Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's really not my job, as much as I think I want it

It's become clear to me that jumping rope is pretty popular in the first grade. It's happening at recess, in P.E., and a jump rope club is starting up on Thursday mornings.

Last weekend, my son, never one to be left out of social goings-on, decided we needed to buy a small rope so he could practice at home. My husband, ever the willing, found a short rope in our garage and spent 20 or 30 minutes with Luke, showing him the ropes (yes, intended "pun"ishment).

I adore my son's determination. It can be such a thorn in our sides sometimes, this strong will and opinion, but in reflection, it has served him so well. This kid who has to battle a bit more than most, to fight against his physiology, he continues to amaze us in his tenacity to keep up with his friends and do what he decides he wants to do.

Where was I during this half an hour? Not in the same room. I had to admit to myself (and now to blogland) that it is hard for me to watch Luke battle physically. To see his blue fingertips, his breathing heavier than the norm, to watch him battle what doesn't come easily to him.

Many, many heart kids have to battle gross or fine motor delays simply because of the amount of time spent in a hospital crib. I have read that one day in the hospital equals three developmental days. In that equation, Luke has lost 198 development days, over half a year. We noticed it in the fact that he didn't crawl until 10 months, or walk until 17 months. He didn't walk up the stairs one foot per step until he was five.

Now, I am not bemoaning our experience. Luke has done exceptionally well and never even qualified for OT or PT. I am thankful his body has adapted to his heart defect as well as it has.

But, he does have to work a little harder to learn large motor skills. Pedaling, climbing, monkey bars, skipping, and now jumping rope.

He worked hard last Saturday. He can get one rotation, sometimes two rotations in a row. Roger pumped up his tenacity and desire, even if the skill isn't quite there yet.

After their practice session, I asked Rog how it went. He said something that will hopefully change my attitude for a long, long time.

I shared with him my little pity party I was throwing, telling him that it's hard for me to watch Luke battle and that I wish he didn't have to.

You know what he said? "Jess, in my mind, the fact that he has to battle is such a good thing. I'm thankful he has to battle."


That is one way to look at it.

I wish that was my natural bent. But a friend reminded me, "Jesse, you are his mom. It's natural for you to want to rescue him."

She nailed it. I want to rescue my son. From discomfort. From embarrassment. From discouragement. And I can't.

And if I did all I could to rescue him, I wouldn't be a very good mom. When it comes right down to it, that's not my job. I don't want Luke or Laney to grow up looking to me for rescuing.

I want them on their knees, looking up.

I do think it's natural for us to resist trials. Naturally, we all want those sweet seasons where we're not being tested, when life is smooth sailing. But if I say I want my children (and myself!) to be dependent on a trustworthy, ever-present, always-good God, then I need to let go of trying to be their savior. Only One can save. And I do not want to stand in the way of His work.