I think one of the biggest challenges I face, raising one child with special-needs and one without, is finding the right amount of balance between the two. I know often times, I’m way harder on the little one – because I know she’s capable. Born with an intelligence beyond mine and the amazing wit of her father, she’s bound to be what the world would call successful. And yet, at a mere 6 years of age, she’s been asked to grow up way too soon in my opinion. I’ve come to accept, however, that this is part of her story and a part of the plans God has for her life. Believing this doesn’t make the reality any easier for this mom.
Tonight, frustrated by her nightly up-down, up-down routine that she often puts me through after she’s been put to bed, I got angry. Tired myself, and ready for some me time, I expressed my not-so-pretty feelings with her. While raising my voice at her, telling her I was tired of the nightly, ‘oops, I forgot to get my water’ and ‘I need to go to the bathroom’ and ‘oh, I have to get bunny’ drama we go through nightly, I told her enough was enough. I explained that she knew the nightly routine and this wasn’t going to fly anymore. I told her to get her water, and get to bed! She starred at me, hurt by my yelling. I hated it, of course.
After she got her water, she crawled into her bed – tears streaming down her face. “You’re always mean to me,” she cried. I climbed into bed with her and pulled her up into my lap. I explained the reason for my anger, as the nightly up-down routine wares on me – especially when it’s preceded by the same daytime like behavior. I asked if she understood where I was coming from and she gently nodded her little head. As I held her and rocked her, my heart softened. I asked God, in that moment, to teach me how to show her grace, for she so deserves it. Maybe I did. Maybe the mother-daughter talk, the prayer time, and the “This Little Light of Mine” lullaby I sang while holding her after our conversation was a picture of grace. I pray it was, for I know she’ll have plenty of memories of my not-so-pretty moments, but I hope she’ll also hold memories of the vast amount of love I have for her.
Where the struggle is purposeful and new life grows.