I got glasses in the middle of college. It was sort of lame. I felt like my eyes were crossing when I tried to read or type. Its possible that my staying up until 3am with my roommate on a regular basis had something to do with it. Within a year of getting my glasses, I lost them. I know exactly where I left them-the Bethel College libary, lower level. When I went back for them, they were gone. Seriously, who steals someones lame reading glasses? I never replaced the glasses to this day. Its a good thing I don't do a lot of reading. Ha! Sometimes I wonder if I would see better if I had some? Sometimes I wish I had a pair of glasses to help me to see things more clearly in this life. Wouldn't it be great if you could get a pair of glasses to help you to really see? To see past things you can't see past, to help you see more clearly the aspect of a situation you just can't comprehend, to see when you are so stressed, tired, confused, and frustrated that you can't see straight.
Yesterday my entourage (Aislynn 3.5, Isla 1.5) discovered Wonderlabs, a cool little children's science museum in downtown Bloomington. The girls loved it. Exploring, discovering, running...it was all good, minus the one time Isla dropped down in the bubble room to do what I thought looked like push ups, instead she was actually interested in licking bubbles off the floor. Her immunity really got a boost after that.
I noticed a little girl. She looked like she was somewhere in between Aislynn and Isla (agewise). Her hair was real fine, it looked like it had thinned. Just as I began to process what that might mean she turned and I saw a huge crescent shaped incision in the back of her head. My heart sank at the implications of such a mark. She was playing right along side my two little girls. They were all doing a lot of the same things, exploring, discovering, running, but it wasn't the same. I wished I had a pair of glasses for that situation...to see why?
I couldn't stop staring at the little girl. Not at her battle wound, but at the little girl herself. My girls had just gotten over being sick. I felt a little worn out after wiping noses constantly and caring for two cranky girls with mood swings and colds. This was a perspective moment. Because to me and this little girl's mom, having a "sick kid" meant two completely different things.
The little girl's mom and I exchanged a few half smiles, the way you do with other moms you don't know in public places. Its like that recognition of rank or something. Instead of a salute, we moms just give a slight nod and a smile to recognize our fellow mom comrades. I noticed she had a very tiny very new baby boy in addition to her little girl. I feel like I have been learning some pretty big lessons over the past year. I feel like I have developed more of an awareness. I am trying to be a more intentional and empathetic person. I wanted to give this mom a big hug. I wanted to say "What can I do? You don't know me, but what can I do?"
Before the museum closed our paths crossed briefly. She asked me about a baby carrier I was wearing. She took down my name and number and revealed she was only in Bloomington for a few months while her daughter received proton treatments for her cancer. I wanted to cry. I wanted to say how sorry I was. I wanted to offer to do something. I wanted to say something but all I could do was give an acknowledging nod to her unfathomable reality. She said she would call because she was really interested in the carrier I was wearing, and I offered her to come over to try on carriers. Secretly, I was hoping this gesture might open a door for me to do something more.
We walked out of the museum and I could not stop thinking of this mom, her little baby, and her sweet little girl battling for her life. I immediately summoned the courage to say what I wanted to say, but didn't. I tried to reenter the museum, but they had locked the doors since the museum was closing. I waited outside, trying to look like I was actually doing something besides pacing back and forth like a museum stalker (I don't actually know if those kinds of stalkers exist). I waited. But they never came out. I had not cased the museum, so I was unaware of other exits. I walked away, scanning the scene, but there was no trace of the mom or her tiny entourage.
I am praying that she calls me. And if she does, I know exactly what I will say, "I know you don't know me, but if you ever need anything, any help, a place to hang out, anything while you are in Bloomington, I'm here for you. I know that may sound strange since you don't know me, but I think I am pretty normal and hopefully you can take my word on that. I am a mom and you are a mom so I think we have something huge in common already." I wish I could have said this when I had the chance. But things seldom work out like we plan and our brains usually think a little more slowly than the current situation we are in sometimes. Hopefully I will get a second chance.
I wish I had some really powerful glasses. A pair that would help me to really see...to see what God sees when He looks at us. To see the most important things in life. To see past the things I get caught up in. To see down the right path. To see what He has in store for us. To see what God sees when he looks at that sweet little girl in the middle of her battle. To see straight. Maybe if I get my glasses replaced, I'll ask for that prescription.