Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The Book and The Rose
A while back my son made the age old, often heard by parents statement: "you love _____ more than you love me!" I replied back with the age old, often used by parents statement: "no I don't, I love you both the same." Well, that night, as I was lying in bed, I started to think about what I said. Do I really love my kids the SAME? The answer is, no, I don't love them the same. Now, that doesn't mean I love one more than the other, it simply means I don't love them in the same way or for the same reasons...I love them DIFFERENTLY.
I hope as I write this that my thoughts translate well to the written word because I really don't want my feelings to be misunderstood but as I was thinking about my boys and my love for them I started to compare them to gifts...gifts from God...wonderful, precious gifts. However, gifts come in many shapes and sizes, in other words: gifts are different. I see John as a rose bush (I know my son, in all his boyness, probably wouldn't enjoy being compared to a rose but I'm still a girl and think in girly ways). So, God gave me this rosebush to tend and take care of. I have to make sure I plant it in just the right area to make sure it gets enough sunlight to thrive. Every day I need to water it and and prune it and check it for pests. I need to protect it from harsh weather and insects. It's a lot of hard, tedious work but if I'm diligent and put in the effort, then I will be rewarded with amazing blooms and flowers with the most wonderful fragrant scent.
In Robert, God handed me a book. A book that I can enjoy and read and watch as the story unfolds. A book that holds a story so complex that all I can do is read it daily and anticipate where it will go next. A book with a story that lights up my imagination with all it's fantastic possibilities. A book that helps me relax and smile and sometimes, actually, laugh out loud.
So, because John is my rose and I have to work harder with him does that mean I love him any less? Of course not! I am, however, acknowledging that having a child with special needs is hard work, any parent with a special kid that tells you otherwise is lying (to you and themselves). But I love John all the more because of the effort. My hard work shows in the incredible, confident kid he is. He has to work so hard just to do what typical kids take for granted. So we work, John and I, we work on handwriting, over and over and over and finally one day, he writes his name: legibly! What a huge accomplishment! I'm so proud of him and his determination. We work on social skills and looking at people when he talks to them and then, a teacher at school stops me after class and says, "John told me one of his jokes today, and HE LOOKED ME IN THE EYES WHEN HE WAS TALKING!" Wow! Another huge step and it's because John and I did the work. There are so many little stories like this and all the time and effort are worth it and I love him so, so much because I am helping mold his already beautiful soul into a truly amazing person. When you help create something fantastic you can't help but love it and be proud of it!
Robert is my book. He is easy, he is fun, he is creative, he is smart, he is kind and he is inspiring. His life is like a story to me that I get to watch as it unfolds. It's exciting to me to "read" his narrative on a daily basis. His story is full of adventures and dramas and, no doubt, there will be plenty more to come. Is my book perfect? No, of course not. Sometimes a page tears and I have to mend it. Sometimes the story takes a turn that I'm not very fond of...but for the most part I just turn the pages and enjoy the story.
So, there you go, my book and my rose...my gifts. Neither one loved more than the other, just loved differently...for different reasons, because they bring such different things into my life.
I told this analogy to a friend of mine and she said, "I think my son is like a puppy you get on Christmas morning. I love him, he's cute and adorable and so much fun but by the end of the day I'm so exhausted just from trying to keep up with him!" Gifts are definitely unique! :-)
All the people in our lives are gifts, they bless us in different ways and require different amounts of effort . What kind of gift are your kids? Husband? Siblings? Parents? Friends?
What kind of gift are you?