Around a year ago, my husband, out of the sweetness of his heart, bought me a ticket to a mother’s conference.
If you know me, you know that this is not entirely my thing. I don’t socialize much, I don’t like large groups, and I am always miserable and awkward trying to make conversation with strangers. So much so that I bought my best friend a ticket just so I could talk to her and avoid talking to other people.
Then the day before the conference, a very nice psychologist and occupational therapist and neuropsychiatrist sat me down and explained that my beautiful, funny, loving, smart little boy has been gifted with an extra dose of uniqueness(and a genius level IQ, in case you wondered). And that little extra dose of uniqueness might make life a little difficult for him, combined with being oh-so-smart.
And with that, motherhood became a world filled with completely unfamiliar terrain, an alien place without a map, something very different from the pictures in my head of what it would be like. This was not the life I was expecting.
With all this swirling around me, my husband told me I should still go, even though I would have preferred spending the weekend at home, by myself, reading the same book a thousand times. But my best friend was going and my husband wanted me to, so I went–even though I had babysitter problems and car problems and everything seemed to go wrong, I still went.
It was called Raising Generations Today. But I what I took away was hope.
Hope for tomorrow.
Hope for today.
It was exactly what I needed, at exactly that moment in time, to discover that every other mother feels inadequate and overwhelmed, whether they have a unique little boy or not. Every mother, it seems, discovers at some point that this life is not quite what she had expected. For the first time in days, I felt not quite so alone. Sitting through the workshop on raising a child with special needs, and trying not to cry, I realized that my little boy is just that–my son. It doesn’t matter what labels are thrown at him, I am the mom God chose to raise him.
And even years before, when the conference organizers started thinking and praying and planning, God knew then that I was going to get news that would change my world the day before the conference started. Last year He prompted my husband to buy me a ticket, even knowing it wasn’t quite my thing, and I believe He prompted me to buy my friend a ticket, both so I wouldn’t be alone when I needed a life-long friend the most, and because she really needed it, too.
And if God can orchestrate all of that, He most certainly can give me whatever it is I’m going to need to be Josh and Olivia’s mommy.
So the world has changed. But for the first time in many, many years, I believe that I am not alone in this. Somehow over that weekend, sitting through the worship and the speakers(and if you know me, you know I have not been in church in a very long time), I realized that God loves these babies more than I do, and it will be okay. Different from what I expected, but if God believes that I am the best mommy in the whole world for Josh, then I believe it, too.