My kids are not normal. That’s a hard sentence to write. I realize that normal is subjective but when it comes to the way the brain functions there are standards. (I believe the current term being bandied about is neurotypical). Whatever you call it, my kids are not. Figuring out the specifics of what is off and how to help them is time consuming, exhausting and expensive. While this confirms to me our choice to homeschool, that is another responsibility that I carry. In the midst of their challenges I need to make sure they are learning and making forward progress, however slow it seems at times.
We don’t know how many of these difficulties are permanent and which are temporary. The batteries of tests, doctors and evaluations just exploded this week and it’s enough to make my head spin. I’m developing a new vocabulary: neuro optometrist, audiologist, sensory integration issues, cognitive processing disorder, proprioceptive and vestibular.
Through it all, I am very aware of God’s provision. After four months of out of pocket therapy bills, my husband started a new job. His first job change in a decade brought with it an increased salary and better benefits. He is also working from home, which certainly has it’s downsides, but also means he can bear witness to the reality I live with every day and at times provide assistance. But somehow it’s more difficult to trust God for the intangibles. How I can be the mom they need and help them to grow up into functional members of society? How to teach my son about personal space (I type this with his almost six year old body perched half on my lap half on the dining room table). How to help my eight year old manage her anxiety and figure out how to navigate her learning struggles.
There are days when I want to give up. I feel totally ill equipped. As if somehow they were born into the wrong family, that maybe somewhere there is a mother who could do a better job than I. When I was searching for positive, age appropriate pop music on Spotify for my daughter (my classic rock loving husband shudders at the thought) I came across the song Born for This by Mandisa. I heard this years ago, and always liked it, despite the style being not quite my usual taste. But today it reminds me that I was intended for this. My life as the mother of these wonderful and yet not quite normal children is not an accident. God is not surprised. He has known them and planned for them even before their conception.
I don’t have to give up. But I do have to let go. I can surrender them and my dreams for them into hands much stronger than my own. Their futures may look nothing like I planned. But my daily routines are not unknown. This lover of my soul carries the weight of all this beautiful diverse humanity and the pain of the brokenness that entails. He can relate and sympathize. He is actively involved and engaged, not watching distantly. I am not alone. Neither are you. Let go of the burdens and the weariness, release the fear and embrace his peace.