Note: But I know it’s much easier when you are 4 years old…
My daughter’s tonsils were removed today. She has been looking forward to this day for more than a year. No jokes, even though she’s never had tonsillitis until a few months ago. Ever since her brother had his removed more than year ago and told her she would be able to drink a lot of Coke and eat jelly, she has been looking forward to this day. She has been telling everyone on and off for the past year that she is having her tonsils removed ‘in two sleeps’. Since the operation was decided upon two weeks ago, she has shown such excitement and anticipation, as if it’s the best thing that has ever happened to her. Everyone she spoke to had to hear in detail about the approaching big day. Yesterday, we had to buy every child in the playschool a little gift because ‘she is going away’, a.k.a. ‘not going to school for a week’.
Curious, we watched her go on, but also tried to prepare her as best we could for the pain and discomfort afterwards. She wouldn’t believe any of it, bless her heart. The Coke and jelly had way more say. Her big day finally arrived and we set off to hospital early this morning and had to wait five hours before she went into theatre. All the while, she was the only child amongst all the others who couldn’t wait to be operated on. She was playing and laughing around so much, I believe a few parents and children had looks of total ridicule on their faces when they glanced in our direction. Finally, as we made our way to the theatre, she couldn’t understand why she had to be rolled into it on a bed and couldn’t walk herself and truly have her princess moment.
Back home and the disillusionment is heart breaking for a little four-year old. Mom and Dad were indeed telling the truth, it is terribly painful to have tonsils removed! To eat even one small bite of jelly and a drink a small sip of Coke seem forever impossible. She couldn’t leave the hospital fast enough, once a place she was excitedly looking forward to going to. Once in the car, she says to me, ‘Mommy, I miss feeling good and I miss my smile.’
My precious little girl, I miss your smile too and want to tell you the following after today:
- Your constant smiles and crystal clear laughter is one of the biggest sources of joy in my life. To go just a few hours without it seems completely wrong. The name that God placed on our hearts for you long before you were born means ‘joyful’. It is one of the greatest blessings to experience how you grow into your name, day by day. Being at the receiving end of this joy makes me feel like a spoiled little girl again, because it’s the best gift! God knows, I need it!
- The intensity of your joy catches me off guard on a daily basis. Literally, when you run to me and wrestle me around my legs with such strength that I always lose my balance, and laugh only as you can, I always think that I wish I could bottle some of the joy you have for myself.
- But, my girl, it would be wrong to bottle it, even if it was just a little bit. Your joy needs to be spread, wide and long and deep as the world is big, in its’ full intensity. For it will completely change everyone and everything that comes in contact with it for the better.
- I watched you over the last few weeks and know that joy comes from a place way deeper than our reason. To be able to look forward to a tonsillectomy is a small example of this. I know you are only four years old now, but I pray that your joy will always transcend your mind, thoughts and body. May it always come from your heart of hearts, there where God is, for then it will never falter.
- You are wired for joy. And, yes, this world will try to unwire you. May you always miss your smile too much in times when you feel unwired, and may you then make it your purpose to seek the joy treasure that is always there to be found. May you help others to find theirs too.
- You are an incredibly special little girl and I am proud to call you my daughter.
And that is all I need to know right now.