Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Future

As a busy mom of many, I have many preferences I don't often indulge in. For example, I prefer gourmet coffee and cheesecake at a quiet place with leather couches, but I usually end up with chocolate softserve at the walk-up place near the creek the kids love. I prefer downtown hotels with 5-star amenities, but often succumb to the great outdoors in our tiny camper. I prefer live theater and concerts, but am often found at the $1 movie place with the sticky floor watching the not-so-latest kid flick.

For most moms, substituting kid-friendly entertainment for our own preferences is just part of being a mom. Most moms know that this season of life is only temporary. Someday, their nest will be empty and they can return to the things they enjoy. They may long for the day when quiet coffee and theater tickets are the norm, but they know it's coming.

The moms of kids with special needs have no such assurance. While we are doing everything we can to ensure our child's future independence, we know that there are no guarantees. Our nests may never empty. We are possibly on a lifelong parenting journey without an earthly end.

The more I think about this, the less certain I am that it's a negative thing. I've grown to really like chocolate softserve, $1 movies, and (gasp!) even camping! But more than that is the complete realization that my life is not my own. As a follower of Christ, I have given up those rights. Any plans I have for the future are just a vapor and can vanish at any moment. My desire should be to simply do what He's placed right in front of me to do.

I have always struggled with what I call "when we, then we". For example, when we have this baby, then we can start the new housekeeping plan. When we have mostly older kids, then we can adopt. When we have an empty nest, then we can travel more. Do you see how this can be a trap? Always longing for the future, but never quite content in the here and now?

Having Eon in our lives is forcing me to hold my plans more loosely, to look to the future with anticipation instead of certainty, and to enjoy my reality as it is right now. It may not be cheesecake and coffee, but I'm making the most of it!


  1. Perfectly expressed sentiments. I love it! Perhaps Eon will be a big fan of cheesecake and coffee and appreciate the more refined things in life as well! :)

  2. Amen to that! It was a few years ago when it really hit me how different things are for us parents of special kids. We were at a wedding and my daughter just did NOT want to sit quietly during the ceremony because she wanted to be up front with the bride, groom, and her daddy who was the best man! So I had to miss the wedding and take her outside. It wasn't just missing the wedding that got me down...(I had to miss much of the reception as well). What really got me was that the other parents who were outside missing the wedding were with their toddlers. Their kids were 2 or 3 years old. My girl was 6. That is when it set in, those days we all look forward to getting past are going to last much longer for me. It got me down for awhile, but I got over it and got back to enjoying our day to day life. I too think about the future and what is ahead for my daughter, especially if I am no longer here, but that too is in the Lord's hands! Thanks for sharing that encouragement and reminder that we should just embrace the joy that we find ourselves in here and now and trust God with the rest! I think I needed that today!

  3. Love this one! Just think someday you and Eon can sit back in your clean, housekept house;)when all the kids are grown, indulging in your cheescake and coffee..together!
    Hope you're feeling great!

  4. Love this post! It can be so hard to focus on the here&now and just enjoy it...but the more we do that, the happier we are, and I'm pretty sure God wants us to be happy. One of my favorite sayings is "Come what may and love it"--reminds me that it's up to me to be be happy with whatever God places on my road.

  5. You know sometimes I think about this and get a little bummed and then other times I don't. You see I have a VERY small family. Both of my parents and grandparents are deceased; I only have an aunt, uncle and one cousin and all live out of state. I kinda felt alone for a long time, well except for my husband's family which is a bit bigger than mine. Now I'm not so alone as I have Olivia and she will most likely be with me until the end of MY life. Well I hope anyway. It's kinda funny how the Lord works.

  6. Hi- I am enjoying your blog, Eon is a beautiful boy and congrats on the "tie breaker"
    I have 4 special needs kiddos, my outlook is very positve for thier future even though 2 of them will probably need support as adults, the world is changing and more opportunities for people with different ways of being are opening up. Before settling into "fulltime" motherhood I worked at a small group home, this was not at all like an institution but had a feel of single friends sharing a house, our bunch had jobs, social lives, hobbies, dates... we had one or 2 staff available onsite at all times, all the housemates had goals they were working to greater independence, money management, health habits, etc. Blessings on your family!