I’ve been so stinkin’ sentimental about this guy turning 10. Parenting has been so much harder than I ever thought it would be—so much more fun than I dreamed. So much more work than I ever thought humanly possible.
So much more love has flowed from my heart than I could have prayed. Grace and mercy, where I have screwed up, has been bountiful. Parenting this boy has challenged my relationships in more ways than I can count.
I have heard thousands of pieces of advice. I have listened to maybe half of that. I’ve learned to discern what I can use, what I can save for later, and what is just rubbish.
I’ve learned how to advocate for someone. I’ve brushed up on all my “special needs” lingo—-the alphabet soup of SLP, OT, SPD, ADHD, 504, and more!
I’ve learned how to discipline (aka, to teach) someone who is not just like his peers.
I’ve had to learn self-discipline all over again because it’s totally different in parenting than I ever thought it was or would be.
I’ve learned how to set boundaries. Sometimes I break barriers.
I’ve learned how to choose my battles.
I’ve learned how to be the good cop and bad cop (think LEGO Movie level flip-flopping!).
I’ve fallen more in love than I ever thought was possible every day with a human I brought into this world.
I’ve kissed his head.
I’ve held his hand.
I’ve wiped his tears.
I’ve cleaned up his vomit.
I’ve cleaned up his blood.
I’ve rushed him to the ER.
I’ve learned to live with a piece of my heart walking around outside of my body.
I’ve given all of myself to this person—this child of mine. Yet, at the same time, I feel almost constant guilt that I’m not doing enough.
I worry that I’ve screwed him up, or I will soon enough.
So, I pray for his future. I pray he finds joy, peace, hope, and purpose. I pray, above all, he finds love. The kind of unconditional love and acceptance that can only indeed be found in an identity in Christ.
I hope with all my heart that he goes into all the world and gives that love freely, that he knows the joy of loving others, that that love blesses him.
I pray that I have at least done that part right.