I promised that when I started this blog I would be real. I have never been one to love blogs that are all rainbows and perfection. I don't really know if people learn anything from them. When my kids read this in the future I want them to see the real me. I want them to know that it's okay to struggle with parenting. It's normal, at least I hope, to want to strangle your kids sometimes. Not everything that my kids do makes me smile and wish that I could have twenty more just to make my life that much more amazing. For some people, that may be the case, but for me, being a mom is hard work.
I have one child who pushes me to, and past, my limits. Olivia was an amazing baby. She was very content and happy. At 13 months old something clicked in her and she all of a sudden became my walking little challenge. I can remember how old she was when this change took place because I thought she must be teething. Little did I know that it was actually the sleeping monster that was waking up inside of her! Haha! But seriously. From that day forward, she has been hard for me to handle. As I said earlier, she often ran away. I've lost her, for real, about three times. Luckily nice strangers/police have found her. She spray painted my friend's very nice, white, Lexus SUV with bright pink spray paint. There is still evidence on our garbage can, the fire hydrant in front of our house and on the Stanford's license plate, if you look close. She ran back into the pool area when she was two. We were changing after we had finished swimming and she was no where to be found. She ran back to the pool, fully clothed and in her sheep skin winter coat and went down the slide and into the pool. I have often remarked that I have no idea where she came from. She is not my personality and she is not her dad's personality. She pushes us everyday. She says whatever she thinks, she is not shy in any way, she has more energy than I have ever seen in anyone, she loves to be the center of attention, she asks you to watch while she does something she knows she probably shouldn't do, and more. Most days, I honestly don't know how to handle her. Lots of people have said, "maybe she's getting it out of her system now and she's going to be the easiest teenager later?" Yeah right. Stay tuned for that update! Haha!
I do see the positives, for her, in how she is. She will never have a problem standing up for herself. She will not be pushed to do something that she doesn't want to do. Fear will never hold her back from trying anything. I was terribly shy as a child. Still, to this day, I don't like any form of confrontation and I still struggle with some social anxiety. It's not fun and she'll never have to deal with those feelings. But it's still a struggle.
As I've reflected over the past while of what I can do to handle her I've really prayed to know what to do. The answer that I've received is not what I can do for her while she's here on this earth but what she's going to do for me. It wasn't the answer that I thought. I was thinking that I had to change her somehow into a sweet, perfect, compliant little angel that girls are supposed to be, right? What I have learned is that she is going to teach me patience. I've never been a patient person. If there is something that I want to buy or some project that I want to do, I want to do it now! My lack of patience is something that I need to work on. And there is no way that her and I are both going to make it through this life, outside of prison, without me learning more patience. I am grateful to be pushed to have more patience. There is so much loveliness in patience. I yearn to be that person and I am grateful to have her so that I could see this weakness that I have and hopefully turn it into one of my greatest strengths. This idea of her teaching me patience is not my newest insight that I have had in why these certain spirits have been sent to me. That lesson I have been taught more recently and it has only happened because I have Muscular Dystrophy.
A couple of Sundays ago my girls and I were getting ready to leave church. Brad had taken Cooper home early as Cooper had a cough and had been up a lot in the night previous. It had snowed on Saturday night and so it was pretty slippery outside. Brad had been nervous about me being able to get to the van without falling and I told him that I would be fine. I came out of my classroom and headed for the door. My little Olivia looked at the stuff that I was holding and said, "Here, let me take your stuff." Then she looked at the snow outside and looked at me and she asked if she should hold my arm while we walk to the van. I asked her if maybe I could just hold onto her shoulder while we walked. Of course she said sure and we started walking to the van. Then I felt this little arm around my back and felt my little angel trying to hold me steady so I wouldn't fall. She really is my little angel and that is what has become evident to me on this Sunday walk to the car. She opened my door for me and made sure that my legs were in before she also closed it for me. I've reflected on this the past little while. It wasn't the first time that she's been so helpful. Her mind is running a million miles per hour and I can hardly get her to focus on anything but she seems to always know when I need help. She's always taking stuff from my arms and carrying it inside for me. I can't get her to take her own stuff inside from the van, but when it's something that I'm carrying I don't even have to ask. If I fall, she is the first to make sure that I'm okay and is trying to help me up. This has been the answer to my prayers of "what I am to learn/do with my Olivia." She is here for me. As much as I struggle with her right now, she is exactly what I need. She will always be there to help me get to my car. She is, and will be, willing to help me when I need it. She isn't shy, and she won't be when I need someone strong to do things that I won't be able to do. She will take care of her brother and sister and has the energy to be able to do that. Her heart is so full of giving and helping and that will be a major blessing. There is not challenge that she will shy away from.
Without this disease I maybe wouldn't need her help as much, but I also may not have been able to see all of her many strengths. I am grateful that my Heavenly Father opened my eyes to the blessing that I have been given amidst the struggles that I have.