Sunday, June 15, 2008

My heart broke today

This morning I was reminded that I am the blessed parent of a special needs child. Nobody pointed at her. Nobody said anything harsh or rude. Nobody did anything at all. This is what happened...

We were on our way to church. Bug loves to "write" and draw so we always have a handy-dandy (aka a notebook) and some colored pencils so she can express herself. As soon as she was buckled into her carseat, she reached for her goodies and then promptly asked me to draw a picture of Grandma Shi. (a brief history...Grandma Shi is The Designers maternal step grandmother. She is in hospice care, dying from COPD and pneumonia.) I made a feeble attempt at drawing her and handed it back to Bug, asking if it looked like her. She laughed and said, "NOPE!"

I explained that although I tried to draw her good, drawing is not one of the things God made me really good at. I then went on to explain that daddy's good at drawing buildings and people. My gifts are teaching and relating to people. I asked her what she was good at.

That is the moment that my heart broke. I mean, literally time stopped, tears welled and it hit me once again...I'm parenting a beautiful creature that happens to have a physical impairment.

Bug has a great number of things that she is gifted in. It is easy to see that already. For one, she charms the socks of everyone she meets. She is very intelligent. She has a great love for reading and I think that ultimately that will be a gift of hers as well. She could have said her gifts were a number of things. But, Bug didn't hestitate at all, instead she said quietly mustered the courage to say, "I'm not good at walking. I try so hard and I just fall down. My legs don't work."

I froze. I needed to say something, but nothing was coming to me. I looked over at The Designer and he was welling with tears too. Praise God, because He quickly gave me the words to speak to my dear daughter. This is what God gave me to say to her, "Bug, you ARE good at walking. You just have to use tools to make you good at it. Daddy is GREAT at drawing, but he needs a pencil to do his job. The pencil is his tool. I am good at teaching, but I need textbooks to do my job. The books are my tools. You are a good walker, but you need a walker or crutches to walk. The walker and your crutches are your tools."

I looked back at my sweet, innocent little Bug in the backseat, hoping that she heard me, understood me. When I looked, she was all smiles. She said, "I AM a good walker, I just have to use my tools!"

I know this is not the end of these conversations. But, for today, I thank God for helping me have the words and strength to build my little girls self esteem.


L L said...

Hugs! God gave you the perfect answer. I have tears in my eyes too because of you answer and the remark that Bug made too. She is a gorgeous little girl and she has so many gifts, some that are seen now and so many more that she will develop as the years come and go.

PeWee said...

You Lil Bug filled my heart in only a way that she can instantly when I saw her.

Reading this conversation scared me at first, I was hurting for Lil Bug when she said that.

But Praise God for His tender words in your spirit! Healing words for Lil Bug!

She walks beautifully!!

Mindy said...

Thank God for the words that He gave you and for helping Bug to truly hear them!

Happy Father's Day to your family!


Angel said...

That was so perfect. Praise God for mommy wisdom when we get in those pinches. My eyes are brimming. Angel

SJ said...

OMGoodness this made me cry! I love when God gives us the exact right words to say in tough situations. Lil Bug is so amazing :) I remember you saying that she was never supposed to be able to walk. Now look at her! She is blessing in my life and many others.

And I miss you :)

nush said...

Ang, you rock! you couldn't have said anything better in my eyes! That was the perfect answer!!!!!
love ya

Trish said...

this was a sweet post! thank you for the encouragement! it is hard to try and explain things to my daughter too. i'm trying to teach alaina what cp is to her, so she is constantly asking me if so and so has cp:) very cute!