When I picked Gertie up yesterday, her head therapist said they practiced walking with no walker, just her hands on G’s back so she’d feel comforted. “Oh!” I said, kinda surprised. Weren’t they just getting her used to the walker (although she can climb up and turn around in it all by herself now). And she said, “Oh yeah and we’re fully expecting you to donate that walker when she’s done with it.” I laughed a little and told her she needed to set the expectation level down a notch for dear ole mom. They’ve seen my own journey along with Gertie’s, struggling to find a place of reality with her abilities. Later that evening she texted me and reiterated that she 100% believes Gertie will walk on her own and she doesn’t throw that percentage around lightly, especially to parents, and especially to me.
I guess I just don’t know how to react. Of course I’m elated to hear that, but my knee jerk is to still reserve a fraction of my heart to safe keeping. I’ve been burned by my own and sometimes other’s overly optimistic expectations and I’ve only just gotten to a place of peace. So then, to be offered a better than expected scenario, it’s just scary and vulnerable. I remind myself to still take it day by day with what Gertie gives me.
I’m still amazed (and sometimes embarrassed) that it’s taken me having to give birth to and then raise a special needs kid to learn these lessons of patience and contentment. Why couldn’t I have learned it beforehand, without G needing to be a part of it? I used to sometimes think that because of my stubbornness and selfishness God gave me Gertie. But I don’t believe that anymore. It’s nothing that I did or how I am that made him give anything to me, to “teach” me anything. Sad things happen, he doesn’t want them to, but they do. The difference is He uses these situations to bless us if we let Him in. And despite the daily exhaustion, I feel honored to say that through Gertie, He has given my life a depth that wouldn’t have been as easily found without her.
💗💗💗. She’s getting around so well!