Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The Poopy Shirt
I had changed the bedding, scrubbed the carpet, and changed her clothes twice already. After the second “poop massacre” of the day, as we affectionately call it, I felt tears creep into the corners of my eyes. Yep, I was feeling sorry for myself. This wasn’t how I wanted to spend the day.
Then she smiled at me. And my perspective changed.
And I thought about the poop. I may be cleaning up poop for the rest of my life. That’s just the reality of raising a child who requires “total care”. But as long as the poop is here, that means she is here. And as long as she is here, I will love taking care of her. And I mean it. I LOVE taking care of her. She makes every day bright, every moment special.
It was then I was reminded…a happy life is totally dependent upon perspective. A poopy shirt means my daughter is alive and well. Having to prepare meds 5 times a day means she is here! If she were gone, I promise you I would miss these things so much. Attitude is everything and a good one requires daily adjustments to keep life in proper perspective.
It got me thinking about other things in life. How they may seem difficult at first, but upon second glance, I can see God’s presence illuminating the beauty. Consider these things:
My child cannot walk. It means I can cuddle with her for the rest of my life. And she doesn’t wiggle to get away.
My husband’s clothes left on top of the dresser. It means he’s here. I have a partner and a buddy! He’s fun, full of love, and uninhibited.
My child cannot talk. I get to imagine all of the beautiful things she would say to me if she had the words. And my imagination never includes any sassy talk.
Hospital visits. They allow me to come in contact with incredibly loving, selfless compassionate people. And whenever we are there, I get to watch God at work.
Even the betrayal of a friend. It makes true, loyal friends look really spectacular and makes me adore them even more. And it reminds me where to invest my time.
With almost every circumstance, there is a blessed silver lining. It can be seen with a quick, intentional shift in perspective.
It was no coincidence that after mulling over these thoughts, I read the following passage in a book I just purchased:
“Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness. Bittersweet is the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity.” From Savor by Shauna Niequist
Here’s something I never thought I’d say: I’m thankful for my poopy shirt. It gave me a shove back into place. It’s a place where I am on an all out search, despite the splinters of sadness, for all of the richness and beauty of raising a child with a disability.
Posted by Kerry D. at 9:09 PM