Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Looking Back

I was watching him, as mothers do -  my 7 year old, full of energy and excitement, playing basketball. It is his latest sport of choice, and he is good at it.  He was having fun, throwing jabs at me and Jaden (who were playing with him), and sinking 3-pointers like nothing.  Well, we do have a short basketball hoop. But anyway...

That night he stayed up late, reading ferociously for the Read-a-Thon at school. He wants to win, so he's been reading morning, noon and night.  There have been nights when I walk into his room and he is reading in total darkness with no light on. He's fast and he's good at it.

And yet only 3 years ago, we were so worried. So, so worried. You can read all about that here, but basically, Micah had many challenges since his birth. They weren't severe challenges to most people, but they were enough to make us worry a lot, cry, and worry some more.

From being told he might be autistic or have Aspergers - one well-meaning person even said we should have him tested for AIDS because he got sick so much - we just didn't know what was going on. His speech delays, his surgery for tubes in his ears, his rough start in Kindergarten; it was all very overwhelming.  I feared it might never get better.

But it did.

He is healthy, he is strong, he is right on target - actually, ahead in some areas of math and reading in his second grade class; I'm sure most people would never guess the challenges we had faced just a short time ago.

I remember being worried about a bruise on his forehead that wouldn't go away, about his teeth when he fell off of our front porch, about his face being split when he fell into a bench and ended up in the ER.  So many worries, so many tears.

And yet he is fine. He is growing, he is healthy, he is strong.

Today I am thanking the Lord for progress. When you're in the thick of it, it can seem so overwhelming, and progress can feel so incredibly slow.

I talk to other moms who are in the thick of it with their kids. They are worried that their child is falling behind academically or socially, or is not "right on target." They stress and buy things and get second opinions and worry; and I know, because I have been there.

There likely will be more occasions in our kids' lives to worry and fret over progress, over learning issues, over grades, over bruises and broken bones.  But today you might just need to hear "don't worry, it will be okay." Because it will.

When you're baby has jaundice, is not breastfeeding well, spikes a high fever, has acid reflux...

When your toddler is not walking according to schedule, gets sick a lot, is not talking like the other kids...

When your preschooler bites another child, throws a tantrum in public, or you are told she is not ready for Kindergarten...

All of it can be very stressful. We worry about their future, and we don't want them to struggle. But struggle is good, because it will make them stronger.

Take it from me, I have a very strong boy.

From someone who has crossed over through the newborn, baby, toddler, preschool era into a new phase, believe me when I say that so many of the things we worry about will never come to pass. Our only hope is to put our faith and trust in God during those times that feel scary.  Love them the best you can, and one day you'll be able to look back too and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Until then, breathe in... It will all be okay.

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