April was a rough month in our house. My family started on house renovations, which BTW should automatically come with an on-site marriage counselor. Our dog spent several days on his death-bed only to make a full recovery. Sheesh, that was close! Poor old guy nearly got the needle, in fact I’ll bet he sensed it and that’s why he made a complete turnaround. April is also the month my middle guy celebrated his 7th birthday just 2 days after doctors confirmed his celiac disease. Cake shopping was bitter-sweet and let’s just say nobody was running to the snack spread at his party. By the end of the month it felt like I had run a marathon and was crawling to the finish line, hoping for a brighter May.
Boy was I wrong. It turns out that my son’s celiac is more than just an inconvenient dietary disease. Apparently it’s wreaking havoc on his immune system. The same virus that had been jumping from kid to kid in April, had my guy laid out from school for the first 9 days in May. He was put on four different medications and suffered through 10 straight days of high fever. The most frustrating part of all this (besides my gnarly feet from having to cancel my pedicure) is that despite the body aches, headaches and pneumonia hack, his stomach pains remained the biggest complaint and there was absolutely nothing I could do to help him with that.
Us Moms, we want to make it all better, but sometimes better is just beyond our grasp. But still, we keep reaching, we keep trying to ease their pain; take away their suffering. We google, we webmd, and we pinterest. We try to find home remedies, natural remedies, we pray and some of us even use raw eggs to help suck the sickness out. We research probiotics, prebiotics and become experts on apple cider vinegar and all 8-thousand of its healing qualities. We humidify, we suck their boogers out through rubber straws and we invent essential oil combinations that would impress even Marie Curie. The one thing, the only thing we don’t do and won’t do for our sick children is give up.
There’s little else I can do to help my son’s suffering, to stop his weight loss or to heal the damage that the disease has caused to his insides. Trust me, I know about the bone broths, the supplements, accupuncture and all POSSIBLE food allergens have been eliminated. I’m sure things are improving on the inside, just not as fast as I’d like them to. Still, I won’t stop trying to help him. I won’t stop advocating for him and I won’t stop researching for him. I’ll continue to ask every pharmacist, every waiter, every school staff member; “Is this gluten-free?” I’ll pretend not to notice the purple bags under his eyes, and I’ll try to tighten the elastic on his jeans without him noticing. I’ll continue to rub the oils on his belly, I’ll keep reading labels 3 times over and I’ll only cry when he sleeps.
I know my son’s illness pales in comparison to what other children are living or dying with. Just thinking about what those mothers must be going through makes that painful lump in my throat set into position; ready to contain all emotional buildup. Those mothers are the true Superheroes of the world; showing true grace under the absolute worst of circumstances. Waging wars with impossible diseases; fighting daily battles with their own emotions. They are the Batmen of the world. The rest of us? Well we are all the Robbins. So whether you are soothing your teething baby, kissing a bandaged boo-boo, waiting and worrying at urgent care or pacing a hospital hallway, just know that you are a hero. You are everything your child needs and wants because you’re “Mom”. And if being a mom has taught me one thing, it’s that I can do absolutely anything… except give up. Happy Mother’s Day.