This Sunday at church, we had a guest speaker preaching. You may not know much about the south, but you know we live, breathe, die, and make idiots of ourselves over college football. This preacher is a LEGEND in the football world. A legend, people. We are talking, works with national champions, IS a national champion, wears all the rings, ALL OF THESE THINGS, HERO! (I mean, if I knew sports, I feel I could articulate this better. He’s famous. A really big deal.) AND, he brought all of his award-winning, sport playing, ring wearing family members and their beautiful wives WITH HIM.
Ok. You get it.
I was so in awe of his message today and overcome by this family. They, like us, are an interracial family. But they have generations among them and I was so drawn to the legacy they have created. We are just starting out. They have paved the way with strength and honor and grace. This is what we want to be able to build for Mills. Towards the end of the sermon, I went to the nursery to get him so the family could pray with us at the end.
Mills is a flight risk. A “runner”, as we like to call him. So, he hasn’t darkened the doors of “big church”, nor will he until he is 17? Later? Hard to say. On our way in, I grabbed a handful of peppermints and began shoving them in his mouth in order to keep him quiet and occupied until the end of the service. It was sort of a beautiful moment to have all three of us sitting together in church, on the front row (I'm that girl now!) for the first time. The preacher asked us to bow our heads and began to do the altar call. I noticed that Mills was unusually still and began to smile to myself thinking about what a spiritually sensitive child we obviously have. Clearly, he was responding to the Holy Spirit. I opened my eyes to nudge Matt and alert him of our son’s holiness when I saw Mills clawing at his neck. I began to pat him on his back and noticed his face was quickly turning blood red. With people all over the floor at our feet asking Jesus into their hearts, the famous athletes and beautiful people just inches behind us, I suddenly began to scream, “he’s choking, he’s choking!” All I could think was that I'd just killed my child with a breath freshener in order to beat other people to the front of the prayer line. Talk about a mom fail. Matt started to do a hybrid Heimlich/karate chop, the preacher kept praying, I kept screaming and the peppermint popped out.
When Mills was an infant, I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know what to do. Matt would come home from work (into a filthy house, with a crying baby AND wife), kiss me, swoop the baby into his arms and say, “You did it! You’re both alive! Great work today, Mama!”
I have maintained for the past two years that this is my only goal. Keep.him.alive.
We had a close call, but today… I DID IT! I'm exhausted.