Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Lord knows when to send a nudge in the right direction

When you get told that one of your children has issues, and is not on the "normal" - whatever that might be, developmental curve, you know that you might face more challenges than other parents. Hec, even having twins just foretells that parenting might be more challenging.

We have had very very tough weekends, specifically pertaining to Little Man L who just did not take the transition to weekend etc very well. I have to say that the last 3/4 weeks or so have really been on a way better level, even if he was sick this past one. But often, on weekend nights, Hunter and I would sag down, exhausted after the day and the tantrums and issues it brought.

We have one little weekend ritual we love - we go to our  local playpark where the puppies play ball and the kids have a ball - expend some energy and hopefully foretells a less stressful and more sleep filled evening. Twice before after having a particularly tough day with our L we have been shown, in our little play park, that we should be grateful for what we have. Twice before we have bumped into parents with children with very evident disabilities - once quite apparently some form of cerebral palsy and once a child with Downs syndrome. Every time we have recognized that this was a call to us to appreciate our "Out of Sync" child for what he is, not more on the special needs chart.

Then, a third time we were shown that we should be tankful was right after a tough afternoon and was sent right to our doorstep and into our house. A old buddy of Hunter's came over to watch the rugby and brought his new girlfriend along with a surprise addition -her 11 year old daughter with Downs syndrome. Who can talk less than our little man L, functions like a 5 year old and who brought her baby doll along - resulting in awakening the Princess' mothering instincts towards her babies for the first time. A lovely loving girl and who my children played with like any other friend - I was really proud of specifically the Princess who is old enough to know that something is not the usual and took entertaining her guest upon herself throwing in some of her own stickers etc and sharing so much .And as her mom told me later about having her hysterectomy at age 11 a few months ago I just felt her pain and her loss.

But yes, I see it as the Lord showing us to be thankful - we face so much less than any of these parents. However you see it - the Lord, the universe, chance, you have to admit that this is more than co-incidence.Yes, I really need the potty training to come along mostly at the moment. I wish I could see him functioning in class where he apparently does so much better than at home.   We will keep our hope up, we will concentrate on the positive improvements, we will march on to get the best we can for our child.  As any of the parents of these other children do. We just have so much more of a chance to succeed and that I need to acknowledge. Even though a lot of times I feel we deserve a break so much.


  1. You know what? I agree and can so relate. With my son with ADHD, one tend to think that the world is against you with all the challenges he brings but then God shows us that we should be thankful for our son and his disability because of examples like you mentioned in your post. I can so relate to this post of yours. 

  2. What a beautifully heartfelt post, my friend. I can relate too. I used to think we had so many problems with our 32-week preemies until I realised how much more my friend with her 32-week preemie has to face. That little one has brain problems and has 11 medical appts every 6 weeks - neurologist, normal paed, nutritionist, OT, PT, etc. Then.... I just thank God that we only have to spend R800 a month on the Nutren Jr and only have 1 appt every 3 months

  3. PS Happy Spring Day :) Your pic with the hat reminded me

  4. So true - when we are in the midst of tantrums and drama its easy to forget how truly blessed we are. Have a magical spring day!

  5. I had the same awakening and nudge with a little boy with Cerebral Palsy and major special needs on the weekend. He was darling and reminded me to be less concerned about my own boys minor special needs.

  6.  Such a heart-warming post darl.  Yes, i agree with you completely.  A good friend of mine has a little girl, same age as Polly, and she has cerebral palsy.  I see how different they are and I see how she often gets down about her situation, and then I am so grateful for my little Pollyanna.

  7. Very very true.  Your little man L has come a long way :) 

  8. Such a heartfelt post Cat...It is good to get it off your chest...and thank you for reminding us to be thankful.

  9. A beautiful heart wrenching, and heart warming post. I worked at a special needs school for children with severe mental and physical disabilities. It was incredibly difficuilt, but made me so appreciative for what I have.
    Here is an excerpt of what I blogged back in November 2008 when I was working at the school:
    It is a special needs school for physically and/or mentally disabled children. I have joined the Therapy Team of 5, but I am the only physio. (3 OT's and one Speech Therapist)
    Most of my case -load include children with Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy or a congenital syndrome.
    It is very, very sad! I cry most days, because we could do with 10 more physio's and still have more work to do!
    Most of the children with Cerebral Palsy were all very prem babies (about 25 - 30 weeks, weighing 600 - 900 grams!!) They either had a bleed in their brain some time during their NICU stay, or were born not breathing and were resuscitated, the lack of Oxygen to the brain resulting in the brain damage.
    I also have a couple of boys with Muscular Dystrophy, and then a handful of children with syndromes with very long double - barrel names like : Cornelia Delange Syndrome, Angelmans Syndrome, Fransch-Webber Syndrome, Dandy -Walker Syndrome...
    And all these children simply break my heart! As a Physio - my goal has always been to make people better! And here, I am having to work with children whom I know I can NEVER make better. I have to change my whole mind set, and goal focus. I am aiming to make them more functional, or more comfortable, but not better!
    It is both rewarding and torture at the same time! Torture, because these little ones scream as I stretch them, to try and get them into their splints, to put their feet in a functional position so they can stand in a frame. And then rewarding when they smile as they stand upright for the first time in years!
    We have a Hydrotherapy pool at the school, which is great for treatment, and we also take the children for remedial horse riding.
    But - the emotions I feel for the desperate plight of some of these children threatens to overtake me at times!  I want to do what I can, to help - I just hope I am strong enough!
    I am lucky. I come home each day, and leave all the problems behind. I come home to my healthy kids who can run around and talk and play and don't have pain...
    But my heart goes out to these special children and their care-givers and families, who live with this day in and day out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week... 
    So - thats my news for now! The hours of my job are great (school hours) plus I get school holidays! So in 3 weeks time, I will be on Holiday for 7 weeks!! What a winner!

  10. How did I miss this post Cat? My heart goes out to you....because I can relate v e r y well to what you are going through with L. I am sure you werent reading my blog when Lulu was 2.5yrs old but we went through utter HELL as parents for the early years. Things have most definitely improved. I remember how hard weekends fact I dreaded them. Thank you for sharing your heart and allowing all of us to reconsider our own blessings in spite of challenges

  11. It never ceases to amaze me how these little "reminders" come our way when we "think" we are at our lowest, only to be reminded that it really isn't nearly as bad as it could be.  Sending lots of love and strength your way.


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