Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Island

I love the idea of the Island of Misfit Toys in the Rudolph show each year.  It clearly reminds me of my own family and how my kids fit in, or don't, to society.  Not just my kids, but my family in general.  But just as the toys felt left out, so do families like mine.  My family is blessed with many of the colors God intended skin color to be - not like most families. My kids are so unique in their disabilities not because of rare disorders, but due to the conglomerate of issues that arise from prenatal exposures.  I mean how many people have a child that is highly gifted with attachment issues, has sensory issues, is a happy defiant so can't get an ODD diagnosis and went into precocious puberty?  I've never met one no matter how many people I have reached out to.  All of my kids are quirky in their own way with their abilities very wide ranging.

The idea of being an island is the best way I can explain the way it feels to parent children like this.  I can put out bridges to other islands, bridges to connections with hopefully other islands that have similar issues.  Some days it feels there are only a few secure bridges as the torrent life bombards my island with all the fury it can let loose.  Other days it's a tropical dream of many bridges but a nice place to retreat to for time alone.

Christmas Island is a special place I hold in my mind.  Christmas Island is the place I let myself go to once a year when the holidays roll around.  I allow myself to think of how the holidays should be, the Normal Rockwell version.  I don't try to replicate a Norman Rockwell Christmas scene because I know it would be a dismal failure (I tried numerous times in the early years) leaving all of us feeling empty.  Instead we fill our days with our typical structure with little extras thrown in here and there to keep the stability in life for my kids, but my mind is going wild with all the things we would do but for their disabilities.  Surprisingly it's not sad for me to think of things this way though.  When I see something the children do that is anywhere close to what is in my imagination, it almost takes my breath away.  It shows their growth and it shows me a bit of a dream.  I've always like the saying Life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but by how many times are breath is taken away.  That's what those moments are.

God has given me a lot to deal with raising these children, but somewhere in His infinite wisdom He has given me the ability to see the beauty in these moments.  I have been told frequently God does not give us things we cannot handle, but somewhere in my heart I know He gives me these moments so I can handle the ones He challenges me with.

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