I went to the Room Mom meeting yesterday. It was fine; we spent most of the time we were there just chatting actually. There were 4 mothers there, and during the conversation I mentioned that Cameron had hit his face on the playground equipment over Labor Day weekend. I said that we felt lucky that the injury hadn’t been far worse. Another mom said that her daughter’s jaw was broken 2 years ago when she was accidentally hit with an aluminum baseball bat. Another mom said that her son had open-heart surgery at 11 days old, and then her second son was born with bilateral club foot. The third mom told us that her daughter’s baby teeth had come in without enamel, and so they all rotted away and had to be pulled, and now her 5yo daughter wears bridges. She also told us about her friend who had a baby last week. The birth was complicated by shoulder dystocia, and both the baby’s and the mother’s heart rates were plummeting, so the doctor ended up breaking both the baby’s arms to get her out immediately.

And I sat there, with my healthy son at school, my healthy daughter playing in the next room, and my healthy baby asleep in my arms, and was humbled by the grace and strength of these other moms. I don’t always appreciate my family’s wellness, I think; I might focus on Cameron’s allergies, or obsess over Gabrielle’s strawberry birthmarks, or worry over Addison’s blocked tear duct. I think that that is a bit like complaining that my lottery winnings didn’t come in brand-new bills. I’m going to try to remember this perspective in the future, and have a little more gratitude for what I have.

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