Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stubborn as a race horse

I have a stubborn spirit. 

I know some who know me may not know this about me. Some may even find it hard to believe and think I am just being self critical. But it's 100% true - Anthony can testify to this. 

I'm not saying it's always a negative thing either. Sometime this stubbornness works to my favour in helping me to not settle when I believe something is of true importance.

But there are other times when I am left with the nagging feeling that I need to apologise. Usually to my sweetheart. 

He always accepts it though. He has to, I make his lunches and dinners. 

There is something heavenly about knowing he is the one person who has seen all my 'ugly' sides over the last decade, but still calls he me beautiful every single day.

I think my stubbornness is part of my nature. I don't think I inherited it - I just came this way.

Perhaps that is why I have faced what feels like some difficult trials early in life; because my stubborn spirit needed such challenges to grow.

But how thankful I am for a stubborn spirit to carry me through these trials. 

And even more so, I am grateful to this man who loves me when I wear pyjamas in the middle of the afternoon with my hair unbrushed and I am completely unshowered. And he still tells me I'm beautiful. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Eye of the storm

We are now a few weeks into the term. The last few weeks have been BIG ones for us. For anyone who reads my blog, I don't think I need to explain why. 

Tony loves his new class and teachers (he has 2 teachers who team teach). He is working hard but tells me that his teachers make school work fun and he has a smile on his face whenever he talks about them. 

We had a small concern about how he would cope without his best friend in his class. The two of them are peas in a pod and often can be found huddled together chatting away about who-knows-what. I remember having friends like that. The kind where you are truly in your own little world together. 

They have been in the same class the last 2 years but are not this year. They have coped remarkably well though and find each other before school, after school, at lunch, and even call each other after school. They are proof that any friendship worth keeping, you will put in the effort. 

I have no doubt that Tony has great success in his future. He is very capable, but more than that, he is a kind and thoughtful boy who want to do the right thing.

Our concerns for Carter starting school were much larger.  With his Global Developmental Delay, any major adjustment is difficult. It takes him much longer to learn new routines and to retain new information. He is easily frustrated and his fine motor skills are a huge challenge, which makes school tasks very difficult. 

He has an amazing memory for people, music, and places though. He is so funny and has a genuine love and concern for people. He is so gentle and drawn to animals and small children. He often comes out with things that remind me how intelligent he is. There is nothing fake about Carter, he can't help but be who he is. 

And he is pretty amazing. 

He is loving school and has been so blessed with an amazing teacher who truly sees him for who he is, not just his challenges.  She too has commented to me that he gives answers to questions that are beyond his years. The struggle isn't his intelligence, it's in learning new skills and retaining them once learnt, as well as his attention span. There have been hiccups along the way, but I can see Carter is adjusting to school life. I know it's still early days, but I have confidence with lots of hard work, he will succeed.

The last few weeks have made me see my children differently though. I have watched Tony playing with friends in the early morning play time and admired his ability to make friends so easily. I love that he would be a friend to anyone who seeks his company.  He has great math skills, thankfully, as math was definitely not my strong suit. He has also developed an interest in drawing, which he didn't really care for in the past.  I have witnessed a creative side that I didn't know was there.

I see Carter differently too. I sometimes feel inadequate to help him in the ways he needs.  I want to help him overcome his challenges. But the last few weeks I have focused more on enjoying my time with him rather than trying to 'fix' him.

Fixing him is not my job. My job is to hold his hand and lead him when he needs it, and to let him lead me when he knows the way.  Sometimes the path he takes me down is much better than where I would have ended up.  I realise now that it is my privilege to raise a son who has tough challenges in his path. He teaches me how to face my own challenges. By laughing, dancing, and playing. 

He is only young, but he has already learnt to find joy in the journey. 

It has been a very different month for me. One that was probably necessary, but also one I am grateful for.