Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Cutest Face

It was a Friday afternoon, a couple of weeks ago.  My anxiety level was high, because I had just chased down the kids' bus driver.  Twice.  Once because Sister didn't get off at her stop, and then again, because Noah remembered he left his hoodie on there.  Surely, I'm not the only mom ever to hop out at a stop light, run up to the bus, and beat on the driver's window to ask him to pull over at the next available spot.  When it comes to boys and their Under Armour, it's serious business and mine is a little over-dramatic, so it simply could not wait til Monday afternoon.  Chances are it would be gone by then.  If you're a Mom who has paid for that stuff, I know you feel me and would have done the same thing.  Okay, probably not.  Because a sane person would get the driver's phone number and call them.  Nope.  Not me.  So maybe I know where he gets his over-dramatization from.

Anyway, driving back home, I overheard the kids in the backseat of the car.

Noah leaned over to Deacon and said, "Oh, I just want to kiss your face! It's the cutest face in the whole world!"

Then, I hear Sister say, "You mean the cutest Down Syndrome face."

Noah was so enthralled by his brother that I don't think he heard her.   He just continued on..."I love you, Bubba.  You're the cutest little Brother in the world.  This is just the cutest little face..."

Sister insistently interrupted, "You mean the cutest DOWN SYNDROME face!"

This time he heard her.  He looked at her in total dismay and said, "What? No! What are you talking about? Why would you say that?  Why would his face be any different than any other face?  It's just the cutest face!"

She just put her head down in embarrassment and didn't say a word.  And neither did I.  I just smiled.  I couldn't help but think of the lessons that Deacon is continuing to teach them.  Teach me.  How to see others through Christ's eyes and to love them unconditionally.  To see past their flaws, their weaknesses, their differences, and to love them for who they are.  It is my prayer that as days and years go by this lesson carries on into their lives.  That when my children look at others, they don't see a pretty face, an unseemly face, a rich face, a poor face, a smart face, an unintelligent face, or any other kind of face, but rather they just see a face.  A person.  A life just as important as their own.   I also pray that my children do not find pleasure in mocking another's blemishes or insecurities.    It might be in our human nature to judge and make fun of, but it's not at all our place.  I'm not casting any stones, because I am just as guilty as the next person.  I'm learning too.  He's continuing to change me into a better person.  I'm a work in progress, but aren't we all?  The truth is whether or not we choose to admit it, we are all broken and imperfect.  We are all different in our own way.  But Christ loves us anyway.  Can you imagine what a better place this World would be if we all loved with this same love? 

When I look at my son, I don't see Down Syndrome, I just see Deacon.  A happy, healthy (minus the broken leg & cast) little boy who loves life with a passion and brings so much joy to those around him.  I am not naive enough to believe that everyone around him will always see or treat him this way.  I cringe to think about what he will face or hear from some of the cruel, hateful people in this world.  I like to have the ignorance is bliss mentality and think they don't exist, but I've been on social media long enough to see that they do.  All I can do is pray for these people, and do my best to protect my son.  Hoping that maybe one day he can teach them too.  And knowing that there are many more good people in this world than there are bad.

And speaking of there being more good people...we have been showered with so many meals, gifts, cards, prayers, and well wishes during this little bump in the road.  I can't say enough how appreciative I am for the love shown to my boy and our family.  Even from complete strangers.  Just a few weeks ago, I had a lady contact me and tell me that Deacon had been nominated for something called the Sunshine Box Project.  If you haven't heard of them, they are an awesome organization that connects sponsors with nominees and help send boxes of sunshine to those who could really use it.  How awesome is that?! Click here to find out more or how you could be involved.  We received our package a few days ago from a precious family in Georgia.  The big kids were just as blessed by it as Deacon.  And so were we.  It's so refreshing and inspiring to see people loving other people and carrying out such selfless acts.

God is good! All of the time.  I love seeing how He works and have other stories to tell, but I'll save those for another post.  For now, here are some highlights from the past few months...

 Sister turned 7!

 Mardi Gras fun! 

Snow in Louisiana! Happens once in a blue moon.  We don't even know how to handle it!
(Hence the turtle sandbox lid for a sled.)

And soakin' in some of this spring sunshine...


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Finding Joy in the Journey

Structured and planners are not adjectives regularly used to describe me or my husband.  I have good intentions.  I do.  But here's what happens, I say okay guys on Tuesday, we're going to do A, B, & C so that on Wednesday all we have to do is D, and then before we can get to C, X jumps in to throw us for a curve-ball and D never takes place.   Happens all the time.  Our most recent unexpected event was a trip to the ER followed by a two-night stay in the hospital, and Deacon being put in a nearly full-body cast for six weeks. Dang you, X!

It's been a little over two weeks since Brother broke his femur.   For those of you who don't know what happened, Noah was doing his homework when Deacon came in and snatched it off his desk.  Noah leaned forward to grab it back, lost balance, and both he and the desk fell over and landed on Deacon's leg.  Dustin was in the room with them when it happened.  He came into the living room all calmly with Deacon crying his head off, set him down, and said, "Ok.  Don't freak out, but..." I've learned that when his sentences start with those words, it's going to be just cause to freak out.  As soon as I saw his leg, I said, "Get in the car, let's go!"  Only we can't go, because by then Noah is beside himself and has "run away".  We found him four houses down.  We assured him that it was not his fault, and coaxed him into the car only to realize that Sister was missing.  For some reason, "We think brother has a broke his leg and we have to go to the emergency room right now!" translated to her as go to your room, pack a big bag full of random stuff, change out of your school uniform into a cute outfit, and put on a bra. (Seriously, a bra? She's SEVEN! And if you're wondering where she got it from, it's one of those cool, cousin hand-me-downs that she's so proud of. Thanks, Aunt Sharon!) Meanwhile, brother is in excruciating pain.

I rode in the back seat with him.  It felt like it took forever to get to the hospital.  He was just crying and crying and looking at me with fear and pain in his eyes.  It broke my heart to watch.  Three hours later, he finally got his first dose of pain medicine.  I'm sharing the picture of his x-ray with you to show you what a trooper he was! I don't think I would have handled what he went through so well.  Actually, I know I couldn't have.  The x-ray alone would have sent me over the edge.

This boy is so stinkin' independent that he refused to let me help him eat.  He was determined to figure out how to hold the cup and get the goldfish into his mouth by himself with one hand taped up.  If I tried to touch it, he very imperatively yelled, "STOP!" I appreciate the independence, but the stubbornness...not so much.  He's been pretty demanding lately.  He sits in his beanbag and yells, "I hungry!" "I want puzzle!" "I want IPAD!" "I want CUP!"  "I want Barney!" For the most part, he gets what he wants.  We might be creating a monster, but you do what you have to do to maintain your sanity! And I've got to give him props for using complete sentences.

Anyway, so here we are.  Making it.  One day at a time.  It's no piece of cake.  It's pretty annoying actually, but it could always be worse.   I'm learning the tricks.  Like when he is completely inconsolable, and I  feel helpless, because I don't know if he's mad, sleepy, frustrated, or hurting...if I just go into meltdown mode with him and start crying too, he stops.  It's like magic.  I've decided I'm  just going to start losing it sooner, and we should be alright. ;)

Ironically, he was wearing his "Find Joy in the Journey" shirt the day he broke his leg.   And that's exactly what we are trying to do.  It might be walking outside and listen to him belly laugh as he touches the rain. Or hopping in the car with the windows rolled down, driving to Sonic for a slushy, and watching him raise his hands, close his eyes, and smile as the wind hits him in the face.  It's always there, some days we just have to work a little harder to find it.

"...for the JOY of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for JOY, and with my song I praise him." (Psalm 28:7)

Whatever you're going through, I hope you are able to find the joy in your journey too. :) God bless!