Meeting the different wants and needs of my girls is sometimes like trying to walk a tightrope and juggle at the same time.
It often seems like Hope sacrifices or gives up more. But there are times it is clear to me that Rhema is so in tune with Hope’s wishes. She chooses to be uneasy or endure the pain of overwhelm for Hope’s sake.
During our time in Wisconsin, Hope wanted just two things: to go to an amusement park and to go swimming. Rhema was having the kind of week where parks and pools would be extremely difficult for her to manage. Rhema enjoys swimming, but the downstairs pool at the hotel was on her avoid-at-all-costs list. We’d been unsuccessful in getting her to go down, which meant Hope could not go swimming. (You know because I can’t be in two places at once, juggle or walk a tightrope).
Then, on our last afternoon, Rhema let me put on her swimsuit. We walked downstairs, hopeful with every step. She covered her head with her arm as if to shield herself from the sensory onslaught. She found a place against the wall and remained there. She never got in the water but stayed nearby all the while her sister splashed with new friends. She sat and waited for Hope.
I’d heard Baybeach Amusement Park was small and not so busy during school hours. I told Hope we would *try* it, and she squealed with excitement.
“Hope, we may drive into the parking lot and then drive right back out. I can’t promise anything. We just have to see…”
“I know. That’s totally fine.”
(One of the many things I adore about Hope is her thankful heart. As much as she wanted to go, I knew she truly would be ‘fine’ if we couldn’t).
In the parking lot, Rhema seemed up for it. So we went, we saw, we conquered. We lasted for four rides. For one memorable, precious, fun-filled hour. Lo hicimos, baby.
On our way out Hope happily hugged her sister, “Thank you, Rhema.”
The hotel had corridors that seemed endless. Rhema was not particularly fond of our room – I had to barricade the door to prevent escapes – but she enjoyed roaming the long halls. Whether coming or going she always flopped in the same two places. One of her flop-spots was just a few feet away from our room, opposite the door. When Rhema flops, it’s often best to wait her out and after a time help her get up and keep moving. Sometimes it took an hour or more before she was willing to move. She spent a LOT of time in those hallways.
Once when she flopped in the spot near our room, I went in to prepare dinner and left the door open so I could keep her in sight. In spite of all our little victories, I was weary. Weary of seemingly simple things being hard. Couldn’t we just once walk down the hall like regular people?
I looked up…
One day I hope they know even just a little how grateful I am for the lessons they teach about real love. Gospel love. Love that sits with you and waits for you. Love that gladly lays down self and gives and gives again so that the other can have more. Love that “always protects, always hopes, always trusts, always perseveres.”
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have the presence of God because of you.
~1 Thes. 3:9