Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Love... love... love!

"I have three sisters.  First is Abby who is older, but she really isn't.  She's more like a one year old.  She's a special needs. She pinches and stuff but not 'cause she's mad."

This was the first time I got to hear one of my girls talk about Abby.  I sat back and didn't say anything.  I'm not sure what "a special needs" is, but apparently that's the way she's heard it over the years and it was so sweet.  MaryAlice was describing her big sister to a little girl in her tennis class. The girl wasn't exactly getting it, but it didn't seem to slow her down even a little bit.
It was precious.

I ask for beauty for ashes in the midst of this crazy and this was one of those redemptive moments.

A different brand of weird
We all have regrets with parenting and often wonder if we're doing it right or if we're just giving them more material for their therapists one day.  A lot of prayer sprinkled with too much honesty and a lot of hugs and kisses pretty much sums up my parenting technique.  I say I love you more than seems necessary just in case all the crazy suffocates the last one.  I know the Lord knows what he's doing, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't question myself often.  Growing up with a big sister like Abby has got to be a different brand of weird.  There's nothing like parenting her, so I'm sure being a sibling is a trailblazer role as well.

Getting hurt still hurts regardless of the intent
I must tell myself all the good that is automatic for these sisters, and all the lessons they will not have to learn because of her and our life, but I hold back the lump in my throat and the "why, Lord" when Abby grabs and pulls hair so hard tears come out.  We all know she doesn't mean to harm, but it still hurts regardless of the intent.  The girls were born with the gift of knowing  "It's not about me." Abby has to be fed, changed, bathed and cared for.  It's not an option, so the rest often have to learn patience long before it is normal to do so.

They see crazy crap like finger poo painting as if it's part of the decor (pun fully intended).  Nothing in life really fazes them.  A kid was taken to the hospital after passing out in school when Belle was in first grade.  She didn't even mention it when she got home.  I found out from a friend who's son was upset about it.  I can be wrestling Abby's pajamas, sweating from head to toe from the encounter, and MaryAlice will stroll in and ask for a sandwich like I was sitting and knitting a sweater.  We visited friends with a son who deals with regular seizures which can cause him to code and need resuscitating.  MA jumped into his special bed, leaned over and kissed his sweet cheek as she curled up next to him to watch TV.  You can't train that into a kid.  Life... special delivery... weaves it into who they are becoming.

It's the little blessings that often strike a chord and mean the most.  Just when I think we're doing it all wrong, this beauty emerges.  I see Millie going from Dad to Mom, from Belle to MaryAlice giving leg hugs.  She pauses for a moment and wraps her little arms around Abby.  She's a different sister, but she's still worthy of a hug...
"She may pull hair, but not "cause she's mean"
lump in throat
a tear trickles
Man, this isn't easy but God is so very good... all the time :)

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