Truly I am not a Pollyanna. I don’t go around wearing rose-colored glasses and looking at a pile of excrement as anything other than a pile of excrement.
That being said…
I choose to look at my life as a glass half-full rather than half-empty. Please don’t say it. I know it is a cliché. But there is sooooo much more to my life than the difficulties involved with having a handicapped son…or disabled child…or special needs boy…whatever the latest terminology is.
And maybe I am being just a bit simplistic, but the truth is this is my life. And, like it or lump it, it is mine. It is mine to struggle against…or embrace. It is mine when things are going great…and it is most definitely mine at 2am in the ER with my beautiful boy struggling to breathe, or fighting mad because he is in pain and he just doesn’t know how to tell me exactly what is going on inside of him except to say–perfectly clear, mind you–THIS IS BULLSHIT! My thoughts exactly Nikopop…My thoughts exactly.
Thankfully, we have very few ER visits these days. But, the truth is that ER visits in our household are like visits from that one person in our lives we all have…that one who shows up unannounced when the house is a wreck, and you are exhausted…the one you can’t break away from no matter how hard you try. He or She will come over…we just don’t know when…and it is always at the worst possible time.
My life is full of…surprises. The biggest surprise was Matthew. We weren’t trying for our first-born. He just happened. And as I have said before, thank God. He has been a joy. And then came Nick. Who we tried for. The child I prayed for. And he has been a joy as well. Through all of the tears I have shed for that boy…he has brought me infinite joy.
I probably will never fully understand the WHY behind my Nick. But occasionally, I am witness to miracles that I would never have seen if I hadn’t been blessed with him. And maybe I look for miracles where others would see nothing. If so…I would much rather live my life this way than constantly seeing the negative side of things.
Most of the miracles I witness involve the development of my youngest and oldest sons into amazing men. While the oldest is approaching twenty-one years of age, the youngest is only almost seven. I know he is still a little boy, yet he amazes me with the way he loves his brother. Maybe they would both be awesome young men without ever having met Nick…and then maybe they wouldn’t.
Tonight, I saw the simplest little thing. And I almost cried. Nick and Isaac had been sharing a bag of Cheetos (Nick’s favorite) and their mouths were covered with cheese dust. Isaac ran out of the room and ran back in with a wipe. And then I watched my little boy carefully and lovingly wipe Nick’s mouth off. He did it without thinking…without being asked to do so. Honestly I have never asked him to wipe off Nick’s face. He just did it all on his own. And I was truly amazed. And thankful. And realizing how blessed I am.
Now I know I am not alone in this…I know there are many other mothers and fathers out there of special needs children…parents who can see the joy in their lives…even in the midst of their darkest days. I just wish others could see this as well, and not pity me or canonize me…just realize that I am a mother of three awesome young men, by the grace of God alone.