How I Know

Ask me how I know a woman is fully capable of leadership and I will tell you of a 3am morning, in a darkened nursery, rocking a baby with croup. His airways are swelled, he must sit upright. You rock and rock and rock, his body heavy with sleep, with relief, with you.

Once rest finds him, assuredly, you rise for the crib transfer. But he wakes with a jolt and the tears return. That terrible barky cough. You sit. You rock. You rock and rock and rock.

There is a moment where you must make a decision. Your back itches, a seemingly minor thing. You beg the prickling to abate, you fix your mind on time spent elsewhere in a not-so-dark nursery with a not-so-sick baby snotting onto your bathrobe.

The itch sticks around.

You preach promises to yourself, recite mantras read in books. This too shall pass, you think, remembering the supine eves of your daughter’s croup five years ago, the same girl that just yesterday announced with big eyes and a booming voice that she’ll be changing the world someday, but first she’ll need an extra banana.

The itch sticks around.

You try to reach around to your back, to re-position him, but again, the jolt. The cries. His fitful distress.

The itch sticks around.

Ask me how I know a woman is a sheer force, a cyclone of strength, a a pulsing power of subtle might on her tod, and I will tell you of the secret night in which the itch stayed on the back, the mother stayed in her rocker, and the long-suffering babe stayed fast asleep.

The next morning, two bananas for your daughter. She’ll be changing the world, after all.

Best to give her fuel for the trip.

  • Love it! And love the sisterhood of motherhood! Awee, I feel your pain. This sick season has been a rough one. But it is amazing the teachings motherhood brings, of patience, of faith and above all else of selflessness. I too will be praying and repeating mantras with you around 3am when yet again another illness strikes our home. Just so grateful for our health and boy does my heart go out to all of those mama’s suffering larger health battles. I pray for them every night; that God give them peace in their hearts. That same one I search for on those desperate nights when all you wish for is to console your little one. And then I think, I feel so lucky to be his mama and to have this much love and patience to share. Lucky Scout has an amazing mama too! Thanks for sharing! You got me rambling this morning lol! But hey, this mama feels understood from miles away. ;)

  • Wow! So powerful, so beautiful, so moving!

    I remember sitting in a 3rd world country emergency room with my sick 3 year old in my arms realizing there was no emergency room, there was no help coming.

    We are sheer force!

    Erin, you are amazing. How beautiful you just put that into words.

  • Oh! how this hit home…..I might as well have been writing this entry ;) With three kiddos that seemed to welcome croup, the ‘all-nighters’ were frequent. The sitting upright was frequent. The sitting out in the cold night air was frequent. Yet, the desire to use home remedies was stronger than the urge to head to the ER to make it stop. Mommas sure do have a strength like no other. #proudmomma

  • I can’t take my eyes off this beautiful photo! And your writing is beautiful-connecting us with stories we can all relate to. I love that you take time to notice, and then to write it down. We are blessed to have these in our inboxes when we wake up!

  • This is so beautiful. Beautifully written, a beautiful picture of a mom sacrificing and caring for her child, and a beautiful connection for mothers everywhere. I have been that mom rocking her son, holding him upright at 3am, so he could sleep. I have been that mom to play the game of, “I think he’s asleep. Let’s do the transfer so I can get some sleep too.” -only to lose that round and head back to the rocker. I have been that mom to sacrifice my comfort for his as my body gets tired of sitting in that same position, as my eyelids and arms get heavy, and as the itch sticks around. Thank you affirming that mom and reminding her that she is a sheer force, a cyclone of strength, and a pulsing power of subtle might. I feel ready to take on the day.

  • Very well put. We have the capacity as mothers to handle things that some people in our world will never imagine, no matter how hard they try. As far as that goes, we handle things that we could never imagine prior to them happening. It is how we are built.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reminding us all of the amazing capabilities we have within us.

  • Simply beautiful. And not just because I was that woman in that rocker this weekend, sometimes itching and sometimes persisting and doing my very best to keep him asleep.

  • Erin, those days are long over for me. My baby is 40! But oh how I remember. I think I’ll go eat a banana – one is never too old to change the world. xo

  • This is the first time I have checked out your website and this was the exact encouragement that I needed tonight!! My 1 year old son just got over croup so I can totally relate to this story but I knew thought of it in this light before. Such encouragement.- blessings

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