I just put Anne on the bus to go to middle school. In a few hours, I’ll pick her up early and drive her an hour to therapy. She’s doing intensive therapy again. It’s so good for her.
Earlier, I dropped my oldest son at the bus which will take him to high school, and then I drove my youngest daughter to her carpool. My friend at carpool asked me, “So will Anne’s therapy end this week?” “No,” I responded, “she has therapy every day over Christmas break…except for Christmas day.” My friend just shook her head and hugged me.
At my worst moments, I feel sorry for myself. I compare our family to all the families I see on the front of their picture-perfect Christmas cards. Instagram is full of family vacation pictures. Those hurt the worst.
I’ve always dreamed of traveling together as a family. I love the idea of building life-long memories as we hike through Yellowstone, ride the waves in the ocean or eat our way through NYC. But Anne’s disabilities make those adventures impossible (not to mention the cost!)
Over Thanksgiving, I thought maybe we could have a small, indoor adventure. We found a group-on and visited the College Football Hall of Fame in the big city. It was a disaster. Anne quickly became overstimulated and grumpy. And my other kids became bored with the inactivity.
We left the museum and played frisbee in the park. Anne was happy sitting in the sun, and my other kids loved running and playing together. God showed me that we don’t have to have a grand adventure to create insta-worthy-memories. We just have to find joy in the ordinary moments of life.
Besides, every family is broken. Every family struggles. Every family has heart-ache. No family is perfect.
So I’m trying to let God redesign my dream of what creating memories as a family looks like. I haven’t quite figured it out, but I think it starts with letting go of my ideal and taking a more simple approach. Find God and his joy in each moment. Pray that my children will look back on their growing up years as special. Follow the hand of Jesus. That’s all I know right now. Maybe one day, I’ll figure it all out ;)