Last night my niece took a helicopter ride from her smaller local hospital to the bigger children’s hospital in the city we live. She was a preemie and is fighting RSV. We’re so hoping our Baby B will be okay. She looks good and is a fighter, but it’s hard. Anytime you have a child in the hospital it puts a strain on the family that can’t be comprehended until you’re in the situation. And when you are, you don’t want to comprehend it, because you want to be somewhere, anywhere else then where you are with your child.
It’s scary. It’s overwhelming. And, for that moment, life stops for you.
Sadly, it doesn’t for everyone else. So, snow still falls and driveways need to be shoveled, mail needs to be collected, children need to be cared for, dogs need to be walked, meals still need to be prepared. We’ve been in this situation MANY times. I have seen people struggle to figure out what we need. They ask, so sweetly, and I appreciate it so much, but lots of times, in that moment, I have no earthly clue what I need. The snow shoveling, the mail, the dog, and even the other children, have to fall away. I need to focus on now and on that one child.
In that moment, a family needs you to become their village. Can you shovel the driveway? Can you collect the mail? Can you provide child care for the other children? Can you prepare a meal? Can you be the village? Most of us can, we’re just too afraid to ask. So, this morning, when I got the text about my sweet niece, I thought about our last hospitalization and all the things that weighed heavily on my heart. I didn’t need anyone to rock my baby, although I LOVED rocking sweet Baby B this morning, but sometimes, babies can’t be rocked because of all the wires, tubes, and pain. I didn’t need anyone to visit me in those scary post-surgical days, and mostly, they couldn’t because so many rules prohibited it, and the germs, oh, they terrify me. But, when those dark days passed and I did need a shower, that was when I wanted someone I knew and loved to come and sit with my baby. I wanted someone who could go out and get me the laundry list of things I had forgotten (like my deodorant, because it gets smelly after a couple of days), and I wanted someone to help FPD fill the void my absence left.
I thought about those things as I flew around the house and collected absolutely everything I thought she could need. I want to be the village, to not make it about me, but to stand quietly in the background and just be the presence they ask to do anything they need. It’s not about me. It’s all about them, and making sure sweet Baby B gets better soon.
–FullPlateMom, who can definitely be someone’s village since she is raising a small village in her home.