I stood for a bit, watching them sleep. I was thankful for the extra sunshine now that the days are longer. I was thankful that both girls were healthy and sleeping because they were tired - not because they were sick. I was reminded of how much they are alike, and how much geneticists are puzzled by their similarities.
It's in those moments of reflection that I want to stop - suspend time. More often, I am reminded that we are moving beyond those baby years with Rachel and Janneke. Obviously that is the case with Emily and Sophia, but changes with them seem familiar and normal. We joke with Em and Soph that their brains are slowly becoming mushy as they approach the stage of adolescence. We warn them of the extreme highs and lows, and we find ways to laugh with the four of us over the changes that are happening.
Moving into "older-kid season" with Rachel and Janneke is intimidating. I crave a routine for them that I know. I want the familiar. I don't want to move forward into what I don't know, what is unfamiliar. It's harder to laugh about their changes; changing diapers on a growing girl is a reality check.
Next year, both Rachel and Janneke have been invited to attend the Niagara Children's Centre School again. We have enrolled them, and we are excited to have them in an environment that specifically focuses on their needs and abilities within the context of their limitations. Yet, I will be honest and say that enrolling them back at NCC School is also a relief because it is familiar.
Moving slowly past the cute-baby-with-special-needs into the big-kid-that-isn't-always-cute-with-special-needs is part of life. It's the natural progression. It's also kind of scary. There are many stories out there, circulating the challenges of parenting older kids and adults with special needs. The experiences of cut funding, lack of respite help, and hospital hurdles are ones I'd rather not read.
I suppose that there are many of us in predicaments or situations not of our choosing that crave the familiar. We reluctantly step forward, looking for something we can recognize.
I do trust that God has all things in His hands, and I am trying to glean what is helpful for the journey ahead. But, there are those moments when I'd rather suspend time and pretend nothing is going to change.
peace for your week,
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.
Maybe Abraham Lincoln said this? In any case, the words ring true.