|Nik surprised me with these beautiful flowers while I was in Montreat with Pierce this past week.|
|We invited our moms over today for a special Mother's Day lunch.|
And now, this year, I have this joy:
|Check out the bottom 2 teeth that made their appearance days after his first birthday!|
|Pierce now has a game of giving kisses. Watch out girls. He's going to be a heartbreaker.|
Today I couldn't help but reflect on how this Mother's Day was far different than I'd ever imagined. Sure, I'd imagined having a a chubby baby bouncing on my lap. I'd imagined parenting a boy (and all the fun that comes with being the only woman in his life, for now at least). I'd imagined rocking him to sleep or daydreaming about his future. What I hadn't imagined- parenting a child with special needs.
Parenting this type of child- a child whose needs are many- has changed me. I've changed in ways I never imagined. In big ways and small. The little things I once took for granted, such as the "normal" development of a baby, are now treasured (and if I'm honest, often envied) experiences. Every little smile, laugh or babble- a joyous reminder of my miracle boy.
My whole perspective has been changed. I now filter people's comments through a much different lens. For instance, they say how hard it is that their baby is mobile, and I long for that day to come. In fact, I work at least 2 hours a day doing physical therapy to give my child every chance to overcome his disability so that he can become mobile. They say it's too hard watching their baby get shots, and I again ache and wish that this was the only pain my child knew. I watch as my child barely flinches for a shot because this is far from the worst that he has had to endure. And just yesterday a lady said it must be so hard for me to accept that Pierce needs glasses to which I replied, "we're just happy he can see." (Of course his entire life story followed for the next 30 minutes.)
I must say, I do not judge those making comments like these. I am happy for them. Truly. I would wish none of the problems we face on anyone. And I'm thankful that for some, shots and mobile babies are the worst things about parenting. And I hope that one day, I will experience parenting a healthy child. But because of Pierce's needs, I'm different. It can be hard to not become bitter. To understand that God is at work in our lives and that He is using every ounce of our suffering for His glory. And to remember that even in our suffering, there are still so many who suffer far greater than we do. And to remember that given what Pierce has been handed, he truly is a miracle. He's come so far and the sky's the limit on where he will go from here.
And there are days I feel just like any other mom. Tired. Over worked. Under paid. Days where I feel like this mom:
And yet, there's no denying that this experience has shaped me. It's taught me so much about life. About what's important. And about the hope I have in the Gospel. I see differently. I think differently. It's made me a different mother than I ever imagined I'd become.
Every day I'm reminded of my weakness. Spending hours every day searching for/ doing the best therapies for your child has it's way of breaking you down. You feel weak. And discouraged. Lonely. And scared. And yet, isn't that exactly where the learning takes place? In the weak, lonely places?
And so I'm thankful. Thankful that God has kept me in a place where I can be continually reminded of my total dependence on Him.
Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there!
From one tired, but happy momma to another...