This has been a draining weekend. My husband has been on call--which essentially means from 6am Friday-6pm Monday he is not a part of our world. When we do see him it is generally dark and he is fielding calls from the two hospital ERs he is covering or the nurses managing one of his or his four partner's patients. (Can I just go on record and say that I DO NOT have what it takes to be a single parent? I am much better with a partner.)
After so many years, we should be used to it...and, honestly, for the most part it really is just a part of life for our family. But, it doesn't make the incessant ringing of the phone at all hours and lack of sleep as a result of prolonged conversations at 2am, 3am and again at 4am any less exhausting. Additionally, our church's VBS started tonight, so I have been busy tying up last minute details for my class.
Yesterday, after a big day of driving to and fro, I took my children to the pool. We decided to leave P's glasses at home for safe keeping. My husband came home for a quick nap between cases while we were out of the house and decided to move the glasses from their last minute placement right next the back door to a 'safer spot' on our kitchen island. What happened after that is anybody's guess, but that very important pair of spectacles was frustratingly MIA for 24 hours.
This year marks one year since P was prescribed his glasses--which according to his optometrist were WAY overdue (-3.25 in one side and -2.75 in the other). Even though he can be a bit absentminded at times, he has been INCREDIBLY responsible with his glasses. It has been very clear to us, by his treatment of them, how very valuable they are to his experience of the world. He is so comfortable with them that he frequently climbs into bed still wearing them and I have to remind him they are on his face.
This apparent need/reliance/appreciation is what made their loss so difficult. We searched for 10-15 minutes this morning before deciding to go ahead to church without them. We stopped by the pool en route, just to make sure we were recollecting the afternoon correctly. I checked lost and found and scoured the pool deck under all the chairs in our area to no avail.
I advised his Sunday School teachers to be patient with him if he were a little out of sorts. I encouraged his siblings to pray we would find them. After Sunday School we had a very frustrating experience in big church (partially because that is a challenge for us even on 'good days' with two parents present). P couldn't see anything that was going on during the 90 minute service. At one point, as he started crying in frustration, I sent him out to go to the water fountain and take a deep breath.
When he hadn't returned in a couple of minutes I grew worried and slipped out of the sanctuary into the hall to round him up. I spotted him at the far end of a very long hallway--looking a little frantic. I called his name and he turned awkwardly in a circle. I called his name again and he started crying.
As I hurried to him he wept tears of frustration and fear mixed with relief.
"I couldn't figure out how to get back, Mama."
Was his vision really that bad?
I hugged him close as I beat myself up. How could I send him out (a bit frustrated with his behavior, honestly) blindly. Ugghh.
The service ended, we grabbed a quick lunch then returned home to scour the house for his glasses once more. I knew they would turn up eventually...and they did...three hours later, upstairs in a random place that none of us remember putting them in. When he put them back on his face where they belong he sighed and beamed. All was once again right in his world.
It wasn't until tonight that the metaphor hit me. As I was tucking him in and we prayed about our thankfulness to God for finding them, I reminded P that not having his glasses was like trying to live life without God. It was certainly possible, but the world was foggy, frustrating and confusing--things just didn't quite make sense. It was easy to get lost.
But with the glasses (perspective God brings to our hearts), life seems so much clearer, peaceful, easier to navigate.
Then those big brown eyes twinkled as he grinned and said, "Good story, Mama. It is kinda like a parable!"
And I knew my blog post for the night was written... :-)