“Momma! Momma! More bubba, Momma!”
I rolled over to look at the clock on my phone, and the bright light blinded me with the time of 11:30 p.m. We haven’t been getting much sleep in the Kromer household lately. I got up and went to re-fill her bottle with more water. I saw the exhaustion and frustration in Aria’s baby blue eyes.
She was trying so hard to fall back asleep, because her recent diagnosis of hand-foot-and-mouth disease made her uncomfortable and restless. My heart broke for her, but all we could do was wait for the storm to pass.
For those of you who don’t know what hand-foot-and-mouth disease is, it’s a virus that young children are most susceptible to. It spreads through coughs, sneezes and saliva. Bumps form usually on the hands, feet and mouth which turn into soars.
Thankfully, Aria only showed bumps and soars on her buttocks, hands, and feet. The most discomfort occurs when the soars appear in the mouth which makes it difficult for children to eat or drink. According to the pediatrician it takes 7 to 10 days to pass.
The third time I tiredly walked to Aria’s bedroom, I brought her Tylenol to try and soothe her discomfort. The soft lullabies and ocean scenes circling her ceiling didn’t succeed in helping our little one fall back asleep.
I turned to leave the room once again after giving Aria a good-night kiss when screams we don’t hear very often came from small lungs like a lioness roar. I was so over this night as the clock now shined 1:00 a.m. I turned around with slumped shoulders and asked Aria what she needed.
She patted the crib mattress, and sighed “Momma here.”
I knew where this was going from past experiences. I knew there was a 1 percent chance she’d fall asleep peacefully next to me in the crib, and the remaining 99 percent chance she’d toss and turn all over eventually getting a burst of energy to party.
So, I did what any momma would do. I climbed in her crib and layed down next her small body. I prayed over her for God to remove this rash as soon as possible. I prayed she’d be able to get some rest and relief. I prayed for all of the others babies and children in the world who may not have families or a comfortable place to sleep.
Then, something surprising and heart-warming happened.
Aria sat up, folded her ten fingers together, and asserted “More” with a big smile.
I asked her who we should pray for, and she shouted names of friends, family and animals like she didn’t dare leave anyone out. Aria and I said about 30 short prayers during those early morning hours all following a “more” after “Amen.”
In that crib, in that moment, in that God-given time together as mother and daughter I realized the most important job I have as Aria’s mother: To instill in her the love of Jesus and her relationship with God.
I need Aria to know she is never alone, and even during the darkest, darkest times God is always with her. I want her to feel God’s love and to have a personal relationship with Him.
I had no clue that hand-foot-and-mouth disease would create such an experience as this one. One late evening that turned into an early morning lead me into my daughters crib, speaking to God, the both of us leaning on Him for comfort. The both of us praying for loved ones among soft lullabies and ocean scenes circling the ceiling.
It is a morning I will never forget.