Every so often our middle child, Blake, will complain of leg pain around bed time. This has been going on for a couple years now. When it initially began we thought it was a plea for extra attention; a manipulation of sorts. Our extra prayers and additional snuggles worked to help him fall asleep at first. That’s until we were jolted from our sleep somewhere in the awful, middle of the night, with screams and crying from the bedroom on the left, “my legs, my legs,” he’d hollar. We realized it wasn’t a false plea but real pain. We’d treat his symptoms with a little Tylenol and chalk it up to growth spurts. At his well check we’d run these occurances by our favorite PA, Kelley. She’d agree it’s probably just growth spurts. Time passed. He’d have some easy going weeks then some back to back storms of growth. Soon though it was happening weekly. I’d wonder to myself, does he just think the chewable grape flavored meds are candy? Just in case he was overreacting we’d cautiously give him a half a chewable Tylenol when he’d complain about his leg pain. To our own dismay, even after a half dose, there’d be another cry session in the middle of the night. “My legs, my legs,” he’d cry. After multiple weeks (more like months) of trial and error we officially requested the pediatrician to perform some blood tests. We needed assurance and clear answers. Guess what we learned. It wasn’t childhood leukemia or arthritis. The diagnosis? Growth spurts!
As I was driving today I thought about growth spurts as an adult. Children aren’t the only ones who experience this phenomenon. I can speak of the past 6 months of transition to a new town and clearly see all kinds of opportunity for growth. I wouldn’t classify my experience as pain in growing physically taller but yes, to personal growth.
Back in September, an opportunity presented itself to attend an evening back to school event. Honestly, I didn’t really want to go because I knew I’d be parenting solo that night. It certainly didn’t help that I wouldn’t know anybody there either. As I was in this internal decision making process I looked in the mirror and said to myself, you pray for your kids to be courageous, right? Yep! I heard a small voice say, you can keep praying for them to have courage hunny but you can also jump on this opportunity to SHOW them courage. I wish I could say it was easy but it wasn’t. Off the four of us dashed to their new elementary school. I chose to put myself in what I knew would be an uncomfortable position. All for the purpose to model courage as some of the new faces at Fort Mill Elementary School. I wanted them to be confident on their new playground and deep down I knew we needed to go. Growth.
I love hiking on unpaved trails in the woods. There’s something special about the scenery and quiet while on a hike. It’s become a favorite weekend activity since our youngest was a toddler. As much as I love hiking I’m not much of an adventurer in desolate places without my man, David. You know, scary things come to mind as a female hiker especially if I’m so deep in the woods that nobody could hear me scream. Silly fear! Over Christmas break I found myself with a free morning and alone with our two boys, ages 11 and 8. In an effort to make memories with Caden and Blake guess where we went? You guessed it, I took them hiking. We guzzled water before we left, grabbed some snacks and bundled up for a long walk. It was amazing. No scary dudes jumped out of the bushes. No bears chased us for our granola bars. We stopped multiple times to throw rocks on the frozen creek. We even made a contest for who could manage to break the ice with their clever rock finding and throwing skills. We made some incredible mother/son memories. Growth.
Today I went into a school meeting that given the circumstances, previously, would have wrecked me internally. God gave me peace to advocate as a mother. I was calm and articulate. Ultimately, our concerns were heard and responded to in a positive manner. Most importantly, even before the meeting started, I was confident that it would all work out as it was meant to.
In this transition my faith has been challenged to lean into God and trust His promises. Huge growth to let go of fear.