Friday, September 23, 2011

on potty training and nightmares

ever since Curtis snuck a little potty into our cart at Ikea in July, he's wanted to potty train Micah.
i laugh and blow him off, even when i come upstairs to help with bathtime and find this:




it sure was cute, and funny when Curtis got so excited when Micah farted on the potty! He was certain pooping would come next (which of course it didn't!)

but all this potty talk i think crept into my subconscious and yesterday morning, right before i fully woke up i had the most heart-pounding nightmare i think i've ever had.

i hesitate to even write it because it still gives me goose bumps. I told it to Curtis last night, and when the words came out they sounded more foolish than the realness they felt when i woke up and had to repeat over and over louder than my thumping heart,

it was just a dream, jess. it was just a dream. 

we were at my mom's house. Micah was seven months, just as he is now, and i guess we were potty training him.

I wasn't in the room, but in my dream i could see my mom sitting Micah on her toilet in their downstairs bathroom. Then she walked over to me, in my dad's office, across the house from the bathroom and we were talking...

(my heart is thumping as i type)

then it hits me to ask her, "Where's Micah?"

and she says, "I put him on the toilet."

And my heart stops. begins to thump in my ears like it is now.

And i run. Through the house to the bathroom at the back of the house.

And there he is, slumped into the toilet, the roll of toilet paper off the cardboard roll, sprawled our around him in the bowl and he's blue. His eyes are closed and he's not breathing.

And i scream a blood curdling scream

and just like that i am awake.

it was just a dream, jess. it was just a dream.

and as much as i know it was, it was the closest i've ever gotten to the panic of harm to my child.
it was horrible. my heart is still thudding, through my fingertips. in that one brief moment i thought i lost  him.

and when i heard him kicking his feet, awake in his crib as i was mumbling to myself how it was just a dream i breathed a steady breath and got out of bed.

but it's stuck with me. the gratefulness that he is here when other parents lose their babies every day. And the only thing that gives me peace when all the what if's start to creep in is the belief that God loves him more than i do and that even as i try to cushion falls and thwart dangers and sharp corners is the fact that i am ultimately not the one who keeps him safe or healthy or even alive. And while that may not seem like a comfort to some, to me it's the only comfort i have as i find myself the caretaker of this little, fragile life. knowing i am not ultimately in control and that i can place my trust, not only for good outcomes in bad circumstances and healthy reports for scary tests but for whatever comes. Because, as my high school friend tattooed on her skin after her dad died - God is good, all the time, no matter what.


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