Symptoms and sources.

Symptoms and sources.

So far in 2015, I’ve had a couple minor headaches, a cut finger, and a few sore muscles from playing softball in my 30s. The picture of health you might say.

My picture was quite different when we had three foster kids living with us last year.

That fall brought me ringworm, 2 bouts of pink eye, bronchitis, a viral infection and an inaugural round of strep throat. Together creating quite the cocktail inside my body.

Parenthood’s initiation I suppose.

My symptoms were impossible to miss or ignore. For all of us. Ever-protective of me, Jonathan reminded the kids time and again to be “extra kind to Mommy because she’s not feeling well.”

But these kids had symptoms too. Painful in different ways. For all of us. Symptoms that similarly couldn’t be missed or ignored. And yet the source was much easier to forget.

When screams didn’t cease and spit flew at our faces, it was hard sometimes to see the real cause. To recognize that this beautiful girl was not her tantrum just as I was not my ringworm. To see that we were both fighting our own battles inside. And we both needed that extra kindness.

Jen knew it though. And when she heard that an extra helping was up for grabs, she wanted in. “I need extra grace,” she said. Wow. If we could all know ourselves well enough to say we need more.

Her brother Nick brought me this flower when I was in bed one of those days. I wish I had picked one for Jen, too.