“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” J.M. Barrie
“For each of us there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be. ” Thomas Merton
We all have them. Preconceived notions. Dreams about how life will be. Expectations. Desires.
And we never stop to think that life might turn out to be different than what we expect it to be. Different than what we imagined.
But reality suggests something different than our delusional expectations and oblivious wanderings down the road that we call life.
And then it hits us in the face. Like an acorn falling off a tree. Or a slap in the face. Faster than we could ever dream.
Harder than we could ever believe.
Our first baby was perfect. Looking back, she was probably as close to the perfection of baby Jesus as you could get without actually being Jesus. And we wandered through life, oblivious to reality, and enjoying our delusional wanderings. Dreaming of the next baby, hoping God would give us a boy…further adding to that picture of perfection: a boy and a girl. What could be better?
I always dreamed that I would have a baby boy. Having all sisters, it was hard not to. I always wanted a brother. And there was definitely a piece of my heart that longed for a son. You know, that sweet little baby boy face. With the perfect newborn pictures with sports themed props. That sweet little baby boy that would wear all of those adorable baby boy clothes that I had been googling over for years… The boy who would finally give me what I wanted for so long. A sidekick. A new, exciting adventure. The final piece in my picture of perfection. The boy I always dreamed of. The boy I always wanted.
But dreams are hardly reality.
And sometimes you get exactly the opposite of what you wish for.
Sometimes you get the boy you never wanted.
The cranky, screaming little ball of fury and rage that is more like a parasite than a sidekick. The one that screams loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear if you put him down God forbid for two seconds. The boy who is anything but sweet. The boy who is so hard to love, that your heart stops longing. The one that throws up on, and hates wearing all of the adorable clothes. The boy that is a horrendous adventure, your worst nightmare, and anything but perfection. The boy of my nightmares. The boy I never wanted.
And even when the incessant crying stops, more challenges arise. Now instead of screaming during mommy potty breaks we have moved to blood curdling screams throughout the entire grocery store. Terrifying screams in public places filled with people. Tantrums and meltdowns over the slightest stimuli. And don’t even mention the church nursery…I can’t remember the last time I was able to listen to an entire sermon.
He is what you call a high-needs child. For some reason, one that I still can’t understand, God gave him this temperament.
He was born with it and will live with it for the rest of his life. That’s just how temperament goes – it is stable over the lifespan.
I always wondered what it would be like to have a child with ADHD.
I think that I could have handled that.
I don’t handle the stares in the grocery stores. The admonishing looks as he is half pulling down my shirt our of sheer rage that I won’t let him swipe the credit card while simultaneously chucking a package of baby yogurt because he doesn’t want to put it on the belt. I have cried a few tears in the privacy of my euro-car many times after grocery store experiences. People just don’t understand. They don’t care. And they don’t want to.
And I worry so much that he is going to be totally misunderstood his entire life.
I mean, it took me 18 months of his life to finally understand him. To figure him out. 18 months of day in and day out to finally “know” this boy. So how will others every understand? And how will they ever come to appreciate his temperament for what it is?
Because the reality of the boy I never wanted is this: he was the boy I needed.
Other things I might have understood. I might have dealt with better. But I never would have grown.
Because God has a way of taking our plans and re-writing them to accomplish His plans. His plans in which we actually experience growth, instead of delusions of perfection.
Because we are not perfect. And neither is life.
And maybe Kreade will be misunderstood all of his life. His passion might be mistaken for behavioral problems. The feelings he feels so much more intensely than you or I may get him into trouble throughout his life. His energy might be a challenge in so many settings.
But he is the boy that I needed. The boy his daddy needed. The boy his sister needed.
The boy the world needed.
The boy that God wanted.
And his name will serve as a reminder. A guiding principle or belief. No matter what people think of him, he is loved. And God has a plan for this passionate, energetic, intensely feeling child. And he will be what God wants him to be.
Kreade, I want you always to remember that even though I never wanted a boy like you…I am so thankful that God gave you to us. Seeing the world through your passionate eyes is an experience that words really cannot describe. Everything is so much brighter in your eyes, so much more exciting, and so much more beautiful. You were the boy we needed. The boy who has taught us so many things – to trust, to let go of perfection, to breath.
I want you to know that God understands you and has created you with a purpose in mind. Use your passion to show the world His love. Use your energy for His glory. Use your intensity to be great for Him.
And if you feel as if others view who you are as anything less than perfect…remember this:
“”My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Because the world may view your temperament as an infirmity, as I once did. But now I understand…God views it as a strength.