Wednesday, June 12, 2013

missing badges, parenting fails and forgiveness



She puts on such a brave face.



Such a sweet, sensitive heart she has.  Neither of my boys seem to posses that thing that makes you sensitive of others.  But she has it in spades.  She’s always thinking of others.  Always ready to cuddle.  To nurture.  To love.



But I knew.  I knew behind her big blue eyes and dimpled smile hid a broken heart.  But she was thinking of me and trying desperately not to make me sad.  She hates to see me sad.  And so she smiled even though I had failed her big time.  I felt the guilt and grief and sadness climb up my throat until I had to catch her and make her see how sorry I was.  Apologize on my knees.  Until she knew to her toes that I meant it deeply.  Until any possible root of bitterness could be plucked from the soil of her tender heart.  To God, I don’t want her to grow bitter with me.  With him. 



Having a child with significant special needs impacts the whole family.



And last Saturday, at her American Heritage Girls ceremony, she missed out on receiving extra badges as a direct result of her brother’s care sapping her mother’s energy.



It was not her fault.  She worked hard for those badges.  She earned them.



I should have ordered them.



But somehow…in all the chaos of these last few months…I missed the order placement period.  And she missed out.



The thing is…



she had already missed out before.  I vividly remember promising her at the middle of the year ceremony that next time I would get it right.  Next time she would have those badges that she worked towards.  I would NOT let her down.



Talk about a parenting fail.



I pulled her aside and with tears running down my cheeks begged her to forgive me.  She promised it was okay.  That she understood.  Her blond hair and blue eyes looked so innocent and sweet.  But she’s eight.  Can an eight year old heart really understand how much energy leaks out of me every time her brother has a seizure or an IEP meeting?  How half way though the day…I’m toast.  And ready to just curl up in bed with a book.  It feels like I’m always tired anymore.  Ordering badges are the last thing on my mind.  Can she understand that and be okay with me pouring myself into finding new treatment options and talking to specialists to help her brother…but forgetting to order her badges?  I cried because my heart broke for her.  I cried because sometimes my heart groans for the day of Redemption fiercely.  I cried because I’m mad at myself.  Always, I’m reminding myself that I’m a mom of more than one.  And yet that one takes so much energy to parent.  I hugged her hard because I wanted to squeeze any doubts that she’s not as important to me as he is right out of her.  I didn’t want to let her go because I’m afraid that someday she won’t want to come back.  That she’ll look at my choices and judge them as partial.  I fear that because I know my own heart so often is bent towards bitterness.  And I can’t bear the thought.



So I hugged her tighter.  Until she said, “um, mom, I can’t breath” with a little laugh.  Which made me laugh too.  Because not only does she have the gift of compassion…she also has the gift of comedy.  Her voice was dead pan hilarious.  Against every fiber of my being, I pried my arms open and let her run off with her little friends.



I worry about her tender heart often…



But I have hope too.  I believe in Providence.  I know that we are not a family by chance.  We were chosen to be together by a loving God for His glory.  And I believe that He’s using Trevy shape all of our hearts to look more like His.  Missed badges and all.



It also helps when I read thoughts of older special siblings like this one…



“growing up with a special needs sibling equips you with a unique sense of humor, a special ability to marvel at the small beauties in life, and a boatload of patience!”  -- Brittany,





  1. ((((((HUGS)))))) Here is a big hug from me. From having a friend that her brother was special needs I know that when Bristel grows up and I already see it... she will have great compassion to others, she will see beauty where others don't, she will understand that the world doesn't revolve just around her. She will be grounded and a wonderful person to be around. You didn't fail her, sometimes in life its hard to keep those promises and I think she gets that.

    Like you said we are all chosen by God to be in the family we are in. Beautiful things will come from living life with Trevy. You are doing an awesome job of raising all 3 of your children. Someone wise once told me that some days one child needs you more then the others and that's ok. Its ok that Trevy needs you more then the others because you do meet the needs of Bristel and Toby. They are amazing children.

    Just a thought could you contact Heritage Girls and talk to them and see if you can order those missing badges? Maybe Hope could even help with that? If she earned them she should get them even if there is no ceremony to celebrate it. I bet Connie would sign off on those activities if you explain it to her. What can I do to help?

  2. One more thing... when I see Bristel interact with Trevy I see a little girl who totally gets how special he is. How important she is in his life. They have a very special relationship. Its beautiful to see.

    1. It's a great idea to ask Hope if I can order late. Although, it was definitely MY fault. I totally own it and hate asking favors. I can only play "the Trevy card" so much! Sigh.

      And I couldn't help giggling at your second comment because you didn't see her stabbing him with a pencil last night!!!! Seriously!