So, Glennon at Momastery is absolutely my new favorite blogger. Her take on parenting is so real and so beautifully focused on what really matters. (I linked to her last week for her Carpe Diem post. If you missed that it is also a MUST READ for parents.)
Today's entry "On Gifts and Talents" is so timely and struck me right in the heart. Every 'good' parent worries for their children. I have noticed in my own experience there also tends to be the child in each family that the parents worry over the most.
One of my trio is 'the one' who has had specialists, diagnoses and therapists over the years for various issues. I worry over him and his siblings worry over him. Ironically, HE does not worry over himself. :-) One of the most beautiful encounters I have ever had with a therapist happened shortly after P's 1st birthday. As we scheduled his MRI and his Physical Therapist tried to prepare me for the results. Based on his muscle tone she suspected we would get a diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy. I could not contain my tears.
As an expectant mother during a difficult pregnancy, CP had been my nemesis. All of the bedrest, the drugs, the attempts to postpone delivery were targeted at "making it to 32 weeks" because that is when the risk of CP drops off sharply.
I sat on the light green berber carpet that morning crying and wondering if my boy would ever walk without assistance. The Physical Therapist, a Mom of three older girls, said somewhat abruptly: "Listen. None of your children are going to be perfect. He's not the only one who will have problems. They will too. They may not be visible and physical or bear a scary name. They might be emotional, psychological, social or spiritual--they might be more complicated and have a greater impact on their life than this. None of us are perfect."
I stopped crying and gulped. I was not sure whether to thank her or be angry that she had just added even more to my list of worries. Seven years later I can say without reservation that she is right. All kids/people have issues, struggles, weaknesses, challenges...but we all have gifts too.
A couple of years ago, I stopped feeling sorry for P. He is FINE. My bespectacled boy is a well adjusted, joyful, intelligent, creative, funny and PRECIOUS child. I adore him. He is a gift to my life and I have no doubt God has big plans for him.
I also realized that my other children have their share of challenges too--they just don't have diagnosis codes or therapy plans to go with them. (Sometimes I think the world might go a little easier on them if they did.) K & R have challenges as all children do--but they have unique and special gifts to offer the world too. As their Mama, I think my role is to help them discern what issues could be potentially debilitating and dial those down--while recognizing/refining their gifts and finding ways to dial those up. Frankly, it is what God uses this life to do to me.
Glennon spoke words straight from and to my heart with her post. May home be the place where I children (and I would venture to add spouses) are reminded how loved and valued they are. Where improvement needs to happen, may it be a loving pruning that's motive is always to insure future growth and health.
God created us, sustains us and has written us each a story. Let's turn the page with trust, joy and anticipation rather than fear and dread.