You know you've been busy...
When your son takes his FIRST STEPS 4 days ago and you haven't sat down to blog about it!!!
I mean, what is going on here?! Can any of you believe it!? I am usually creating reasons to blog and now I have a HUGE one and I can't sit down at the computer!
Our little boy took 3 and 4 steps at a time several times this past Saturday!
Did we know it was coming? NO!
But did I have the camera ready? YES! lol.
Well technically this is a reenactment - but I did get video on my phone of the actually first stepping moments.
Sweet little miracle steps.
You know, we experience so many feelings as parents. Joy, anticipation, fear, love, sadness, gratitude - but all these are never so acute or ever-changing as those I've seen in those families who have special journeys - like ours - with SB. One day you're standing on top of mountains, the next you feel as if you'll never get out of the darkest valley you've ever been in. I suppose all life is that way at times - but those families who I'm speaking of (including my own) can especially relate. It's a miraculous, tumultuous journey and I can't witness a single milestone or give thanks for a single blessing without thinking of everyone else on this journey with us. Having these families with us - encouraging us - inspiring us - is possibly the greatest gift God could have given us to help us through. I feel it's how He tells me - "I've not left you alone. Here our some others - like you - who will help you. I will help them to help you. And you will help them as well."
You - all of you - you are God's gift to me.
And I am so thankful.
But along with the blessings we offer each other in the form of understanding and support - I have to admit there are times when I fight feelings of sadness or worry, when I compare my child with other children on this journey.
"Will my child ever do that?"
"Should my child already be doing that?"
I'm sure all of us have heard such questions echoing in our heads. Why do some families keep facing obstacles that others don't have to? Why is that little boy crawling while my older child can't sit up? Why is her child talking when my child is 5 months older? Don't they all have Spina Bifida? Wasn't her lesion in the same place as my daughter's? Why are they so different??
I find it part of my routine explanation of SB to say to others "well, every child with SB is different, just like every child without SB is different, no matter how similar they may seem" - but do I believe my own definition? Apparently not. I compare and question along with everyone else in the world. Why do we do this?? It just puts pressure and strain on an area of our life that in so many ways we can't control. It blinds us from seeing the little blessings before us when we have our sights set on the "next big milestone"! We can't celebrate the little victories when we keep trying to take on the next battle.
I'm sure many of my fellow SB mommies look at Jet and think "Wow. He is doing so well! I wish mine were doing "_____." (fill in the blank). And I agree! He is doing amazing! :) But I wanted to share that I don't always see things that way - I see other SB kids walking at 16 and 17 months and mine's 18 months and just starting. I hear them talking and counting and sounding so adorable! And I can count Jet's words on 2 fingers (although I have to say I think "mama" and "dada" are the best words anyone could ever say. :) But this comparing - though natural- isn't healthy. It makes me feel like we're not doing good enough. It brings us down. It distracts us.
"You're crazy! Jet is doing so GREAT!" you'd probably say. And yes - I am! We are all crazy! Because every time we take these things for granted - every time we wish our children were doing something better then what they've just accomplished - it's like we are throwing these blessings in God's face and saying "this isn't good enough - I want him to crawl/stand/walk BETTER, SOONER, FASTER!" We don't mean to - but we stop being thankful and start being demanding. It makes me shudder to think how many times I've done that.
But God is so GOOD!
He doesn't take the blessing away or send a lightening bolt to strike me where I stand.
He gives me time.
He gives me you.
He gives me perspective.
My bracelet from Kari came today - I was so excited as I was unwrapping the tissue paper - couldn't wait to put it on! I didn't remember what I had asked to be embossed on the little ring charm until I turned it around and read with great familiarity - PERSPECTIVE.
Beautiful, Wise Perspective, herself, had arrived once again and now joins me on my wrist to follow me wherever I go. And as I type she reminds me once again to Thank God for the blessings we've been given. For the gifts our children have - the different talents and ways they excel. They don't all do things the same, or at the same time, or in the same way - but they all do one amazingly, beautiful thing - they give perspective. To us. To our families and friends. To the SB community. To total strangers.
The give perspective every day to everyone they touch with their lives.
And what a precious gift that is.
I, for one, can never have enough.
And I am so thankful.