I am a terrible person. I am. Today the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I should change my religion to Jehovah’s Witness so I never have to celebrate a birthday or Christmas again. Today is Josiah’s 4th birthday. It’s wrecking me pretty bad. I beat myself up more than anything. “Why can’t I just be stronger? Why do I still want to crawl in a hole and weep? Why can’t I just stuff this ache in a far away place and enjoy the day for what it is, and my son for who he is? There are better moms of special needs kids than I am. They can embrace the journey and go on. I can’t.”
Friends, I’m not on anti-depressants, but right now I wish I was I guess. I’m not a big drinker, but I would like to cozy up with a box of wine and just mask this, this loss. It’s not like I woke up with a lot of expectations or anything. In fact, that I woke up with any clarity at all is a miracle, given that I was up with Josiah between the hours of 1-4 am again. To be truthful, I’m probably just incredibly selfish and self-absorbed. Josiah had a fine old time today, and it is HIS day, after all. I just grieve because he doesn’t even know it’s his birthday. I’m messed up because I’ve always had high expectations for myself and everything I do, and I CANNOT make my boy right. I would endure anything if by doing so I could make him right.
And then I feel guilty for saying that. He’s my son, and he’s wonderful the way he is. But, you know what, I wish I could have woken up this morning and gotten the house ready for a bunch of the neighborhood kids to come over for a birthday party. Josiah would have been so excited because everything was decorated with Cars or Spongebob or Transformers, or whatever the boy obsession of the day is. He would have had a cool cartoon cake–not some lame GFCF chocolate cake with soupy dairy-free frosting and sprinkles I tried to make so he’d have something. Well, he wasn’t interested in eating the thing that cost about $20 to make anyway. He also had no idea what it meant to blow out candles so that was pretty anti-climactic. And as for the party, it was just me and my husband and his parents visiting from ND. Not another kid. Not a sleepover. Not a pinata.
Again, Josiah was a happy camper today, so what’s my problem? He was so excited to see the mini trampoline we got him, and he loved the toys he got that lit up and made all sorts of noise. But everything was magnified for me today. I just changed my 4-year-old’s diaper. His words today were… jump, swing, ice cream, push, come on, banana, muffin, get out. That’s about it. When, oh when is this stuff not going to affect me? It’s been two years. And it’s been exactly that long since I walked through the day with that wonderful feeling that all was pretty darn right in my world. I want to feel that again.
I guess my problem is that I’m scared. And tonight, I’m definitely coping not hoping, which is pretty ironic being that my whole blog is supposed to be about hope. I cannot comprehend how we ended up with our child having this disorder that NO ONE can tell us what really causes it, and we really don’t know what his particular “ceiling” would be. And, his success in life might be dependent on me to keep chasing that next thing that just “might work.” And, who knows–tomorrow they may come up with some breakthrough that cures all of these kids by blocking some gene receptor or something–probably in the form of a vaccine (again, ironic). And now 1 in 58 boys in America have this disorder, but not enough people care about that stat. And I don’t know if my son will go to the prom, or have a girlfriend, or work. And I don’t know if I’ll have any other kids, or grandkids for that matter, and life just isn’t how its “supposed” to be. And, is God going to come through here, or what? Pretty dumb how a person spins everything out of control, isn’t it? But I’m going to let myself go on the spin cycle right now, damn it.
Am I the only one that is thinking this stuff? I’m probably honest with my feelings to a fault. I’ve never been able to “stuff” them, and that probably makes some others feel uncomfortable. It’s not that I’m not an optimistic person. I just have to experience my feelings to get to the other side, I guess. However, I’m sure my husband would appreciate a little more of my “stuffing” with his dinner.
I often wonder if I grabbed Josiah and headed to the hills if the words “normal” or “typical” would even matter. Who would care if the kid didn’t think or act like the other kids do–there wouldn’t be any other kids. What are we all comparing our own lives to anyway? Who made the rules that said life had to be a certain way? I don’t know, but this isn’t how I pictured mine going. So, I feel guilty and ungrateful and selfish and discontent tonight. Because I do want my life to look… normal. And I want my son to eat a bunch of sugary, delicious normal birthday cake until he gets sick, okay?
Alright, I have embraced my humanness, and now I’ve got to bring it before the Lord because he told me not to worry about tomorrow; today has enough worries of its own. I hope I didn’t thoroughly depress you, reader, because I feel better now that I got all of that out.
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
22-24God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
28-30When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.