Thursday, April 8, 2010

Counting What Counts

There's that old saying, "Count your blessings." It is kind of cliche, but at the same time very appropriate. I know I need to count my blessings much more often. I learned my lesson yesterday when it was made glaringly clear to me the I am blessed and I wasn't counting it.

The three of us went out for frozen yogurt (or fro-yo, if you know me well) after dinner last night. It was only Wednesday, but it had been a trying week already with David. He had entered a phase of the Terrible Two's that was more terrible than before. I had spent some of the evening before and that morning crying out of shear frustration and hopelessness. I felt as if I didn't know what I was going to do with this obstinate, headstrong, determined, self-willed, ornery, rebellious, persistent, and difficult little person. Wednesday, though, had been a little better. So, we celebrated this little victory with fro-yo.

As we were enjoying our dessert a family came into the store. The parents were roughly the same age as Andrew and I and their little boy was what I guess to be 3-5 years old. It was clear that the child was severely developmentally disabled. I'm not sure he could walk as he was securely strapped into a wheelchair type stroller. Although he was an older toddler, he was wearing a bib. I didn't hear the little boy speak the entire time we were there and he didn't seem to have much control over his extremities. He was also sweetly adorable. He had a full head of gorgeous thick and curly dark brown hair. You could sense a sweet spirit about him, and his mom and dad had a very calm spirit about them as well.

This was when I had to begin counting. My blessings, that is. All my days of struggling with a tenacious toddler seemed like a walk in the park compared to the daily task of caring for a child with disabilities. The wanton desire that I have for my toddler to not push my every button seemed trivial compared to the desire for your child to walk or eat on their own.

My blessings are countless, but here are a few: I am blessed with a very loving husband who is my partner in life, love and parenting. I am blessed with a beautiful blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who has boundless energy and an enthusiastic curiosity for the world around him. I live in a small, but lovely, cozy, and comfortable home that I am able to pay for. I have a job that I enjoy and that also affords me summers off. I have Savior who loves me and forgives me when I forget how blessed I am.

Will my new found awareness of my blessed life make me blissfully ignorant to my child's toddler tendencies? Quick answer, no. However, it will cause me to remember another cliched, but appropriate, saying, 'this, too, shall pass."

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