As a new mom I couldn’t get enough parenting resources. I scoured websites. Devoured books. Attended MOPS groups. Craved opportunities to pick “been there done that” brains. I was hungry. Ravenous! Especially because I felt mommyhood was WAY over my head. I was in deep and needed HELP! Have you ever chatted with a mom who said her first was a cake-walk…it was the second that threw her for a loop? Yeah. That wasn’t me. Our first was(IS) a tough cookie right outta the shoot. (Otherwise known as Strong-Willed for those fluent in Dr. Dobson-ese) Hence the passion for learning how to be his mom.
My first plunge into mommy-ness. Sigh. I tell him often he’s lucky that face is so cute. Smile.
By time Little Miss Second came around (four years later) I was more comfy with my role as mommy. Also…our life was full to the brim with preparations for moving to The Bush. (We played missionary in Tanzania, East Africa until our lives were Providentially redirected) There was zilcho time for books. And besides…I’d already read them all. It didn’t hurt that Bristel was easy-peasy from the get-go. In fact, she was such a peach that when she was just beginning to toddle-waddle around I looked at her daddy with a gleam in my eye and asked how he felt about a third? Three is the new two, didn’t you know.
And so Blessing Number Three came along with his sweet soulful eyes, cheeky grins, and catastrophic medical needs. Needs which again…left no time for reading (other than anything to do with a crash course in neurology). The last four years have been about surviving. Breathing. Clinging. Moment by moment. And if I’m completely honest…I’m only just now feeling like I have my feet back under me. Like I might have energy and room to think about things other than seizures and surgeries and toxic meds and all the very heavy and intensive information that goes hand-in-hand with loving a child with chronic, catastrophic needs.
My first breath in this new air on the other side of survival (or The Healing Side, as I like to say) was when I chose to launch my homeschooling blog. As a way to remind myself that there is more in my life than seizures and the havoc they wreak. To remind myself that I’m a mommy of more than one. I have three beautiful blessings. Each with unique needs to study and learn. The other two deserve to know they’re just as special even if their challenges are other than medical.
My second breath was applying for the TOS Crew. Six months ago, I would have shriveled at the energy it will require of me. But I’m beginning to feel alive again. And on a whim I sent an email. To be honest, I thought I’d get a standard “try again next year” response. I was totally blown away that I was accepted! Blown away and humbled and so, SO excited because, really, who doesn’t love trying out products for free?! (I probably should try reward based motivation more often with the kiddos since clearly it works for me!) Free products are especially a blessing for those of us with Special Needs eaten budgets! Can you feel me glowing? The glow is multi-layered. I’m glowing because I was accepted and already have connected with some beautiful other moms. I just know we’re going to be friends. And I’m glowing because my heart is feeling something other than just Sadness. Poor girl. She has been beaten. Battered. Bruised. Broken into smithereens. Sad has been a constant companion these past four years. But, I feel something else wiggling it’s way upward from the deepest, darkest parts of me? Hope? It’s been so long since I’ve felt anything other than Stressed Out and Sad that I’m not quite sure. And the broken pieces of my heart blockade any sweeping predictions. But the flutter is there. Like the butterflies of my little beans when they swam in my belly…I can feel it. Just a whisper. It feels good. I think it feels like Hope.
My third gasp of air was applying for my first product to review. Ironically…a book. A parenting book. How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids. It’s literally been at least six years since I’ve dug into one of those. But when the little online blurb spoke to me, I felt like maybe I could? Maybe I should? So I did. And now that I’m several chapters deep…I can tell you I have needed this. In fact, the Introduction spurred the sappy right out of me with this line alone…
“ God is so good to go before us, leading us to places we never intended to be, much less wanted to go.”
--excerpt from How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for your kids
by Rachael Carman; pg. 11
And yet. Here we are…
Because like Solomon the Wise once said. There is a season for everything.