When I was a kid and Cabbage Patch kids were all the rage… I’m talking all the rage, like people beating each other up for them (that’s when you really know something is great) I, like every other kid in America, asked for one from Santa. Santa Claus did not deliver. I was devastated and heart broken. Instead, Santa did his very best and gave me a homemade, hand sewn, knock off , non-look alike, Cabbage Patch named Libby. I was mad at Libby for about ten whole seconds and then man, did I love on her hard. She went everywhere with me. Me and Lib were thick. Occasionally I would remember that she was not the real deal and be embarrassed by her falsities, however, love would always prevail and all of everything else would disappear.
I was pretty concerned about having a baby with Down syndrome. Even though now I know there are thousands of disabilities, Down syndrome seemed to be the one to torment me. People really spook you about that one. Never mind that I had a good friend who’s sister had Down syndrome or that an old boyfriend’s cousin had it too. Never mind that I wasn’t scared of either one of them and that I actually found them endearing. All of those goodie-goodie gum drops were tossed out in the trash when I thought that it could happen to me. The detriment of the possibility consumed me. And when it actually did happen,oh my how I fumbled. I spent quite a bit of time wondering how. I was devastated, embarrassed and hurt. Judah’s big brother came to visit with his sweet big brother shirt on and it nearly killed me. This was NOT the little brother I wanted for my first baby boy. I became literally sick over it. I spent a little bit of time feeling sorry for myself and healing was a process.
I’m two years into the journey now. I’ve since had another boy and so that makes 3 darling little monsters for this mommy. While I simply adore all three of my sons, there is a fierceness in the way I love Judah; a fierceness that says “don’t mess with us!” Judah is my Scooby-doo, my Gilligan, my Beavis,my Ernie, my Oats, my Sonny and my Biden. We have something. People see it and I feel it. I am so in love with this little human that I am actually secretly mad about his independence. He is absolutely bound to do great things and leave me one day.
All kidding aside, sometimes I can’t believe the way I have changed. I was moving bins of clothes around yesterday and I actually saw that old big brother shirt. I wept. I cried for how hopeless and hurt I was. I sobbed for what I didn’t know. That old pain is unforgotten. But now, I am not in the least bit scared anymore. In fact, I cannot wait to see this child every morning. He makes me laugh a thousand laughs a day and amazes me just as many times. I no longer wonder how this could have happened to me. Rather , I thank God everyday for giving me a gift of love that prevails and makes all of everything else disappear.
Do you ever just feel off? I’ve felt off for awhile now. I’ve chalked it up to winter blues. Seasonal effective disorder and all of that…..Or? or? Could it be that I had a child three months ago and am still trying on rockstar mom for size . I’m wearing my full-time work suit ,crafty mom shirt , PTA mom attire, adult-fun outfit and writer apparel. As I am sure you would imagine, I’m failing; miserably. This is not a pity post, please…but currently we have A strep throat, RSV, sibling jealousy, ear infection, growth spurt kind of thing going on here and I have been known to heave hidden sobs for a hot, hot minute.
In any case, I haven’t been feeling it. In fact, I’ve been downright paranoid….wondering if I lost my little gratitude sparky spark for good.
This weekend while Bobby was down and out with strep and Judah had God knows what and Augie kept crying , I went to get coping wine that went BAD (are you kidding?) I called it a night and the next morning turned to church. The homily spoke of light. Can others see your light? Are you IT no matter what? Is it dim? Is it on? If not…..wait!!! If not? Here I’ve been figuring that I’m a failure because the light went dim. My graciousness went missing. But the pastor speaking for the man Himself, is not saying “you’re a jerk,” or “you failure” Instead he’s asking WHY? What part of your circuit is not connected? And right there in the pew, I wept for me. Then I realized the silliness of weeping for being overwhelmed and then I wept for being selfish. After that, I decided to be the light! I’ve been just so self loathing and disappointed and bored with all of our ill will. I actually went to church to collect holy water, which I did (in ziplock ware.) A little girl asked her mommy what I was doing and a mommy answered “well that’s none of your business ” to which I offered a desperate smile…The priest picked to speak of light on this day and I happened to go there to collect holy water and and a homily that acted as duct tape holding the flailing pieces of me together. I am smitten by it, to be full of a humbling guiding light for those who need it. It sets me free from being the flood light that I worry about. The one that makes me wonder when exactly it went missing . I am not a beacon, I am a shepard and so I took from the church what I needed…..
I carried home that holy water and said little prayers as I (probably not so sacrificially) finger sprinkled it out of its Tupperware around my house. Bobby with his strep throat was amused by me, but none the less committed to my cause. I became the light for our little family instead of part of its destruction. BE THE LIGHT. Those three little words changed everything for me when I decided to shine for others. Miraculously, that dim candle light of love grew wildly as it sparked the light in others. BE THE LIGHT…..
(if I ever ink up more of my body , you can be sure it will be with those 3 words)