My daughter made me cry today.
In front of everyone.
They had their Mother’s Day Liturgy and all the parents and carers were gathered in the school hall.
One of the benefits of a small school, is that every child gets to have a say. Literally. Each class stood up, and one by one, the children read out what they loved most about their Mum. There were a lot of “She gives me icecream”, “She takes me shopping” and because we live in the country, even a couple of “I love my Mum because she helps me rug my horse”.
I was starting to get worried. We don’t have icecream in our house. It doesn’t really go well with a full blown dairy allergy, and to be honest, I avoid the shops like the plague. I make a mad dash in to get groceries once a fortnight, and that’s it! As for rugging the horse, well to be honest, my husband usually does it.
So what was she going to say?
As she was handed the microphone, she looked across to me and said “I love my Mum because she makes sure I take my medicine everyday and she drives me up to Brisbane all the time for my doctors appointments”.
I couldn’t help it.
The tears welled.
Thank goodness for sunglassses!!
See that’s the thing about chronic illness.
It changes your perspective.
It changes your relationships.
It changes everything.
While the other kids are out playing on the weekend after soccer, she’s curled up on the couch recovering. When they are running around the playground carefree before school, she’s sitting in the pathology lab having a blood test.
She endures so many challenges that fortunately many of her peers will never know, let alone understand.
But there is an upside…
I didn’t even know it until today.
When it’s your daily life, your “normal”, it’s easy to get lost in the quagmire of chronic illness.
But the truth is, it’s almost a gift. It has brought us together. It has made us incredibly close, and she knows that no matter what happens, I’ll always be there to help her through, no matter how tough things get.
And despite the fact that she is only 11 years old, it has made her not only aware, but also grateful for the little things. Like having someone make sure she doesn’t forget to take her medicine. Or knowing that even though we have to make the 900km round trip to Brisbane 6 or 7 times each year, that we’ll make the most of it and treat it as special Mummy – Daughter time.
I don’t love the fact that she is stuck with these illnesses, but I do love that she takes it all in her stride. Mother’s Day might not be until Sunday, but she’s already given me the most precious gift of all. The gift of love and appreciation. Honestly, what more could I possibly ask for?