Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hope for tomorrow.

 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

When the triplets were in preschool, my days were filled to the brim with dressing, corralling, therapies, nap times, mealtimes, bedtimes all times three. There was no time to fret. No time for me to imagine the tomorrows, the future. But it was the tomorrows that were knocking my Wade down. As a parent with no previous experience with wheelchairs, special needs, and the world we were just learning to navigate, he could not imagine the future for his boys. He could not pin it down in his mind and he desperately wanted a plan.

We discussed it often but we were looking at the subject from two opposite poles. I was weary from the today. He was weary from the tomorrow.

Monday morning, my adorable, wonderful, precious tiny tiny babes will begin their junior year in high school. The future arrived far faster than I ever dreamed. And no amount of screaming, begging, or searching for brakes will slow it down now.  I am mom to three amazing young people on the verge of their adulthood.

The last year slammed this reality in my face. Mason and Claire began in earnest to research college options -- schools, majors, career plans. But my Benjamin has been guarded. Hesitant. Some days he has been more than guarded, he has been adamant that he not discuss college options.

I walk a tight-rope wire if I am honest. Some days, I want to give him slack, he had a major surgery this summer after all. And some days I want to scream, rant and urge, urge, urge him to seek ways to use the gifts God has given him. Finding the balance gives me a headache.

My solace, the words whispered in my head repeatedly this year are from Jeremiah 29, verse 11: The Lord knows His plans for Benjamin. They involve hope and a future. Hope. And a future.

But even as I rested in that assurance, I longed for Benjamin to believe it. I long for Benjamin to embrace this truth.

Last weekend, we celebrated his surgical recovery with a long-anticipated trip to Anaheim, California. The D23 Expo was being held -- an event for Disney fans held every two years. Benjamin has been planning to take the family since he and his Dad attended two years ago. He had a detailed schedule for our three days.

I know my kiddo loves Disney. We have fed and nurtured that love because we feel it too. We are refreshed and energized by going to the Disney parks because there our boys are fully included in every adventure, every ride, every show, every aspect of the fun. They do not sit on the sidelines. They do not wait while others enjoy rides. We love Disney because it is healing to be able to participate as a family where all four of our beautiful kids can smile from ear-to-ear.

Claire purchased a Precious Moments Doll and met with the Dollmaker!

The early part of the weekend was filled with just that: we listened to Bob Iger, John Lassiter and heard many of the directors, producers and stars of upcoming Disney projects speak, sing, share their vision. I had to admit it was pretty awesome and I knew Benjamin was soaking in every single detail.

But when Sunday rolled around, his schedule outlined a plan to speak to some of the Imagineers -- the brains behind so much of the magic. Driving his chair into the Imagineer Pavilion was a bit daunting. It was packed with people, exhibits and even more stars. But Benjamin hesitated only momentarily before introducing himself to an Imagineer and delving into the path he needs to take if he wants to become one as well. As the two discussed which field of study Benjamin might need to pursue in college, I felt the whisper in my spirit: I know the plans for him. Plans with hope and a future. And right before my eyes, I watched Benjamin begin to share that hope, that belief.

Imagineer Chris Gray, one of my new favorite people.

 He left the Imagineer and realized two of his favorite bloggers/podcasters were in the exhibit hall near him. He immediately began a lengthy discussion with Dueling Disney's Jeff Heimbuck and Keith Gluck. He barely paused for breath. More affirmation from guys who  -- like Benjamin -- love Disney and have carved out a career path through their passion.

My boys with Jeff and Keith -- also on my list of favorite people!

And just in case, this 16-year-old of mine did not have a firm enough grasp on how bright his future looks, when we were ready to leave the pavilion, Benjamin was approached about making a video for Imagineers! Really!

He spent the next half hour with a team who interviewed him about Disney and his passion for Imagineering. It was simply icing on the cake.

Benjamin and the video's director, Noah. Yea, he is so on my list of faves!

And if you'll indulge my bragging for a moment:  They asked to interview Wade and I after Benjamin. I warned the director that we would not be as good as Benjamin. Can I share what he replied? Noah, this dear Disney Director, looked at me and said, "Carol, I interview hundreds of people every weekend. I have never met any as good as Benjamin."

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Hope is perhaps one of the best blessings of them all.


The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Okay, now this just made me cry. Cry with happiness, joy and hope. God bless you and your beautiful family, Carol.

Lauren said...

Details!! I want DETAILS!! How I wish I could've been a fly on the wall to hear the conversations between Benjamin and the Disney people as Benjamin blew them away. We need to catch up, pronto! :) xoxo

Megan Garrott said...

I have never commented on your blog, but I truly love your family's heart! This post just made my heart smile. I am due to have a baby in about a month, and I pray that I can be a mom that fiercely loves her children like you do. Hoping all the best for Benjamin!!

Jeff Heimbuch said...

Hi Carol,
Just gave this a read. I just wanted to say again that it was a pleasure to meet Benjamin, Mason, and your entire family at D23. You guys are amazing.
I have no doubt that Benjamin will continue on his path to follow his dreams!

Jeff Heimbuch said...

Hi Carol!
I just got a chance to read this. I just wanted to say again that it was a pleasure to meet all of you, especially Benjamin and Mason, at D23!
I have no doubt in my mind that Benjamin will follow his dreams to one day become an Imagineer!

Amy Zellers said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure at D23! Go Benjamin!