I swore at my son the other day. Well, not exactly at him, more at his disability and how much work it puts on me. Even as the words flew from my lips, I knew I should be horrified. Ashamed of myself. Instead, all I felt was a bone-deep weariness.
I’m tired. So, so tired.
I’ve been at this homeschooling gig for over 15 years now. Most of those years have been a struggle with varying degrees of language disabilities. It’s hard. My youngest two, who are not learning disabled, have been given the dregs of my time, attention, and enthusiasm.
Even now, as my son transitions to online classes at a local high school and community college classes, I find myself caught up in his struggles. I still have to fight on his behalf to get him into classes that will actually help him, rather than discourage and frustrate him. I still have to sit with him and help him decipher the symbols on the screen, a foreign language to him in so many ways, as his brain scrambles their meaning. The daily battle my beautiful, intelligent son wages with words breaks my heart again and again.
I hate dyslexia.
This week has been tough and the temptation to give up hasn’t been this strong in years. The weight of their education, socialization, my mistakes, and their struggles shroud me like a cloak, heavy and dark. Depression nips at my consciousness as I contemplate the years ahead.
I don’t want to do this anymore. Any of it. Not the homeschooling, not the public schooling, not the training up, the mentoring, or the conflict counseling. I’m ready to chuck my mommy hat and run off to the beaches of some remote tropical fantasy land where I can lie on the beach, write my novel, and sip yummy drinks with tiny umbrellas in them.
Do any of you ever feel like giving it all up? Like going on a mommy strike? Like the weight of your children’s difficulties is simply too much to carry any longer? Please, oh, please, tell me I’m not alone in this and that someone out there can relate!
Then I look at my kids. I see my eldest, now 19. She has made it through three years of college courses, is on the cusp of completing an associates degree with straight A’s in spite of her language difficulties. She works two jobs and is planning her wedding to her best friend, a godly young man whom she has not yet even kissed. She loves her Creator and is a capable, thoughtful young woman.
I see my son. At 17, so unique in his way of thinking and communicating. He is incredibly kind, generous, and wickedly smart in totally different ways than me. He has never let his dyslexia mar his self-image because he knows he is wonderfully made by his Father in heaven. He is confident in his strengths and practical about his weaknesses. There is no condemnation in him, either for others or for himself. In many ways, he is my hero.
I look at my two younger daughters. I see them handle conflict between themselves and with others with grace. Even when they are misunderstood, maligned, or treated less than kindly, they take it to their Lord and respond with forgiveness and understanding. I see them work through hard things like close friends moving to the other side of the country, showing strength and resilience. Catching glimmers of the young women they will become, I am undone at the goodness of my God.
My kids aren’t perfect, but by His grace, they’ve turned out pretty darned good so far.
Maybe I’ll hold off on that tropical vacay.
Isn’t our Father good, my friends? Even when I am all done in, when I throw in my mommy hat, when self-centeredness reigns and I swear at my son, He is gently bringing me back to a place where I can see. He brings me past the blindness of my inner chaos. He shows me the lovely fruit of my labors manifested in the character of my children and I am reminded that this battle is worth it.
Life giving words from a friend refresh my ears, pointing out that the waves and the storms here aren’t what matters. What matters is that He is weaving all of it, the victories and defeats, the joys and the pains, the beautiful and the ugly, into a tapestry of grace that is infinitely wonderous and I am reminded of who I am. I am beloved. I am daughter and friend of the Most High God. I am a water walker.
So are you.
We only sink when our eyes are on the waves, rather than on the author and perfecter of our faith. When our focus is where it should be, Yeshua calms the storm and we are at peace once more.
If this day finds you ready to give up, mama, remember these truths. See the beauty in your kids. Remember that you are the daughter of an infinitely wise and powerful Creator who is, even now, taking your daily struggles and painting them into a bigger picture, a lovely picture of love and grace that is your life. Know that you are not alone. Then join me in picking up that mommy hat, placing it squarely back on our heads, and taking the hand of our Father who will see us through to the finish line.
We’ve got this.
Top image by Foundry at Pixabay
Bottom image by jools_sh at Pixabay