Category Archives: Sweet G

Fifty Cents a Day

Tonight as we drove to my parents house we were discussing many controversial topics in our society but had come around to discussing adoption and how so many people will take in many animals and worry and fret over the pet population without giving a second thought to the many children in need of adoption. As we arrive at my parents house and are getting out of the car Sweet G (who is adopted and is very aware of that fact) pipes up from the backseat, “Now I just don’t believe in adoption but I’d give fifty cents a day so a hungry child could have food to eat.” I think he was afraid we were in negotiations on whether we wanted to add to our family again. LOL He wants to make sure the kids get fed as long as they aren’t sharing his mom and dad. I’m afraid he felt like his place as the baby in the family might be in jeopardy.

A Monitored Life

The biggest challenge a new parent faces typically involves dealing with the lack of sleep that comes with having a newborn. “If they will just sleep through the night,” is the cry of countless young parents.

New mommies check and recheck the baby monitor fearing that it might malfunction and cause their precious baby’s cries to go unheard during the night. As the months pass by the moms begin to become more comfortable and life starts to level out as that sweet baby begins to need them less and less in the middle of the night.

Around age two most parents transition their child into a big boy/girl bed and once again the obsession with the baby monitor rears its ugly head. Fearful that the child might become afraid in their new bed the mom and dad once again begin their ritual of holding the monitor to their ear to try to determine if it is functioning properly.

After a couple of non-eventful months the parents settle into a comfortable confidence that everything is going to be okay. Around this time the child masters the use of the doorknob and many times the parents wake to find a toddler face pressed against theirs saying, “You sleep Mommy?” Maybe they can’t sleep, need to go potty, or want to cuddle up in bed with their parents but I think it’s pretty safe to say that most parents can relate to the scenario of being wakened by the pitter patter of little feet running across the floor in the middle of the night. Once again the parents’ plea is “If they would just sleep through the night!”

The three scenarios I described are pretty much universal to all parents except for a few. The ones that don’t fit into that category have a special category all their own. It is called Special Needs Parenting. I have been blessed to live both scenarios.

My oldest son went through all the stages I described until there was finally no need for the coveted, sometimes hated baby monitor. My youngest son’s experience has been totally different. Instead of ditching the baby bed between 18 months and two years, he stayed in his baby bed around four or five years. I was terrified he would roll off a big boy bed so he stayed in a crib until it just wasn’t possible anymore. Ditching the crib was a big deal and we actually switched him from the crib to a mattress in the floor so that his fall was much shorter when he DID roll off.

Another big difference in the experiences was the obsession with the baby monitor. I really don’t remember using a monitor for long with my oldest son. As soon as he learned to get out of bed and run into my room I suppose the monitor was ditched. My experience with Sweet G’s monitor is totally different. I have been obsessed with G’s monitor from birth until the present. We are on our second or third set of monitors. I still hold the monitor close to my ear almost every night listening for the slight sound of a sigh or grunt as Sweet G moves around in his bed.

My child is ten and a half years old and I still live in terror of a malfunctioning monitor. I have good cause to worry because we have had several mishaps after the monitor failed to alert me to my child’s calls in the night. Sweet G is totally dependent on others to see to his midnight runs to the bathroom. He is unable to get out of his bed and make it to the bathroom and back independently. I have been awakened by his screams from the other end of the house on more than one occasion and several times I’ve woken in the morning to find him lying cold and wet after spending the night in the floor soaked in his own urine because I was unable to hear his requests for help during the night. He calls to us in fear of falling off the bed or sometimes because the covers have become tangled around his legs.

I’m not telling this story to get sympathy or admiration. I don’t write it out of the regret of being a special needs parent. I would not trade my experience as G’s mom for anything in this world. His disability is a part of who he is and if I hate it then I basically hate him and that could never be possible. He has the sweetest spirit, the quickest wit, and the determination of an Olympian. He loves deep, he is faithful to the end, and he is my inspiration. I simply want others to understand that each persons path is different. You never know what its like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. But maybe if you stop and think about it you might understand a little more about the people around you.

So, for the tenth year, fourth month, and 19th day I will lay in my bed listening to the hum of a baby monitor. I strain to listen, hoping that it will be reliable and provide me with that connection to my child as he sleeps.

Climbing Out On the Crashing Waves

A little boy sits crying because he can’t be in the sack race. Tears create streaks down his dirty little cheeks as the wash away the dust from a hot summer day. “Why can’t I be in the race?” he sobs.

“Buddy, you just can’t be in the race,” his mother answers.

“But why can’t I Momma? I can do it! Just watch me! I’ll show you I can do it!”

“It’s too hard. You just can’t do it. You have to be able to jump to play that game.”

“I CAN jump! Let me show you that I can,” he pleads.

“I wish that you could but you just can’t. You have CP. Your body just won’t do that.”

Through sobs he manages to say, “I wish CP didn’t exist! I wish I hadn’t been born with CP!”

I’ve dreaded hearing those words for over 10 years. I knew that someday I’d hear them. It was inevitable. The surprising part is that they haven’t been said before. Most kids realize their limitations much younger but Sweet G is different. There is nothing average about my Sweet G. He looks at life through a different window than most of us. His spirit is strong and true. He is kind and good. Anything is possible in his eyes.

As a small baby his favorite song was Dream Big by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband. I remember thinking how cool it was that he loved that song so much because with his disability he was going to need to be able to Dream Big. I began to think of the words as a prayer for him.

When you cry be sure to dry your eyes
‘Cause better days are sure to come
And when you smile be sure to smile wide
Don’t let them know that they have won
And when you walk, walk with pride
Don’t show the hurt inside
Because the pain will soon be gone

And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
‘Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

When you laugh be sure to laugh out loud
‘Cause it will carry all your cares away
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself
And it’ll help you feel okay
And when you pray, pray for strength
To help you carry on
When the troubles come your way

And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
‘Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

As he got a little older his favorite song changed to The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns. That song gave me so much hope and peace and again I prayed those words as we sang them together.

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. ‘Boy, you’ll never win!’
“You’ll never win”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again “boy, you’ll never win!
“You’ll never win”

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don’t seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

For the most part we have Dreamed Big and listened to the Voice of Truth but every now and then I have forgotten to have big dreams and sometimes I’ve listened as the giant says, “He’ll never win.” But not Sweet G, that is, not until today. Today he realized that dreams aren’t always enough and in his weakness he took his eyes off of Jesus, focused on the waves crashing all around him, and listened as the giant laughed and said, “Boy, you’ll never win.”

One thing I know is that although Sweet G had a moment of weakness tonight, tomorrow will be a different story. Tomorrow we will stop and listen to the sound of Jesus singing over G as He says, “Do not be afraid. This is for My glory,” and out of all the voices calling out we will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth!

He Came From a Long Line of Losers

A couple of years ago I started a new Christmas tradition for our family. I made small charm-like ornaments and a stick tree that serve as a Jesse Tree. It has become a nice addition to our nightly bedtime routine during the days leading up to Christmas. Each night we place that day’s ornament on the Jesse Tree and read the scriptures that tell the Biblical story associated with the picture on the charm. It really is a wonderful way to see God’s plan for our salvation through His Son, Jesus.

Tonight our story was from the book of Ruth. As I read the scriptures telling the story of Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi I would elaborate on parts to help Sweet G better understand. When I read the part where Ruth was gleaning the fields of Boaz I began to explain that Ruth and Naomi were poor widows and that Ruth worked very hard to gather the wheat that was left or dropped in the field. I told Sweet G that Ruth was an ancestor of Jesus and that her family had worshipped false idols but she had chosen to follow Naomi and worship the one true God. At this point in my story Sweet G asked, “Is it sort of like a long line of losers?” After a short chuckle I began to regain my composure and the thought hit me that G wasn’t really that far off. I reviewed the story of Abraham and Sarah, how Abraham lied and Sarah laughed when God promised a son would be born to them. Noah, although found righteous, at one time became drunk. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and hid from Him, then lied about their actions. I skipped ahead to Rahab the harlot and realized that Sweet G spoke the truth when he suggested that Jesus came from a long line of losers. It provided a great opportunity to share with G that God uses average people and loves us in spite of our poor choices.

I’ll never hear that country song again without thinking of my sweet Savior. “He comes from a long line of losers. Half outlaws, half boozers.” I’m so thankful that God can take someone who has a sinful past full of mistakes and regrets, someone whose family tree may have some questionable characters hanging in it and choose to love them and use them for His glory. Grace, grace. God’s grace. Oh, how sweet His love is.

Silent Movies

Sweet G has a new favorite activity. It all started a couple of days ago when someone, who isn’t me, let him watch the beginning of an episode of the World’s Dumbest Criminals. After a short viewing and several curse words it was decided that the show might not be appropriate. I, however, did not witness this event and I was coerced into watching said episode under the guise, “Daddy watched it with me yesterday.”

After a short viewing and several curse words Mommy decided that  this show is definitely not appropriate. I told G that it makes Jesus sad when we hear things that are not nice. The language was the only offensive part and Sweet G wanted to watch it so badly that I told him he could watch it if he muted the sound. I did this thinking he would not enjoy watching anything without sound. Once again he surprised me. He watched it all afternoon.

Today he started asking if he could watch stand up comedy on his iPod if he watched it without sound. I assured G that stand up comedy is not funny without sound but I could not convince him. I figured he would try it and come to the conclusion that Mommy is right. Wrong! He watched it all afternoon “buetid” (muted in G talk). I mean really, how much fun can it be to watch a person stand on stage not hearing a word they say?

Later in the afternoon G discovered the closed captioning button on some of the videos he was watching. “Look Momma, what is my iPod doing? I like watching it like this! It makes Jesus happy when we watch stand up comedy ‘buetid’.”

“That isn’t exactly what I said, G. I said it makes him sad when we watch things that are bad. It also makes Him sad when we read the closed captioning of bad shows. Do not turn the closed captioning back on. It is wrong to hear bad things and it is wrong to read bad things.”

He can’t read well enough to read everything they were saying as fast as it appeared on the screen but you never can tell with that boy. I just wonder, what will he come up with next?

The Hour Disability Didn’t Exist

It was an unusually warm January day. The world was bright and beautiful. It felt much more like springtime than it did winter. A little boy climbed a hill using his walker, a constant reminder of his disability. As I climbed the hill beside him I had no idea that a miracle was waiting for us at the top?

You see, there was an enchanted object waiting for us to arrive. Most kids take these magical possessions for granted, often leaving them out in the rain or lying in the grass where they drop them to lay forgotten until dad mows the lawn. Those kids don’t see the magic of the object, to them it’s just a common thing, something everybody has. Sweet G and I know that there is nothing ordinary about this thing because we know that the one waiting for us has the ability to make disability totally disappear.

Sweet G approached the item with the aid of his walker but once he turned loose and was safely seated, his disability faded away. It not only faded away for Sweet G, it disappeared from the consciousness of everyone on that hilltop. For an hour Sweet G was just a normal kid. My husband and I were just typical parents. We witnessed something that I had given up hope of G ever being able to experience.

You are probably wondering what was waiting for us on the hill that day. It was a bicycle, not a regular bicycle but a magical one. Someone special provided a hand cycle for children at Infinity Children Services to use. I have no idea who they are but I owe them a huge thank you because when he was on that bike something mystical happened. As he put his hands on the handgrips and started to pedal, he broke away from the bonds of his disability. 

We spent the next hour running back and forth in the parking lot on top of the hill laughing, cheering and forgetting that disability exists. For an hour Sweet G literally pushed his therapist aside and said, “I’ve got this. I don’t need you.” Giggles filled the air as my little boy sped back and forth in a small parking lot on a magical bicycle that has the ability to make disability disappear. For an hour he was simply a little boy having a normal experience with his parents.

Sweet G’s passion for life outshines the darkness of his disability. He inspires me to overcome the challenges I face with dignity and grace. Sweet G has life figured out. He knows the secret to living a full and abundant life regardless of his circumstances. The world would be a better place if we were all a little more like my G. If a miracle cure was found today that would forever erase every trace of G’s disability, I’m not sure I’d want him to receive it. However, I would like for G to have one of those magic hand cycles so that when ever he wanted we could make his disability disappear for an hour or two. ; )

Love You Forever

Sweet G and listened to Robert Munsch read his very popular children’s book, Love You Forever this morning while doing school. It is a tearjerking book about a mother’s love for her son. Every night after she is sure he is sound asleep she crawls into his room, picks him up, begins to rock back and forth as she sings,

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always.
As long as I’m living,
My baby you’ll be.

She does this when he is a baby, a toddler, when he becomes a little boy, a teenager, and finally drives across town, climbs into his window and rocks him after he has become a man. I won’t tell you the rest in case you haven’t read it. After finishing the book I had G compare and contrast the boy in the book to himself.

The similarities G came up with were that they had both been babies, they both grew, they both have a Mommy that loves them, and they both have lullabies.

Their differences were that the boy moved away and left his mom but G said, “I’m going to take you with me when I move because I don’t want to have to say goodbye. I will let you and Daddy sleep in the grown-up bed and I will sleep on the couch.” Just when I least expect it he says something that melts my heart. I was reminded of his innocence by that statement. Joey, Trey, and I are the most important people in his world. It isn’t even a possibility in his mind that he will ever desire freedom from Mom and Dad.

The past few days he has had a stuffed up head and runny nose so I slept with him three nights in a row. Last night he really didn’t need me but he kept saying, “Momma, I am still noxious. I don’t think I should sleep by myself when I am noxious because I don’t want to wake Daddy up.” How could I resist that considerate little boy? After all, he was just looking out for his Dad. I’m sure it had nothing to do with watching a clip on Momma’s IPad. ;o)