Monday, November 26, 2007

Tell us about when we were little

Like a lot of little kids, my girls love to hear stories about when they were babies/toddlers. Funny ones. Sweet ones. Just stories that evidence a time when they were with us, but that they cannot remember.

I have told them such stories more than once and they always enjoy them, but the other day they asked for new ones and frankly, I was at a loss. Truth told, there weren't a lot of fun times when they were small. There were mostly tantrums. Aborted trips to the zoo and park. Quick exits from playdates and parties. Expulsions from Mother's Day Out and bible studies. Meltdowns. Self-injury. Aggression. Exhausting, baffling rituals. And meltdowns. Did I mention the meltdowns?

We don't have a lot of photos from age 15 months until the age of four, and video footage? Forget it. I never called out to dh, "Oh quick honey! Grab the camcorder! Abby is scratching herself til she bleeds again. And there's Emma Jean, scaling the cabinets to perch precariously on the edge and throw down the plates while reciting Lucy's lines from 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.' Again."

Good times. Good times.


I struggled to come up with some new little quip that would satisfy them. That would satisfy me even. But I drew a blank. I don't like to remember those days too much. Those memories are uncomfortable and they make my heart hurt. There is no way I can share any of that with them though, obviously. I was left feigning tiredness and telling them they'd have to wait until another time. But I am afraid I won't have much more to offer then either. Tales of Abby sitting and shredding the phone book for hours aren't exactly the Kodak moments they are seeking.

As a parent who witnessed a lot of bad days around here first hand and having seen them overcome so much, seen our family overcome so much, I don't want to look back. My hope lies in their futures, but they want these imagined happy memories painted and that canvass remains largely blank.


Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the LORD brought lasting ruin on them. It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the desert until you arrived at this place, and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the LORD has done.

Deuteronomy 11:2-7


Blogger Shawn and Jami said...

How blessed I feel to be one of the recipients of what the Lord has done in and through your children. I really do count it one of the most tangible gifts the Lord has ever given me, the "S" family. Thank you for being so transparent and loving your girls like nobody I have ever known. Hey, are you interested in a photo shoot when we get the little ones...and yes very casual?

9:26:00 PM  
Blogger supposedly susan said...

Hey, are you interested in a photo shoot when we get the little ones...and yes very casual?
You bet!! I can't wait. :)

9:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes my eyes swell with tears. Today people say to me "...but oh your girls are very high functioning." And I say..."Yeah, but you weren't there for when it took 5 teachers to put them in my car, and keep them in my car, just because Mommy wasn't able to park in the exact same parking space as the day before. You weren't there to see them screaming for their Mother, when I was right there, but they didn't recognize me."

11:57:00 PM  
Blogger supposedly susan said...

The screaming never completely leaves my memory either. I don't think I will ever forget it, or that first day I left Abby at the ABA center.

I am just thankful that my girls don't seem to remember those earlier days when autism held them tightly in its tyrannical grip.

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season.

6:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think of the parents who can never just "look back." Many of them still live with children with those tantrums and behaviors day in and day out...and always will. Those are the parents I feel for.

1:15:00 PM  
Blogger supposedly susan said...

I do too.

8:54:00 PM  

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