Tuesday, September 25, 2012

She gets it.

I had three years in the world of "normal"parenting. Even though Gracie was born 17 weeks early and was globally developmentally delayed, I would never classify myself as a parent of a special needs child. Selfishness...pride...I don't know why, but it just wasn't a term I could come to grips with. I can remember VIVIDLY the night that I realized that I am, indeed, a parent of a special needs child. I cried. I paced the halls. I walked outside the rehab doors into the cold, starless, early January night and I yelled at God. I told Him that I wasn't strong enough to do this. Then I walked back in, put a blanket around my shoulders, climbed into bed with my girl, and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning, with a little realization. God had been waiting three years for my little melt down. He's so good, so merciful, so long suffering- He would have waited 30 years for me to realize...I am not strong enough, BUT HE IS.

At 6 years old, and with a traumatic brain injury, Grace is starting to notice that there are difference between herself and some of the other kids. She EMBRACES it. She acknowledges the differences and then moves on. At 6 years old, God has already shown Himself to her. It's obvious. She has a couple of really good friends at school. One is Jacob, the other Neveah. Yesterday, I asked her what she likes to do when she plays with them at school. "We laugh, Mommy. We love to laugh. I always laugh." And she does. My daughter has this DEEP, belly laugh, that puts a smile on almost anyone's face. I often squelch it. I try to tell her it's an inappropriate time to laugh. When is it ever inappropriate to bring joy to someone else?

This morning, I was scheduled to work the book fair at her school. Luckily for everyone involved, I am not the master scheduler, because it just so happened she had a field trip at the same time. I was trying hard not to be seen, but as I walked from the main office to the library, there she was. All lined up, holding the nurses hand,  ready to go. (She has to have the nurse with her whenever she leaves the building, due to her seizure disorder and need for rescue drugs). The mommy in me got the better of me, and I had to go over and say hi. She was so incredibly excited. She was going to the apple orchard and her mommy was going to work the book fair. I gave her a big hug and kiss and told her to have SO MUCH FUN, and started to head back toward the library. Then I heard, "Mommy, mommy!" I got a little nervous, wondering if she wanted me to go with her now that she had seen me. (I wanted to go with her, but I had committed!) She came running to me and said, "Mommy, "her friend in her class's" Mommy is BROKE. She didn't get to buy a book today!!' She was so upset she started to cry. I got down and hugged her and told her it was ok. And she smiled, and gave me that laugh. "Hahahahaha!!" Then she took off. Over to the nurse, who I noticed was holding her backpack,and she asked her for it. She came back to me, frantically pulling stuff out of her backpack, until she found the $10 I had given her to buy books. "Mommy, can we buy Pinkalicious for "_____"?? The brarian said I had enough." Just then her teacher rounded the corner and saw me. She knew I was coming to work the sale and she came over to talk. She said that the class had gone to the sale during homeroom, and that Gracie had chosen a book for her and one for her brother. She said that when her friend started to cry, though, Gracie started to cry too. She wouldn't buy her books. She would wait for her mommy to come because she knew her mommy would let her get her friend a book too. I stood there thinking..."she gets it." So, we went to the library- Gracie and Mommy- and we bought Pinkalicious. (And the 2 books she had chosen). We walked back to where her best friend was standing, still sad, and Grace gave her that book. And she belly laughed. Her friend beamed. I'm pretty sure God did too.

I AM a special needs mom. And I am perfectly fine with that. See, I have a lot of special needs as a mom. God knew that, so He gave me them.
Gracie and Josiah with my dad.

God is good.
"...to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Acts 20:35b

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