It was Friday — and to be honest, I was exhausted. I always find it rather humorous as a stay-at-home mother when people absolutely come out of the woodwork to scream “TGIF” every week. Fridays are just like Mondays are just like Saturdays for me.
So, after a long day of home school co-op (read: a large gathering of other homeschooling families once a week to learn about new earth creationism and eat organic snacks. Kidding. Somewhat…) we decided to continue the day and meet my husband at a nearby mall to shop for some work clothes. As we were waiting to meet, the kids and I went down to the dark and dusty depths of the mall play area, while they ran off as newly released elk into the wild and I sipped on a large iced latte to try and find my bearings. My oldest child suddenly began screaming and brought the middle child over to me. I gasped in horror as there was blood everywhere, completely covering his small mouth and his skin was pale and matted in sweat. I mean, this place is carpeted and specifically designed for the 2-and-under crowd. How could this happen?
Turns out, he had jumped from a stationary car placed in the play area and bit a large hole into his tongue. The hole was so large that I could have easily fit the tip of my pinkie finger into it, and as he was sobbing and gurgling, he sneezed and the blood was now transferred to mama: I was completely covered from my shoulders to my fingertips.
Other children started to cry in horror as we whisked him away to the nearest bathroom, which is a floor above the mall play area. I used an entire pack of wipes to attempt to contain the bloodbath, and we rinsed his mouth out for at least 20 minutes. I felt robotic at this point, instructing to rinse, spit, then repeat. “I am not cut out for this, Lord. I cannot handle the hard…” I silently prayed, as I scrubbed off my arms and hands and used the rest of the paper towel roll in the bathroom.
After the bleeding finally ceased and my husband examined the tongue, turns out that he did not bite completely through the other side, and after a cup of ice and a few pep talks on how brave he was, things seem to calm down and I finally headed home.
To a house with large bees inside.
Once again, the screaming commenced as I ushered the children into our bedroom and slammed the door, grabbed a Pottery Barn magazine, rolled it up and began the fight. The bees danced around the light fixture, daring me to shatter the bulb with one swift lick. After several ducks and swings, I was finally able to overcome the hornets and flushed them, just in case. At this point, it was after 9 p.m., the kids were still awake, and I had dried blood on my brand new dress.
It was in that moment that I slumped to the floor, just to catch my breath and secretly wipe away a few tears. I grabbed the stack of mail sitting on the nightstand and saw a small package addressed to me. Intrigued, I opened it and held in my hands a small, heart-shaped rock that read the following: “You Can Do Hard Things.” There was a small card that said, “Christie, I have a thing for heart rocks. I am praying for you. I felt like you were meant to hear this”.
You know what? You CAN do hard things. You can do the blood, the bees, the kids, the screams. You can do the job, the cancer, the trials, the hurt. You can overcome the sick, the lonely, the weary, the unjust. You can do hard things.
How do I know? The other side of the rock simply read, “Luke 1:37”.
So I looked it up. It states the following: “Nothing is impossible with God”.
Now, go do the hard things. And tell me how to get blood out of clothing.
Christie Elkins is a Campbell County native whose columns appear weekly on the Lifestyles page of the LaFollette Press. She’s a mother of three and a full-time blogger at www.mywalkwitheden.com.