These are all challenges for sure but tonight my mind is on something not so obvious. When the labor pains are done, the sleepless nights forgotten, and the potty training finished, I have realized that the real hurts still lay ahead. The days of bandaids and a kiss to fix a "boo boo" are behind.
My heart is on my son, Daniel, tonight. Daniel is 8 1/2 and quite an amazing kid. In fact, it is a miracle that he is still with us. Over the course of his early years he was treated for a very aggressive brain tumor. Multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation and lots of prayer have given him the last 5 years tumor-free! Praise God! It is likely that he is "done" and will not have the tumor return. He is healthy and happy and learning and growing every day! We are so blessed indeed!
However, apart from the scar on the back of his head, Daniel has some unseen "scars." He struggles with some things the rest of us take for granted. He has to work a bit harder than other kids. Whether it's reading, writing, riding a bike or just "fitting in," Daniel has to make a real effort. He is often quirky and misunderstood.
Tonight he went to his first swim team practice. He was a bit apprehensive, but excited and willing to give his best. I was so proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone to give it a try. Well, it was his turn to jump in and swim across the pool. He jumped in and panicked. After trying a little more, he came back to the side of the pool mad at himself, saying things like, "I'm a bad swimmer," and "swim team is too hard for me."
My heart just broke as I listened to him berate himself. My attempts at encouraging him were met with deaf ears as I watched him replay in his mind all the things he "can't" do. Why does everything have to be so hard for him? And why can't he be "good" at something?
Now, don't get me wrong. Daniel is good at a lot of things. And no one can make me laugh like him. I just wonder if Daniel knows how precious he is? And how talented he is in his unique way? It is my prayer for all my children, but especially Daniel, that they would embrace the truth of Psalm 139 and know they are "fearfully and wonderfully made." I want my children to know they are loved, and they were created for a specific purpose. Daniel's "quirks" are not a mistake but are the precious fingerprint of his Maker. I am praying and expecting that the bumpy road Daniel has to travel will strengthen him and prepare him for his future. I am excited to see the plans that the Lord has for Daniel.
In the mean time, I will stumble along this rocky path with Daniel - carrying bandaids, the Bible, tears, hugs and of course laughter! This Mommy thing is hard and painful at times, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! Daniel - I love you and I'm so grateful I get to be your Mom!