Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Counting memories and an S or two.

It is not a secret in this house that if you need me to do something, you MUST write it down. Wade can ask me to do him a favor as he leaves for work but by the time I get to a "favor-doing" place in my schedule, it has long since left my memory. Once before Cate could even write well, she drew me a picture of a task she needed me to complete. Like I said, it is not a secret!

The emails from my dear friend Carol have been such a balm to my spirit. I had forgotten so many of the sweet moments and will be forever grateful that she had the foresight to save and print my emails as a way to jog my memory years later...just when I needed it most!

December 16, 1999 -- "The kids are soooo much fun this year, Carol. They talk about Santa all the time and they have quite a list for him! It is so cute. I just love being their mommy. Maybe it's the holidays but I'm in one of my 'overwhelmed-with-gratitude' times! I'm so blessed. Little tidbits from the Shrader house: Benjamin calls Rudolf -- 'Rudolf, my doggie' and he has a stuffed one that he drags with him everywhere!  Claire sings 'Oh you'd better watch out, you'd better not cry' at the top of her lungs these days -- not always in appropriate places either!  And Mason does NOT want to sit in Santa's lap because 'Canta Cause cares me.' Oh the joy!!"

I think my favorite thing about this email when my trio were two and a half is that not once did I talk about their Cerebral Palsy. As a matter of fact, there are many of these emails where I talk about our days, talk about my friend's days and talk about our amazing kiddos and never once mention Cerebral Palsy.

And perhaps the fact that I was feeling blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude is a bit sickening sweet to some of you. Perhaps it is akin to today's "hashtag blessed" that gets so much ridicule. Maybe.

But I will argue that it was simply a frenzied young mama using a coping skill that she wouldn't even recognize as a coping skill for almost a decade -- counting the good life offers rather than counting the woes.

I will argue that sitting down to type to my girlfriend every day kept me healthy in ways she probably did not even understand. I desperately wanted people to know how wondrous my children were (are). I would type negatives, I did. But I so wanted her to know the joys of these kids that I far more often focused on the positives. And with that, I redirected my own thoughts toward the positives.

Years later, a famous talk-show hostess would do the same when she encouraged her viewers to keep a gratitude journal. I had beat her to it. I had been emailing my heart out to my sweet friend for years -- counting every single good thing.

Counting every single good thing is a win. 

But so is remembering the year Mason couldn't say his Ss....that Canta Cause Cares Him!!! I count

Carol - The Blessings Counter