From the Archives – Vintage Copperswife

      As part of a project I’m working on, I’ve been looking back through my blog archives.  I’ve laughed a lot, and I’ve cried some, too.  I ran across this post, and thought it might challenge and/or encourage someone today.  I pray that it does both!
    
     From October, 2006:

I promise, I really do, not to dwell forever on children with special needs.  But as I claim in my blog title, as well as in my side bar, I’m going to blog about bits and pieces of my day – the good, the bad and the not-so-pretty.  Right now, the bits and pieces of my days are consumed with looking for ways to help my seven year old son.

     As anyone knows who is a parent, there are times when, for one reason or  another, one child seems to be on the front lines of our parenting.  In my years as a mom, I can give examples of times when each of my four children, at one time or another, have required more than their fair share of my time as a parent.  There have been weeks, over the silly homeschool boys 002_320x240course of the last couple of years, that have been involved in prayer, research, prayer, doctor’s appointments, prayer, observation and more research (did I mention I prayed a lot?) working on how to best help my seven year old son.

     However, the time spent is not the issue here.  The thing I want to share with you today is how the Lord has used this experience with my precious son to not only humble me, but also to check my judgmental spirit.

     I was a woman who, when viewing another mom struggling with a child, would smugly think to herself, “All that child needs is some discipline.”  Oh, I cringe even now thinking back on that!

     I know now what it feels like to hear that from others.  I know what it’s like to have the Wal Mart lady stop in her tracks and watch, with contempt on her face, as you help your child extricate himself from the four inch tall bottom rack of the shopping cart.  It only took him two seconds to get in there while you were putting the mascara in the cart,  but it takes MUCH l-o-n-g-e-r to get him back out.

     Lately I’ve heard, “Oh, he’s just your youngest so he’s spoiled.”, and, “He’s the youngest so he gets away with more.”  Truth be told, my youngest child has received plenty of biblical discipline.  In many, many ways, we’ve been tougher on him.  I do want to hear others child training tips that have worked for them with their kids; but I hope they understand that I probably know those same tips, and have used them successfully with my three older children.  The deal is, they just don’t work the same with a child whose brain functions differently.

     I miss my son.  He was the boy who was always smiling, who was always full Sleepy 001_320x240 of mirth and merriment, and who was so affectionate that we came up with the term “drive-by lovin’s” to describe the way he’d breeze past us, backtrack to give us a tight hug, and then move right back along.  Oh, it was precious!!  I don’t see that little boy often anymore.  He began disappearing when he was three or four.  I see glimpses of him; but, for the most part, that joyful little boy is gone.  In his place I have a child prone to emotional swings, “meltdowns”, a boy who is frequently found wandering aimlessly, and a boy who cannot be still.  Nope, he really can NOT.  He even moves constantly in his sleep!

     I don’t know how to parent this boy.  I don’t have the strength, the wisdom or the skills.  But I don’t need them.  Much as I love my son, God loves him infinitely more.  That’s almost unfathomable to me.  I love him so much, and yet God loves him even more.  So much that he sent His only son to die on the cross for my son!  God knit my seven year old together in my womb, knowing full well the child He was creating there.  I don’t need strength, wisdom or skills of my own.  They’d be useless even if I had them.  I need the strength that comes from faith in the Lord.  I need the wisdom that comes only from time spent in prayer and reading the Word.  I need the skills that the Lord has already blessed me with, in His omniscience, to help my seven year old grow up to be a godly Christian man, husband and father.

     I am so humbled by this.  I am humbled by my constant need for God’s help in all of this, and I am humbled that He would think me capable of raising this boy.  I am even humbled that He blessed me with this boy so late in life.  

     I have also learned not to judge other parents.  I am ashamed of my former “know-it-all” parenting attitude.  I have learned, instead, to pray when I see a mom, or dad, struggling with a child in public (though I confess to being less compassionate with parents who are behaving badly!).  

     I have learned to smile at the child who HAS to touch every other hanger on the rack, and HAS to go back if they miss one.  Yes, they really do HAVE to do it.  When our pediatrician asked our son what it felt like to not do something he had to do, he grimaced and made a very painful expression, and shuddered at the very thought.   

     I have learned to give a cheery “hi”, to a child whose physical tics seem to be controlling him.  Did you know that also encourages the mom, who realizes, of course, that everyone is staring at her child?

     Oh, I know there are kids out there who are just rebellious and/or disobedient. It doesn’t hurt for me to pray for those struggling families, too.  Besides, I don’t know when I see them if their struggles are in child training or if their struggles are with a child with a diagnosed medical condition.  You can’t tell by looking.  Only God can see into the heart.

    Please don’t read this post and think it’s a whining sob story.  It’s not.  While I do appreciate your prayers, always, this is also not a prayer request.  If you are led to pray, pray for all the parents of children with all sorts of special needs, whether their needs are physical, mental, or a mixture of both.  Pray for your attitude the next time you encounter a child whose behavior is not quite up to snuff.  Give thanks to God for your normal child.   

     The Lord has not only blessed me with a special son, but he has also blessed me, through Corin, with a special three year old grandson. These two boys can make me smile, can warm my heart, and can bring tears of joy to me quicker than anything I’ve ever experienced before.  My heart is so full of love for them!

     With God’s help, as I yield my pride at being an “experienced mom”, and humble myself before Him, I will discover ways to help my son.  Nutritionally. two-small-rosesEducationally.  Medically, perhaps.  Only time will tell how reaching maturity will affect my son’s Tourette’s Syndrome, OCD, ADHD and other traits.  The symptoms may be lessened in adolescence, or they may become much worse.  They could go away in puberty, only to recur in adulthood.  Or God could relieve him of these things entirely.  Only God knows.  I trust Him with my whole heart in this, and know that He has given me this boy knowing how I would work to find the best ways to raise Him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households today.
Proverbs 31:27

Oh, and kiss your kids, too!

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14 comments to From the Archives – Vintage Copperswife

  • You know I’ve been reading your blog for hmm about a year or so.  And I’ve often considered unsubscribing because you seem just to good to be true.  And slightly irritated with how fastistidious of a housekeeper you are, when I know our house will *never* achieve that look. 

    But then I read this blog.  Of a mother who loves her child, and has no way of knowing how to truely help him.  And I relate with all of my heart.  I have a son with his own issues.  And every one tells me “Oh your just blaming his behavior on xyz”   But I’m raising five other kids the same way and there doing just fine.

    He breaks all the rules, and keeps me humble.  I appreciate your humbleness and your reposting this blog.  I relate.  Thanks for the reminder I’m not alone in my struggle raise. 

  • I enjoyed reading this old post of yours. What you’re said reminds me of my 4 almost 5 year old brother. He is nothing like the little playful boy he was. I miss him, and this age he is at is very challanging. I am the eldest girl and he is the “eldest” boy. I may be a lot older than him but he wants “rights” as the eldest too. But in the end we all love each other. 🙂

    ~*~Megan~*~

  • I have an 18 year old who has special needs and I can really relate to this post Cheryl!
    Thanks so much for reposting this…it was just what I needed to read!

  • I have an 18 year old who has special needs and I can really relate to this post Cheryl!
    Thanks so much for reposting this…it was just what I needed to read!

  • My almost 9 year old eldest son has Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and my next two children, twins aged 6 have a receptive/expressive dissorder (language delays).  To say my first 5 years of parenting were tough is an understatement!  Thankfully, Troy is growing out of his ASD (in some areas) as he gets older, and the twins keep improving also.  How I have fallen back on the Lord so many times!  It can feel so lonely, being the parent of special needs children, but its so wonderful to know that the Lord loves my children more than I, and he knows the best way to parent them.

    I made a scrapbook page for Troy when he was 4 (one of the toughest years… though nothing would beat 3!) with this quote by Mary Anne Radmacher because it was just so beautifully true. He is still, daily, the most courageous person I know.

    Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says “I will try again tomorrow”

  • While reading this post, I thought…”This was just for me!!” After reading your comments, I see there are many of us that needed these words today. Thank you for reposting this.

    Blessings to you!!!

  • Hi Cheryl,

    Have you seen these DVD’s http://www.franklinsprings.com/films/  They have a couple in there I thought you would like to add to your library. There is one for young men on learning how to build things. I bought the Family Table and Bread Making. Both are really good.

    Blessings,

    Elizabeth

  • Cheryl, let me quickly say that book you’re reading by Voddie B is just incredible–at least it was for my husband and I!!

    And then, thank you for posting this; I can completely relate to your paragraphs about “losing” your son.  That is exactly how I feel, with my now-7-year-old.  It is a mournful thing for me, and yet, I am now learning to find new joys and precious moments, and get to know my little guy all over again.  As we deal with a similiar spectrum of disorders, we thank God mightily for the good days, for the good moments…they are not taken for granted!  I have to trust God for my son’s future, as for all my children, but in a different way.

    Anyway…thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone.  I could almost have written your words today, from start to finish!  I know people look at us with judging eyes, as I have looked at others before God gave me my own revelation.  Bless you, your sweet boy, and all of your family…

  • Cheryl, let me quickly say that book you’re reading by Voddie B is just incredible–at least it was for my husband and I!!

    And then, thank you for posting this; I can completely relate to your paragraphs about “losing” your son.  That is exactly how I feel, with my now-7-year-old.  It is a mournful thing for me, and yet, I am now learning to find new joys and precious moments, and get to know my little guy all over again.  As we deal with a similiar spectrum of disorders, we thank God mightily for the good days, for the good moments…they are not taken for granted!  I have to trust God for my son’s future, as for all my children, but in a different way.

    Anyway…thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone.  I could almost have written your words today, from start to finish!  I know people look at us with judging eyes, as I have looked at others before God gave me my own revelation.  Bless you, your sweet boy, and all of your family…

  • tee hee hee, BREN!  I thought it was for ME!!!

    and from Isaac to Mrs. Cheryl…

    wuv, wuv, wuv”

    Alesha

  • sincere sigh ~ dear Cheryl, thank you for this post ~ it ministered to me in ways you don’t know. what a sweet blessing. <><

  • Hey Mrs. L!

    This post made me smile, and sigh. Yesterday we had Aaron down (he is in Aberdeen now) for a Dental appointment. And my Mom took him to a local “cheap” store, and then while she wasn’t looking he unzipped his pants and when she turned around several people were staring as Aaron had his jeans down too his knees and his hands scrambling around in his pants (the gawkers all thought he was trying to flash them). My Mom of course, IMMEDIATELY, scrambled and grabbed Aaron saying “AARON, PULL YOUR PANTS UP!” He wouldn’t and kept shaking his head. She continued, grabbing his pants, while his hands were down there and kept pulling away, and said “Mom!! My Money is there, I need to get my Money!!”
    She kept trying, but he wouldn’t budge, so finally she dragged him over to the cash register lady, and said “i know you don’t let costumers use your restroom, but he has money in his pants, and wont stop trying to get it out, until he does.” So she drug him back, and he happily reached into his underwear and triumphantely showed it too my Mom and said “SEE!!” with a very happy grin!
    Apparentely he has started hiding his money in his under-garments, because the social workers take it away from him – and that is the one place they wont look for it.

    Anyway, I had a good laugh, our special boys are pretty clever. And I think even though they make us want to cry for them, their happy moments give us soo much more then they could if everything was normal with them. [and a good round of emberrasment for my Mom… ]

  • There was a young boy in our church about 15 years ago who had been diagnosed with Tourette’s.  His parents lamented over the years they had harshly disciplined his “bad” behavior.  He would have episodes at church of violent profanity and behavior often tearing things off the wall.  His parents often became so discouraged.  As a church we kept them in prayer constantly not sure what God’s plan for Steve was.  Let me say Steve is now a lawyer and praise God almost completely symptom free.  We don’t know God’s plan for your son, but we praise God for godly parents like yourself teaching him in love what the most important things are.

  • God bless you and your family. Children, I think are our greatest joy and sometimes our greatest sorrow~at least in my experience. But like you, I continually remind myself that God loves my children more than I possibly ever could in my human-ness so I know He has their best interest at heart. Keep your joy~~~