To the Left, To the Left {and my Together In 10}

My ‘K’ key isn’t working. I removed it to find a decent-sized chunk of dried up Playdoh stuck underneath. It is not the reason I haven’t posted in awhile, but it hasn’t helped either.

I’ve wanted to post about Adelaide’s PT for quite some time. I am smack dab in the middle of National Collection Week with Operation Christmas Child. My babies and I have been sick with two different things in two weeks. But, the truth is this: writing about Adelaide’s physical therapy journey is hard. Literally, because I am now missing TWO keys. But mostly figuratively, because this Mommy is having a very tough time with our new schedule. With our new reality. I need to put on my big girl britches…well, yoga pants. Here are some cute photos of Adelaide in her yoga pants:

Last Thursday, I was pretty excited about Adelaide’s appointment. We wore purple, because she looks gorgeous in purple. I knew we would be getting tough news, so I wore earrings. I always feel better in earrings. Here is our Together in Ten ensemble: Physical Therapy Style. {It doesn’t look like much, but I am wearing earrings, makeup, and I am not wearing a hoodie…}

Together in Ten: Physical Therapy Style

Now, on to the nitty gritty. Adelaide scored very low in her formal assessments. Her physical development is in a {generous} 4-6 month range, with locomotor skills being the lowest. She bears weight in her legs for only 1/5 of the required time for someone months younger, because she has no strength in her hips. She doesn’t use most of her protective reflexes. She doesn’t attempt to crawl. She still lacks the strength and balance to sit independently. Oh, and the kicker: Most of her left side has no strength. How did I miss that? I have been her mom for almost a year, and I didn’t notice that she usually rolls to only one side. Or only grabs toys with her right hand. Or even that her left eye is worse than her right. (I heard the cheers as I accepted my award for “Mom of the Year.”) I didn’t cry as we went through the assessment results, set up Adelaide’s PT goals, and learned all the exercises we would need to do on a daily basis. I kept my sobs bottled up until I was in the van.

Then, I turned on Switchfoot and cried. I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that I am not the world’s greatest mom, but I am the mom God chose for Adelaide. There is a big difference.

I wasn’t upset that Adelaide had scored so poorly, or even that our lives have basically been turned upside down trying to figure out how to meet all her needs. I was upset because I had missed something. I claim to be a life-long learner, but I tend to cringe at things I do not know. I have never liked being bad at anything. I don’t like looking stupid. I do like mastery. Achievement. Gold stars. I wanted my GPA to be a 4.0 and my teachers to say, “That is the best paper/project/lecture/speech/test/essay/fill-in-the-blank I have ever seen.” I wanted my bosses to say, “Your job performance is so amazing, we can’t even pay you enough for all  you do.” And, I did get a 4.0. I did hear those things from teachers and bosses. Then, I became a mom.  Everything changed. It seemed like I was constantly hearing all the things I needed to change, fix, improve upon. No one wanted to give me gold stars. I went from being at the top, to being a mom who couldn’t keep up. I did everything I could do, and ended up exhausting myself. I was grieved to realize I would never be one of those Supermoms. The ones with the super clean houses, well-behaved children, and beautiful hair. Instead, I am the mom with a 5-month ponytail, laundry everywhere {even though I have been trying to keep up with it}, and a child whose newest phrase is, “Don’t you talk to me like that!” Lovely. I am the mom who heard, “Have you noticed that Adelaide doesn’t hold toys with her left hand? Has she ever rolled to the right from her back?” I had no answer. I hated how stupid I felt. If noticing important things about your children had been a test, I would have received a D-. Some of you, who are better with grace, would say, “Wow. Lyndse, you really need to take a chill pill. Cut yourself some slack and eat some chocolate.” Others, who struggle with the same issues I struggle with on a daily {make that hourly} basis, would say, “Wow. How did you not cry right there on the spot? Do you need some chocolate?”

I am learning to be a mom, just as Adelaide is learning to use her left side, catch herself with her hands, and get her arm out from underneath herself when she {finally} rolls over. I am learning that there is no GPA for moms. There are no evaluations or awards. I am not the greatest mom in the world, because she doesn’t exist. Every mom has strengths and weaknesses. I see only every other mom’s strengths, and only my own weaknesses. God is wanting to give me grace, but I can’t accept it. I am too busy wondering how I am going to mess up as a mom. Again. I want to achieve at motherhood…but it doesn’t work that way. God called me to do what I can, as if I am doing it for Him, and thank Him for everything. Even the trials.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 ESV

Monday’s PT went so well. Adelaide used her left hand to hit an instrument…her first time hitting an instrument! And with her left hand!

I couldn’t stop cheering! She caught herself when she started to fall. She even rolled a few times. Then, Jennifer informed me that Adelaide may not be strong enough to walk with a walker. As Graham says, “Boom goes the dynamite!” I was not expecting that. I was not expecting to hear that we needed to take things “one day at a time and enjoy our successes”…I was crushed. I didn’t cry until we were outside. Then, the tears came and the brisk air kept me from vomiting. I was failing Adelaide. But then the Holy Spirit reminded me:

Lyndse, in whatever you do {finding the right equipment, learning the exercises, being diligent and consistent}, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

It is easy to fall into thinking that Adelaide should improve because I am doing what I am “supposed” to do, until I remember that I am not in control. I am called to be in Adelaide’s corner, never give up on her, and cheer her on. I am not called to fix her…I can’t. I am learning to accept that I am not the world’s greatest mom. She doesn’t exist. I am just a mom who is doing this mothering thing unto the Lord and thanking Him for grace. And trials. And chocolate.

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9 thoughts on “To the Left, To the Left {and my Together In 10}

  1. Lauren Barca says:

    I love you!

    Like

  2. Elise says:

    Go Adelaide!! I’m so proud of you!! She’s so amazing Lyndse. You’re the very best Momma for her. God said so. Graham is lucky to have you. A godly Mom that is doing her very best to show her children Jesus everyday. You’re doing it. Want some chocolate? :)

    Like

  3. Meta says:

    ::hug:: ::hug:: ::hug:: when i went to my little girl’s first pt eval at 8 months they said her gross motor was at a 5 month range. we did another eval at 9.5 months and it’s now at a 6-7 month range. The road is LONG and it is BUMPY. Week after week I realized I became numb to each pt or doctor’s appointment because I trained myself to expect worse news. When I finally allowed myself to have hope… again the waves came crashing down when I was told “the gap is still getting wider” and tears came again. I just want to give you a big virtual hug. It’s hard… wanting the best for your child and wanting to “fix” her (hey, we are moms, we can’t help it). But yes…. God is doing a work with your little girl and all He wants us to do is come alongside her and be in her corner. Don’t listen to Satan’s lies about not noticing or feeling guilty. They are just lies. I know there isn’t a definitive knowledge that there will be a “happy ending” (I don’t have that assurance either), but i know that however our children grow, we will love them as God created them to be. :) I found a couple more blogs/stories that have helped me along this journey: http://blackboxwarnings.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/seeking-support-and-solutions/ and http://fiveintow.com/2012/09/26/what-micah-taught-me/

    ::HUG::

    Like

    • lyndseballew says:

      Meta,
      Thanks for the encouraging words. I think we have the most gorgeous hypotonic babies on the planet. If you are ever in SWMO, please let me know. I would love to get a cup of decaf with you. Praying for you today!

      Lyndse

      Like

  4. Julie Moss says:

    Loving your blog!! Thank you for sharing and putting if all out there, so refreshing (and good to know None if us are alone). Hugs, friend!

    Like

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