Squatting down beside Noah as he went to the restroom, I exhaled a sigh of a moments peace- fully anticipating the battle I was about to take-on with an overly strong 4 year old as I forced him to wash his hands in the grocery store bathroom. We had already had a stressful morning, making both Matt and I question if we were gluttons for everything that is grocery shopping with children. Leaving the house with our reusable bags, we never truly know what to expect. All we knew was that we both wanted $1 coffee and a bit of time to stare at one another and grin.
I know it is not the first time this thought has passed through my mind, but it was the first time that I had distinctly acknowledged it. “God will reward me someday, right?… perhaps in heaven?” I wear a tough suit when it comes to my challenges with Noah, I have a hard time truly admitting how hard it is most days. Those who have visited us or have spent a prolonged time with us, may begin to gather a glimpse of the ceaseless work that he at times requires. I am not complaining, but simply trying to explain why this thought may pass through my mind.
As I left the restroom chasing that 4 year old with paper towels still in his little hands, I realized that this is my reward. HE is my reward. The challenge, the exhaustion, the ceaseless work, the indelible joy.
I think it is far too easy to get caught up in what we think we deserve in this life. We expect rest, a “happy” life, fairness, and the ebb and flow of easy and tough. We see how other people live, how we were raised, and expect a similar experience. We may not get that, chances are, most of us will- but it is not guaranteed.
We did not get that.
Prior to Noah’s diagnosis, even birth- communication devices, weighted silverware, and seizure medication was not in my realm of “normal”. I think that I can say the same for my husband.
Despite the differences, I think we were given gold.
I am thankful that my God has a bigger plan. I am thankful for the unending battle at the dinner table with Noah’s rambunctious eating, with his forceful face-hugs to his little sis, with him smashing my baby toe because he does not think to look at his own, and how he uses the excess skin on my thigh to provide himself leverage for standing up.
Gold, I tell you. It is my reward.
-that said, a break would be nice :)