Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bittersweet

Today is Mother's Day. I am so blessed to be a mother. So blessed to feel Jack's arms wrapped around my neck and smell his hair. Blessed to get wet kisses and hear him say "Happy Muhver's Day." I have much to be thankful for.

When we picked Jack up from Sunday School today, there was a table full of flowers that the children had made for their moms. I asked Jack if he made a flower, and he said "no, I didn't want to." It's a small paper flower - but I was sad that I didn't get one. While other moms were praising their childrens' artwork, I was ushering Jack out of the hallway before he had a meltdown. When I asked him if he had fun at Sunday School, he said "yes, they had a school bus." I asked him if he played with other kids in the classroom and he said "no, I played by myself." Tears filled my eyes at the thought of the other children playing together, and Jack sitting by himself, playing with a school bus. I asked him what they learned, and he couldn't tell me. Another bittersweet moment.

Motherhood is not at all what I thought it would be. My journey into motherhood has been filled with many more lows than I thought it would be. You have an expectation. An idea of what things will be like. Whether it's right or not, you expect motherhood to be filled with joy and laughter. And while we have had our share of laughter, our monotonous days are filled with tantrums, screaming, meltdowns, stimming, and repetitive behavior. Motherhood has become an experience that has stretched me thinner than I thought possible. I never thought that I would be the one raising a special-needs child. Never thought that I would be the one taking my child to therapy, special education classes, and more doctor's appointments than I can keep track of. But, here we are. This is our reality. We do what we do. We make it through each day and collapse into bed each night (for a couple of hours, at least!). We are continually learning how to best nurture and support Jack.

I have many moments of despair. Moments when I cry and yell and wonder what the purpose of all of this is. Moments when I want to give up and run away. Moments where I think that it's all just too hard and I can't go on one more minute.

But then I have moments of love. Moments when Jack smiles at me and I see that adorable dimple on his right cheek. Moments when he says or does something so absolutely hilarious that he has me laughing until I cry. Moments when he has a breakthrough and tries to do something that he wouldn't do before.

Mother's Day is bittersweet for me. Not only because of the challenges of raising a special needs child, but also because of the unfulfilled desire for another child. We watched the baby dedication at church this morning, and tears fell down my cheeks. Watching the precious newborn babies squirming in their parents' arms and hearing their baby sounds fill the room. As difficult as motherhood has been for me, I still have the desire to have another baby. There is still the yearning in my heart to have a sweet new baby to be a part of our family. God knows. He knows my desires and He knows the plans for our family. I am trusting and surrendering.

So....Mother's Day. A day filled with hugs and kisses, tears and worries. I am so blessed. I married a man that loves God and loves me. A man that loves our son and is dedicated to our family. I have a son that has such unique ways of showing me that he loves me. Even if he doesn't make me a paper flower, I know that he loves me beyond words. He makes me laugh and teaches me new things every day. I am so blessed.

3 comments:

Givinya De Elba said...

Happy Mothers Day to you. What a lovely post!

Elizabethmkn said...

Oh Stephanie...that was so beautiful. I totally cried reading it and just wanted to reach out to Jack and give him the biggest hug ever. I know your heartache and have cried those very same tears. You are an amazingly strong mom who God trusted you and knew that you would be the best mommy for Jack! I pray that peace will come for you and that Jack makes amazing strides! Big hugs to ALL of you guys. Miss you all.

Kelly said...

Stephanie, you are such an amazing mom. Jack needs you so much more than other children, which can be very trying I'm guessing. Know that there are people around you who love you and care for you. It's okay to know your limits and reach out to others for help. I pray that God will give you another child. God DOES have plans for you and your family. Happy Mother's Day to you! I hope you can feel God wrapping His arms around you and comforting you.