While sitting in a huge line of traffic on I 71 the other day, I was a little more than irritated. I had one kid in the back seat licking the last of the sucker that was keeping him occupied while in this traffic nightmare, while the other was screaming at the top of her lungs that she had to pee and could not wait another minute. After 15 minutes of crying that she was literally going to pee her pants in the car seat, I decided that since I had not moved in 10 minutes, I would jump out, open the van door, and let her pee right there on the side of the interstate. I really didn't care that all 5,000 cars in the line behind us would see this wonderful example of parenting, I was just praying that the news chopper circling above us would not show it on live TV. Door open, squat, pee, back in car seat in about 40 seconds. Any mom would give me a big round of applause for this feat, because we all know how freaking hard it is to unbuckle and buckle car seats while under pressure. After getting back in the drivers seat, I sat there, frustrated that I was stuck in this traffic jam and having a little pity party for myself. For the first time in a long time, I literally just let it all out, and started to cry right there. How had life become so difficult? Why can't we catch a break? Why is the semi in front of me not moving? Where is my silver flippin' lining? I never knew that bumper to bumper traffic could be so eye opening.
This past year has been difficult to say the least. I keep hearing that things will get better, and that they will get easier. Guess what? They really haven't, at least not as much as I thought it would. The constant worry of Frankie has already taken a toll on me. I know that some may not understand this, but literally everyday, 100 times a day, I think about when or if he will talk. If he will ever call me Mommy? If he will be able to grow and learn like his sister? Will he be able to be a "normal" kid? Will he be able to grow up and have a family of his own someday? The list goes on and on. I know that I should not worry right now if he will be able to play soccer with the other kids, that I should think about today, but it is challenging. I have literally been in a hole that seems to be impossible to climb out of. Yes, people, I am having a big pity party.
This morning I was reading a devotional and it was talking about joy. As I was reading it made me think of a verse that I memorized a long time ago in my summer church camp days.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
I'm not one that usually "preaches" on my blogs, but this is my blog, and it was so profound to me. It was speaking directly to my heart. It confirmed to me that right now may be difficult, but that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Not only that, but it made me look at all of the things that are good and wonderful in our lives right now, and that finding joy isn't quite as hard as I have been making it.
As I was pulling in the parking lot picking up Frankie from school recently I noticed a beat up clunker of a car parking beside me. The mom quickly got out and opened the trunk and took a wheelchair out of the back. She hurried over to the passenger side in the back seat, where she got her little girl out, and put her in the wheelchair and was quickly pushing her in, because it was starting to rain. Here I sat in my brand new mini van that has plenty of room, and I got my little boy out of his car seat, and he ran inside the building while trying to jump in every mud puddle on the sidewalk. What a cry baby I have been. My baby may not be able to talk, but he can run, play, jump, etc etc. Joy was standing in the parking lot that morning.
Joy was in my bed this morning, poking me in the ear, and giving me tons of loves. Frankie gives me the biggest kisses and hugs every morning. It is his way of saying "Good morning, Mommy!"
Joy was in the traffic jam the other day too. The fact that I didn't have to clean out pee from the car seat and that I found one more sucker in the bottom of my purse to keep my kids happy.
Finding the positive in challenges is difficult a lot of the time. Trying to be happy when you just don't feel like it is hard. Everyday though, I am going to wake up and try to find Joy, where ever the heck she may be!