Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gratituesday: Perspective

When one is in the middle of potty training, one needs perspective.  A whole lot of it.

When one's two year old still cannot/will not correctly chew table foods in his mouth and has to be fed purees and done exercises with every meal, one needs perspective.

Potty training has not been going swimmingly.  In fact, I have my doubts as to whether or not he's ready.  I feel a little like hitting myself in the head with a brick due to the tediousness of it, but I think I could deal with that if I truly felt like this was something he was willing to do.  When after two and a half days he cries whenever I take off his pants to have some "naked potty time", I have my doubts.

But back to my tediousness.  In my few attempts at potty training, it's the one thing that really makes me feel like not having anymore kids.  I sat on the kitchen floor Monday morning thinking in the most no uncertain terms, that I was done having kids and didn't ever want to go through this again.  And for those of you that know me, you know considering stopping after one kid is just not on my list.  But this is tedious.  I almost hate it more than his daily eating therapy.  Actually I do hate it more than the actual act of therapy, but the length of time we've been doing his dysphagia therapy outweighs the more unpleasantness of the actual act of potty training.  One kid and I feel like potty training has defeated me already.  I'm sure all you mother's of multiple potty trained kids are laughing at me right now.

Anyways, back to Gratituesday and the actual topic: perspective.  This morning I read this article called Notes from a Dragon Mom.  I would encourage you to read it, but do know it was absolutely heart wrenching.  Confession: I did in fact cry, a lot.  My heart broke for the mama writing it.

If you don't feel that you can make yourself read it, the gist of it is a mother of a little 18m boy who has Tay-Sachs, an incurable genetic disease, that will likely take his life by the time he is 3 years old, and how that has altered their life.

If that doesn't give you perspective over potty training and two years of non-life threatening dysphagia therapy, I don't know what does.  Lord willing, I have a reasonable hope to enjoy my sweet baby long after he is 3 years old.  As bad as I feel it can get when I'm stuck doing exercises with a little guy who doesn't want me near his mouth, or when I've sat on the floor for two hours watching my son's every move in the hopes of catching some pee-pee in the potty, I am grateful for my reasonable hope.  I am grateful for my God-given son, whom I cherish getting spend time with, raise and love.

At the risk of sounding completely insensitive, there is one aspect to their situation that, I wouldn't exactly say that I envy, but that I wish I could implement in my daily life even without their unique circumstances.    Because her son is slowly regressing towards a vegetative state within the next few years of their lives, there is no push, no schedule, no "we must get through this for the future".   There is just today.  Just loving.

"But the day-to-day is often peaceful, even blissful. This was my day with my son: cuddling, feedings, naps."

How often would I describe my day as peaceful and only consisting of cuddling, feeding and loving my son?  Less frequent than I would like.  Mothers of non-terminally ill children have a different set of goals for living.  They plan for the future and make decisions based on future good.  Dragon Moms have today.  They have loving and living and comforting today.

I'm not jealous of her situation.  My heart grieves for that Mama and Daddy who will soon lose their precious child, but I wish I could capture the "freedom from tomorrow" mentality sometimes and remember to take days where all I do is enjoy and revel in the amazing little boy God has given us.

I do realize that no one is guaranteed tomorrow.  "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21"  We don't know when our time on this earth is done and we are not guaranteed tomorrow.  I know this.  But....I admit that this feels different.

So, perspective.  On the verge of feel very frustrated and declaring potty training unsuccessful at this time, I am grateful for perspective on it all.  And grateful for yet another day to enjoy my son.

NC State Fair 2011

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