Although it’s hard to understand why sometimes, I believe God hand picks us to raise our kids for a reason. There are many days I feel totally unequipped and incompetent, but I truly do believe He chose me to be the mother of these two precious boys. This is something my own mom has often reminded me of when I call her crying, feeling overwhelmed and questioning myself, but when I can take a step back and have better perspective, I can see what she’s saying. God doesn’t make mistakes.
In the last three years, Brendan and I have taught J many things. He’s learned his letters, numbers, colors and shapes. He’s learned to build towers with Legos, to fly a kite, to put puzzles together and he knows nearly every Sandra Boynton book by heart. He hits a t-ball nearly every time, catches and throws a football, climbs a rock walk like a pro, and is working on mastering his balance bike. I think what’s most impressive though, is all the things J has taught me, as a mom, in the past three years.
J has taught me to appreciate and find beauty in the small things. He’s taught me to take joy in the steps toward the prize, not just the prize itself. He’s taught me patience and compassion for others, empathy, humility, appreciation, and to love so big, my heart could burst into a million pieces.
He’s also taught me that “different” isn’t always a bad thing. J will be faced with some harder hills to climb than I was ever faced with. J was recently diagnosed with Autism, and while that means he struggles with things that most people don’t, it does not define who he is. He is SO much more than that. With his weaknesses come SO many more strengths, and I choose to be thankful for those.
When I look into his eyes, I see a sweet, funny little boy that loves his family more than anything. I see someone with an incredible imagination and the biggest heart I’ve ever known. He can be tough when he falls and scrapes his knee, and he can be so sensitive that just a stern look can bring tears to his eyes. He is loving and caring, and gives the best kisses in the world. His laugh is contagious and his smile lights up the room. He’s my son, he’s a brother, a cousin, a nephew, a grandson, and a great grandson. He is so many wonderful things all packed into his 3 year old self, none of which are defined by Autism.
He’s taught me that not everything wonderful will fit into the little box that’s labeled “Perfect”. He’s taught me that it’s OK to feel disappointed with the way some things are and that it doesn’t change how incredibly grateful I am for the life and family I was blessed with. Even though my beautiful son will struggle with things that he should never have to, and that life and this world will be unkind to him at times, the continual expansion of the capacity of my love for him will never end.
God chose me to have the privilege of mothering J. I’ve been allowed to see the world and this life in a way I never would’ve been able to without having him. While there have been and will be many difficult and heartbreaking times, There are no mistakes, and J is a perfect, unique gift that I will spend every, single day of my life thanking God for.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17