Alyssa challenges me, teaches me, strengthens me, makes me laugh, and sometimes cry. She has qualities that some will see as disabilities and others will see as abilities. When I look at her, I know she is challenging me to see her ability, and I do. As her mom, I feel like I am more blessed, than ever!
Tomorrow is the last day of first grade. I can’t tell you how many times in my life, I have heard people say, “the years go by so fast”. What an understatement! As she continues to mature, I see her baby face is gone. Is it bad, this brings me joy? I love the person she is becoming. It’s so much fun. I say, “I love you” as she is sitting in my lap. She reaches for my neck and says, “I love…(pause).... necklace”. Her delay in delivery cracks me up. She laughs too. Her delivery of “necklace” shows independence and maybe some silliness. You know, I figured, for sure, she was going to say, “I love you”, back to me, but I am great with the response she chose. It’s truly awesome!!
This past weekend, we went to the store together. She walked through the store with me, pushing the cart. It was so good for me to see her do this. Back in March, I made the commitment to myself she would no longer ride in the cart. After all, she is four feet tall. It was a young man in Arizona, who has Autism, an employee at a grocery store, who questioned me over and over about her being in the grocery cart. He was so puzzled. He kept saying, “She’s too big; why is she in the cart”. The truth about this, I convinced myself, she preferred it that way. Confession…. it was more comfortable for me. It took another person to help me realize, I needed to let go and have faith in her. She does great in the store and enjoys pushing the cart. She doesn’t have the best driving skills. If you have been following my blog, you know, like mother, like daughter. HA!
I think of being blindfolded. Where is my trust, if being lead by another? Letting go is difficult. I know I wouldn’t like this challenge. We are instructed to walk in faith. Easier said, than done, but I am trying. Alyssa is showing me, falling backwards into the arms of another is okay. She does it, day in and day out. She is doing what we lead her to do and trusts us. I am proud of her.
It is so easy to hold a child back from success. It’s easy to allow ourselves to think, they cannot do something, so we do it for them. In Alyssa’s case, maybe we don’t know what she is thinking, so we act without trust, with barely an arms length of room for her to “be herself” within. Puzzling because my understanding, children are a gift from God to be “enjoyed”, but this doesn’t seem enjoyable for her, or us, the adults in her life, if we cannot relax and allow some space, some independence. She needs us to trust her.
Okay, so here’s the thing… If we don’t have faith in one another, then how will there be learning, independence or other growth opportunities? If I don’t have faith Alyssa can do things on her own, without me hovering over her, to get the results “I want to happen”, who will she become? She needs some wiggle room, so she can show us what her interests are, without our constant influence. These are her years to shine; I need not block the light.
Thank you for reading and have a great week. Angie