Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Kindergerten. She’s going into Kindergarten. We have been discussing her placement for months and it is time to make decisions. I met the School Psychologist at the public school to visit her possible future classroom and weigh our options. We saw two different classrooms—one with “Moderately Delayed” students and the other with “Severely and Profoundly Delayed” students. Next year, they will combine the two classes. In the Moderate class, all of the kids were walking, they were learning letters and numbers, they were happy, and they all made me smile. One little girl could not resist giving me a hug, for which she was reprimanded with “We give high fives or knuckles, remember?” C’mon…let the girl give me hug. Why would we inhibit the free-flowing, un-containable love given by special children like these? Oh I’m sure there are good legal reasons…but let’s focus on what is really important. I digress. So then we progressed to the “Severe and Profound” room. I knew these would be Reese’s peeps. There were three of them and they were all having a great time. I could have stayed all day. I loved seeing them smile and make choices. I was filled with joy because of their joy. The most profoundly disabled child (as identified to me by the Psych) was a 4th grade girl, placed with the Kinders because it turned out to be the most appropriate placement for her. She had trouble holding her head up, but she was doing it. She pressed a button on the iPad, indicating her choice to play with the ball. She rolled the ball back to the teacher, She smiled. I really really loved being with her. I pictured her mom and the struggles she has gone through. I admired her hair bows and pink shoes and I knew that someone really loved her. We left the room and I said my goodbyes. Thank goodness for my sunglasses. As I walked to my car, I found myself in tears…again. Not because Reese is a candidate for special ed, but because…I knew Reese was lower than their lowest functioning child. In this school, Reese would be considered the lowest. There was no one more “severely and profoundly disabled” than my child. If someone where to ask the Psych, "Who is your lowest child?" He would answer, "Oh, that is Reese." And I didn't like that. Nobody wants that. Nobody.Nobody.Nobody. Frustrated with myself for crying again, I turned my attention to God. OK, Lord, what do you want to show me? And here is what he revealed to me. This morning before the school visit, Reese was Reese. She was everything I love about her. I wasn’t sad about her condition, I wasn’t bemoaning her placement in school. It was only after I compared her to other kids that my feelings changed. Reese didn’t change, but my comparison gave her a terrible label—the most severely, most profoundly disabled child. Then I realized that this really is the root of every moment of discontent in life. I am perfectly happy with my body until I see bikini babe with perfect thighs and abs on the beach. I’m perfectly happy with my house until I visit my friend’s whose is 3 times the size and professionally decorated…and clean. I am perfectly happy with my husband until my friend tells me about how her husband sent her to the spa while he cleaned and organized the house. I am perfectly happy with my kids until I see another child help her sibling to her feet, compliment her, and skip off to do more homework and reorganize her closet. It’s the “until” that trips me up. Before the “until”, I was perfectly happy…every time. The thing is, my life is my life. And her life is her life. One thing I know for sure is that we never know the full story. That little girl who was holding her head up and rolling the ball—things I wish Reese could do—might have behavior issues, or chronic pain. Would I want that for Reese? No way. That man with the feather duster might be having an affair. Why do I waste time comparing the ones I adore to anyone else? So really, the comparison game is totally ridiculous. And then this verse came to mind: “For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) Reese is His masterpiece. Not just in my eyes but in God’s eyes. And she is not a masterpiece that caught God by surprise, but one that he planned long ago before her birth. And I am, and you are too. Approved and righteous because of the blood of Jesus Christ. So let’s just stop comparing. But instead, rest...rest and take a deep breath in knowing that YOU and I are God’s masterpieces. He does not compare us to one another, but instead loves us like my little friend with a free-flowing, un-containable love that is beyond our human comprehension. Enjoy it.
Posted by Kerry D. at 12:29 PM