Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reason #4

Aaah... reason #4 why I am thankful that God gave me the kids that he did... (Just for the record, I wouldn't have minded some girls in the mix - but as usual, God knows what is best!)

Anyway, today's reason was pretty easy to come up with and it popped into my head while picking up the boys at aftercare. My two blog-readers, Cindy and Tami, were present and can probably write this blog post easier than me!

Ok, so I'm chatting with my friends and keeping an eye on the boys - not really anxious to go home yet and all of a sudden we hear this ear splitting wail. Fortunately, it was not a cry that I recognized so I looked around expecting to find some poor child with her arm hanging off her body or gigantic needles in her finger or something... Nope. A tiny scrape - smaller than a dime - smack dab in the middle of this little girl's knee. It was bleeding - but not gushing or even dripping. Just red.

The screaming I heard was worse than when Ryan bites a hole in his tongue (notice that is present tense as this happens often - well not as often now because he knocked his front teeth out.) Anyway - this is the same scream that the boys let loose when the doctor shoves the needle in their wound to numb it before stitches. (Squirming yet?)

So here is this cute little girl screaming her head off and sobbing because of a small boo-boo. All of us watching make some comment about sending my boys over to her to explain what pain really feels like. But the kind hearted aftercare ladies tend to her abrasion and I gather my boys and head on inside.

As we walk down the hallway, we see this girl and she is refusing to walk on her leg and Judy is patiently trying to help her. Complete and total dramatics.

So what does all this have to do with reason #4? I'm getting there, relax.

My boys are tough. They have taken some literal and figurative bumps, cuts and bruises. They know pain, but they move on and don't let it slow them down. I think the joy that oozes out of them is just that - moving on from the pain life tries to throw at them and not letting it get them down.

I think we could all learn a thing or two from these little guys. We should "man up" when we are hurting. Cry, but don't wallow. A hug and kiss make it all better - don't bother with the dramatics - or ice for that matter.

And remember... chicks dig scars. As Mark says, "Pain is temporary, scars are sexy."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And today's optimisim is...

For the last 3 days, I have tried to look on the bright side of having my only two children be pretty significantly developmentally delayed. I've talked about the joy they experience and the fact that they have a little lee-way (or is it lead-way?) when they do socially awkward things.

I know you are dying to know what today's thankfulness is...

Um, as of this very second, I don't have one... It's not that I'm being realistic (read: pessimistic), it's more that I am pooped and I can't be clever or cute or funny or even serious.

So I'll leave you with this sarcastic one:

Ryan gets to wear this stylish, protective helmet... affectionately named, "The Goober Hat".

Just a hint though... don't use the term "Goober Hat" around little kids. They will think all protective helmets are truly called Goober Hats and they will walk up to other children blessed with these hats and call it a "Goober Hat." The other parents don't find it as funny as I do. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Today's Optimistic Outlook Thought

For the last two days I have posted about trying to look at the bright side of having the cognitively impaired (or whatever politically correct phrase you want to use) children that God has blessed me with.

It started with the fact that there will always be the Easter bunny and Santa Claus. Then I talked about the joy they have and the huge smiles that light up their faces.

Today... I have more wiggle room when my kids act up or do something socially unacceptable. To those of you who don't know me, this may sound harsh and mean. But really, I believe in either laugh or cry - and I usually choose laugh...

So follow me here... We have been going to the playground a lot lately because the weather is superb! I prefer to sit and watch the boys play. (To justify my laziness, I say that I let them be independent.) Mark on the other hand is the good parent who plays with the boys. So when it's just me, the boys go up to random dads and ask them to play with them. The dads being the more playful gender, usually oblige and play "Nemo fish" or whatever other sand-toy-game they think of.

I am horrified and get up and go play or apologize or act involved. And the random dads don't seem to mind. They can tell after one word that these guys have some unique challenges and figure they better play!

I would like to try a little experiment and see if "normal" kids would get the same reaction from random guys. They probably wouldn't get the same percentage of playing-dads as Zach and Ryan get!

This is an example of the extra wiggle room I get when I take my children in public. You better believe I'm going to be thankful for it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

On the bright side...

I am a pessimist, I mean, I am a realist and often spend more time looking at the negative aspect of things. I am trying to change that. If you know my family, you know that Mark and I are the most-of-the-time proud parents of two developmentally delayed boys. This was definitely not the version of parenthood I signed up for, but it is the parenthood God gave me. I am fully aware that parenting is challenging - no matter what your kids are "like". I try to not wallow in the fact that parenting these guys is an extra challenge.

Last week we had a tough IEP and I realized that I have a perpetual pre-schooler. Sure the boys make progress and have made great growth, but the aren't anywhere near normal. I have also realized that Ryan is in the stage of life where everything is "mine" and his first reaction is to tell "momma" of all the injustices he faces. What is this - age 2? Who knows, I never had the "normal" kids. So we will just ignore the fact that Ryan is 5!

It was in the midst of my feeling sorry for myself that I realized that in all things I am to Praise God. And on the radio were all the pump-you-up-in-difficult-times praise music. I was reminded that when I praise God, things suddenly seem much more manageable.

So yesterday, I was thinking about the fact that my boys will have the joy of coloring Easter Eggs for a long time - much longer than "normal" kids. And that is not so bad. But this (gasp!) optimistic thought made me want to focus on the blessings that my children bring to the table.

Yesterday, I was thankful that we would have fun coloring eggs for a long time to come... Today, I am focusing on the simple joy that these guys have! Truly, they could teach me a thing or two about joy! And when there are tears, they quickly turn back to joy. These guys have no clue about the magnitude of their disabilities. They aren't worried about learning to read or living independently. They could care less about not ever doing algebra or being elected class president. They have the joy in the here and now. I know I could certainly use a dose of that!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Eggs-cellent Time

I don't think there is anything better than watching the joy on children's faces when they make new discoveries and try new things. I am trying to look at the positives of my children having "cognitive disabilities". One of those things is that they will be children longer. That means, I can have fantastic Easter egg coloring pictures for a long time!

A parent at Special Olympics said this perfectly, "With Christa (age 40 something), there will always be Santa and the Easter Bunny." So true - and something to smile about and enjoy.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's Friday but Sunday's coming

I forgot about this song until the famous sermon by Tony Campolo was referenced last week in church. Since then, the words, "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming" has been ringing through my head.

When I have to jump through hoops to get my kids the services they need. I remember... It's Friday, but Sunday is coming!

When I am reminded that my 8 year old is operating at a three year old level. I remember... It's Friday, but Sunday is coming!

When life doesnt' turn out the way I think it should. I remember... It's Friday, but Sunday is coming!

It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming by Tree 63
Nothing's sacred, the days are cheap
Truth is thin on the ground
Still our prophets are crucified
Nobody believes we're stumbling
It's Friday, but Sunday is coming
Someone's saying a prayer tonight
For hungry mouths to be filled
Someone kneels in the dark somewhere
And darkness is already crumbling
It's Friday, but Sunday comes
Sunday ~ Hallelujah ~it's not so far, it's not so far away
Sunday ~ Hallelujah ~ it's not so far, it's not so far away
Broken promises, weary hearts
But one promise remains:Crucified, he will come again
It's Friday, but Sunday is coming
It's Friday, but Sunday is coming

Easter... it's so easy to get caught up in chocolate bunnies, dying eggs and jelly beans (yum... jellybeans). But behind it all, the reminder that we can't do it without God is the most important thing! He died. For me. For little me - who screws up more times than not. He went through all that yuck. For me.