Friday, April 12, 2013

The Learning Curve

As a mom of a very large family, I have learned a lot over the years.....much, much more than I would have if we had stopped at the average of 2.5 children....like how much of a child is .5?.......anyways.....each child with their special needs, their quirks, their personalities, their developmental issues....over the years my parenting/mothering skills have grown and changed. I can honestly say that I do not parent the same way today that I did when I started out thirty-nine years ago....I think as they grew, so did I ....I gained patience, organizational skills, knowledge that I never dreamt I'd need to know.....like the best way to tame minority hair, the best creams for brown skin that was constantly thirsty but sensitive to every cream on the market, how to comfort a baby who had been abused in the womb, how to feed a newborn baby whose digestive system had been turned inside out by cocaine and alcohol, how to stimulate a young child who never had any the first three years of their life.

So many situations sent me to many doctors . social workers, other mothers for the answers.....why isn't he saying any words, why is her body so rigid, what is this rash, why is she constantly vomiting, why does it take an hour and a half to drink two ounces of formula....some answers the doctors didn't have, some the answers were hard to hear.....
Some situations you railed at the system...the system that allowed these children to fall through the cracks, that allowed them to become victims , that saw their lives become filled with words that the average child would never hear....like court, judges, workers, visits......children that were used as pawns in the game....

Mothering so many children....I'm including them all....the ones I gave birth to, the ones we adopted, the ones I babysat, the ones we fostered....each child brought with them unique and different personalities and needs that shaped me into the person I am today....it forced me into opening myself up, the self that I had tightly closed, growing up with a physical handicap...closed to avoid being hurt....yes, sticks and stones do hurt, but names are worse....much deeper....so you close yourself up to hopefully not feel the hurt. A wonderful young man was brought into my life....he started slowly to open that closed door, bit by bit.....his commitment and love for me...which needed constant reassurance,(in my mind)...I would stare at him when he gave me a compliment...unbelieving, wondering if they were just words....

In the last few weeks, before my dad died, three years ago....he gave me such a wondrous gift....he told me that him and my mom were amazed, they were amazed at all I could do, at what I had accomplished....I was over the moon with the joy I felt....my parents were never ones to give compliments as we were growing up...my mother was convinced you might get a swollen head!...so, to hear these words....wow.

So many people tell me that they couldn't do what I do, they couldn't live my life, they couldn't parent/foster/adopt.....LOVE.......but, if I hadn't....if I hadn't done all those things , had all these different children in my life than I wouldn't be the person that I am today....

Many people tell me that I am such a strong person( obviously not physical strength) ....each time I hear it, I think...you fools...this is a facade , this is a mask....but when I do allow myself to hear those words, I do think about my parents...the parents who tirelessly took me to doctors appointments, physio, sat thru operations, watching the doctors use their child as a guinea pig because they hadn't seen cases like mind before...unusual they'd say....but it was thru their perseverance that I tried and tried and tried and never gave up til I could do something, just like everyone else could...I may look weird doing it, but the point is, ...that I could. It was all due to them....they instilled that in me....

To each of my children.....the ones here with us and the one in heaven....I thank you.....I thank you for influencing my personality, for helping me develop my strengths and weaknesses, my understanding and my patience. You drew from me strengths to do things that I never dreamt I'd ever have the courage to do.

To my dearest husband.....the one who started the unfurling process, the one who makes me feel special.....the biggest thanks of all, for without you this process would never had started......I will always love you and I will always cherish your love for me.

......and to God, who planned my life before I was born, who knit me together in my mothers womb, who formed me and who loves me...I thank you, I thank you for making me just the way I am, and when I'm in heaven I'll look forward to using two good arms, to see what it's like, but, for now, I'm good.


2 comments:

joyceandnorm said...

How big is our God who can create each of us in His own image, but yet so unique in our beings? He is the Ultimate Artist and Creator. I'm thankful that you are you, Marie. While I only have a glimpse of who you are through your blog and through FB, I'm thankful that God gave you to those children who are in your life. You are amazing.

Les said...

Well, hey...you're welcome. (ha!)

Sniff. Hope dadddy reads your blog. :-)