Our kids face all kinds of new struggles than we ever did as children. They have to navigate through way harsher environments, political topics, bullying, and technology. In turn, as parents, we are also leading them through the tough stuff that our parents may not have had to lead us through. Its like that for every generation I imagine. One of these items for me is LICE. Or as you would say in Hawaiian, ukus. OR in Spanish piojos. Now unless you lived in a warm environment in South America as a child…I won’t name any names here :), you probably weren’t exposed to this when you were little. An issue that was reserved for the humid hot places or cramped living quarters is now common in any school. I think about 80% of the moms I speak with here in Hawaii or in Colorado have had them in their home. WHAT. With more research, I am finding this to be more common due to the Super lice strain that is resistant to the medicated shampoos and treatments. OH MA GAH. Jesus take the wheel.
I wanted to say this, though. One of my daughters came home from school with ukus this week. Unfortunately, a few years ago a different daughter of mine also had them. Back then, I FREAKED OUT. Like full panic and crazy person mode. Cleaning all the things and all the people. Just short of burning down the whole house I went into Defcon 1. Thankfully, I kept the little buggahs (said in my best Hawaiian accent) from spreading to others in our home. It was a trying and STRESSFUL time, to say the least. No one tells you about this stuff when you have a little bundle of love growing in your belly. All you can think about is tiny shoes, ordering the cutest bibs from Etsy, and praying your baby sleeps through the night. If you are a new parent, let me tell you how difficult it is to choose the right school for your child. That you will one day be cleaning vomit out of hair, sheets, and carpets. That you will cry over laundry and dishes after working all day long.
Momming is hard. Life is hard. I often get upset at bouts with sickness (or FRACKING LICE) wondering why this is something we have to deal with ON TOP of the already full-time job of being a mom.
This time around I was way cooler-headed. I have had this struggle before and I am way more prepared to deal with it. I am in a foreign place that I already feel isolated in, if I was having to do this for the first time I would have been on the first plane to Colorado yesterday. But God knew. He knew that these things happen in life and that I needed to go through what I did years ago to properly navigate and treat my sweet girl this week. I didn’t panic and freak out. I put on my big girl pants and dealt with it the best I knew how.
As I nitpick her hair (going on hour FIVE), one strand at a time and listen to her sobs and sniffles I first get angry and say all kinds of curse words to the lice under my breath. Telling them to leave my baby alone. Then I get a soft heart. Tears form in my eyes as I take the time to pull the almost microscopic eggs from my girl’s long hair. I cry that I get to care for her when she is hurting and scared. That I get to be the one to hold her despite the risk of being infected myself. The purest love I feel for my kids is when I am taking care of their most disgusting ailments.
God is just as intentional with you and me. He knows the number of hairs on your head. Plucking the yucks, sickness, infections, and sins. Tenderly removing what makes us unworthy if we are willing to sit and let Him work. Holding us in our most unclean forms and loving us anyway. That is how He is. It’s just how He operates. He is not mad or angry at you. The struggles you face can be in complete purpose and design to make you stronger and more capable to face the future. To lead other people, and to love them too.
“Sometimes it’s not even about battling to win, or about battling forward. It’s about battling to breathe. Everyone’s fighting a hard battle that they’re losing — and winning is staying in the battle. The battle you have ahead of you is won — if you just keep your heart in the battle now.” -Ann Voskamp
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair.” 2 Corinthians 4:8