Her hot little fingers searched out mine and held on tight. The technician placed another concoction of glue, metal, and medical tape on her scalp. Micaela wanted to go to sleep so desperately. It was two hours past her normal bedtime and there were still a handful of sensors and cables that needed to be attached to her body for the sleep study to commence. The technician was kind and patient. Micaela protested loudly and consistently. But, as her body began lose it's fight with sleep, her hand found an anchor in my touch.
As the night progressed, Micaela woke often and tried to sleepily tear off her leads and nasal canula. The technician and I would hold her down until she fell asleep again, and then reattach whatever had fell prey to her angry fingers. However, I learned quickly that if I could notice her waking up quickly and put my arm on her back, she would settle before becoming fully awake. Touch is so powerful.
But, more than that, as the years go on, I do believe that physical affection is Micaela's love language. If you don't know about the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you should check it out. I have known my husband's, Adela, and my own love languages for years, but discovering Micaela's has put a precious edge on the relationship we share as mother and daughter. I know that spending extra time in the morning to massage her feet, hug her good morning, or sit by her while she eats, seems to fill her love tank up, preventing her from becoming irritable or frustrated.
Micaela left the sleep study exhausted, but, I didn't realize how much she was needing love and reassurance until we got home. If any of us sat still for longer than half a minute, she was on our lap, head, or whatever part of our body she could get a hold of or touch. Eventually, Jovani simply stopped working on projects and paperwork, settled her in his chair, and cuddled her for the rest of the afternoon and evening. That left me free to spend special quality time with Adela as she told me all about another Lego creation she was making.
I fill with gratitude to my Heavenly Father that he has showed us how to love our children and each other. Family's like ours who have a child with special needs and multiple disabilities undergo a lot of stress and hardship. Yet, our little family is close to each other. We feel loved, seen, and appreciated even when we are exhausted.
If you are struggling within your own family I would take some time to learn your love language and the love languages of the people you do life with. We all could use a full love tank these days.
Can you remember the last time someone came to you for love, affection, and reassurance?
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"...and God was already there with me."