Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Dementor Moment

Parenting young children is almost always an exceedingly tiring experience. However, every now and then, a parent will encounter a situation that sucks every little bit of life force from your body and soul instantaneously. My husband and I refer to it as a "dementor moment", named after the magical creatures in the Harry Potter series who drain people of all positive emotions and leave them with only darkness and despair.

I had a dementor moment this very evening. My husband was working all day in his office preparing for an evening meeting. I was in full "get the kids to bed early because I'm already pretty tired" mode. Two thirds of the children had been fed and I had some good momentum with casting vision for a nice bath when my son threw up all over himself and me. Every ounce of energy immediately left me. My chin plunged to my chest in defeat.

When Josh throws up, it means that we have to be super watchful for how he's doing. We triple one of his meds (specifically, the hormone that helps him to fight illness) and, if he can't keep it down, we have to give him a big, fat emergency shot and then immediately take him to the emergency room to get more meds intravenously. We are never allowed to take Josh very far from a hospital with an emergency room. As you can imagine, we have to be pretty vigilant when Josh gets sick.

I left the mess that was my son and ran for the phone to call Alex. "Josh threw up. I need back up. Come home now." Thankfully, my husband's office is only 10 minutes away and he registered the level of need in my voice. He came through the front door in 8 minutes and immediately got to work on moving the girls along their evening routine (while throwing dishes into dishwasher and making the kitchen a little less overwhelmingly chaotic). I put myself and my son back together again, praying as I went. Within 10 minutes, the girls finished their dinner and were headed toward their bath. I sent Alex back out the door to finish prepping for his meeting and I was able to go on with the rest of the evening at home.

Sometimes, all that is needed is some quick back up and the good sense to ask for it. The situation was not really despair-worthy but I just didn't have it for that moment. I have learned that you can either try to slog it out yourself or you can try to ask for help-- from a friend, from my husband, from God, from anyone on Facebook, anyone. It is amazing to me how much just a little bit of support goes toward being able to make it. In my opinion, Special Needs Parenting Rule #1 is "Ask for Help".


  1. I always read your blog, and I'm always thankful for what you write. Keep it up, and may you not have any dementor moments for awhile! Also, I wonder if I could be as great as Alex in the same situation. As much as I forget, life is not about career, significance, priorities, etc. But it's about being true to this moment with God and learning how to live that way.

  2. Glad you asked Alex for help. I'm sorry that you had a hard day that day. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

  3. Which rule is it that helps you remember to send your helper back out on his or her way? When I do break down and ask for help, I often want to crumple up, let the other person finish the whole task and not tag back in.