It’s hard to fight your instincts. When you see a big, fat mosquito land and start chowing down, all you want to do is smack it from here to Timbuktu (about 969 miles). I lifted my hand to do just that, but the mosquito was sitting on Pape’s precious little face while he sat a couple feet away in his bouncy chair. Talk about conflicting instincts – protecting your sweet baby and killing the offender.
We are at the end of rainy season, which means malaria-carrying mosquitos are everywhere, day and night. In the kitchen cabinets. In the shower. In the car. In our bedroom-even-though-we-just-sprayed-it-yesterday. In the fridge (Not even kidding. I saw one in there last week.). And often, within the walls of the very net that hangs over our bed for the purpose of keeping them OUT.
The day we brought Pape home from the hospital was crazy and exhausting, as you may recall. At about 6pm being I was so tired that the room started to spin and I felt myself collapsing, getting Pape into Cheikh’s arms just in time.
Several long, tiring hours later, Pape was finally asleep. The power was out, so I used the light from my battery-operated headlamp to see as I very slowly and gently placed Pape between us in our bed, the only place protected by a mosquito net. The sleep I so desperately needed was just minutes (seconds?) away…
Then I saw him. A tiny black dot swooping around Pape. How this mosquito had gotten inside our net, I have no idea. But he was there and at some point in the night he would be hungry. Without even thinking, I scooped Pape back into my arms and started bobbing my head around frantically trying to find the mosquito in the beam of light.
Then I started thinking. And I got mad. Livid mad. I got so mad at God for bringing me to a place where on my baby’s first night at home we had to deal with this crap. There was no joyful oohing and ahhing over him as he slept peacefully in his crib in a decorated nursery. Instead I was having to be a mosquito warrior with only one free hand a thin stream of light as my weapons.
As I was spewing my angry thoughts at God, letting Him know the many ways He could have worked this day out better for me, I heard a calm voice speak to my heart. “Don’t you think I’m bigger than this mosquito? I’ve never failed you. Now trust me with your son.”
I put Pape back down in the bed. (I’m not going to pretend I didn’t worry about him getting bitten, but I did get the sleep I needed.)
That night God didn’t whisper a promise that Pape won’t ever get malaria. But He did remind me that every time I’ve trusted Him, He’s shown Himself to be bigger than the mosquitos buzzing around my life.