Friday, January 9, 2015

 {The day you turned 12}

Dear K,

The day you turned 12 was good. It was laid back and 3/4 of it was bonafide jammie day, your favorite. 

You have grown a whole lot this year. Being your mama is a cloak that surrounds my heart. Not darkening or hiding it, but draping around it and reshaping it. It's so much of the woman I have become, and not a bit of the woman I thought I would be.

This year I learned what it was like to look into your pooling hazel eyes and not see you. That's alot of hard right there. But see? That's part of being your mama. It's knowing the soft is you and the hardening is not. It's seeing beyond the clenched fists and frustration and peering into the depths of your soul.

My dear little miracle. I know. I know there are things you can't will your body to do. I know that your familiar is everything to you. I know you cling to the comfort of stability, and I am learning exactly what that stability looks like. When even a thread of your well built and somewhat mysterious world begins to unravel I see you unravel, in the most heartbreaking way.

So I hold on to my stability. And I think you know exactly what that is. I heard you tell your teacher the other day that "mama gets up early in the morning and reads her Bible." - And I didn't even know you knew. Because let's face it, you and anything before 7:30 am? - Complete strangers.

But somehow in the peripheral of your heart you know my stability. You have tremendous depths of intuitive knowledge. 

You grasp your colorful beads and rub them with your fingers until the color wears off and they turn grey. - And you feel stable.

You run your bare feet on your soft rug.

Over and over and over.

Perfect rhythm.
And you are grasping at your stability.

So I cry out to my God. Your Creator, life savor, and sustainer.

Over and over. If my prayers were beads they'd be worn to a grey.

When your eyes go blank and frustration colors your being with rage I just want to reach you. I want to tell you that mama's got this and you will be ok. But I can't reach you in those moments. Sometimes I have to walk away and wipe at my own tear filled eyes. I sink down on the floor and grasp for my stability. I pray. I text your daddy. I take deep breaths. Because really, if not for grace and maturity and filters, wouldn't we all be banging our head on the floor, bathed in our own tears, kicking and yelling out our frustration when our stability slips and our world feels out of control?

You are starting to articulate your feelings with more and more clarity and sometimes it stops me in my tracks and I'm shocked at your self awareness.

Your words, a faint light in the midst of a dark freak out moment, "I'm feeling worried that my feelings won't turn around!"  Again, isn't that everyone? You aren't so different after all.

And once it was, "I'm getting nervous. I don't know what's going to happen!"

And one that actually makes me giggle a bit.... Watching a beloved Charlie brown movie and pausing it right after the loveably depressed main character says, "I feel like I'm losing control of the whole world". - And you said, "See?! That's how I feel!" And your daddy, without missing a beat, said "K, you never had control of the world." ;) Ahh the sweet grace of humor.

I long to have the tools to give to you when I can not reason with you. And I am determined to learn. To learn you and learn me. We'll get this. We will. I know your mind has depths I haven't even come close to entering into.

And I love you.

So much.

I love you when you laugh that awesome high pitched can't-control-yourself laugh.

I love you when you eat us out of house and home (can I get a hallelujah for all those years of tube feedings and failure to thrive?!?!)

I love you when you give me a great big smacking kiss right in the middle of a hushed moment at church.

I love you when you run to me from your classroom at the end of a school day.

I love you when you sing to me.

I love you when you think you are a little baby and can cuddle onto my lap.

And I love you when you yell at me. I love you when you try to hit me and when you kick me. it hurts. It's not like it was when you were small. You are stronger than I ever imagined. And this is new and uncomfortable.

For as uncomfortable and taken off guard as I have felt, I know. I know that your discomfort and panic level is through the roof. It happens when your stability is gone. It happens when you don't feel in control - so you literally lose control.

And I love you.

Today you actually verbalized it for the first time - the wonder. "Do you still love me?"

The melt down was minor in compared to some, but you had your typical remorse. When reality kicked in, after your world began aligning to your expectations again, your eyes found mine - and yours were pools of hazel again instead of the flat coal they had been.

"mom - do you still love me?"

Oh baby.

We are both ragged and torn from learning this. So much is new and we just don't know.

But yes. I love you. I loved you before you were born, fell head over heels for all one pound eight ounces of you when we met and my whole world is too tangled up in you to ever break free of that love.

In addition to that, I am choosing.

I am choosing to love through the pain. Because sometimes? Sometimes I don't know if I am cut out of tough enough stuff to make this journey. Sometimes we just do things that we need to do because God orchestrated it and we trust.

I choose you. I choose this. I choose special needs, doctors, specialists, and every chance I can get to grow closer to Jesus through you.

On the day you turned twelve I was once again won over by everything about you. You are big and strong and learning. You walk, run, quote entire movies, love everyone in the whole wide world, and chase after life very passionately.

I love you always.



sara said...

I truly think that is the most beautiful post I have ever read...truly.

Anne Elizabeth said...

This post was beautiful!