Monday, August 28, 2017

The truth about life and fruit snacks.

"I could swear I packed those fruit snacks! They were right here,  under the big kids seat!"
"Well,  shoot, I need a snack.  I guess we'll pull off the road again." Our daddy likes just a little something sweet and non-messy while he drives and those fruit snacks in the GIANT box were a genius idea. (Or so I thought)
But where are they? I distinctly remember putting them in the car.  While David runs into the store I start tearing into the car.  There is "confetti" all over the back two rows. I mean,  SHREDS of stuff that used to be cardboard maybe?...a box of some type, but no fruit snacks.  I get 3 of the 5 rows searched when David returns like the hunter/gatherer we all know him to be.  I "humf" resignedly het back to my seat and we start back on the road.
Now,  all of this takes 5min, at the most, but it's the beginning of a tail spin.
8 long hrs later we pull into our own driveway, exhausted but a fun memory building trip in our rearview.  We set to un-packing the car,  with 10 of us it only required two trips.

Brace yourselves.

Abi, 12yrs, comes into the house with 2 handfulls of fruit snack wrappers.  "There's more like this, under the baby's car seat."

 The "twins" had crawled under the seats,  and taken the box,  shredded it,  and shared 100 individual packs of my "genius snack" idea.

I wish I could tell you I re-acted with grace.   They are only fruit snacks.  5$ loss at most.  But I didn't.  I put them to bed,  with promises of "cleaning the entire van" tomorrow, ran my bath,  cried into the running water and texted my mom.  When all else fails, text mom.  <3 nbsp="" p="">
This particular tail spin got me thinking, the things that only my mom and my husband know about our life,  how would people react if they knew the struggle, the guilt that I feel when I expect my a-typical children to behave typically?  So I posed this question in my facebook mom's group.

You might be surprised at some of these answers.

*I wish that people understood that just because she "looks normal" doesn't mean she will act her chronological age.  

*A "good beating" isn't going to fix any of my children. 

*Just because he's cute doesn't mean he isn't capable of really cruel things.  

*For friends and family to stop saying, "You need to..." and just show up.  Just be present. 

*Most days feel like an eternity.  My life is not normal,  so don't expect me to act normal. 

*I wake up with guilt, and every day I hope it will get better.

*I doubt myself every day.  I doubt whether I can do this for the long haul. I doubt having the patience and the love that it takes to raise a special needs child and keep up with the demands of raising my other children. 

*I love my child.  But I wasn't prepared for the isolation.  I didn't expect friends and family to stop inviting us to do things.  I didn't expect total strangers to step in as my support, because they understood.  

*Time and love don't always change things.   

And lastly,  this one was a "WOW" moment for me. 

*Believe me

This is just a sampling of the hurt and guilt that my fellow special mommas shared with me.  

If you see yourself in any of these statements, if you feel like you are the only one who circles Wal-mart's parking lot just for 5 more minutes of peace, know this,

You are not alone.  

We are here to celebrate your dry diapers,  your mouth-fulls of table food,  your hour without a tantrum,  your night of uninterrupted sleep, and we are also here when you need to be reminded that you can do this.  You are your child's advocate, you're their hero.

We didn't go into this foster parent thing blindly.  We didn't think that being special needs parents was going to be easy.  We did it because in a quiet moment,  God said,  this is your calling.  These are your children. In the NOISE that is life we won't forget.

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