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"She'll be Right!" except She Really Wasn't


posted by Susan Dominikovich on , ,

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It's school holidays.

Winter.

No school lunches.  No sorting through a million black socks that all look the same but are slightly different at laundry time.  No homework wars.  

No rushing.

Usually we wake up when we feel like it, snuggle in our jammies until mid-day eating hot toast in bed until we've had our fill, and then light the fire and snuggle some more in front of it with a book.

Okay, maybe that's just what I do.

We love school holidays.  Especially the winter ones.

However, these school holidays we had visitors for a few days.   We happily gave up our lazy jammy mornings and thoroughly enjoyed long days of talking, laughing, eating (ugh!), and playing.  The highlight was a trip the twelve of us took up the mountain to throw snow at each other, make angels, and most importantly, defy gravity with our sleds.  We found a lovely long gentle slope.  The only worry was the traffic (we weren't the only ones enjoying the mountain) and one obstacle at the bottom:  a pole.  Sure enough, our Abby on her first go, hit the pole and bounced right out of the sled.  "She'll be right!"  we yelled from the top. Well, she was eventually.  She was able to pick herself up off the snow and brush off the hurt. And the good news was, the sled didn't break.




On our last full day together, the dads took 8 kids to see Despicable Me 2 while the mums went shopping. Fair play to us, I say.  A coffee and a few purchases later, we all met up again and took pizzas (more food!) to Lake Rotomanu for a picnic at the river and a walk on the foreshore to see Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.  Beautiful, but cold so we headed home for baths/showers.  Except for Madeline who decided she wanted to wear her new clothes I had bought for her that day.  Pink skinny jeans and a blue top.  My little girl, growing up.  My little girl looking very pretty and cool.  My little girl, struggling to breathe...

Hang on a minute...

A bit of a panic in our house that night.  While the children were watching a movie, Madeline came up to me and said she felt like something was crushing her chest.  I gave her a cuddle but put my "she'll be right!" face on again and sent her back to watch the movie.  

It got worse.  

Little shoulders heaving up and down and little body working very hard to get enough breath.

Paul and I took her into our bedroom where it was cooler and quieter (12 people in the house after all), and managed to get her to calm down and we worked on taking big deep breaths with her.  Our friend took her pulse and said her body was still working too hard.  Eventually Paul rang our doctor, seeking his advice as to whether we should take her to the New Plymouth After Hours care.  He said straight away he'd meet us at the surgery and so Paul took her over there.  I sent out a "please pray" text to a few good friends and tried not to worry as my visitors and I put the rest of the children to bed.  50 minutes later, my girl came dancing through the door with a big smile on her face, right as rain.  The doctor said it was an asthma attack and gave her what she needed to make her little airways work again. He said it may happen again, or it may not and we'll never know what the trigger was (dust? the dye in the new clothes?  her cold?  all of the above?).  

So I have learnt my lesson.

Sometimes the very kiwi, "she'll be right!" attitude is exactly right.  Abby was fine when she came off the sled.  A little stunned perhaps and probably suffering a bruise to her dignity, but she was absolutely okay.  She could sort herself out.  Eventually.  And she never hit the pole again.

Madeline and an asthma attack?  Not quite the same.  As much as I would love my children to learn resilience so that they can pick themselves up off the snow and brush the hurt away, sometimes they need our help and our intervention.  Sometimes they need us to pick them up and help them to brush the hurt off with a kiss or a plaster.

And sometimes, our children actually need our help to breathe.

If I extrapolate this holiday life-lesson even further, I think God has the same attitude with us.  Sometimes, He says, "she'll be right!"  He loves us always, as we love our children, but sometimes He stands back and lets us brush off the hurt ourselves, and recover our dignity in our own time.  And so we learn to aim in a different direction and avoid the pole next time. 

But other times, when the hurt or the danger is almost crushing us, He will put his hand on our back and not only will He help us to breathe again, He will breathe with us. 

And thankfully, sometimes He even breathes for us.

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