My big girl had her 5 year doctor’s appointment yesterday. My mom and I tried to make it a happy fun day, and the doctor’s office rocked it with cool little stations, stickers, and prizes. It’s hard to sugar coat something that will be, in the end, pretty painful, but I think they did a great job.
Big girl Avery awoke yesterday morning brimming with excitement about going to the doctor. She asked several times before we actually left. “Will I get shots, mommy?” she would ask with a quirky little smile. “Yes, probably,” I said dreadingly. Her smile was almost bashful, a funny little kind of smile like she was still excited about going but maybe only half-heartedly believing that there would be pain. We ate lunch at Applebees and moved on to Target. Mom bought little packs of stickers for the girls for after the appointment. It was fun. I could almost forget about the bulbous knot in the pit of my stomach. I knew the pain would be temporary. I don’t think I was so wrapped up in the pain that Avery would experience as I was in the knowledge that this appointment means she will be going to school soon. Something I guess I thought was forever away when she was born is now approaching like a freight train.
After the doctor’s appointment and on the way home, my stomach was sick from stress and the laughter of the girls running through the Target had changed to silence from Bel (finally) and a soft chatter from Avery in the back seat playing with her prizes and drinking her slushie. I had explained to Avery that the shots would help keep her well and safe from lots of yucky things, and that way she could grow up strong. The reasoning seemed to suffice in exchange for the 5 minutes of pure hellacious screaming we had endured. In a few moments of silence, though, it occurred to me how the situation we had been through is very much the way God works with us. We have pain and suffering, and we don’t generally understand why. But we know it’s for our good. We know that, while we’re screaming and not understanding why it is absolutely necessary for us to go through such pain and suffering, that the pain will end. And at the end (let’s be honest) we usually get a reward. It could be only a sticker, but mostly it’s not. It’s something obvious and wonderful.
I cried when she got those shots. I held her down. It was some of the worst few seconds of my life. But after the screams stopped, after what seemed like an eternity in slow motion, my sweet Avery settled down, picked out her prize, and she knew that I would never make her endure something so painful that wasn’t necessary…because I love her more than breath, more than life, more than more. God probably loves us that way too.
Dessert + 4 Girls = Favorite part of the meal!!
Avery and Anabel had fun playing doctor while we waited for the doctor.
“Seriously.” she said.