Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gratitude

A while back I read blog post by an honest mom who was sharing how she was struggling with other parents who complain about things their children can do and do too much of, whilst her child may never do those things. For example, a parent saying that their child is such a chatter box that it drives them crazy, whilst this mom (and me) don’t know if our child will ever speak.

I have also had moments when other moms complain about how their little one is just 9 months and has already started walking and it has turned her life upside down, if only he would wouldn’t develop so fast. I can’t relate because I have been waiting for Matt to walk for over 2 years. Or another mom who bemoans the fact that her child just eats anything he gets his hands on – and I think about Matt who would wish to eat anything, but still gags on most foods and therefore is still mainly eating mashed food. These are just two examples, there are many others.

Now I don’t for a moment doubt that to the mom, who is frustrated or inconvenienced by her child’s walking, talking or eating, that she genuinely feels stressed by these issues. She feels her life is made more complicated by them. However my heart is saddened because I feel that she is missing out on some happiness. From my perspective she has it easy, things could be a lot harder - and though I don’t want her to pity me, I do wish that she would be grateful for her child and what her child can do. It seems odd to me that she should be stressing about such small things. What a waste of happiness that she could have been living in.

I hope and pray that she would look at my journey with Matt and feel gratitude – that she would go home and celebrate her 9 month who is walking, or her non-stop-talking daughter, or her munch-as-much-as-you-can eater.

Just as I look at other moms lives, I wonder if some moms are looking at my life. What about my life and journey with Matt might someone else wish I was grateful for. Instead of me focussing on the struggles that Matt has, I can also benefit from a bit of perspective alteration:

I can be grateful that my child lives, as I remember those who have lost their children

I can be grateful that Matt can eat through is mouth, as I remember those with kids who have buttons and tubes.

I can be grateful that Matt can move, crawl, and walk – as I remember those kids who are in wheelchairs, and those kids can’t lift their heads.

I can be grateful that Matt is mostly healthy, as I remember those kids who are hospitalised and fighting chronic or terminal illnesses.

I can be grateful that Matt has both his parents, as I remember those kids with whom I work whose parents have died.

I can be grateful that Matt has access to excellent health and therapeutic resources, as I remember those kids (too many live in my city) whose parents struggle to even buy a loaf of bread.

I can be grateful that Matt is surrounded by a community of loving people, as I remember those kids who are mislabelled, misunderstood and suffer rejection, abuse and stigma.

I can truly be grateful.
.................
Be joyful always, pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16 to 18

6 comments:

Carina said...

This is so so true. We always have something to be grateful for. Dear Jacqui, you put it so beautifully. No matter what your child can do...you still have him. That is all that is important. Really.

Matthew, David and Leesa said...

It seems to me that, in general, humans will find something to complain about in any situation. Knowing you and Matt help me to keep a healthy perspective - even when my little boy is frustrating me. I'm trying to learn to be truly present in every precious moment (the way you seem to be) - thanks for your thoughts and insights that help with that!
L

Brandi said...

Beautifully written Jacqui.

Kristi said...

I love this post Jacqui. Thank you...

Kelly said...

Oh Jacqui...I just had a long conversation with a friend last night about perspective. It is so important for us all to remember how lucky we are.

Thanks for such a great post!

Kelly W.

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

Our children brings us the important things that so many miss...Im so thankful.