Zachary's birthday is today. I'm amazed at how relative time is... sometimes it goes way too fast and sometimes it drags! I remember so much about this little guy's early years, but I've forgotten so much too. I am blessed beyond belief to be a mommy and I'm overwhelmed by what God has entrusted me with!
Zachary's life is not what I would have pictured. I know that sounds awful, but I certainly did not sign up for the special-needs child. Yet, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this is the child God picked for me. I can make my guesses as to why... Maybe my confidence needed rattling. Maybe I was too competitive. Maybe I thought I had the world figured. Maybe so I could learn compassion and patience. Whatever the reason, he's who I have.
I was driving today and started crying. I was looking back at turning nine and how great going into fourth grade was. I was grieving over the life that Zach doesn't have. He doesn't read. He doesn't talk clearly. He doesn't have neighborhood friends. He doesn't have a normal nine year old childhood. But then I realized how wrong I have it.
Obviously God gave me this child because He has amazing plans for him. He created Zach for a purpose that only Zach can fulfill. God does that for every child, but Zach's purpose can only be fulfilled by Zach being intellectually disabled. Who am I to begrudge God?
I started thinking about all the lessons this little man has taught me. He taught me that competing with moms is useless and you always end up the loser even if your kid is "on top". He taught me that intelligence can't be measured. He taught me to find the joy in little things. And He taught me nothing is better than fresh watermelon!
I have gotten away with a lot of slacker-mom things because of his disabilities. For Zach, a row boat ride is just as awesome as a ski boat. So I need to find the beauty in that and not take it for granted.
Happy birthday, Baby Zach. You are a sweet, sweet little boy with a contagious grin. You are an amazing big brother to Ryan and a friend to all. I am lucky and blessed to call you my son. I can't wait to see how much you grow this year! I can't wait to hear your new words and discover the world through your eyes.