Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dear New Mama of a Special Needs Baby....

First off....congratulations! People don’t often say that at first, do they? When they hear you’ve just had a child who needs lots of extra care, they clam up, stumble on their words and, not knowing what to say, they don’t say anything. So...I’m saying it.... 

This baby is a precious little person who will challenge the world to see what it’s made of.....what you are made of....Right now you might feel like it’s jelly that fills your insides, all quaking and weak. 

That’s ok. 

You will see, as your baby starts to fight and fight to do those things that come easily to other babies, like breathing...and eating...
that the fighter in you will start to emerge. 

“How can I give any less than this tiny sprite does with every breath?” 

You will surprise yourself. 

Previously unrecognized reserves well up from a deep river of Grace, running through our lives and only recognized when we figure out just how small and fragile life really is...
We need to be filled by some One other than ourselves, and fill He does. 

“How can I possibly get through this?"
 will be answered by tiny fingers, grasping yours...tiny lashes flickering, reminding of the unbreakable bond that says, “Indeed, this is MY baby...and WE will get through by walking straight down the middle of this road."

Look at your baby....what exquisite handiwork. Put your baby before the label, but do your research as’s a hard balance to strike, and one you will constantly be reassessing. 

Know that feeling intense grief, intense gratitude, and intense rage can all steamroll through in a flash. You won’t be the first mama to walk into a scrapbook store, a baby clothes shop or an infant food aisle and start sobbing when the reality of how your life is so different sweeps over you in tsunami size tides. Ride the waves, Friend. They always move back towards the shore, where you can  anchor yourself to the new reality of your life....and start to be ok. It will be ok. 

 You now have permission to eat as much dark chocolate as you want...and forget things like people’s names you’ve known for years, and your bank card’s PIN number when in line at Costco’s...and scream out loud if one more person sends you “Welcome to Holland” because, let’s get real.....this was never about a trip.

 This is about Sacred Work on Sacred Ground. It’s about epic battles in which you showed up carrying a pretty pink packed bag and came home with a gray suction machine and a baby who’s life depends on you keeping her airway open.  

 It’s about more tears than you ever, ever thought could fall from your cheeks.....but even more about a staggering, humbling amount of Grace that saves us all and props you up to carry on another day. 

It’s fierce and it’s beautiful and it’s called special for a reason.  

This life wears the sharp edges off of selfishness and self centeredness like nothing else. You will be a much better person for being this baby’s mama.

This side of special can be so hard. But Love is bigger than hard. 

 Love your baby.....and know you are not alone. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yarn Along...Finally!

 Tell me this picture doesn’t just get you....

Oh my goodness....I have finally gotten my pics up of the sweater. I have said before I wasn’t too hip on the yarn I used...totally fuzzed out even before I had finished the project. While the actual pattern wasn’t too bad, the yarn was disappointing. BUT...Lily LOVES this sweater, she wears it all of the time, so I’m not too upset. I really would prefer to knit the button band along with the pattern, instead of picking up the stitches later. I had a hard time with this puckering up, which was probably more my fault in hastily picking up stitches and not so much the pattern. 

You notice what sweater she threw on for the very first day of Spring like weather in the tundra?? Lily is extremely picky about her clothes, tags, this yarn had to be pretty soft, and in that department, it does not disappoint.  Here are my Ravelry notes. 

As far as reading...I’m making my way through, again, For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley. This is a MUST READ for homeschooling moms. It was instrumental in shaping my views on education. When I first started out homeschooling nearly 16 years ago, so many of us read these kinds of books and had great discussions face to face. In the age of FB and texting, it seems like something is lost when we don’t read and discuss how and why we homeschool. Susan’s book focuses on the Charlotte Mason approach to in good literature, no “twaddle” for books, and short lessons. She called it setting out a “feast” for children. 

Go check out more of the Yarn Along friends at Ginny’s place: