It hadn’t been one of Seth’s better days.
Seth had had a meltdown during therapy and I was in need of some downtime. He was content to be in his jumper for a bit, so i asked Kennedy and Erin to take Malachi for 20 minutes, timer set so i wouldn’t forget, and I sat on the sofa to just…be.
Enter neighbor child carrying Malachi…
“Mali wants to come in and watch Dora.”
“Well…ok? Where are my girls?”
“They want to play with me and we can’t have any fun with Mali in the way.”
(and another to assess whether or not my head will explode)
I call my girls inside and remind them that I asked them to play with their brother and tell them that if they are playing something that Malachi cannot be a part of, it really needs to wait until the timer goes off.
A minute later, I overhear the neighbor girl telling them how unfair it is that they have to help with the babies…afterall, SHE doesn’t have to help with her brother.
Also, she’s glad that her mom isn’t mean like me.
Fifteen minutes later, the timer goes off and I tell the kids that it’s time to come in so that we can have school.
We sit down to do Five in A Row (FIAR) lessons over Who Owns the Sun? and before I begin reading, I interrupt myself with thoughts I feel compelled to share with the class.
I tell them that it really ISN’T fair that they have to help with their brothers.
Their eyes widen.
It isn’t fair that their brothers need so much help. It’s not fair that the 3 children next door have 4 adults all working together to care for them while much of the time in our home, it’s just me caring for 7.
It’s not fair that some people work really hard and have next to nothing, while it seems that some people hardly work and have everything. It isn’t fair that our Daddy works 12 hour nights while other daddies don’t have a job at all…and while we’re on the subject, it’s not fair that our Daddy lives with us, while the neighbors’ dads aren’t anywhere to be seen.
It’s NOT fair…it just is.
This is the path chosen for us, not by us, but we have a couple of options:
Deal with what was given to us cheerfully, finding the joy in our life together where we can.
Focus on what everyone else has or hasn’t and let in sow seeds of frustration and bitterness in our hearts.
And if the latter is the choice you make, I’m gonna need you to take that one up with God, dear ones, because this was HIS idea, not mine.
I’m the first to admit that it isn’t easy being a member of our family.
It’s rather an exclusive club that you have to be made of some sterner stuff to appreciate.
Being in this family means sometimes doing things differently, including EVERYONE, or not getting to do them at all.
Sure, we could hire a nurse for Seth so that we could enjoy things that we “should” get to do if not for cerebral palsy and all the cool accessories it brings to the table, but we don’t because we’re all or nothing like that.
It’s our role to make sure that he gets just as much life out of life as the rest of us.
We can feel held back by that, or we can get creative in how we can include him.
At this point, they all agree that we resolve to seek joy rather than resent and as I open our book to start our school time, Wes (who’s already been through this book) says, “Hey mom, I know you haven’t read to us yet, but I’m pretty sure you’ve already taught the lesson.”.
Well whaddaya know, I think i did…
(In case you don’t speak FIAR, one of the lessons was that unfair things happen in all our lives and that we can either become bitter and angry, or we can be patiently willing to perservere and wait for change…the characters in the book were enslaved and the father was a beautiful example of perserverence.)