In finally sorting through a camera-full of pictures and processing a week's worth of life, there's a mélange of thoughts that I think I'll just jumble together in a hodgepodge post.
I Had a Feeling
When I was pregnant with Derek, I knew deep down that if he was going to be healthy and unaffected with Joubert Syndrome, we weren't going to get away with an easy 3rd child. Something told me that he would be a handful.
He is the greatest joy, yet a joyful handful nonetheless. I had one of those days this week when I felt unfit to be a mother of 3 with a special needs combo. It had been what I was yearning for so intensely after Marcus was born but I don't think I knew what it would entail.
When he's happy, he is the sweetest thing ever.
For a lot of the day though, he is unhappy and needy. But I realized this week after talking to my sister, that he's not needing toys or food or entertainment. He's needing me. He doesn't care if I need to make lunch or eat or go to the bathroom or take care of other kids, he just wants ME. And I'll take that. So the past few days, I spent more time reading with him, tickling him, letting him climb all over me, and carrying him from one room to the other. When he grows up and goes on tour as a pro wrestler, I'll have these memories...that my beastly son was once a mama's boy.
My Kids Know I'm Lame
"Are you happy now, Mommy?" Marcus asked after one of Derek's meltdowns at home subsided. "Yeah, I'm okay now, Marcus. Mommy got angry, huh. Pray for me, Marcus, because Mommy needs Jesus," I regretfully replied. After a couple minutes of quietly eating his lunch, Marcus added, "You need Jesus AND God."
Boy, I must have messed up pretty bad because my son called on the Heavenly Father for reinforcements. Wait till he learns about the Holy Spirit. He'll be beseeching the entire Trinity to come to my rescue.
So today, Audrey asked, "Are you glad you have three kids, Mama?" Both surprised and sad by the question, I said, "Of course! Why?" She said, "It's hard to have three kids, huh."
Hmmm...what makes you think that, Auj? Maybe because when Daddy came home from work on Monday, I cried in his arms and wailed, "It's SOOOOO hard!" Oh, and then you ran to us and we grabbed you too and the three of us held each other while I almost gave up being a Mommy? Yep, maybe that's it.
In any case, I held her tight today and softly told her in her ear that it's hard to be a Mommy, but that all three of them were God's precious gift to me. It still made me sad though, that she already knows at such a young age that I'm often struggling to keep afloat.
I pray God's grace will shine through my inadequacies and in all the ways I fall short. I long to be controlled by the Spirit and be an example of calm faith and gentle love. Being the perfect mom is out of the question, but I hope my children will say one day that in spite of my sin, they saw Christ victorious in my life. I need Him so desperately.
Am I My Mom?
Growing up, my parents were never the typical Asian parents who hounded us on homework and grades. In fact, they wouldn't have minded if I was less interested in school. If I complained of so much as a hangnail, my mom would urge me to stay home and rest.
So I guess it's fitting that when Audrey came into our bed yesterday morning, complaining of a nightmare and asking to stay home, I was secretly happy. My response was, "Well, let me ask Daddy." I was trying to be all official about it, trying to let her know she couldn't get off that easy, even though I knew Mike would be all for it.
I can't help it. I just love when she's home. And what does a good mother do to nurse her "sick" daughter on a day off?
Feed her treats.
It so happens that Mike was especially thinking about her that day too, so she got to have a little texting session with him.
And evidently, when a girl texts with her Daddy, the Mommy is supposed to give them privacy. I was shooed away...and I liked it.
Being Outside is Energizing
My neighbor always says this and I totally agree. Something about taking my coffee cup and breakfast outside while the kids play gives me a little energy boost.
It also helps when they're playing outside together and not fighting or screaming. That's another energy booster.
We took our first family walk in the new neighborhood last week.
And once we got to a safe pathway where we could let Derek roam free, we knew he was enjoying it more than anyone else.
You can't tell from these tame pictures, but he was squealing in pure delight as if to shout, "YES! YES! I'm free! I love to walk! I love life!"
Marcus wasn't too far behind, walking with Daddy, giving a commentary on every bush, cloud, and tree, excited and in wonder that God would create such beauty.
Audrey was leading the way, speeding through in her plasma car and occasionally jumping off to climb on tree rings and wait for us to catch up.
We stumbled upon an open field with a small playground next to it and you would have thought the kids found the Promised Land.
Note: I did not put together Audrey's outfit, but she gets her sense of style or lack thereof from me, so I am still to blame.
Derek showed off his slide-climbing skills and we laughed at what seems to be super-baby strength.
We had some consoling to do when Derek heard the dreaded announcement to start heading back home.
But once the sun finally set, the moon snuck out its sliver of a sideways smile and made Marcus, the astro-boy, delightedly happy.
Could Marcus Have A Real Friend?
My friend, Jeanne, has told me a few times that her son, Joshy, who is Marcus' age, has mentioned that Marcus is his buddy. They haven't hung out together too much, so it struck me that Joshy would even think about Marcus in that way.
Well, we met for lunch this week and it made me giddy seeing them really have fun together. Whenever Marcus interacts with others, I'm always tempted to "translate" for him or to prompt him to engage in certain ways. But it was a joy to see Joshy understand everything he said and to see them spontaneously make each other laugh and enjoy each other's company. It helps, too, that Joshy's potty humor and eyelid-flipping antics are just what Marcus enjoys.
As we were saying our good-byes, Marcus asked, "Can you come over to my house?" We told Joshy and Kaylee, his sister, that they were welcome to come over for a playdate another time and I tried to play cool, but inside, I was beside myself that Marcus would be able to connect with another peer so much and that Joshy reciprocated. This is no small thing and I'm so thankful!
Miracles Do Happen Part 1
To me, it could have been the World Cup and I don't think I could have been more excited. Audrey's team, the Blue Lightning, won their first game of the season 6 to 1 and Audrey scored a goal! It was a big win because we beat the team that got 1st place last season for their age group. They've come such a long way and we are so proud of them!
What was especially sweet was seeing them so happy and proud of themselves.
Mike said he was going crazy on the inside, but had to keep cool on the outside.
Not me, I had the luxury of just going nuts and it took a lot of concentration to keep from peeing in my pants. I think I'll just wear a diaper to tomorrow's games in case we win again.
Marcus was the best cheerleader as always and I'd like to think the girls did well because they heard him cheering, "Goooo, Wightning!"
Miracles Do Happen Part 2
Marcus has been doing so well standing on his own for longer periods of time and taking steps without support as well.
I don't think I could have taken this picture a month ago.
I love that he knows he's hot stuff. He told me he wants to learn to skip and hop and jump like his sister one day. I hope it happens too.
Yet my heart isn't as restless or urgent as it was in years past when I wanted so much for him to learn to walk sooner than later. By God's grace, He's quieted my heart in this matter and if it takes him another year or two or three to completely walk on his own, I know that His timing is perfect. Marcus has always achieved his milestones when he was ready. Never too early, never too late.
He has never seemed in a hurry to get to the next milestone and for that example, I'm grateful. Joyful, content, elated at where he's at now...that's how I want to be.