Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Being Aunt Dot

There are few words I love to hear more than, "Aunt Dot, wanna play?" When three-year old Daniel looks at me, it's hard not to drop whatever I'm in the middle of to chase him outside. We both pretend to be Buzz Lightyear exploring a new planet or mow the lawn with our imaginary machinery so Daddy doesn't have to do it later.

And then there's little Kaden. At 15 months, he can say little more than "Da da da," but he loves to be in the middle of whatever Big Brother is doing. His cheeks drip with drool as he races from one side of the house to the other. He shrieks revealing two lower and four upper teeth, a little smile that leaps its way right into Aunt Dot's heart.

But that was not Saturday. Saturday, I watched little Kaden chuck his pacifier across the play room of Doernbecher Chilren's Hospital. Frustrated at his wobbly legs and inability to walk on his own, he threw himself on the floor and flailed his limbs in anger. He couldn't understand what had happened; that blood clots had cut off blood flow to the brain causing multiple strokes and loss of mobility. He couldn't understand the doctors when they said he wouldn't walk on his own again for at least a month if not much longer.

I'm so grateful Kaden didn't understand. Whether it meant bear crawling across the carpet or lifting one unsteady leg on top a chair, my little nephew was determined to regain his mobility. Saturday night he was walking. Sunday morning he was running again. And as I looked at Kaden, I couldn't help but think of all the times in my life where someone told me I couldn't, so I didn't, or someone said I might fail, so I never tried. I'm so quick to understand my circumstances that I forget my circumstances don't dictate my future--no that's held by hands that are much more secure. So fall as I might, I'm determined to look past the "what happened" and past the "what might never be" and with one wobbly leg in front of the other take the first step and the next until eventually at a full gait, I'm running across the floor.

We still don't know what is wrong with Kaden. The blood clots near his brain are inexplicable by doctors, but I like Daniel's attitude toward his little brother. A nurse entered the room on Sunday to change the sheets in the crib. Daniel was sitting in a chair next to her and informed the nurse, "Kaden all better now."

It's amazing how caring and perceptive a three-year old can be. On discovering his younger brother will have a shot of blood thinners in the leg twice a day, Daniel informed the nurses about twenty times that "Kaden no like shots. Shots no fun." Daniel told his daddy that they should buy his brother a Lego spaceship like the one Daddy bought him because, "Kaden be happy". Despite the fact that I sometimes think Danny would prefer to be an only child (especially when Kaden touches his Buzz Lightyear doll), Danny truly missed his brother while he was in the hospital, "I looked and looked for brother and couldn't find him," he said. "I was waiting for him."

But the most compelling moment to me during Daniel's visit was the moment I held him in my arms while the nurse administer Kaden's shot. Although curious, he was scared. As I held Danny's head against my chest, I cradled the side of his face with my hand. The moment I moved my hand, he reached for it and placed it back on his face.

And I thought of all the moments when I'm scared. When I don't understand what is going on and when I'm powerless to change things. I thought of sitting at my desk at work waiting for a text message from my mom letting me know my precious nephew was going to be ok. I thought of Kaden leaving the hospital without a clear answer as to why his blood was clotting. I thought of the way this whole situation was so out of my hands, that no matter how much I loved this baby boy, I couldn't do anything to help him or change what was going on in those small arteries flowing through his tiny body.

And I was glad that I have a Maker who holds me just like I held Danny. He pulls me close to his chest and cradles my head in his hands saying, "It's going to be ok. Kaden is going to be ok. He'll get better." And just like Danny, I choose to believe, "Kaden all better now".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey, so to RECOMMENT.... so I love the simplicity kids have with their faith AND their stating of facts. I think that's what God wants us to be which you also laid out.

I love the moving emotion and thought you put into this. It's good to hear what's going on in your life and will continue to keep you and Kaden in my prayers. :)