Saturday, January 23, 2010
A New Day, A New Lesson for Mom
I was going to write today about my son's transition to Middle school this year. Which was as much about my transition as his.
But last night, while reading my newest edition of "Guidepost" I happened to read one little sentence that really made me take a pause. It was a story written by Gary Levox, who is the lead singer in "Rascal Flatts". Before he made it in country music, he worked for 10 years, training the mentally challenged to live as independently as they could and how to hold a job. He spoke about despite their many challenges and how much of their lives involve failures before a success,they keep at it and never give up. He told how the indomitable spirits of his clients inspired him to keep pursuing his dreams of a music career, despite the many hurdles.
He learned a very deep lesson from them and one that my son teaches me everyday, but I never really stopped and thought about it. DespiteRiley's challenges, he has never given up on anything. He has a kind of faith in himself to keep trying. He gets up each day and takes risk after risk in trying new things and attempting things that have always been tinged with failure. And yet the drive and faith that, today could be the day he succeeds at just one small or big thing is always there.
I do not think that many of us wake up each day knowing that so much of our day will be just an attempt to succeed at so many things or the reality that most of them may not. I mean really, we seem to edit our days and actions toward success don't we? And we tend to avoid what we deem to be risky or fraught with failure.
But those with mental, or emotional or physical challenges cannot and do not live their lives that way.
My son's days are filled with exercises in communication and environmental tolerances and confusion and frustrations.
Daily and sometimes hourly.
And yet he wakes up each morning a clean slate. Happy and excited to meet the day and all it brings.
Thrilled to just be a part of this big wide World.
His past failures and frustrations have never made him raise the white flag.
My daughter, who it seems so much comes so easily and effortlessly, does not have near his perseverance or optimism or faith in herself.
She is quickly annoyed and frustrated to the point of quitting if it even seems possible that success will not be easily gained in an endeavor or new skill.
She could learn a lot from her brother and Why have I never pointed this out to her? When I am encouraging her to have faith in herself and that the hard work will pay off , I have been missing the greatest example of that in my own house.
I have always been deliriously in love with my son and he is undeniably special in so many ways to me.
I can, at a drop of a hat, list so many reasons why he is a true blessing in my life and why he makes me proud everyday to be his mother.
But, until today, I think I have been missing the most amazing thing about him.
He has never, ever given up.
Wow, what a lesson in a life well lived.
Faith, Hope, Perseverance!
There are many words that have been used to describe him by teachers, therapists, doctor's, family and peers. I am sure by strangers too!
But none really ring truer than that every day he is one step closer to fulfilling dreams and desires.
He never takes a day off.
Nor should anyone else.
Everyday you have to take a leap of faith to get where you need to go.


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