Personally speaking, barfing is a very relieving experience.

Now the moments leading up to the pukes are never fun. My skin gets clammy, my stomach starts feeling all funny, and something inside my head tells me, "Okay, Schneidster, get ready ... This is gonna be radical."

But when I'm done hurling, and it's just me and the porcelain seat, I am so relieved. It's almost euphoric.

There I sit, staring at my handiwork. My body feels better (although that can be temporary) and a small smile creeps on my face.

Thank God that's over!

Perhaps your vomiting experiences are different than mine, but there you have it.

Samarah, on the other hand, doesn't have that much experience with throwing up. It's this fact that leads me to believe she doesn't enjoy it at all.

You know how you can feel your stomach muscles begin to quiver right before you hurl?

While Samarah laid in my lap yesterday, wearing just a pamper because she wanted to take her t-shirt off, I could see her stomach doing the same thing.

In-between her childish breaths, I could see her stomach shiver.

And Samarah could feel it.

She sat up in my lap and began to press her stomach.

"No! No!" she said, in her very limited vocabulary.

I could only hold her close to myself with some paper towels under her chin as she started to heave and to ho.

I'll spare the rest of the smelly details, but please stick with me.

After she'd settled down, and after the mess(es) were cleaned up, my little girl fell asleep in my lap.

I sat there with her on the floor, her head resting on my legs.

I wasn't worried about the puke. I wasn't disgusted or grossed out. I just wanted my little girl to feel better.

Suddenly, I was reminded about how much God loves me.

You see, normally, when I hear people throwing up, I get sick myself. And if I even catch a whiff of puke, you can bet I'll start sharing some of my own.

But these were not normal circumstances. This was one of my beautiful princesses.

When she started to get sick, all I could think to do was hold her closer to me.

In her tears and her struggles, all I could do was pull her tighter to me and whisper in her ear, "Daddy's right here. I've got you. It's gonna be okay."

And my Father does the same thing with me.

Romans 8:38-39 reads this way: "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

There are many times in our lives when things can get pretty icky. In fact, they can get downright gross.

We start to thrash around and really don't know how to handle things.

And despite all this, our Father hugs us closer and gently reminds us that He's there for us, and that He's not going anywhere.

While the rest of the world tries to create distance, my Father fills the void.

While the rest of the world holds its nose in disgust, my Father opens His hands with grace and mercy.

This is my Father.

He holds me close when others push away.

He whispers his promises while others shout their empty threats.

This is my Father.

Thankfully, my little girl is feeling a lot better. And I'm not sure if she'll ever remember the lovely times we shared together that morning.

But I hope she recalls the feeling of security she had, even in her most desperate moment.

And I hope I remember, too.