Content No Matter What

Friday, October 9, 2009

An email newsletter from Gerber

I was recently asked, "Is it difficult for you to look at the developmental charts when your child is delayed?"

I thought for a moment, thinking about how I wanted to respond.

I thought about what I felt when Cayman was just a few months old. I had thrown out all the developmental charts her Pediatrician had given us. As Cayman fell further and further behind, it was painful to be reminded of her delays and the charts only left me feeling stressed. I was still learning how to process Cayman's delays. I wanted to be content yet I never felt content when I looked at those charts.

Standing over the trash can staring into its darkness I prayed, "Lord, I throw these charts out because right now they are a hindrance to me but please grow in me the ability to be content no matter what."

Seeing another child Cayman's age, or even younger and surpassing her abilities would sting my heart. I once again would feel stressed and discontent.

Loving Cayman exactly how she is has always been the easy part. It was never a question about love. It was about wanting more for her than what she might be limited to experience in this life. That want and desire, though rooted in a mother's love, can easily rob a blessed life of the simple joys.

After my interactions with the other children, my mind would ponder and sort through the heavy thoughts that weighed on my heart.

I am truly grateful for the moments with those other children Cayman's age. Some were our friends' kids that we hung out with and others were short, brief encounters at the grocery store of passing strangers. Each one was an opportunity for me to learn to be content.

The question:

"Is it difficult for me to look at the developmental charts since Cayman does not match their suggestion?

My Response:

"Not so much anymore. Sure there are still moments when I feel a sting of pain in my heart but it's always a smooth trip back to complacency. It's easy not getting discouraged when I recall the day we were quoted our baby's survival statistics. Our hearts grieved as if we had lost her. Experiencing that kind of heartache has now left us rejoicing at everything Cayman does because it feels like a gift that we weren't suppose to receive but did."


19 Showin' Comment Love:

Grandma Cindy said...

Cayman certainly is a Priceless Gift from God that we are oh so Thankful for!!! Our lives are enriched with Cayman's spirit and beauty! Love you dearly Cayman! We are so proud of you and who you are! You have touched more lives than most people could ever dream of. You inspire and bring countless smiles to our faces. If those things were considered milestones you would be off the charts and setting new standards for everyone else. XOXOXOXO

Grandma S said...

Ditto Grandma Cindy's comment.

Melanie said...

I got that same email (Teagan and Cayman are only a few days apart)! And your post touched on many thoughts I have often. I wish I had the grace and contentment you have. I'm afraid I still feel a lot of the heartache. With every seizure, or other new symptom, my strength is tested all over again. But I'm working on it - and reading posts like this one helps me keep the pain in check :)

Thanks for writing this, Kristen!

Beth said...

And how could you not be content with that sweet face looking at you!!!! I swear she gets cuter with every picture!!!

Great post!

Amy J. said...

Once again you have uplifted me with your words and honest feelings. And Cayman looks so grown up in that photo! I can't believe how long and curly her hair is getting, oh so pretty.

Jennifer said...

Love that smile! She's so precious!

Mary said...

Very well said. Its as if the farther down the road we get from the orginal news of Riley having Ds the shorter that sting is when you have the delays thrown at you. I have gotten to where the emails and updates don't get to me at all, but I struggle when other moms want to point out things. I'm not sure why pointing out to me that Riley isn't that far behind their kid drives me so nutz. Its a good test of my patience and some days I fail but it has gotten easier with time.

The Soldatke family said...

Thanks for writing this Kristen, it was beautiful! I still struggle alot with this; some days more than others. What a beautiful picture of Cayman!

Stephanie said...

I am a grandmother and mother. I am just in awe of both You and Lisa and how well you not only learn about your child's medical issues but also you beautiful souls and attitudes. Thank you for blessing all our lives.

p.s. I just returned from Target where I ran into one of Elisabeth early intervention therapists. She asked about Elisabeth who she hasn't seen in Twenty years. I spoke the truth adulthood is the hardest. Society does not include special needs as we should. She then said something that is not at all true. "You knew it would be that way" No ,my dear, I did not. I prayed and hoped for a normal have friends and have a life life for my daughter. I did not picture the reality we now live.

I would however never trade the joy of knowing and having Elisabeth and all she continues to teach me. Have a great day.

Debbie said...

Don't fret over develomental milestones...Cayman is progressing through them at an amazing pace, even though it may not seem like it to you. She is amazing at what she is doing and it is all because of your hard work and Cayman's determination. She is doing great and is going to go far!

Tsquared417 said...

I couldn't agree more. I have a post coming up that is similar to yours...can I link to yours when I write it?

Beautifully said, as always, Kristen!

Lisa said...

It's all about perspective, isn't it?

She's doing wondefully.

I [obviously] don't pay any attention to the 'what your child should be doing' lists. If anything, Donald and get a little chuckle at them and say 'oh my, Elisabeth is a little bit behind, isn't she.' (Of course that's said with the greatest amount of love and acceptance :) )

Beautifully written post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it :)

Lisa said...

goodness, I should proof read before publishing.

That should be 'wonderfully' and 'Donald and I'



Anonymous said...

Kris, this blog hita home in many ways. Because I find myself doing this already over the past months, with all the newborns i encounter at the store or wherever. Going out is hard for that exact reason. I pray for the jealousy to go away of that mother that has her baby to hold, or the lady thtat looks like shes going to pop anyday. I struggle with it daily, so this blog kinda reminds me to be "content" as possible I guess. Thank you.

Tyler said...

Well said and beautifully written. You inspire me with every post. I wish I can write my words and thoughts so deligently.

I love the picture.

Diane, Tyler's mom

Sue said...

What a thrill it has been for me watching Cayman grow and do so many things....many things you probably thought she may never do. I am amazed at each milestone she surpasses, and I also know that Cayman is doing so well due to all you and Mike are doing with/for her. How well she is doing has been a 'group' effort and all 3 of you....are....awesome. You have a super family!

Aunt Sam said...

Cayman is pretty adorable...and I wouldn't change her for anything! :)

Tara said...

This sting is even harder when you have a younger child. Abigail has passed many milestones that Michelle has yet to meet. They are on the same physical milestone. Pulling to stand, crawling, sitting. But at the same time I look back on Michelle and I miss the things that she should have been able to do.

Katie said...

THIS is just perfect! I couldn't agree more. Your words, thoughts, and actions are those I have said thought and felt.
I delete the babycenter updates because of the same pain. I delete them NOW because I don't want to see what Lilah isn't doing.(Trust me...I cousin has a baby 1 month behind Lilah na dhe has started taking steps.) I celebrate what she CAN do. I have gotten to a place of such peace. I LOVE Lilah...exactly how she, tomorrow, forever.
I am SO glad I have such positive friends..blogland remind me of the great things about our children. We are the lucky ones...we are blessed. We know God in a much more intimate way than anyone could imagine. We have seen HIS hands work. We have wept tears of pain...but HE has caught each one. HE has used each tear to strengthen us to HIS likeness. We are his words, his fingers, his voice...we are telling the amazing HE is by our gifts HE has given us. To the world these gifts may be like the "misfit toys" but to you and I...we are the children who welcome and love the "toys" whether or not they have "misplaced" parts...we don't care...we are grateful for each moment to "play" with our gifts.

Thanks for your great post!