Sometimes I get stuck on the difficult stuff and forget to notice the blessings.
I was all set to write a post about some of the challenges we faced during our 2 week trip to Michigan with 4 kiddos, especially our special needs kiddo.
Think about it, 4 kids in a car for a 10 hour trip each way.
Two weeks of living in a place very different from home, daily activities involving all kinds of people and noise---there are all kinds of nuggets of wisdom about preparing, transitioning, coping, etc., etc.
But how can I look at these pictures and tell you about the frustrating stuff?
A year ago, this boy would have been terrified to get into this pool and being with all these kids making noise and splashing would have been out of the question. He never would have taken off his shirt in front of people he barely knows, because they might stare at him or reject him.
A year ago, this boy clasped his arms tight around my neck and threatened to pull me under with just his trembling weight every time when went to the community pool at home. Not even a life vest could reassure him. Swim lessons were a disaster. He clung to the side of the pool, terrified.
Today, he can climb into the pool, relax, and splash around (he does use an inflatable ring). He still does not like water in the face, but he’ll even jump in, if I’m there to catch him. And he has been practicing putting his face in the water and holding his breath.
Little steps, maybe, but something that seemed utterly impossible for him a year ago.
Watching him build in the sand and not freaking out because he got sandy or because the water washed down the walls of his castle, those are all precious moments.
He is making his way and breaking through into the world in his own way, on his own timetable.
I remember when Peter was a tiny baby (ok, he was never really tiny). The priest who baptized him asked how we were coping (he knew about Peter’s medical issues). My heart truly overflowing, I said, “We are so blessed to have him.”
And it was true, that was exactly what I thought and felt at the time. In spite of all the difficulties of his first several months, that was all that was in my heart.
But here we are, almost 7 years later, and I’m ashamed to admit that so often what is in my heart is how very difficult it is to raise this child. How very inadequate I feel. How very stubborn he seems.
I’ve forgotten to hold tight to those wonderful moments when the real Peter breaks through. The rocky going has taken my attention away from the beautiful view.
I pray that I can be a little more like the self I was 7 years ago. A little less hardened. A little more optimistic.
Do you ever feel like you focus too much on the negative aspects of parenting and lose sight of the good things?