Tuesday, April 19, 2016

One for the Board

Our kids...

Oh the joy and simultaneous stress they bring.

I've had to learn to laugh so that I don't take things too seriously...

You know, like when sister asks me if I remember "Bob" that I met last year and if I remember what his son's name was...

(blank stare)

After some pointless arguing my mind begins to register that what she meant to ask is if I remember if "Rob" that I met this morning has a son and if so, what was his son's name.

Or there's the times that you walk in to Baby's room and she is crying such big crocodile tears and huddling in her favorite blanket that you think she may have lost her favorite toy or stubbed her toe, but after cuddling her for several minutes you realize that she is crying because you yelled at the dog to stop barking about 30 minutes prior and it must have startled her.

Then there's Brother who will sing his heart out in the front yard for all passersby to see and hear, but if you ask him to get ready for the school choir concert he is quickly escalated to full anxiety defense systems.


Sometimes Sister will come up to me and just hug and kiss me and tell me over and over again in between giggles that she loves me.

Brother has learned to say to me, "I just can't do this right now." It melts my heart that he is learning to communicate how he feels.

Baby says "Pediasure" to me and I'll reply "just a second" and she will bring me her cup and the can because she knows I get sidetracked easily and she might as well help me out.

We went bowling and out to eat with Marc's parents on a Saturday and I was so impressed with how well behaved they were at the restaurant and even ate most of their food! We all went bowling afterwards and had such a memorable time.

We may have only last one game, but the point was we were actually out as a family... having fun.

Yes, I spent much of the last bit chasing Baby around and making sure she didn't run into anybody's bowling balls or trip over their shoes, but we were there as a family!

I'm telling you these things for two reasons:

  1. Celebrate everything your child accomplishes, big or small.

  • Now I am not talking big Pinterest-Mom rewards or parties, I'm just talking about acknowledgement. A simple "Wow!" "Good job!" "You're amazing!" "I love you!" or just a hug or a kiss on the forehead.
It doesn't take much more than that to show you notice their accomplishments. Remember, though, that you have to find out what works for your individual kid—Sister does better with verbal and physical reassurance, Brother just needs verbal mostly and Baby is more of a sensory/physical (squish, firm hug, snuggle) needer.

Too often we expect so much of our children that we forget how amazing it is that they are doing what they are doing.

I fear Marc and I are hyper-aware of how often little things go unnoticed when parents don't have children with special needs because it is "typical" or "developmentally" on cue to what they are age-appropriate for.

  1. Be content with who you have.

  • I don't mean be lackadaisical or complacent, but not wishing your child was like some one else's kid. Instead be encouraging and motivating to help them reach THEIR fullest potential and not YOUR biggest dream.

If your 6-year-old is going potty on their own, but you still have to help them wipe... thank your lucky stars.

If your 10-year-old is able to be talked to about puberty and growing up without going into complete and total nuclear melt-down panic then you are blessed.

If your 16-year-old actually tolerates, initiates or encourages friend or neighbor interaction don't be upset that their room is a little messy—they are making memories with real live people... that's a good thing.

If you're a parent — stay strong, celebrate the small stuff, laugh more, love more, and live in the moment.

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2 remarks:

Paige Erickson said...

Oh, I needed to read this today. I've been brought to tears today by the actions of a certain defiant child, pleading with heavenly Father to help me to know what to do, what to say, SOMETHING to not destroy what is left of our relationship.

Marc and Rachael said...

Paige, it warms my heart that found something to give you hope. It is so tough to enjoy the ride sometimes. Hang in there :) You're in the right path.