Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Thinking.

You know what's strange? 
From the moment I carried each of my children in my tummy, I dreamed of who they were and who they might be.  Just as Nora looks, I thought she would.  Just as Braden acts, I thought he would.  I pictured it so clearly in my head that it feels as if I willed it to life in them. 
 Somehow, the same is true with Mabel.  I felt like we may have another redheaded baby but early in my pregnancy I dreamed of a curly haired dark girl and I was content with knowing that she may look like that after all. 
But past her appearance, some things stand out to me that prove that a mother's heart is so deeply connected to her child that no one can possibly explain it.
 Right away when I delivered Nora, I could sense her strong personality.  She was already quick, bold and vocal.  I could picture her sliding down slides, toddling through our yard and even dressing herself.  Watching her learn to do those things made sense to me.

When Braden was born, he behaved exactly like I knew he would.  He was wild, needy, loud.  When he started to throw his body down in a fit of rage-I had expected it.  I waited for, and knew it was coming.  I had planned in my mind for the way he would act as a toddler and have great expectations of how he will behave as an adult. 
 And then I grew Mabel in my tummy.  With quiet leaps and turns, I sensed something different.  Her hiccups were gentle and often.  Although I was tired from chasing older children, I felt restful and at ease with her. 

And in my time of growing this new child in my womb, never once did I envision her running through our front yard.  I knew she was supposed to.  I figured she probably would someday.  But I couldn't picture it.  It was as if the image I should be thinking about was lost in the essence of nowhere.  I would reach for it but it wasn't within my grasp. 

Now Mabel is just Mabel. 
I can't imagine her standing at the side of her crib or reaching for me.  She doesn't do those things and probably will not.  I can't picture her standing or enjoying a cracker or even a puff.  I don't try to think about her eating, climbing the stairs to a slide or looking at a book. 
Because although I can't imagine it and am at peace with who she is, it is still painful.
I still 'wish' that life made sense and she could, or maybe would do those things.
 It's a strange thing; this raising a baby with special needs. 
You become accustomed to acceptance as each day unfolds and you begin to realize that the things you once ached for are now things that aren't important after all.  What I know for sure is that this little girl of ours is exactly who I thought she would be. 
It wasn't spoken aloud but in my heart, I knew it would be this way.  I didn't know the pain, I couldn't feel the ache, I didn't anticipate the grief...
but locked away somewhere was the truth of who she is and God prepared me for that during those 38 brilliant weeks where she quietly grew inside of me.  He changed me then and He's changing me now.
But He's leaving her the same.
I know this to be true.  There is great peace in it. 
Because each of them are exactly who they were created to be from the very second He spoke them into life.  They are brilliant creatures destined for greater things than even this mom can predict.

But here in my mommy heart, I am reflecting on the secret that God began to show me so long ago.  Only pieces at a time, and only so the biggest picture would be that much more beautiful.

Enjoy your green today, friends. 
My reds & I spent time baking, loving and sunbathing.
What a gorgeous day to be a redhead.


Verena said...

Do you know this story about kids with special needs? I love it bc it's so true!

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. Michelangelo's David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Copyright © 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley

marie clare said...

Its funny when you just know, even when they are still itty bitty and you havent even seen their face yet. Happy St Patricks Day!