Thursday, October 14, 2010

31 of 21 - Finding Peace and Acceptance

I've started and restarted this entry over and over.  I haven't been able to come up with just the right words to say.  I desperately wanted to have some great prose about acceptance and all I can think of is to say don't waste time worrying about everything your child won't be because you will miss out on all the great things that they are. I know the grief cycle, been in it often, still find myself there every once in awhile, but have found it a useless place to be.  By constantly focusing all that is not, all that is negative, it overshadows and darkens the beauty of what our kids are, no matter what the diagnosis is.  I've met so many parents over the years that are always hung up on how hard it is, everything their child does wrong, comparing their child to all the typical kids they know, and hung up on the things their child does that aren't age appropriate.  Wishing that things were different is one thing but having it consume your life or affect your parenting is another.

There are those children with severe emotion disabilities that makes it hard not to ever get out of the negative as their existence is all consuming.  I understand that more than most.  For those children I just feel pity. They will never know anything resembling a typical life and continuously hurt those around them that try to help them.  It's so sad to hear and see, but it's true it happens.  We had a foster child like that.

Finding the strength to let go and find acceptance is hard.  Letting go doesn't mean not helping your child improve in those areas that are lacking.  Letting go means being so excited about those baby steps that it far out shadows those negatives.  Typical children reach milestones, my kids make inchstones.  I celebrate each of those inchstone progresses like they were a milestone, because those inchstones will add up to milestones some day.  Even in my older children that are still struggling with some basic things.  I may not sing and dance with them like I do my little one who is potty training, but there are still small celebrations that I think are more for me at times than them.  Yes they get a positive out of it and are excited by our high fives and no they don't see my happy dance after they leave the room.  I don't feel the excitement any less than I did when they were small and overcoming the very basic firsts.  That excitement is still there for me.

I see all of my children as wonderful, beautiful beings that I have been blessed to raise.  They have their moments or setbacks - stealing from a store, losing their temper and hitting someone, being actively defiant and not caring, instigating all kinds of drama in the house, being so rigid in their schedule and ideas that anything but what they expect leads to a total meltdown, and total meltdowns over nothing.  There are days I am at wits end with them and wondering where I'm going to find the strength to weather yet another storm of issues.  I take a few minutes to think of those who have it worse off than I, what my kids have overcome, what we have weathered in the past, and the problem never seems as bad after that.  It's easier to accept what is happening and move forward with a more positive attitude, even in the most negative situations.

I love the saying, "Peace ~ It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."  Look for those little things, those inchstones, draw those into your memory when times are tough, celebrate them in your heart even when you are ready to cry, and draw strength from knowing you are doing all that you can.

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