Just a little over five years ago, when we were living in Pennsylvania - in a ghetto apartment on "the other side of the tracks" - we had this itty bitty bright peach bathroom with absolutely no counter space to place even one of our toiletries upon while we were getting ready for the day.
And it was awesome.
Only not so much.
Kaden was three, and Jesse was about seven months old at the time of this story -- just barely crawling. And every single morning of life when I curled my hair in the bathroom, I would set my iron down on the (closed) toilet seat while it was heating up, because there was no other place for it to go. And every single morning of life, when Kev came into the bathroom to get ready for the day, he would say to me: "Honey, you can't leave the curling iron sitting there. One of these days, one of our boys is going to come into the bathroom, reach up and grab that thing, and get a really awful burn."
Every single day, this was our exchange.
And I would agree with him. He wasn't being foolish, and he wasn't being over the top protective. But then I couldn't find any other place to set it down while I was getting ready....so I would tell myself that I would just stay in the bathroom the entire time it was on to make sure that a burn never happened...and thus that same scene replayed itself perpetually, each and every day... for days and weeks on end.
Until one week-end -- the week-end that Jesse actually started crawling for real -- Kev had a Saturday morning class, and a friend and I decided to go and check out an Amish food market down the road. So we made plans that I would drive Kev to class so that I could have the car. The plans were last minute, so I wasn't completely ready for the day when it was time for him to leave. And this one time, I left my curling iron hot and ready on the toilet seat, packed the boys up in a flurry to get Daddy to class on time, and told myself that I would finish getting ready when we got back home.
Well, by the time we got back home, I remembered that I wanted to check something online in the living room really quickly...and that "really quickly" turned into several minutes...and when Kaden said: "Mama, I need to go potty, can Jesse follow me into the bathroom?".....distractedly I responded: "That's fine, Honey..."
And life went on as normal.
Until that ear-piercing, gut-wrenching, my-child-is-in-agony scream that came from the bathroom, and I knew in an instant what had happened. "Jesus, NO!!!" flew out of my mouth, and I raced into that room, where I saw that my seven month old baby had his hands wrapped tightly around that burning hot piece of rod and could. not. let. go. because the heat had sealed his hands in a claw grip around it.
I have never heard screams like that before or since, and I have never lived a worse day in my life.
|Graphic...but important to show that this story is not just about a "little" incident.|
At the carelessness of this little baby's Mama.
Charlotte's husband found the Head of Security at the school, who hunted Kev down...who was told nothing but: "Your son has been burned".... and he was immediately rushed to the hospital to meet us. He could hear Jesse's screams as soon as he opened the door...and when I turned to meet him...I braced myself for what was surely to come.
|Days...weeks...of wrapping and re-dressing his wounds...|
A "How could you?" for sure.
And an onslaught of "How many times did we talk about this?!" for certain.
It is what I would have done, for sure -- not a doubt in my mind.
But, there wasn't even an ounce of that condemnation.
Never once did I hear an "I told you so."
And to this day I have never, ever been blamed for the scars that race up a huge part of his hand.
|Surgery day where they grafted a strip of skin off of his belly.|
There was the shushing of my "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry...."
There was the: "It's okay, Honey. It could have happened to anyone."....(which we both knew wasn't true).
And there was the comfort of the Protector Husband for His wife so very broken....
And every single day of my life...and especially in these summer months as that skin graft from his belly tans brown while the rest of his palm stays peachy white...I am reminded of that day.
|Sweet little cast.|
And I am reminded of what it instead was.
That day...and his response to me forever changed me.
I will remember that grace shown to me - for life.
Because I know -- in my heart of hearts -- I know...that if the shoe had been on the other foot, my response would not have been the same. There would not have been that same mercy shown.
|After surgery stitches showing off the new skin - once the cast was removed.|
I have learned mercy...and I better practice grace.
Those scars are a perpetual reminder...and my husband is my forever Hero.
When it's so very tempting to be able to rightfully say "I told you so" to someone...
And when those words could fly out so easily...and rip wide the wounds that are already bruised and bloody...
When something could be said - and maybe even rightfully so - but would be remembered for life...
When the guilt could be made to be a burden worn heavy for years and years to come...
And when internal scars could be created that will stay remembered forever and never ever forgotten...
|New skin grafted on - allowing his little fingers to once again fling wide open with full range of motion.|
And even if it is your every right to do so...
Swallow deep, and respond in a way that heals the wounds.
The grace shown will be remembered forever.