Monday, August 23, 2010

Great Expectations

I've always had great expectations when it comes to Elijah and what he can and will be able to accomplish.  I used to tell people that I thought Elijah would be completely fine...that God had healed and was healing our son.  I distinctly remember telling this to his nurses when he was still in the hospital.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  But, then they saw miracles too. Elijah awoke from his coma and he started to respond to us - and I was more convinced than ever that everything was going to be fine.

Elijah just turned three. And while our expectations are still high, I find myself coming to a place of acceptance.  Elijah isn't fine... at least not what I would have defined as fine during those early days.

A big part of me thought that Elijah would catch up by the time he was three.  It was a coping mechanism for sure - telling myself that things would get better so that I could get through each day, so that I'd work extra hard for our son.  I told myself that if I put in extra work now that we'd get there, eventually we'd be able to relax.  And well, that just isn't the case; relaxing in terms of working for Elijah's betterment just isn't going to be happening anytime soon. (Then again, is the word relax ever a part of your vocabulary when you're a parent?)

The problem with acceptance is that it can feel a lot like giving up.  It's such a balance, hoping and working towards a brighter future and accepting our son exactly as he is.

Recently, Elijah underwent testing through the school district to be able to start preschool.  It was interesting for me to watch.  Elijah did some things that I would've said he couldn't.  I hate that I've underestimated him in any way, but I certainly overestimate him more often.  Neither is good for him.

I need to keep rejoicing over each and every accomplishment, accepting whatever it is that Elijah will be able to accomplish, but at the same time keeping my great expectations.  He deserves that, especially from me...his number one fan (tied with his daddy of course!).

PS - Our lives are definitely busy here in Elijahland and a lot of changes are taking place in terms of Elijah's therapy. I'll be writing about it soon (oh, I hope). I'm excited. :)


sugar magnolia said...

Well said. Elijah will accomplish what he is going to accomplish, and on his own timeline. It's hard to readjust expectations. I know I've had to with my daughter. Then again, I've had to with my typically developing son! Elijah is doing great....preschool will be wonderful for him.

Ms.Crabass said...

Hi Lisa- oooh pre-school time! Does your district offer pre-school for SN in town? Ours doesn't.

I can remember those feelings of thinking my boys would be fine...they would be fine...this stuff happens to other people...blah blah...and you're right, the things we are accepting now are things that may have devastated us back in the day. We grow with our kids evidently! I don't think acceptance is giving up- it's just knowing what you're dealing with and moving on from there.

The PTs have been tossing around the idea of a power chair my Elijah. I was told several times throughout the years that he would be able to walk with a walker or perhaps even independently. (definitely not independent) But now here we are at power chair and I'm wondering if that is what he needs or wants or if I'm throwing in the towel for him.

Take lots of pics of pre-school!

Kathy said...

Over the years I have watched my many friends, be it parents or their children, develop and overcome the odds. I am so proud of them. Some of my friends go further than others. I love it when they come to my office to talk to me. Lisa, you and Andy, are doing a great job. Elijah is doing well. He has overcome many things. He is his own personality. He will continue to develop. He loves you both, that is clear. You give him so much. I love you all, MomKat

Michelle said...

My son is also three, and I just registered him for a special preschool today. His speech is very delayed, and he had to go through a ton of testing to get approved for the program. Anyway, I was astounded when I took him in for testing because he did way more than I would have ever said he could! I think sometimes kids react differently to other authority figures than they do to their parents.
It really is a difficult thing to find balance between accepting things (and people) just as they are while hoping for the best and working hard toward a better future. I feel that way in life all the time, and I can well imagine how those feelings would all be magnified a thousand times when centered on your precious child! Elijah is just so very blessed to have you both for parents. I have no doubt that he will reach his highest potential with your dedication, guidance, and love. I'll be anxious to hear how he likes preschool!
I know I'm getting a little nervous to send my baby off four days a week to be with people I do not know. :)

Unknown said...

Please don't take your acceptance as a sign of giving up. Acceptance is often necessary as a step toward resolution. We accept that we sin, but that does not mean that we give up the fight to Satan, we continue to fight to overcome our weaknesses. Elijah has overcome many things, and he continues to fight to overcome things in his future, because he accepts that they are there to be overcome, and does not ignore them. I think acceptance is positive.
As always you are in our prayers.

Mommy K said...

I like what Steve said. I am two years behind you in my own journey, but at a similar understanding. I still believe that God is doing miracles for Myra and have high hopes of her future abilities, but I still have to accept the here and now every day. It's so hard to play both sides of the fence, hope and acceptance, but I'm finding it can be done. Our kids are so very young and have so much life and experiences ahead of them. We wait for those milestones that will bring them to their greatest potential, but we must also see our children from God's perspective...Perfect. He sees their soul and heart. He sees how their lives have brought those around them closer to Him and He also sees their future. He sees our child as unique as any one of his creations and He loves them, even more than we do. So, though we wait for milestones and things our human flesh deems as important, our children's souls do not change. And no matter where they fall on the scale of human abilities, they always fall at the top of God beloved. So, though answering the questions I often get like "How is Myra doing?" can sometimes be painful to my flesh, my heart tries to grasp the greater picture and look past our human understandings. It's not easy by any means, but it can be done. We will never give up on our kids until they get to the finish line: heaven with our Savior. We just have a bumpier, more challenging road than many. I've enjoyed visiting your blog these last few months.

Susan said...

oh man is it hard to find the balance. I tend to go the other way and totally think the worst .. in some ways so I'm not too upset when some of it comes true. But I've been reading the book the Secret, and although I don't buy into all the, how shall I say, BS that it talks about, I do buy into the the premise that thinking positive about your life and the future and believing in a good outcome in some ways makes it come true. I'm starting small, like thinking I'm going to have a good playdate with moms of typical kids and be happy that my little guy is among them. And not just think about how much he's not doing during the playdate or how far behind he is. So we went on a playdate and it worked. I didn't worry about my little guy once.

baby steps? little by little we'll figure it out.

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