Thank you for the prayers and well wishes for smooth travels! Our time in the airport was certainly challenging, but definitely easier than the last time. We still have to fly back… so we’ll see how that goes.
Ahhhh. Rhema is healthy and happy (usually) and that was not always so. She eats well and that was not always so. She has full use of her arms and track star legs (and uses them quite well in public places!) and that has always been so.
I’m uncomfortable calling it hard, this life. There is however a continual struggle to help her, us, navigate her day. Home, school, church, airport, store, car, park – every setting has its challenges, some familiar, some new and unanticipated. The behaviors that come and go (or never leave) can be humorous (invading the personal space of unsuspecting strangers) to mildly annoying (eating paper) to heartbreaking (aggressions)… they all affect the life of our family.
A special needs mom once wrote: “Everything I had valued in my life before [her] birth – intelligence, efficiency, logic, self-control – had to be re-thought and re-valued.”
Often in this process of re-valuing, we are frustrated and weary. Discontentment seeps in like bad tea. I see moms who have kids the same age as my Rhema. They’re dropping their girls off at gymnastics practice while I’m still helping mine in the bathroom.
In fact, we were in the bathroom at McDonalds. (McDonalds again. Looking back, I have blogged about McDonalds 6 times on this blog. A little disturbing!) Anyway, Rhema was making loud, happy noises, enjoying the way the sounds bounced off the walls. I imitated the sounds back to her “Eeeee oohhh! Looww dooohhhhh! Eee eee ohhh!” Louder and louder we got, making our noise as I helped her finish up in the bathroom. At the sink we had just reached an “Eeeeee” crescendo when a woman stepped out of a stall staring at us like we’d lost our marbles. Ooops, I had thought we were alone!
I want my children to remind me of the gospel every day. So often Rhema helps me see my own weakness, my own need. The things I once controlled (or thought I did), the things I used to count on – my education, my abilities, my own strength – often fall short. These years have exposed me. And I am more amazed by grace, that God’s love is not based on our worthiness, that He loves us in and in spite our need.
Anyway we re-joined Brandon and Hope at the table. It was getting late and we decided to do our evening devotions right there at McDonalds. Brandon read from a Bible app on his phone. I looked at my girls across the table from me, my eyes lingering on Rhema for an extra moment, suddenly coming down from the high in the bathroom to feeling the sad. I felt like God whispered,
It’s ok. Really? It’s ok?
“Look around at your blessings.”
I looked again at my husband, thoughtful and strong, reading to my children, one making funny faces and blowing a kiss, one wiggling and humming in her seat. It’s not the way I thought “blessed” would look for my family.
As always God exceeded my imaginations.