Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When counting takes effort. Lots of effort.

January 22, 1999 -- Benjamin screamed the entire time Mason was walking around the room today. He was mad. And when Wade came in a few minutes later and Mason was showing off for Daddy, Benjamin screamed again...until we let him try. Praise the Lord, we may have found motivation for that little booger! Claire definitely drives Mason but Benjamin has never seemed to care what she is doing (progress wise)...but Mason walking is apparently going to be a different story. May be a struggle for us, but I think it will be good for him in the end.

January 26, 1999 -- Last night when Mason was walking around our apartment, Benjamin was saying "wock, wock"....he wanted to walk too. So I put him on the other push-toy and he tried. Bless his heart! This appears to be going to be our constant behavior and that's ok if it motivates Benjamin!!

Planning my posts, I tried to skip this email. I almost did. And I have procrastinated all day. This one is tugging at my heart. And before I began this 31 day writing challenge, reviewing these precious emails between my dearest friend from the days when the triplets were tiny, I had forgotten this all together. I had really and truly forgotten that this ever happened.

In my memory -- and I have shared this many times when talking about my Benjamin -- this precious boy was always content to sit, to be held, to just love on others. I remember that Claire walking did not bother him at all. I remember that Claire walking drove Mason crazy and drove him to work his little muscles to do the same. So this reminder that there were days where it hurt my dear Benjamin make me cry. But I have scoured the emails and I never mention it again. So obviously Benjamin moved on to the sweet-contented-to-sit-in-my-lap toddler I remember. And by grace, I forgot that there were tear-filled days.

But I need to say to you that walking is a big deal. If you are Mom to one child or 14, you know that all developmental milestones in every parenting book on your shelves is centered around walking.

Our church nurseries are designated "Newborns, Creepers, Crawlers, Walkers."  I left more than one church in tears after explaining that my Benjamin didn't creep, crawl or walk but was too smart to be in with the newborns.

Desperate for friends, I made the mistake of taking my three to play dates. Just typing the word feels like someone stabbed me with a sharp knife. Trust me when I tell you that play dates with a toddler who doesn't toddle, listening to Moms busy chasing their toddling toddlers hurts. 

Even when my amazing Benjamin was content to sit with me, and when my heart was full to bursting that God picked me to be his Mommy, the fact that he was falling behind in his gross motor skills was absolutely terrifying.

I didn't know what the next day would look like. I didn't know how he would navigate the tomorrows. With each missed milestone, I had a million questions about the future and almost that many about the moment. 

But here is the truth that I know about that sweet baby boy's future: You may remember from a post last month about Benjamin's wheelchair that at six Benjamin had surgery. When the surgeon asked him if he had any questions, Benjamin said "Yes. Will I be able to talk when you are done."

The surgeon was baffled as he was operating on Benjamin's legs. He assured my son that he would still be able to talk.

But see, my dear ones, the reality is that regardless of the fact that my boy cried in 1999 because he wanted to "wock", this young man quickly came to terms with that and moved on to count his many many talents. He loves to talk -- he is articulate, charming and a great story-teller!

I try to take my cue from him. I really do. I don't have trouble counting his gifts, they are many.  But sometimes, I get caught up in counting the injustices of his Cerebral Palsy. I find myself wallowing in the what he-can't-dos rather than focusing on all the amazing, wonderful things he can do.

I forget to count what counts. But I'm learning. I'm still learning.

Carol - The Blessings Counter


GreenGirl said...

And you are lucky to have such a handsome teacher!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. I have been reading your blog for awhile now, and I have tried to comment several times but it has never gone through. After reading today's post, though, I am praying that I will find a way to actually get this comment to post!!! It has been amazing how often God has worked out the timing of me reading your posts with what is going on in our lives. When you wrote about Benjamin's wheelchair being a foundation instead of a limitation, I had just picked up our son's first wheelchair from the equipment specialist. Today I read your post about how he was, once upon a time, frustrated because he couldn't walk. And you know what happened this morning? I broke down in the grocery store because my son was throwing a tantrum. And why was he throwing a tantrum? Because he couldn't get out and push the mini-grocery cart like his twin sister. He wants to walk so badly and I can't let him do it on his own because it's not yet safe. (He does have a walker that he zooms around in, but he's young enough that we're not sure how independent he is going to become.) So today's post was such a blessed encouragement to me. Thank you for being willing to share your heart. God is definitely using your blog to encourage those of us who are coming behind you on this journey. I wish I could find a way to email you because I have so many questions I'd love to ask you (not in a comment box), but for now I will just have to trust the God will put people in my life where I'm living that I can ask. He's a big God. I know He can work that out! :)

Melissa L said...

Walking is a precious gift. My daughter, Ashleigh, is 14. At age 8, she was diagnosed with HSP, which is a neurological disease that affects the muscles. Basically Ash is losing her ability to walk. It is coming. I see it every day. The weakness on her left side is getting worse. But, through all of this my daughter smiles and is happy. Yes, there are those bad days, but we look forward to the days where she walks and walks well.