Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Halloween Blessing

Yes, I realize it is quite the oxymoron to be talking about "blessings" in relation to Halloween. However, I love the way The Lord likes to work in my life and is constantly showing me, and teaching me in the most unexpected ways.

As I previously blogged about, Owen started preschool this year. I have been so very, very excited to participate in classroom parties and play dates. Keep in mind, I'm a little limited as the wild 15 month old keeps me quite busy. But, I was ready to jump in with the other "Homeroom Moms" and be that normal, stay at home mommy who has it all together. You know, kids are clean, house is clean, kids have amazing manners, and eat the wonderful, healthy homemade meals all together each night.

Who in the world put this crazy idea in my head?

Well, not only do I not have it all together, some days I wonder if I have anything at all together!

But alas, I wanted to at least give it my best shot. So I prepared cute little treat bags and bought juice and headed out with Batman and Superman in tow, ready for the Fall Festival, Costume Parade and Party Day.

We survived an hour. And then hightailed it out of there like the place was on fire.

Owen was less than thrilled with all the commotion going on and Abel was taking cupcakes, candies and juice from Owen's classmates.

 I left that day with tears in my eyes. Not because Owen cried the whole time and Abel was a tyrant, but because I felt the deep, piercing stares of those around me just trying to "put their finger on" what's wrong with Owen. If you're a parent with a special needs child, or really any parent, you've felt those stares. It's like they were burning right through me to my core.

I don't announce that Owen is a kidney transplant recipient. Or that he has sensory issues that make socializing difficult. That is not what defines Owen.

Owen is a joyful, silly, smart, Elmo loving, hug and kiss giving, tickle monster, miracle. And that's that. He may not sit at the table for crafts, or eat the brightly colored cupcakes. Hey, he may even cry through music class and refuse to play with kids on the playground.

But do you know what he does do? He brings me absolutely more joy than words could ever explain.

 I left that day feeling sorry for Owen. Feeling sorry for myself. And then the Lord reminded me of all that Owen does.

Most importantly: he lives. So I'll go back to celebrating each teeny tiny milestone he meets.

I'll celebrate that he made eye contact with me this morning to request an Elmo movie. Not with his words, but by using his sweet hands to guide me. I'll celebrate that every morning he greets me with the biggest "HIIIIIII!" I've ever heard (and also the sweetest Kentucky accent). I'll celebrate that he happily played for 30 minutes in the sensory swing with his OT. I'll celebrate that joyfully (or not so joyfully) bear hugs his little brother when he's near.

The Lord is still growing me through this process of knowing Owen and how to love, nurture and care for him. And I can fully accept that we don't have a "normal" life. It may not be normal in the sense of classroom parties and craft projects. But it's my normal and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Owen is beyond special, and so much more perfect than I ever could have planned.

And you know what? I'll be helping plan the class Christmas Party with a big smile. :)

"I love you like the moon loves each shining star.
 I love all that you will be, and everything you are"
-How Do I Love You?

**For those of you who have been checking in on Owen this week, and more importantly, praying for him; thank you. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for constantly loving Owen and our family. Owen was quite sick, more sick than he would reveal, but his labs were clearly showing us a sick little boy. However, he has been fever free for over a day and is slowly coming back to his happy, busy bee little self! We avoided hospital admission (narrowly) but we are so thankful for the extra help (hello babysitter Ms. Amber!) and extra prayers this week.**