We began, though, to wonder fairly early whether we truly grieved for Will, or whether our parental egos grieved our inability to live and achieve through our child. The longer we have been parents, the more we have learned to distrust our motives for responding sharply if Will melted down in public, or for demanding obedience just because we said so. Will’s most challenging task may be training us to act in his best interest, without worrying about how our decisions affect our parental image.
– Catherine Parry
I read this passage on a blog recently. It was written by the mother of a child with autism, but I felt like it could apply to all mothers, especially me. I printed it out and kept it where I could read it several times a day. My parental ego is constantly humbled. Bad experiences at the children’s schools or at the grocery store or even in the homes of friends leave me crushed. Unflattering comments about my children or parenting skills that hurt my heart.
But it’s not really about me, is it?
I worry about The Little Master. I don’t understand the way his mind operates or how his little heart works. I often tread on them unknowingly. Because I worry that people who don’t love-him-up-and-down also injure him, I feel intense anxiety every time I pass him off to others, at school or church or play. Thankfully, he is being raised by angel teachers again this year at preschool and that is such a comfort to me. Unfortunately, though his teachers at church try hard, it doesn’t quite work out for TLM there. My little man and I spend a lot of the two hours of Primary together, as he clings to me intensely in the hallway, bereft, confused, and anxious, or helps me with the dozens of littles in Nursery I’m responsible for…and his class continues on without him. That makes me sad for him.
Over the past few months, I have looked all about for a solution to our issues and couldn’t find one that felt right. Don and I have spent a lot of time thinking really hard, praying really hard, and listening really hard for some answers to help our little man. We finally found the answer and it was already waiting for us here at home. Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best solution and it’s one that was quietly whispering to you all along.
“and behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind the earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
1 Kings 19:11-12
I’m grateful for a strong testimony that God loves me. I have been extremely blessed in my life, in that from the earliest time I can remember, I’ve felt God’s presence daily. I have always been sure of what He was saying to me, though I haven’t always headed those promptings. I have always, always known that He loves me an awful lot. I have always known that He is mindful and aware of every detail of my life. I have always known that He looks after me when I ask Him to and encircles me “in the arms of His love.”
It’s now time for me to really know that God feels the same way about TLM. It’s now time for me to realize that I am the one who has been prepared, molded, shaped and fashioned into the person who is supposed to raise TLM, advocate for him, and gently prepare him for his place here on earth. I am his teacher.
This knowledge has brought me great power. I feel very strongly that I do know how to help Buddy right now. New situations will arise and new solutions will need to be found. But I know that right now, I have been given the answer for right now. That brings me peace, which will help bring peace to my little man who I love oh so much.