March 16, 2011

Who We Are

"I've got freckles on my nose and holes in my shoes
And the wrong color clothes and a missing tooth
I'm not Superman
God, You made me the kid that I am.
Thank You, God, for who I am
I don't have to be a Superman
Thank You, God, for who I am
All I wanna be is Your best friend."
I'm driving down the 20, winding past Pass Lake, Campbell Lake, through the evergreen tunnels of fir and hemlock that bookend Deception Pass. Moss covers the guard rails along the road. Sunlight filters down and sprinkles bright patches of magic and light onto a green canvas. I love this drive.
But today, the song playing in the car makes me cry.
We don't plan for trouble or problems. We don't daydream as children about the trials we'll go through as adults. As a little girl, I wanted nothing more than to get married, have eight kids, and live happily ever after on a farm in the Midwest.
But dreams change, don't they? They don't always come true, and many times, that's a good thing. We grow up, we mature, and life changes us. God changes us. Our grown-up life rarely looks like what we envisioned when we were small.

"Well, sometimes I trip and fall on my knees
I've got skins and bruises all over me
But I'm not Superman
God, You made me the kid that I am...
Thank You, God, for who I am
I don't have to be a Superman
Thank You, God, for who I am
All I wanna be is Your best friend!"
I never thought I'd be the mom of a special needs child. I never wanted to be the mom other moms looked at and said "Wow, what's wrong with her kid? Doesn't she discipline him?" I hate the way other people look at me in Wal-Mart. I hate the unexcited faces I see in the church nursery when Caleb shows up for Bible Study.
"He's a good little boy!" I want to scream at these people sometimes. "He is sweet and funny and hilariously cute!"
But there's no denying he's a handful. Just last night, Jason and I had to get on hands and knees to scrub tooth paste and salt off of Caleb's floor, toys, clothes, and table:
"Wow, son, really? Really?? I couldn't make this kind of mess with a day off, a mission statement, and a can of whipped cream!" Jason and I laugh. We're used to these sorts of late night unplanned cleaning escapades. We've had a lot of practice.
"Hey, at least it's not poop," Jason says. "At least this smells a whole lot better!"
"Yeah, my teeth feel cleaner already! Glad I haven't gone shopping yet. I'm gonna need to add toothpaste and salt to my grocery list." We look at each other and shake our heads.
Thus goes our playful "let's make the best of it" banter. I'm so thankful for a husband who understands and still stays positive.
I am just an ordinary mom
and sometimes things just wrong
But I'm not SuperMom
So, join in and sing this song...
I try so hard and fail so often. Things go wrong. I get angry. Things don't go according to plan. I stress. Expectations go unmet. I wonder what's wrong with me, what's wrong with Caleb, why can't life just be easier??
"Well, I'm leaning towards 'Not Autistic' at this point."
The nurse practitioner sits across the room from us while Caleb plays with a music app on her smart phone. He's apparently quite taken with the accordion sound byte; he keeps playing it over and over.
We've chatted with this nice lady for an hour and a half. She asked all sorts of questions that made us scratch our heads and think. But at the end of the day, she has no answers for us.
"There are clearly issues going on with your son," she tells us. "But I'm not sure what we should call it at this point. Let me confer with my collegues and see what they think. Then I'll call you in the next week or two to see where we go from here."
Not autistic. I'm relieved but not surprised. I would like answers, sure. A nice, neat label that explains all the crazyness we deal with every day. But honestly? Whatever the "experts" want to call him, he's still our little boy. Still our bud. Still the same zany kid who doesn't get scared watching Scooby-Doo, but cries when he sees the Grinch take candy away from the sleeping Who-children.
Bold and faithful. That's our Caleb. And I am just his ordinary mom.
Late in the evening, around 10 pm. Caleb comes into our bedroom, where Jason and I watch Psych on the laptop. In his hands, our boy brings an alligator made of legos. A peace offering.
"Hi, Mommy!" says the alligator.
"Hi, Mister Alligator," I reply. "What are you doing?"
"I'm going to watch TV!" And Caleb promptly climbs into bed with us. We can't help but laugh.
"Caleb, back to bed. It's very late."
No response, save for a rapid series of fake snores as he lies down and pretends to sleep.
"Caleb . . . "
"No! I'm scared! I'm cold! My tummy hurts! Eat ice cream!" The excuses pour forth, each said with an impish grin on his little face. We decide to let him snuggle with us for a while, "as long as you behave." He smiles up at us and puts a finger to his lips.
"Kay-at whips!" (quiet lips), he says. Something he learned at school. And we proceed to watch TV together in Mommy and Daddy's bed.
Thank you, God, for who we are. We don't have to be Super-anything. Thank you that we can be just us and that "just us" is just fine. :)

1 comment:

kevswifey said...

I love you! I'm praying for answers and your are a wonderful mom, and none of us can be supermommys!