Today I went to G’s school a little early so I could take him to the book fair at his school. I can’t describe the overwhelming joy I feel when I lock eyes with that precious little boy. The secretary had announced my arrival over the intercom and G’s teacher had him waiting in the hallway when I turned onto his hall. He hasn’t been that excited about seeing me for quite some time and to tell you the truth it was really starting to bother me. He has always been so overjoyed to see me when we are reunited after even the briefest absence. He was on his way to the restroom and when I arrived. His teachers and parapros were all busy so I had the privilege of taking him to the bathroom. He was so excited that he almost wheeled himself into the bathroom wall.
We used a side door that goes through a courtyard leading to the media center. G is not used to going this way because the sidewalk there has a slight slope. I am ever trying to broaden his experiences and prepare him for the world so I thought that way is the best way to head to the library. Usually when faced with the obstacle that a slope presents G reacts by letting go of his wheels and raising both arms up as his body reacts to his fear. Now, I don’t have to tell you that his reaction is totally the opposite reaction he needs to have in this kind of situation. I was pleasantly surprised today when I let him independently roll out onto the slope. He didn’t let go! In fact he held a death grip on the wheels. Well, it is progress. At least he knows the danger in being strapped to an out of control wheelchair. Now to help him gain confidence in himself and gradually loosen the grip on his wheels.
I suppose that is why I have such trouble with transitions myself. I don’t like the feeling of not being completely in control. I feel strapped to this thing called life with very little control of my direction. The difference between my situation and G’s is that G is the only one in that wheelchair. He alone controls the speed and direction that it goes. It is all up to him. I however am a child of God. He has me in his hand as He guides me through life. Just as G has to learn to trust me when I stand in front of his chair and tell him I will not let him fall as he begins down an unfamiliar path I have to loosen my grip and trust that God is not going to let me fall.
Sometimes parents let their children fall so that they realize falling is not as scary as it seems. God doesn’t give us everything we want, exactly the way we want, or exactly when we want it. He gives us so much more. He gives us what we need when we don’t realize that is what we would have wanted all along if we had only been able to see it clearly. I am reminded of that lesson every time I look at my sweet baby G. Would I have chosen for my sweet child to have a disability if given the choice in the beginning? No, I wouldn’t. Would I change him now if I could? No, probably not. That may sound cold and strange to some people but G’s disability is part of who he is. It is partly responsible for the kind of spirit he has. His disability has brought many special people into our lives. People are naturally drawn to that precious little boy and he has blessed many people with his strength and his joyful spirit.
G’s disability has changed our family and helped us to see things in a different way. It has strengthened us and brought us together as a team. We depend on each other in a way that most people will never understand. So just as I have always trusted God when it comes to G, I will continue to trust Him as He leads me into and out of the hallway.