Yesterday as we left Idaho to head home I was feeling smug. I think every human is prone to feel a certain emotion that comes at regular intervals. Some feel depression and some feel hyper and I feel smug.
Having nearly seven years of marriage in my historical backpack, I know that the interchange of my smugness mixed with Chup's tiredness results in chemical warfare. To keep the peace, I tied it all up in my head as we made our way through the barren wastelands which connect our two states.
For the sake of the story, I would share what I was feeling so smug about, only that I have since forgotten. It was along the lines of, why don't people (you know "people") make better choices? Because apparently, all of my choices have been so perfectly flawless.
From the backseat where I was playing Entertainer to The Chief, I could see Chup's eyes sagging in a downwards pull.
"Let me drive." I insisted.
When our jobs had switched we resumed on the road. I, with my continuing smug, Chup using his acting skills to appease our bored baby. When his impressions failed to impress, Chup produced a picnic in the backseat. They ate crackers in a "one for you, one for me" fashion.
As their fun continued, I kept thinking sarcastic thoughts until we hit a slow incline around a certain hilly spot. One of the crackers struck The Chief on the roof of his mouth and the audacity of it all made him cry.
And hold his breath. Of course.
I watched in the rear view mirror as Chup picked him out of the car seat, swept his mouth out of any food, and say to me, "He is going to faint."
The Chief struggled to breathe and went limp.
This is our son. He has Holding Breath Syndrome which manifests itself when he is overly tired or confused. It runs in our family, going back to my brother Andrew who still has the unique talent of spontaneously fainting. I am usually the one who gets to watch as my son's eyes roll back in his head and his face turns a sickening blueish gray hue. Though, one time it was my niece Lindsay while babysitting. I felt so sorry.
There is nothing to be done, but let him faint, which brings him back to breathing. Then there is a few seconds where he is completely out and his heart beats double time. I cuddle him until his eyes are straight and he looks around the room wondering what happened. Really, it is like watching a nightmare come to life on a regular basis. And I still panic every single time. My heart will never be the same again.
But I am getting better.
With adrenaline pumping in my veins, I watched Chup cradle our baby in the backseat. I felt quickly washed of all my pride.
Who am I to think I've got it made?
Who am I to think I am beyond sadness, sickness or sin?
I should be so grateful that I'm getting by with my lackadaisical obedience.
At that moment I thanked God for bringing me back down to earth. Every time The Chief faints I am quickly reduced to remembrance of my leanings on a gracious Heavenly Father. Perhaps these HBS episodes are for me. Maybe this is my son's inherited power that keeps his mother humble.
The Chief slept the rest of the way home, and through the night. When this morning came I heard his self-dialogue from the confines of his crib. I couldn't wait to pick him up and smell his morning breath.
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