He was 6 lbs 10 oz and beautiful. The NICU nurses all believed that my doctors had gotten my due date wrong, and I thought so too, until it was time for him to eat.
Whenever I tried to feed him, he would look at me like, “What is this? I shouldn't have to work for my food; I want to go back to sleep, whatever…Zzzzzzzzz.”
My doctors, nurses, consultants, family members, and friends all had advice and tried to help. We tried spoons, bottles, syringes, tubes, guards, etc, but all he wanted to do was sleep.
I pleaded with God to make him eat;
I pleaded with God to help him gain weight;
I pleaded to God… for fat rolls.
One night, as my whit’s end quickly approached, I looked at my husband in tears and cried, “I know what is best for him; I know what is best for me: I know what is best for our family, but I cannot make him eat.”
My husband, in all of his wisdom and love, told me something I would never forget:
“You I just learned what most moms take a lifetime to understand.”
We all know what is best for our children. We know what they should eat, when they should sleep, and what friends they should hang out with, but the problem is that we cannot always force them to do what is best. Sometimes they have to learn to do things on their own-- on their own time, and unfortunately, we must sit patiently on pins and needles, waiting for them to figure it out.
“We can lead a horse to water, but we can not make him drink.”
The old adage is ultimately true. It is a farmer’s job to take the horse to the water, and the horse’s choice to drink or not. But whoever said that’s the end of it? The farmer can’t just give up…right?
Parenthood is a game of endurance and perseverance. It is still our responsibility to guide them to the truth even though we cannot force them to adhere to it.
Patience is a virtue not easily obtained, but the reward far outweighs the cost of all those uncomfortable pins and needles. They will “buck” you every step of the way, but take heart my friends; you are not alone.
Don't lose hope. Be encouraged that the God of the universe cares and listens when you are frustrated and tired. He hears you when you are crying in the middle of the night; he listens when you are pleading with your children. He will comfort you while you wait for your children to “get it.”
He will give you the strength to continue leading your child to better decisions, and he can also help them to “drink” in your advice, love, and guidance.